Use of chemical weapons has been a US war tactic

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

It’s good to see a newspaper, such as the News Letter, taking a measured and circumspect approach to the alleged Syrian chemical attack in the horrific civil war bedevilling Syria (‘It is far from clear how best to respond to Syrian attack,’ April 12).

The media needs to be careful not to allow themselves to be carried away by blind patriotic emotion or jingoism; as you rightly point out the stakes are high; a senior retired Russian military person recently said that a major confrontation involving the US, Russia and their respective allies will be the last war in human history.

If I may contrast the News Letter’s carefully weighted approach, regarding Syria, to that of an Irish newspaper’s editorial on April 11.

The Irish editorial castigates the alleged use of deadly chemicals in the civil war in Syria, stating, “Not since WW1 have chemical weapons been used on the battlefield ---”; that is pure hyperbole because chemical weapons are a big component or military asset in the US war armoury.

For example, in the modern era, the US has been the major user of deadly chemical weapons; for instance, its extensive use of agent orange and napalm during the US’s military intervention in Vietnam.

The chemical weapon legacy, left behind by the US, and its allies in Vietnam, remain (the US, and its allies, should be obliged, by the international community, to clean up the toxic chemical weapons mess left after them, perhaps then, the US, its allies and supporters can preach to others about such usage), and continue to cause death and suffering to thousands of Vietnamese — men, women and children; are Asian people not considered to be as human or as deserving of sympathy, as non Asians, by the UK, US and French etc.; also, let it not be forgotten that the US uses, or has used, deadly chemicals, including, I understand, cyanide gas, to execute/kill people in the US.

Micheal O’Cathail, Fermanagh