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The Boston Globe


farah stockman

Crossing the line

Why are chemical weapons considered beyond the pale?

You might be wondering why it is OK for Syrian President Bashar Assad to kill 100,000 people with guns and bombs, but it’s absolutely outrageous for him to kill 1,400 people with poison gas. Is death really better when one is getting blown to smithereens by a cluster bomb, rather than suffocating from sarin? At least toxic gas doesn’t leave entire cities in ruins. Bridges and buildings are spared. And unlike a blast of artillery fire, nerve gas has an antidote.

So why are chemical weapons considered beyond the pale?

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