Chemical Weapons

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Poisonous chemicals are suspected of augmenting an aerial bombardment of a rebel-held town in Syria’s Idlib province Tuesday, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying at least 11 children were among those who died. The group says the death toll of 58 has risen to 72, and that all the victims were civilians.

The attack was reportedly carried out in Khan Shaykhun, a town in northwest Syria that sits about halfway between Homs and Aleppo on the country’s main north-south highway.

72 Killed In Attack In Syria Where Toxic Chemicals And Shelling Were Reported

Photo: Mohamed al-Bakour/AFP/Getty Images and Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images

In a suspected chemical weapon attack like the one in Syria on Tuesday, children are the most vulnerable targets. They are more likely than adults to die from chemical agents and to suffer injures. If they survive, they also suffer from the physical and mental trauma of the attack for far more years than adults simply because they have more years left to live.

The effects of chemical weapons are more devastating for kids for a number of reasons. “Because kids are smaller, there’s a higher impact on a smaller body,” said Dr. Steven Hinrichs, director of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. A smaller dose of a chemical agent can do more damage to their organs.

Why Children Face The Greatest Danger From Chemical Weapons

Photo: Mohamed Al-Bakour/AFP/Getty Images

Poison Gas

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.

Among the great advancements of the 19th century was the development of the chemical industry. As the Industrial Revolution ticked on, Europeans learned how to produce and commercialize chemicals. Artificial fertilizers, soaps, dyes, petrochemical materials and more became cheap and commonplace as the chemical industry expanded first in Britain, and then in Germany and the United States. Chemistry had made life easier.

Of course, the military also pondered the use of chemicals in weaponry. Some junior soldiers and scientists suggested the utility of poison gas during the Crimean War and the American Civil War, but the trend did not catch on. It was “as bad a mode of warfare as poisoning the wells of the enemy,” announced the British Ordinance Department. The scientist who proposed the notion grumbled. “It is considered a legitimate mode of warfare to fill shells with molten metal which scatters among the enemy, and produced the most frightful modes of death. Why a poisonous vapor which would kill men without suffering is to be considered illegitimate warfare is incomprehensible.” Nevertheless, the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907 banned the use of chemical weapons, one of the councils’ few achievements.

But military thinkers did not give up the idea, especially in the German army. By the spring of 1915 the Germans’ rampage across France had been checked, and a frustrating stalemate had developed. The soldiers turned back to the chemical industry. Germany had the largest chemical production in the world - and if it weaponized it, planners believed, the Entente would not be able to retaliate in kind.

Germans release gas from canister, 1915. This was a dangerous and unreliable method of using gas, and a change of wind could easily hurt the attackers as much as the enemy.

The Germans released poison gas for the first time on April 22, 1915, at Ypres. They released chlorine gas out of canisters, relying on the wind to carry it the Allied positions. The noxious clouds sent several French and Algerian divisions reeling in panic. Two days later the Germans tried it against Canadian soldiers who had plugged the hole in the line. The Canadians choked and gasped, but fought on, stemming the German wave. They had discovered that urinating on a handkerchief and tying it over their mouth and nose created a primitive gas mask. Three days later the British began rushing to the front cotton pads dipped in bicarbonate of soda, which neutralized the gas agent. 

French soldiers wear primitive gas masks.

The Entente loudly attacked the “Hun” for his barbarous use of gas, and then set to work creating their own gas weapons. Chlorine gas, and then phosgene gas, became common weapons. They were horrific weapons. Phosgene had no immediate effects, but within 24 hours soldiers would begin gasping as their lungs filled with fluid. The worst was mustard gas, which the Germans began using in 1917. It rotted the body from the inside and out, blistering skin, blinding, and stripping the mucous membrane off the bronchial tubes. The pain was unendurable.

Aerial photo of a large gas attack on the Western Front.

Using canisters to disperse gas with the wind was common at first, but a very unreliable and potentially dangerous method, so armies began using artillery shells filled with gas. It became normal to fire gas barrages before an attack, because it forced enemy soldiers and artillerymen to don their gas masks, which made fighting or loading guns hard. More sophisticated gas masks were created to protect soldiers, although the filters had to be changed every thirty minutes.

British troops with box respirators. The respirator had to be changed every thirty minutes but it was an effective mode of protection.

