Poison gas in warfare Essay

Submitted By katielongrie
Words: 1163
Pages: 5

Katie Longrie
English 101
Say No to Poison Gas The president of the United States, Barack Obama, spoke to the nation concerning the aftermath in Syria of the massacre involving poison gas that Assad’s government released into the air on August 21st. He states, “Men, women, children lying in rows killed by poison gas, others foaming at the mouth, gasping for a breath; a father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk” (Obama). This is just one of the many attacks throughout the nation where poisonous gas has not only injured-- but killed, countless amounts of innocent human beings. There are innumerable amounts of the aftermath side affects from poisonous gas used during the war; burns and blisters are only two of the visible side affects of poison gas. There are side affects from poison gas that people can’t see; blood poisoning, respiratory distress, nerve and brain damage and so on. Can you imagine the feeling of blisters and burns all over your body, or struggling to take a deep breath? These are only a few of the painful injuries that Iranian veterans felt after suffering from exposure to poison gas. $8,000 was the usual cost after staying an average of four to five weeks in the hospital recovering from their injuries (Janny). The cost of the hospital visit does not include the extensive surgery that some men had to endure after their recovery from the initial exterior injuries. Not only does that mean that they are spending more money, but they are going through more pain and suffering. To me, that doesn’t seem morally correct to have all these men go through such pain and agony, and all for what? Nothing. Some men and women don’t even survive their injuries and it is a long, slow and painful death for the men and women poisoned by gas. It is a horrible and excruciating painful way to die and imagine-- if you don’t die, you are lying in a hospital bed with blisters, burns, and all of your insides infected with poison. I wouldn’t wish that upon my worst enemy. One of the most commonly used gasses in warfare is tear gas. Tear gas is ethyl bromoacetate, it causes extreme discomfort and makes your eyes water uncontrollably. If you inhale tear gas it can be fatal. Usually, tear gas is in the form of a grenade and launched into large uncontrollable groups. Once the tear gas is in the air and a person becomes engulfed in it, the tear gas irritates the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs and causes sneezing, coughing, tearing and so on. Two other types of poisonous gases that are used in wars are sarin and cyanide, men and women use these two gases as a combination. James Caryn an editor for the New York Times writes about poisonous gas in the attack, launched by Saddam Hussein in 1988 in Saddam’s own country. He states, “Using these two gases causes paralysis and death so fast that the stone like corpses littering the ground look flash-frozen, fists clenched, one child’s arm still lifter in the air” (Caryn). Any of these gasses are dangerous in little doses but when they are spread over a large location with a big population, it is going to a large amount of damage. If not making people have a slow and painful death it will make anyone’s life very difficult. Chemical weapons in World War 1 were mostly used to discourage, harm and kill defenders of the opposing soldiers (Chemical Weapons in World War 1). A lot of the time the soldiers that are using poisonous gasses against their opponents the gasses travel through the air and harm their own soldiers. Several of the World War One soldiers that ejected the gas were injured as well as the their opponents, they were all hospitalized, and even a few of them died in the hospital. In World War One the highest number of deaths from poisonous gas was in Russia, the total number of deaths was 56,000 people (Poison gas used in WW1). Since the start of using chemical weapons it has only seemed to cause more problems then benefit anyone.