Cub reporter Ezra Klein interviews some PoliSci professor to produce this bit of mental masturbation.
It then came to have much more significance because of what I call moral entrepreneurs. People who believe in a norm in places of institutionalized decision-making power. You get somebody like President Roosevelt, in World War II, who had a personal antipathy to the use of gas and declares the U.S. won’t be the first to use the weapon. And you really don’t see chemical weapons used against soldiers or cities in World War II. So you get this tradition of non-use, and there’s also this political dynamic where no one wants to cross the line even Hitler didn’t cross. He did use gas in the concentration camps, but not really on the battlefield. So in war there becomes this idea that they must be really bad if even Hitler wouldn’t use them.
See, even Hitler had standards! Well, except for the murder of six millions Jews, most with poison gas. Sheesh, you can’t make this crap up.