The shouts of “Gas! Gas!” and the rattle of gas alarms warned troops to put their gas masks on immediately. The thought of being incapacitated by gas terrified everyone. Yet it did not take long for men in all armies to get used to these drills, and gas actually did not cause a very high amount of casualties during the war, and relatively few deaths. On July 17, for example, the British fired 100,000 gas shells at the German lines at Ypres, but only killed seventy-five of the enemy. Still, gas caused around one million casualties during the war. Gas may have been more terrifying than effective, but the image of men choking and suffocating during World War One had been so horrific that European armies declined to use gas against each other during World War Two.

Types of German gas shells. Used by both sides from 1916, these contained liquid gas which evaporated on impact. This was a much more effective way of releasing gas agents on the enemy.

If MCR Songs Were People

This probably already exists but I spent two hours doing this instead of sleeping. Tell me which song you’re most like.

Welcome to the Black Parade: has a flair for the dramatic, doesn’t know how to do a smoky eye, was in the marching band in high school, daddy issues.

Sleep: has insomnia, PTSD, nightmares, is self deprecating, just wants to go the fuck to sleep

Destroya: probably gay, moans like a bitch during sex, pretty fucking hardcore, shit immune system though, lives for anarchy

House of Wolves:
will burn in hell (or believes they will), is a bad mother fucker, has a sister who should be scared, pyromaniac, “Catholic”

Vampire Money: all over the place, drinks a lot but parties like a beast, has a Bowie obsession, likes driving fast and loud music

Na Na Na: really artistic, pansexual, likes to scream lyrics, rebel at heart, probably still wears bandanas, sunglasses and boots all day every  day, fuck the government

Cancer: is dying, will die, all of your friends will die, actually doesn’t have any friends, really depressed, in pain, martyr

S.I.N.G: activist, owns jeggins, would join an underground gang if they had the balls, likes neon things for some unknown reason

Early Sunsets Over Monroeville: loves zombies, probably owns a Hawaiian   shirt, really quiet and doesn’t talk much, hangs out in shopping centres/malls but never buys anything

Demolition Lovers: is probably part of an underground gang, has to go away for “work” a lot, has a shotgun in the trunk of their car, teal,  unrequited love

Helena: recent death in the family, super fucking dramatic, lots of makeup, always wears black (maybe some red), nail polish is always chipped, imagines/fantasises things that will never happen all the time

Teenagers:
super punk, goes to concerts all the time, will break shit just for fun, has authority issues, probably friends with a lot of delinquents, is a delinquent, doesn’t read books, drinks a lot

Famous Last Words:
is constantly having an existential crisis, really   committed when it comes to relationships, cowboy boots, goes outside at midnight for no reason

I Don’t Love You: always heartbroken, never cuts hair, plays guitar,  goes on road trips when things get difficult, super emotional, cries a lot

I’m Not Okay:
is still in high school, I don’t care if they’re 39  they’re still in high school, hates high school, does stupid shit all  the time because fuck it, high school, is not okay, is friends with  weird people, high school

Mama: PTSD, self deprecating, mama’s boy/girl/person, has a sick sense of humour, laughs manically for no reason, cutthroat

You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison: probably gay, went to prison, had a fuck tonne of bitches (I’m kidding, they were actually the  bitch to a fuck tonne of other people), can’t adjust, has issues with  family

Headfirst for Halos: epic, is not okay, always trying to think  positively but is screaming inside, thinks about doing stupid shit all  the time (i.e. Putting a gun to their head)

Vampires Will Never Hurt You: screams a lot, has a vampire fettish, hates Twilight with a passion, has never gone outside, wouldn’t mind dying if I was a wooden stake to the heart, sucks dick

The Ghost of You:
fought in WWII, had a pretty girlfriend, wears round glasses with gold rims, is tall and lanky, has a brother, gets shot in  the chest, screams, dies

The Light Behind Your Eyes: is finding ways to deal with severe depression, cries a bit but quietly, reads a lot of books, all their friends are dead, trying to stay strong despite the fact they’re dying inside, sings like an angel

Give ‘em Hell Kid: lives life fast, probably has killed someone, wears red and like khaki green, shouts a lot, belongs in a 2005 MTV short, lives life on the edge, fatalistic

To The End: has read Dante’s Inferno, is a mafioso, fatalistic, has  probably organised the death of many people, likes to drink cyanide, sleeps a lot, owns diamond jewellery, likes cake

The Jetset Life is Gonna Kill You: has no faith in life, likes western movies, will yell at you, has  applied for a license to kill, likes to sleep with people (like nap I  mean)

Thank You For The Venom: likes snakes, has probably almost OD’d, hates  the doctors, is stubborn, death obsessed, has probably stabbed someone, wears striped long sleeve t-shirts, hates running, hopes to be shot one day

Hang 'Em High: is death obsessed, clinically insane, screams a lot,  always makes a lot of aesthetic statements about things with black and  white connotations, Catholic, fuck off

It’s Not a Fashion Statement It’s a Fucking Death Wish: swears in front  of their parents, wears their mum’s clothes, is obsessed with killing  enemies, is always predicting their death to be soon.

