Feels Like Sitting on a Powder Keg Surrounded by Smokers

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has collected together all the chemical weapons that they have found in Syria. The weapons remain in Syria under the OPCW’s custody and comprise about one thousand tonnes of chemicals, including such goodies as mustard gas, Sarin and nerve gas. No final decision has been made on how to destroy or render safe these chemicals; the biggest problem facing the OPCW is figuring out how to get the chemicals out of Syria. Continue reading

Destroying What We have Created

It is easy for humans to create dangerous substances, or substances which have a potentially dangerous effect if created in volume, than it is for humans to destroy what they have created. Almost any nation can build a nuclear power plant, but rendering safe the toxic nuclear waste is beyond our technology; we have to compromise on safety, as the events at Fukushima graphically illustrate, where people are trying to extract the spent uranium rods and render them less dangerous by enclosing them in cooling water. Continue reading

Not In My Backyard – Destroying Syria’s Chemical Weapons in Albania

We do not hear much about Syria these days. It seems that the agreement to remove and destroy the chemical weapons of Syria has removed the threat of an intervention by the Western democracies which will now not bomb Syria and add their own destruction to the destruction and death that they Syrians are inflicting upon themselves, with a little help from their friends.  Continue reading

An Odd Prize

There have been some odd winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. These include Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama, The notion of a prize for peace being awarded with the money and in the name of a man who invented and man a considerable fortune from weapons of mass destruction, such as dynamite, is odd in itself, so it is perhaps not usual to find from time to time people have been awarded the peace prize who do not appear to have made any contribution to peace in the world. Continue reading

The Bravest of the Brave

We tend to read about our brave military, fighting in far off places on a mission to protect us from danger at home. Although much of the fighting does not require any more courage than it takes to aim a bomb or push a button, much of the military do spend their time in war zones like Afghanistan as targets upon which their enemies can vent their spleen. I do not think that the military have engaged in more offensive fighting than they have in defensive fighting, but all fighting requires some degree of courage and self examination. Continue reading

Chemical Weapons: Missing the Point

It is interesting to see the huffing and puffing about chemical weapons. However, can we honestly claim that chemical weapons are any worse than conventional weapons? Continue reading

Chemical Weapons Used by the Western Democracies

The exotic foreign policy of the United Kingdom is about to become a great deal more exotic. Parliament has been recalled four days early in order to debate whether some kind of military action should be undertaken by the United Kingdom in Syria. The United States is also proposing some kind of military action as is France. They are concerned to prevent the use of chemical weapons in Syria. That is the stated concern and it has arisen because 355 people have died in Syria as a result of a chemical weapons attack. Continue reading