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Reader's view: Bombing nerve gas stockpiles a dangerous move

As our nation contemplates air strikes on Syria's stockpiles of nerve gas, the gist of an editorial in New Scientist magazine, from its Aug. 31-Sept. 6 issue, is worth passing on. Bombing Syria's stockpiles could release the deadly sarin gas, cau...

As our nation contemplates air strikes on Syria's stockpiles of nerve gas, the gist of an editorial in New Scientist magazine, from its Aug. 31-Sept. 6 issue, is worth passing on. Bombing Syria's stockpiles could release the deadly sarin gas, causing more casualties. An alternative would be to launch an "attack" consisting of antidotes to the gas coupled with relevant medical information.

Many of those recently killed or injured by the gas sought shelter in basements. But the gas is heavier than air and seeks low places. People would have been safer on upper floors. Antidotes to the gas, atropine and pralidoxime, are cheap and readily available in Western countries. Enlisting our allies in a massive program to distribute antidotes and medical information prior to any future gas attack would help to galvanize world opinion and send the "message" to Syria so important to some of our leaders.

In short, there are constructive and nonviolent ways to make statements and to provide tangible aid.

Bruce Henricksen

Duluth

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