Cemetery Drive: all too real, has a girlfriend, likes to hang out in  cemeteries, girlfriend has issues and ended her life, now has issues  because of it, drinks a lot, really fucking depressed

I Never Told You What I Do For A Living: is 100% a serial killer, sociopath, also has OCD, scary as shit

The End: is dying, but isn’t too sad, wishes to attend their own funeral  as a ghost, has no self confidence, can’t be fucking bothered growing  up, doesn’t give a shit, is very chill, wears yellow accessories

Dead!: Is dead, is having a party about being dead, wondering if all the  assholes in their life are in hell, no one actually likes them, laughs  at inappropriate moments, is a great dancer

This Is How I Disappear: really fucking dramatic, will be upset and   disappear if you break up with them, dramatic, is a part time satanist, will make a voodoo doll of you if you fuck with them, candles

The Sharpest Lives: goes out late at night, never showers, drinks   heavily, would probably go cannibal if it was legal, always in pain,   lives life on the fucking edge, will burn large objects, has sinus   issues

Disenchanted: is constantly torn, never actually cries, writes books,  likes to take chances, likes birds, got in trouble with the police for  some stupid but really fun shit, friends need to get their shit together  and learn a lesson

Bulletproof Heart: Gravity doesn’t mean to much to them, has self  confidence but not enough to stop running away, runs away a lot, wears  really funky colourful clothing, is very kind but misunderstood

Planetary GO!: goes to a lot of cool night clubs, knows how to fucking  party, is still very punk on the inside, sweats a lot (bc they dance a  lot), jumps up and down for no fucking reason

The Only Hope For Me Is You: is obsessed with being remembered, only has  one friend, is kinda depressed and really needs someone to hold onto,  but is also really questioning life and society, wants to run away to a  more aesthetic place

Party Poison: speaks fluent Japanese (cough I mean Weeaboo), watches a  lot of anime, loves Kpop and Jpop fashion, will party but goes to the  weirdest parties, dyes their hair, fuck the bullshit meaning of life  they do what they want

Save Yourself I’ll Hold Them Back: is a badass, known for being a  badass, stole your mum’s car and took you on the best date ever, wears a  lot of leather, ready for a fight, probably gets into a lot of fights  anyway, probably once looked like Danny from Greece

SCARECROW: is probably on LSD, smokes a lot of weed, is really chill,  too fucking chill, wears psychedelic t-shirts, is actually a  philosophical genius, reads a lot of poetry

Summertime: they might go outside if it’s summer, listens to music with  headphones on full blast, goes on the train a lot, likes to walk around  listening to music and pretends they’re making the aesthetic parts of  the music video they’re listening to, soft kitty

The Kids From Yesterday: is constantly nostalgic, loves Star Wars and  Queen, always having flashbacks, wears yellow and read things, feels  misunderstood, trying to figure out the meaning of life

Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us: likes Fall Out  Boy when they had long song titles, has issues, a lot of issues, ugly  screams a lot, doesn’t care, wears dark denim jackets, hates this girl  who fucked their brother

Drowning Lessons: has a lot of anxiety, constantly worried, always  running away from problems and situations, can’t swim, always has  regrets, has pink things

Our Lady Of Sorrows: was in a gang once, loves to get into switchblade fights, is really scary and bloodthirsty, believes in pagan gods, but   will protect you, blood blood blood.

