Several commentators have pointed out that however inappropriate the term "weapons of mass destruction" may be as applied to chemical weapons, those weapons are, nonetheless, horrible, and hence any success in restraining their use, for whatever reasons, clear or confused, is to be welcomed.
I agree completely with that sentiment, and would gladly extend it to land mines, cluster bombs, fragmentation grenades, depleted uranium artillery shells, and as many other hideous means of inflicting death and misery as can successfully be corralled into some sort of internationally recognized ban. I despair of rooting out the deep-seated human desire to kill other humans and the equally deep-seated urge to assert political and economic domination, but anything that reduces the sheer level of carnage that seems to be the universal accompaniment of the human condition should be embraced.
The present surprising turn of events is also to be welcomed, however much Kerry and Obama may retroactively claim that this is what they had in mind all along. It may be that the preponderance of Americans, at least for the moment, have had their fill of world domination. but having lived through the analogous reaction to the Viet Nam War only to see the advocates of endless American military adventurism return to power, I am pessimistic about any long-lasting consequences of our weariness with Middle Eastern incursions.