There are weapons worse than chemical ones - the Age - letters page Monday April 2017

There are weapons worse than chemical ones

After more than seven years of appalling and highly complex conflict, Syria is increasingly a proxy for a new Cold War. Outrage about use of weapons of mass destruction does not make counter attack legal, and increases the risk of escalation. Chemical weapons inspectors arrived on Saturday to investigate attacks in Douma.

Australia, along with the US, Britain and France, are highly sanctimonious about chemical weapons. Yet they refuse to commit to the new UN treaty banning the worst weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons. Never before has Australia refused to sign a weapons ban treaty. With nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons in existence it is only a matter of time before they are used, most likely by malfunction or human error. If a rules based order and protecting civilian lives is really such a priority, Australia must sign this treaty.

Dr Margaret Beavis, Medical Association for Prevention of War, Australia

Different standards of attack

So the lesson the US, Britain and France wish to teach Bashar al-Assad is that dropping bombs on the people of Syria is OK, but using chemical weapons against them is not. Is that right?

Peter Wigg, Eltham