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Ear to the Ground

Cluster Bomb Treaty in Full Effect

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Posted on Aug 1, 2010
cluster bombs
AP / Mohammed Zaatari

After much foot-tapping, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a global treaty forbidding the use, production and stockpiling of cluster bombs, has finally gone into effect. Cluster bombs have maimed or killed tens of thousands of civilians, many of them children.

The United States—which refuses to sign the treaty—used cluster bombs in the Vietnam War to disrupt enemy lines, but an estimated 30 percent of explosives did not detonate on impact, leaving live munitions on the ground that experts believe kill 300 people a year. —JCL

Al-Jazeera English:

A global treaty banning cluster munitions has gone into force.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which became binding international law on Sunday, prohibits the use, production and stockpiling of the weapon, which is blamed for killing and maiming tens of thousands of civilians.

Thomas Nash, from the Cluster Munition Coalition, a network of 200 civil society organisations, hailed the ban.

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By samosamo, August 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

****************


By Paul_GA, August 2 at 7:27 pm

Know exactly what you mean and is it ever frustrating.

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By Paul_GA, August 2, 2010 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Believe me, Samosamo, I’m on your side. I’m also disgusted at the way this country’s proud, stiff-necked Elites behave, and I’m alarmed at the direction they’re taking this country. I’m equally angry at the way most Americans are oblivious to the way things are; one of these days they’re going to be rubbing their eyes in amazement and asking incredulously, “What happened?!?”

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By nemesis2010, August 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Let’s see… according to this article, 4 of the world’s top 5 military powers—depending on whose evaluation you accept—aren’t signatories to this so-called treaty, including the largest producer of cluster bombs in the world.

Yeah… that’ll work. We can all sleep better tonight knowing that this treaty is in full effect.

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By gerard, August 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

rico suave:  I only wish at this time to post a scathing condemnation any and every country for dropping cluster bombs or any other munitions on anybody at any time anywhere.  Do I make myself clear?

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By wildflower, August 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Re Nefesh: “this is an official left-wing Israel Derangement Syndrome Zone”

No, Nefesh, this zone is about humanity, cluster bombs, inhumane acts, and real life stories like this one from a Portland mother:

“I have been campaigning for the creation of this treaty for the last five years. For one thing, I believe that the world would be a better place if these weapons weren’t in it. This is not a political issue…it’s a humanitarian one.  Simply put, this treaty will save lives .  .  .  But in addition to this, I also have a very personal stake in this treaty. My son Travis, a corporal in the U.S. Marines, was killed by a U.S. cluster bomb in July 2003. He was clearing unexploded ordnance from an Iraqi farmer’s field near Karbala of unexploded ordnance when one of his friends in the unit who was standing nearby accidentally detonated a cluster submunition dud. In an instant, the explosion took an eye and an arm from the Marine who touched it…and also killed Travis. 

The Pentagon may try and say that cluster bombs are needed to protect American soldiers, but I would answer that the cost to local civilians is too high and that U.S. cluster munitions also directly endanger U.S. troops. According to the Government Accountability Office, during the Persian Gulf War our own cluster bombs killed or injured 80 U.S. troops who had to pass through desert areas scattered with hidden dud cluster submunitions. Professional deminers and combat engineers see cluster submunitions as the most dangerous kind of unexploded ordnance to clear because they are designed to pierce armor and
are very volatile.

These weapons are just not able to discriminate a specific target. Cluster bombs are dropped from planes and scatter hundreds of small, unguided explosives over an area as big as several football fields. When a single weapon impacts an area that big, how do you make sure that civilians aren’t killed in the bombardment? Cluster munitions were developed during World War II for use against tanks on vast, unpopulated plains of warfare. They were never intended to be used in cities, villages or even agricultural areas. But in the last 10 years, the United States has used cluster bombs in civilian-populated areas of Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. Israel used them on the villages and olive groves of southern Lebanon. Imagine if these weapons were used in Chicago or in farming regions in Texas—how would American civilians not be killed and maimed by the thousands? If they were used here in the United States, would we stand for it?”

http://blogs.wweek.com/news/2010/08/02/one-mothers-thoughts-on-cluster-bombs/

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By ofersince72, August 2, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

This treaty is useless without the signing by the
world’s largest producer and stockpiler of this nasty
weapon.

  You have your usual familiar list Rico, all of whom
have never dropped a cluster bomb.

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By gerard, August 2, 2010 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

rico suave:  If so, I wasnl’t justifying them, was I?

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By nefesh, August 2, 2010 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

By rico, suave, August 1 at 11:17 pm:

gerard:

“Arguments over who kills more children seem idle nonsense to me.”

Correct me if I’m wrong. Please. But haven’t you posted scathing condemnation of Israel for their devastation of Gazan women and children?

rico, this is an official left-wing Israel Derangement Syndrome Zone, where it’s OK - de riguer, actually - to smear the Jews and Israel with a double-standard. I find the hypocrisy amusing. I enjoy a good lampooning of the ‘Progressives’ and nothing does it better than when they do it to themselves.

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By samosamo, August 2, 2010 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

****************


By Paul_GA, August 2 at 1:24 pm

Thanks, but when I see what this country of mine is doing and
such as this shit, I really go into dark sarcasm mode. I know I
say a lot about controlling the population of this planet but this
is not what I am talking about when I do.

