Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Boom! U.S. Fails In Attempt To Legitimize Child-Murdering Weapons
Anybody who has read anything about war in the last fifty years knows something about cluster bombs. They're large bombs containing hundreds of smaller bomblets: the large bomb is dropped and spreads its payload over a wide area, expanding the death-dealing capacity of airborne munitions. The bomblets can kill hundreds of human beings in a wider area than a single powerful explosive. Plus, the bomblets either don't always or are designed not to go off upon impact, but lie around waiting to explode and kill some unfortunate who stumbles upon them or picks them up. As you can imagine, said unfortunates are often children who live in an area and come out to play after a battle has moved on. Some countries have been accused of designing the bomblets in bright and shiny ways meant to actually attract children to them. The Soviet Union was heavily condemned for using them in Afghanistan as was Israel for using them in Lebanon. Cluster bombs are the deadly child-murdering gift that keeps on giving.
And so I read an article on the BBC that seemed confusing at first until I really read it. Then it becomes outrageous. It was titled "UN rejects US-backed cluster bombs regulation bid", and at first glance you would think it's the story of the nasty United Nations failing to endorse a brave American attempt to limit the use of cluster bombs: "UN member states have rejected a US-backed plan to introduce new regulations on cluster bombs - munitions which break up into hundreds of smaller bomblets. The plan would have eliminated all cluster munitions made before 1980. ... The US said that it was "deeply disappointed" by the decision..." But if that's what you thought was happening you would be wrong, dead wrong.
Because it turns out this American resolution is an age-old sleight of hand trick: by feigning moral outrage over older cluster bombs, it legitimizes the modern production of these fiendish weapons. The resolution was meant not to eliminate cluster bombs, but to undercut the Oslo Convention, signed by 111 nations, that actually prohibits the production, distribution and use of cluster bombs. Guess what countries have not signed the Oslo Convention? Here's a few: China. Russia. Belarus. Israel.... and the United States of America.
Yes, read on: "'The protocol would have led to the immediate prohibition of many millions of cluster munitions [and] placed the remaining cluster munitions under a detailed set of restrictions and regulations,' the US embassy in Geneva said in a statement.... A senior US official said the bombs were a military necessity for when targets were spread over wide areas, and that using alternative armaments would cause more collateral damage and prolong conflicts."
The world has seen through this transparent hypocrisy. The article continues: "though the proposal would have eliminated millions of ageing cluster munitions, even military allies of the US, like Britain, chose not to support it. Many UN member states felt, she says, that getting rid of some cluster weapons while officially sanctioning others would set a dangerous precedent, and might even legitimise their use in the long-term. The US move was also opposed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the top UN officials for human rights, emergency relief and development."
Thank you Ambassador Susan Rice via Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for your strong moral stand in favor of murdering innocent children. Oh yes, did I forget to mention? The U.S. is the largest manufacturer of cluster bombs in the world.
In not unrelated news, Egyptian dock workers are protesting the shipment of tear gas shipments being unloaded in the port of Suez. The tear gas is destined for the military government's repression of demonstrations of Tahrir Square. Oh yes, where is this tear gas coming from? That would be its point of manufacture at Combined Systems Inc. in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Among CSI's other leading clients are the Israeli Defense Forces.
Notice any patterns?
Those with strong stomachs may click here for a google search which shows the diversity of cluster bombs and the cold reality of what children look like after they have been murdered or maimed by them.