The war itself is already tragic, but it becomes even more terrible when the opposing sides start using prohibited methods and means against their opponents, from which there is simply no escape. It's about using weapons mass destruction, and specifically about chemical weapons.
It is no secret to anyone that weapons are one of the main instruments of the policy of imperialism. However, it is also known that the power of this weapon only increases over time. And even though it is already completely obvious that the decision to use modern weapons in the course of political confrontation is tantamount to insanity, the arms race continues in the world. There was even a specially created theory in the world that justified this process: precisely because modern weapons possess disastrous power, this in many ways restrains states from starting wars. Adequate people are well aware that such a theory is absurd. Moreover, they realize that the arms race and military buildup are often fraught with environmental disasters.
In general, it should be noted that the first case of the use of chemical weapons belongs to the period of the First World War. So, in April, 1915, not far from the Belgian city of Ypres, Germany used chlorine against Russian troops. Cylindrical cylinders were installed at the forefront of the German positions, the length of which was on the order of 8 kilometers, of which a large cloud of chlorine was released in the evening, blown towards the Russian troops by gusts of wind. In those years, soldiers had no means of protection, so about 15 thousands of people became victims of the chemical attack, of whom about 5 thousands died. The Germans did not stop at this, and a month later they repeated the attack in the region of the Eastern Front. The victims of the attack this time were about 9 thousands of soldiers, of whom more than a thousand people were killed. However, then it would be possible to avoid victims, because the intelligence of the Allies warned of the possibility of such an attack and the presence of Germans cylinders with unknown contents. But the command came to the conclusion that these cylinders do not pose any danger, and in general the possibility of using chemical weapons is impossible.
It was then that the terrible power of chemical weapons and their high efficiency was demonstrated. Governments were forced to think about developing new chemical protections. In response, new chemicals appeared and the means of their delivery were developed.
During the Second World War, the facts of the use of chemical weapons were also recorded. Thus, chemical forces were repeatedly used by Japanese troops against China. And even more, the Japanese government, including the emperor, came to the conclusion that such a method of warfare is very effective not only because chemical weapons do not differ much from the usual ones in terms of cost, but also make it possible to do almost without losses from their troops.
In Japan, special units were created that were engaged in the development of new toxic substances. For the first time, Japan used chemicals against China during the bombing of the city of Wotsuy. Then over a thousand aerial bombs were dropped on the ground. Later, the Japanese dropped another 2,5 of thousands of bombs during the bombing of the city of Dingxiang. But the Japanese did not intend to stop at this, and continued to use chemical weapons until the end of the war. The total death toll from chemicals reached 50 thousands of people, while the victims were not only among the military, but also among the civilian population.
Later, the Japanese still did not dare to use chemical weapons against the Americans and the Soviet Union, probably fearing that both the one and the other side had stocks of this type of weapons of mass destruction not inferior to the Japanese potential, and that one could well expect a retaliatory strike on the Japanese territories.
A new experience in the use of chemicals, which can reasonably be attributed to the use of chemical weapons, was demonstrated precisely by the United States of America during the Vietnam War. The Americans actively used chemicals and toxic substances, against which the peaceful Vietnamese population did not have protection. It should be noted that the extensive active use of chemical weapons is one of the characteristic features of the Vietnam War. The US military used Agent Orange defoliant to destroy foliage in the jungle and to locate units of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. As a result, Vietnam suffered more from the rest of the world from the use of chemical weapons.
So, it must be said that in American laboratories the development of chemical means for the destruction of vegetation has been going on since World War II. In addition to the Pentagon, the agricultural department, research institutes and universities were also involved in these developments. The level of development, which was achieved by the end of the war, made it possible, according to American experts, to use them in practice. However, for military purposes, development continued, and only in 1961 was a suitable test site chosen - Southeast Asia, in particular South Vietnam. The actual use of herbicides there was begun in 1961. Initially, under the guise of an experiment, Saigon pilots, led by American instructors, began processing small forests near Saigon. At the same time, N-34 helicopters and S-123 and S-47 aircraft were used. Two years later, more extensive areas on the Kamo Peninsula were treated with herbicides. According to the U.S. military, the results were impressive. Therefore, in 1964, the command decided to use herbicides over the entire territory of South Vietnam. Moreover, in addition to affecting woody vegetation, defoliants began to be used for processing fields, gardens and rubber plantations. Initially, operational plans for the use of herbicides were subject to formal approval in Washington, but in 1964 the American ambassador in Saigon received this prerogative, and after another two years the use of chemicals became the usual tactical technique of the American troops. Chemical processing was carried out at the request of American commanders, while not only was it used aviation, but also the ground devices that were available in the US troops.
