US President Barack Obama's red line on chemical warfare was crossed numerous times over the past 68 years by the US and other countries, and nothing was done. In 1945, the US dropped two nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the blasts killing approximately 200000.
Another 50000 died later from radiation sickness. All these people were civilians and for the US to say it had to use these weapons to save American lives is preposterous.
It could have blockaded Japan into submission. The real reason was to test the nuclear bomb on a live target and measure its effects.
Then in the 1960s, it dumped 45 million litres of Agent Orange (dioxin) on Vietnam to kill forests which provided cover for Vietcong guerillas. It is estimated one million Vietnamese are currently affected either with various diseases and cancers, or were born with deformities from the dioxins which have filtered through into the environment and will be virtually impossible to remove.
Then again, the CIA provided Sadam Hussein with chemical weapons in the 1980s which were instrumental in killing ten thousands of Iranian troops during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. Again, Sadam used chemical weapons against the Kurds in 1988 and the US did nothing.
In both Gulf wars, in Afghanistan and also in Libya, the US and its western allies used shells and missiles tipped with radioactive depleted uranium (D-38). This has poisoned these countries' water, atmosphere and environment with radiation dust and material.
This has caused a vast jump in the number of children born with deformities and people with cancers in Iraq. The radiation dust will stay in the environment for hundreds of millions of years since it has a slow decay rate.
Napalm has been used on and off since 1944 and again civilians bear the brunt of this burning petroleum gel which sticks on the skin and burns it off.
It is ironic now that the US's radioactive depleted uranium tipped cruise missiles and bombs won't kill many people directly since the strikes will be surgical. Its real menace comes afterwards and indirectly when the depleted uranium is vaporised, and spreads through the environment to contaminate the atmosphere, soil and water.
People breath in this dust and it will stay in the lungs, and they will drink radiation contaminated water. We will again witness a spurt in children born with deformities, and children and adults affected by cancers and other diseases.
There is also the US's and Israel's use of white phosphorus in Fallujah and Gaza respectively. It is time to ban all these weapons, and not only sarin and other gases now being used by Syrian President Bashar Assad.
It is also time for the US, Russia, China and other nations to scrap their nuclear arsenals. The danger even of a localised nuclear war will not only destroy the environment in that area, but radiation will spread throughout the planet by atmospheric circulation.
A nuclear war will also bring about a nuclear winter, ozone depletion and other unintended consequences.
We should not stop with nuclear bombs, we should even ban the harnessing of nuclear energy.
The accident at Chernobyl has had far-reaching effects on Europe's agriculture and environment, and now the accident at Fukushima in Japan is leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean and has had other effects.
N Omar, East London