Chemical weapons: Nobel Peace Prize for 2013
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 is to be awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.
For years Middle Eastern countries have accused the US of double-talk over Iraq. They are bitterly critical that the American government helped arm Saddam during the 1980s in a war against Iran, which at that time Washington regarded as its biggest enemy in the region.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry was one of the senators who fought for the right of US Veterans, exposed to Agent Orange, to achieve proper compensation. However, at the same time, Kerry is part of the US Establishment which refuses to compensate the Vietnamese for the same chemical poisoning by America’s Agent Orange.
If the Obama administration wants an example of the difficulties involved in destroying chemical weapons, it might reflect upon its own struggles to get rid of cold-war era chemical arsenals stockpiled in tightly controlled storage facilities in Kentuchy and Colorado.
The United States promised, but failed, to destroy these stocks by 2012 at the very latest. The most recent forecast from the US is that the process of "neutralising" the chemicals in its Colorado weapons dump will be finished by 2018; the date for Kentucky is 2023. That will be 11 years after the US promised to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles, and eight years after Russia – the other major possessor of declared chemical weapons – says it will have finished destroying its arsenal.
About 2,611 tons of mustard gas remains stockpiled in Pueblo, Colorado. The second stockpile, in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, is smaller – 524 tons – but more complicated to decommission, because it consists of a broader range of lethal gases and nerve agents, many of which are contained within weaponry.
An example of hypocrisy: 'The Nobel Committee stated that the watchdog, part of the United Nations, did not win for its current campaign in Syria, but rather for its extensive efforts to outlaw chemical weapons'...