And, I know about ‘blowback’ and Nemesis’ works so yeah, your
line ““One day, that attitude will come back to haunt this
country.”” is very much true. I do believe we are heading into
that a payback that I can only hope doesn’t leave those smegma
licking elite out of it.

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By Paul_GA, August 2, 2010 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

Samosamo, the Elites in this country believe that the rules are for lesser countries—that the USA can make its own rules in pursuit of imperial “glory” and “grandeur” as it slays overseas “monsters”. One day, that attitude will come back to haunt this country.

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By samosamo, August 2, 2010 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

****************


““The United States—which refuses to sign the treaty—used
cluster bombs in the Vietnam War to disrupt enemy lines, but an
estimated 30 percent of explosives did not detonate on impact,
leaving live munitions on the ground that experts believe kill
300 people a year.”“
*****************

Wow, who needs totalitarian tyrants as mass murders when here
are the stats since the vietnam war of 300 people a year are still
being blasted to pieces by our ‘residual affects’ of unexploded
ordinance and agent orange.

Let me see, just since we quit that war in 1975, that make 35
years until about now, times 300 per year(just unexploded
ordinance) why that is an extra 10500 gooks, and counting.

How could america even consider the idea that we lost that war
when with no effort we are still killing them. And that doesn’t
even take into consideration all those people including our own
soldiers we attacked with agent orange who are still keeling
over. What a nice benevolent country the u.s.a. am be.

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By Tom Joad, August 2, 2010 at 5:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look, you don’t need “comparisons” to argue this one at all. Cluster bombs are imoral in and of themselves. They are militarily useless (unless the goal of the military is to make an area uninhabitable for decades to come). In fact dishonest as a military weapon because unlike even mines, your OWN military is in danger in an area you have bombed with these. It is immoral and inhumane.
No need to make analogies, compare with “despots” in other lands (in some perverse contest) simple, EASY (unless you are a sociopath) to uinderstand. These bombs are evil. Pure evil, and countries using them are doing evil things. It’s really that simple. The ONLY reason the US and others won’t sign…they have huge stockpiles of these nasty, evi weapons and they make money off of selling them to other countries.
It’s shameful, in the true sense of the word, that they don’t ban them immidiately. No country can stand on any moral “high ground” when using these child killing devices.

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By Paul_GA, August 2, 2010 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

Well said, Wildflower.

And, Rico, what good would it do for this country if it fought and fought and fought all sorts of overseas “monsters” until it reached its breaking point? All empires do, sooner or later, and I believe our time for imperial collapse is coming soon, unless we end our empire ourselves, voluntarily. Naturally, the Elites running this country in Mordor-on-the-Potomac will never voluntarily end the American Empire, so I fear we will be in for a hard roller-coaster ride over the next few years. As Bob Dylan said, “The times, they are a-changin’.” And America had better change ... or else.

When I mention “monsters”, BTW, I’m thinking of the wisdom of John Quincy Adams: “America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

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By wildflower, August 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

The citizens of the 107 nations that have signed this Cluster Bomb Treaty should be proud.  Clearly, it is a significant step and cause for celebration.

For those of us who live in the cluster bomb-producing nations that refuse to sign this treaty, our leadership has shamed us and done us all wrong.

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By rico, suave, August 1, 2010 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

gerard:

“Arguments over who kills more children seem idle nonsense to me.”

Correct me if I’m wrong. Please. But haven’t you posted scathing condemnation of Israel for their devastation of Gazan women and children?

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By rico, suave, August 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

Paul:

Except, in the real world, North Korea dropping a bomb on South Korea, or Japan, would have disastrous economic effects on the entire planet for a long time. Now, if that is what you wish for, in keeping with the neo-progressive goal of making everyone poor rather than suffer the existence of a single rich person, then I understand your insouciance. I for one would rather stop the bastard before he does something really dumb.

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By Paul_GA, August 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Maybe Kim Jong Il is one, Rico, but why waste lives and treasure on him? I’d rather let his near neighbors worry about him and bring this country’s fantasies about always being the good guy in every wasteful, stupid foreign war to an end. No country can fight perpetual war; not even this one. So why try?

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By gerard, August 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Arguments over who kills more children seem idle nonsense to me.  As we are U.S. citizens, we are responsible for all deaths inflicted by the U.S. government, and we are probably the only ones who can put a stop to our government’s warring and the after-effects thereof. That is what is important, though many of us would rather blame others and avoid having to do anything to change our country’s policies. It’s fiendishly easy to blame others as am excuse for our own cruelty.

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By rico, suave, August 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

What I meant Paul, was that totalitarian tyrants are responsible for far more deaths, including children, than cluster bombs.

Can we agree that Kim Jong Il is one?

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By Paul_GA, August 1, 2010 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Wish we could, Rico, but is killing large numbers of civilians to get rid of their totalitarian leaders justified? And who decides who is a “totalitarian tyrant” and who isn’t?

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By rico, suave, August 1, 2010 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Now if we could only outlaw totalitarian tyrants, who have also been “blamed for maiming or killing tens of thousands of civilians, many of them children.”

I have a few names in mind.

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By Paul_GA, August 1, 2010 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

Like I’ve often said, States are the biggest mass murderers, and if we want a peaceful world, we need to cut into the ability of States to command our allegiance, proclaim other peoples to be evil and wicked and ruled by “neo-Hitlers”, and waste lives and treasure on wars and preparation for war. Banning cluster bombs is a good first step, but countries which still make and use them ought to be proclaimed pariah nations and boycotted in lots of ways, big and small.

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