WASHINGTON, D.C. — “Tear gas … is a … chemical weapon …. Use of tear gas … is prohibited by various international treaties that most states have signed. Police and private self-defense use is not banned in the same manner.” (Wikipedia, September 5, 2013)
In short, police can use tear gas to control crowds … as long as those crowds are not part of a civil war. And if the “police” are not part of the “military.” (There are times when these are difficult lines to draw, in black, red, or any other color.)
Killing babies with chemicals deeply offends President Obama, President Hollande, and others to such a degree that they want to bomb Syria. Such bombing, it is hoped, will deter Syria from using chemical weapons in the future and, even more hopefully, other countries and entities as well. Presumably, killing babies by bayonet, bullets, and bombs (and starvation) still offends, but not to the same degree – i.e. not sufficiently to commit an act of war by bombing.
There are many, at least millions and likely billions of people who believe there can be a baby inside, as well as outside, a womb. For many of those people, an abortifacient (a pill that if taken by a pregnant woman is lethal to the fetus) is … “a chemical that kills babies”. As such, that is simply a set of facts: it is a pill containing a chemical that kills a fetus (or “terminates a pregnancy”); AND some people consider a fetus a baby. What makes it a policy issue is that Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, has mandated that health care insurance MUST include the “morning after pill.”
Which should lead to an interesting question: should the international community, arguably led by Syria and France, bomb the United States for killing babies with chemicals?
If that sounds far-fetched, why not ask legislators to insist that the “morning after pill mandate” be lifted (also known as “freedom of conscience”) before voting in favor of bombing Syria? It should be a small price to pay for a clear Congressional mandate for Obama.
Robert Schadler is Senior Fellow in Public Diplomacy at the American Foreign Policy Council. He has degrees in International Relations from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the University of Pennsylvania. He was editor of The Intercollegiate Review and managing editor of The Political Science Reviewer.
Photo Credit: lunar caustic (Creative Commons)