Skylines and Turnstiles: saw 9/11 happen, life was changed because of  it, decided that they wanted to be in a band, made a band with brother  and his fren, got some dreadlocked weed smoking fanboy to join, the  drummer is an asshole x3, breaks up after 12 years, deems it to be a  good idea, scared of butane

This Is The Best Day Ever: this is the worst day ever, has no rhythm, is  really confused with what is going in, went to hospital a lot and hated  it, screams a bit, is a bit scared of needles, studded belts, suck dick

Cubicles: will die alone (or at least they think), hates their job, the  only thing that entertains them at work is people gossiping at the water  cooler, is actually having a severe existential crisis

Boy Division: is friends with people who would have a fucking rocking  funeral, stalks school girls, looks dead but only dresses that way,  likes to sing about California, paranoid all the time

Tomorrow’s Money: fell in love with a vampire, slightly aggressive, can  surf, stopped screaming three years ago, wants to be a doctor, hates   people who are thought of as heroes, ruined converses

AMBULANCE: screams in an aesthetically pleasing way, thinks you know  nothing, super weird, goes out after dark, likes to drive big cars,  wouldn’t mind driving, is super reliable even when they let you down

Gun.: was probably conscripted into the military, actually hates   violence and guns, wants to stay at home all the time, likes to call the  shots, owns an old uniform that they’ll never throw out

The World Is Ugly: likes Blade Runner and fairy lights, thinks weird  people are very beautiful, insanely observant of other people’s  behaviours, wears knee high socks and converses, hates the world because  it’s terrible

Kiss The Ring: belongs in an alternate universe where it’s still the  medieval time but rock bands exist, is probably a contract killer, likes  to overthrow the king every five years, has really fucked up logic  about why it’s okay to kill a lot of people, cutthroat

Make Rooom!!!!: probably goes to discos, does not panic at them,  actually has some self confidence but always gets into stupid situations  and flails, wears the tightest pants in the world, wears earrings with  crosses on them

Surrender the Night: constantly lonely, likes to drive long distances to  think, lost a loved one, has cool patches on their jacket, has been to  hospital twice, likes to listen to you, always keeps secrets unless you  fuck with them

Burn Bright
: likes going to the city just to look at all the lights,   walks around and thinks that certain things would look nice on Tumblr,   unstable, can be aggressive, very in tune with their surroundings, kind of a Buddhist

Common People: your average person, always struggling financially, wears  a lot of blue, always falls in love with shallow rich girls for no  reason, really just wants to live however the fuck they want

Every Snowflake Is Different: loves children’s TV shows, goes to the  snow every year, loves winter and hot chocolate, will cry if you take  their toys away, will be a good parent, too busy having fun to give a  fuck

Desolation Row: got beat up at school, is now in a cutthroat gang, spits  a lot, wears a lot of eyeliner, likes Grease but is also super punk  rock, hates wearing underwear, likes to break shit all the time

Desert Song: is recovering from a drug addiction, is still in a really  dark place, trying to stay strong, is questioning the meaning of life,  probably had teal roots at some stage

Black Dragon Fighting Society: drinks juice when they’re killing because  it’s fucking delicious, really likes dragons, reads too much, hates  society, would run away but that would mean no books and no juice so no  fucking way, likes hot pink and black

Zero Percent: hates everyone, would kill everyone, really hates people,  does whatever the fuck they want, will kill everybody, will put zero   effort into school or work, does their own thing.

Mastas of Ravenkroft: worried about growing old, has no self confidence,  will only have sex if the lights are turned off, feels very old at a  very young age because of shitty bones, also has no fucking chill

F.T.W.W.W.:
fuck society, is super digital, but also really retro,   always tells people to kiss their ass, lives in a futuristic society,   likes robots, has a licking fettish, likes to destroy shit, will   probably spit randomly

We Don’t Need Another Song About California: Summertime’s long lost  twin, really doesn’t give a shit about California, but likes the sun,  probably lives in Florida, hates magazines, probably has a fake name,  thinks that nothing matters

All The Angels: is dying, has minutes left, girlfriend has issues   because she’s a little risky, everything has gone wrong, everyone is   upset, probably died three years ago, never went to heaven, likes pretty  flowers and dead things

Romance:
a complete and utter 1800s Romantic, has probably ready  Frankenstein, wants to go on epic journeys, never showers, likes spices,  old fashioned, would probably get into the steampunk fashion thing

Blood: is forever in the 1920s, was a war hero but hates themself,  laughs manically sometimes, has a thing for blood but hates vampires,  90% human wreckage, 23% awful fuck, 8% bad at math, 14% clueless

Assad has used chemical weapons on his people once again!
Over 100 civilians, including tens of children were killed by Chlorine/Sarin Gas in #Khan_Shaykhon ( Idlib). They’ve breathed death…

Is there anything more evil than gassing people, including children, to death - then bombing the hospital treating the survivors?
#Idlib #chemical_attack #خان_شيخون

Pray for Syria.
Stop the killing.
Protest peacefully.
Sign a petition to urge your government to save the people.
Don’t just set and watch.

* This video contains graphic content.