Especially intensive herbicides were used by Americans in the 1964-1966 years, but the maximum use of chemicals reached in the 1967 year. And only in 1971, was the mass use of chemicals banned by presidential decree Nixon. However, it was allowed in close proximity to the military facilities of the Americans and in remote areas. Therefore, the Americans could use chemical weapons until the end of hostilities.
During the war in Vietnam, the Americans used a half dozen chemicals, but the most widespread, as we have noted above, was the defoliant "Agent Orange", which is a mixture of chemicals. Its most active and dangerous ingredient is dioxin. The defoliant was delivered in containers marked with an orange stripe. According to the Pentagon, over the period of the war over the territory of South Vietnam, Americans sprayed about 72 million liters of "orange agent".
In addition to dioxin, during the Vietnam War, the Americans used chemicals such as picloram, monuron, bromacil, and bromoacetone, chloropicrin, adamsite, which, according to statements by the American military, are non-lethal. Napalm (gel-like gasoline), which the Americans used to destroy enemy personnel, was also used. As a result, a large number of civilians suffered.
The local population had to sit in shelters because of the bombing of the Americans. When the Vietnamese went outside, the trees were already without leaves. However, dioxin gradually accumulated in the body, causing skin diseases and contributing to the increase in cancer. In South Vietnam, more than 4,8 millions of victims of dioxin use have been reported. In addition, there were many people who became disabled as a result of the fact that their relatives of the older generation were subjected to a dioxin attack.
The use of chemicals for the destruction of vegetation had a great impact on the country's ecological balance. About 140 bird species were destroyed, insects and amphibians, as well as ancient mangrove forests, almost completely disappeared. The composition of fish in reservoirs has changed, and their number has decreased. Negative changes have also occurred in the Vietnamese fauna. There were black rats that are carriers of the plague. Malaria mosquitoes and ticks appeared that spread dangerous diseases. The consequences of the use of chemicals are felt to the present - periodically children with genetic abnormalities are born in the country.
In 2004, the victims of the Vietnamese war filed a lawsuit against US chemical manufacturers, but in March of the following year, a federal Brooklyn court rejected it due to "lack of evidence." In February, 2008 also rejected a Vietnamese lawsuit against US firms Monsanto and Dow Chemical, which were engaged in the production of chemicals during the years of the Vietnam conflict. Currently, only American veterans, who have suffered from their own weapons, can achieve material compensation payments.
Compensation to the veterans of that war was paid by the allies of the Americans - the governments of New Zealand and Australia, as well as Korea. In December 2006, the US government acknowledged its responsibility for the consequences of using chemicals in Vietnam. Congress expressed willingness to work with the Vietnamese government in terms of assistance. In 2007, the Americans allocated a grant in the amount of 400 thousand dollars to train Vietnamese specialists in the methods of cleansing the soil from dioxin. A cash transfer is also carried out periodically for victims of dioxin use. In addition, several rehabilitation centers were built in Vietnam for people affected by chemicals. The construction was carried out jointly by France, Germany, Canada, Japan and the United States. There is also the so-called “Friendship Village” in the country - a boarding house for veterans and people born with defects. The pension is funded by donations from Americans, including war veterans.
We also note that during the hostilities in Iraq, neither one nor the other side was embarrassed to use chemical weapons. At the very beginning of the conflict, in 2004, the US military used white phosphorus ammunition. Note, one such bomb can destroy all living things within a radius of 150 meters. Initially, the US government denied the use of chemicals, but soon made a statement about the error, and later still had to admit that American troops actually used white phosphorus to fight and destroy enemy forces. Even more than that, the American representatives declared that such bombs are a legitimate tool for waging war.
The fact that the Americans used chemical weapons during the Iraq conflict is evidenced by materials released on the scandalous Internet resource WikiLeaks. This portal published material that finally dispelled the myth of the humanitarian nature of the American invasion of Iraq. After all, it is very strange that the liberators, with whom the Americans declared themselves, in the course of rescuing the victims (that is, the Iraqi people) from the bloody dictator (Saddam Hussein) actually destroy the object of liberation.
At the disposal of the resource was a report containing evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Americans not only against the Iraqi military, but also against the civilian population.
