Posts Tagged ‘Gas Warfare’

Chemical War Prohibited, 1925

August 28, 2013

This is the integral text of the Protocol forbidding chemical and biological warfare. It was respected by all parties in World War Two:

Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare

Signed at Geneva: 17 June 1925. Entered into force: for each signatory as from the date of deposit of its ratification; accessions take effect on the date of the notification by the depositary Government. Depositary Government: France.

The Undersigned Plenipotentiaries, in the name of their respective Governments:

Whereas the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices, has been justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilized world;

and Whereas the prohibition of such use has been declared in Treaties to which the majority of Powers of the world are Parties; and To the end that this prohibition shall be universally accepted as a part of International Law, binding alike the conscience and the practice of nations;

Declare: That the High Contracting Parties, so far as they are not already Parties to Treaties prohibiting such use, accept this prohibition, agree to extend this prohibition to the use of bacteriological methods of warfare and agree to be bound as between themselves according to the terms of this declaration.

The High Contracting Parties will exert every effort to induce other States to accede to the present Protocol. Such accession will be notified to the Government of the French Republic, and by the latter to all signatory and acceding Powers, and will take effect on the date of the notification by the Government of the French Republic.

The present Protocol, of which the English and French texts are both authentic, shall be ratified as soon as possible. It shall bear to-day’s date.

The ratifications of the present Protocol shall be addressed to the Government of the French Republic, which will at once notify the deposit of such ratification to each of the signatory and acceding Powers.

The instruments of ratification of and accession to the present Protocol will remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the French Republic.

***

To become party to the Protocol, states must deposit an instrument with the government of France (the depositary power). Thirty-eight states originally signed the Protocol. France, the first victim of a massive chemical attack, in 1915, was the first signatory to ratify the Protocol on 10 May 1926. As of May 2013, 138 states have ratified, acceded to, or succeeded to the Protocol (most recently Moldova on 4 November 2010).

The rest of the miscreants are bound by International Law, whether they like it, or not.

***

Even the Nazis respected the 1925 Geneva Protocol. The Nazis had thousands of tons of neurotoxic gas in 1945, and the means to deliver them: V2 rockets, and three types of jet bombers (democratic aircraft did not fly fast enough to catch them!)

The Nazis had also every reason to be resentful: goaded into the war by their erstwhile allies (see the 1935 Anglo-German Naval Agreement), exasperated by American plutocracy bait and switch tactics, seeing their world collapse as the evidence of their cold assassination of more than twenty million civilians was all over their realm, one would have expected for all senior Nazis to emulate Magda Goebbels, who personally poisoned her six children.  

Instead, cooler heads prevailed.

Cooler heads have to be encouraged.  

***

In 1966 United Nations General Assembly resolution 2162B called for, without any dissent, all states to strictly observe the protocol. In 1969 United Nations General Assembly resolution 2603 (XXIV), to overrule the USA (then using Agent Orange in Vietnam!) declared that the prohibition on use of chemical and biological weapons, now forms part of customary international law.

***

Hollande, French president (27 August 2013): “Le mas­sacre chimique de Damas ne peut rester sans réponse, et la France est prête à PUNIR ceux qui ont pris la décision infâme de gazer des innocents ” (“Damascus chemical massacre can’t stay unanswered, & France is ready to PUNISH those who took the infamous decision of gazing innocent people”)

***

So, let’s get personal, and indeed punish directly, individually, those who live in infamy!

Another reminder: very few high officers were responsible of imperial Japan’s fascist, war crime laden rampage that led to the vicious idiocy of Pearl Harbor, among other follies. (There had been an attempted anti-plutocratic coup by junior officers, February 26, 1936, against the higher-ups; many were killed, but the coup failed.)

Taking out a dozen of these fanatical high officers would have done wonders (and not enough of them were hanged after the war!)

Only one caveat in this Syrian story: the responsibility of Assad’s government ought to be demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt.

That NO chemical of fanatical Salafist rebels origin have been released has to be made certain; this is when the good old methods of the NSA and other spies, come into play; the information ought to be made public.

Another point: if Hitler had been executed, say in 1944, a fortiori 1939, there is no doubt that the total number of people saved may have been a huge proportion of those who died..

Thus, one has to strike the head of the snake. If one can show that orders to use chemicals were given by Assad, he should be considered, him, as a person, the number one target of any strike on Syria. Because he would be, by far, the most responsible. Do to him what should have been done to Hitler in a timely manner. That ought to encourage those of the same ilk.

Some worry that Syria would be lost without Mr. Assad and his spendthrift wife. Not to worry: I am sure plenty of unsullied secular high officers can be found in the Syrian army to replace him.

***

Patrice Ayme


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