The United States sent more than two thousand non-lethal chemical weapons to their soldiers in Iraq. Thus, the Americans violated the provisions of the Convention on the use of chemical weapons, signed in 1997 year, according to which the states undertake not to use chemical means to suppress mass protests. The only place where you can use them is in the territory of the signatory country itself. Despite this, the US military made a request for the supply of gas grenade launchers firing gas and smoke grenades caliber 66 millimeters. It is impossible to determine how often they were used, because there is no information on the volume of supplies.
If this weapon was used, the question arises as to how legitimate the use was. If not, another question arises - why was it delivered to Iraqi territory in such large quantities?
Another case of the use of chemical weapons was recorded quite recently - in Syria, where the opposition forces are at war with the president. In March of this year, information appeared in the media about the use of a rocket stuffed with chemicals. Then the center of Aleppo suffered, a half dozen people died, another hundred were poisoned. What kind of chemical substance was contained in the rocket is still unknown.
The second case of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, this time - sarin, happened only recently. More than a thousand people became his victims. Oppositionists accuse government forces of using the chemical, but they completely deny their guilt. Considering the fact that the development and use of chemical weapons is prohibited in Syria, it was assumed that the UN representatives would be investigating the incident, but the Syrian government does not agree to this. However, the US authorities have already announced that they intend to deal with Syria, inflicting an air strike on it. When this happens, while it is not known, it all depends on the decision that Congress will take. Whether the United States will get allies in a new hypothetical war, it is still unknown, the UK refused to help, saying that Iraq was enough with it. At the same time, America is intensively supported by Japan, France and Turkey ... Russia and China are supporting Syria. What can happen as a result of the confrontation of such influential states is not difficult to guess: almost half the world may be involved in a new war ...
However, in addition to armed conflicts in the world, chemical elements are periodically used by radical elements. A striking example is the terrorist attacks in Japan. They were carried out by the Japanese non-religious sect "Aum Shinrike". In June, 1994 of the year drove a truck through Matsumoto, in the back of which there was a heated evaporator, on the surface of which was sarin, a chemical that enters the human body through the respiratory system and paralyzes the nervous system. Then, as a result of the poisoning attack, two hundred people received, 7 of whom died. The following year, the terrorists decided to repeat the attack, but indoors. In March, 1995, in the Tokyo subway, appeared five unknown, who in their hands were carrying bags of sarin. Gas quickly spread by subway. As a result, more than five thousand people got poisoned, 12 of them died. The organizers of the attack managed to track down and arrest only in 2012 year. The head of the sect chemical laboratory later admitted that for several years they had been able to synthesize about 30 kilograms of sarin, and experiments with herd, phosgene and soman were conducted in the sect laboratories.
Civilians are exposed to chemical attacks not only in a “combat situation” but also during man-made disasters. So, in 1976, an environmental disaster occurred not far from Milan. At that time, an explosion occurred at a local chemical plant, as a result of which several kilograms of defoliant erupted into the atmosphere, similar to that used by Americans in Vietnam. As a result, hit dozens of people who received terrible burns, eczema and ulcers. Killed many animals and birds. The population was evacuated.
At about the same time, in 1975, an epidemic of an unknown disease suddenly broke out in the US state of Pennsylvania that claimed the lives of dozens of people. Journalists called the mysterious disease "legion fever", the cause of its occurrence was the Lasa fever microbes, which escaped from a chemical laboratory located in Maryland and specializing in the production of bacteriological weapons.
In 1971, more than a thousand sheep died in one of the American towns. Earlier in the same area, about 6,5 thousand sheep died. The reason for the loss of livestock was a nervous gas, the leakage of which occurred from one of the secret polygons of the Pentagon. Despite the fact that the military department stopped the experiments, the lethal concentration of chemicals is still in vegetation.
Another time bomb was discovered in 1971, in Alaska. Two hundred cylinders containing nerve gas were dumped on the ice of the lake in 1966. The military showed just criminal negligence, forgetting about these cylinders. As a result, the cylinders, after the ice melted, were at the bottom of the lake. Nobody was going to destroy them, because the gas was considered to be missing. But one drop of that gas would be enough to cause the death of a person. The American authorities did not even deign to inform the local population about the threat ...
There are many more such cases. But already now on the planet there are many places where all the prerequisites for environmental catastrophe have been created. The worst thing is that these prerequisites were created by the people themselves, or rather, by their representatives, for whom there is nothing more important than profit and personal interests ...