Wednesday, December 3, 2008


The BBC reports today that nations have begun signing the anti-cluster bomb treaty. More than 100 countries are going to sign on. Sadly, this number does not yet include the United States.

Reports the BBC:

"First developed during World War II, cluster bombs contain a number of smaller bomblets designed to cover a large area and deter an advancing army.

But campaigners, including some in the military, have long argued they are outmoded and immoral because of the dangers posed to civilians from bombs that do not explode and litter the ground like landmines."

With the new Obama administration there is the hope that the U.S. will sign on. It is shameful that a nation as rooted in democracy and civil liberty as the U.S. would continue to refuse to sign this treaty. How many thousands of innocent children have been killed or grievously wounded by picking up this cluster bombs thinking they were harmless toys.

Writes the BBC:

"As he opened the signing convention in Oslo, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said the treaty would make the world safer, but had been too long in coming.

""Too many people lost their lives and their limbs; too many futures were shattered," he said.

""The tragedy of their needless suffering is matched only by our joy today in being able to prevent more human misery in the future."

"Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Red Cross, reminded the meeting of the deadly legacy of cluster bombs.

""The path to Oslo is also traced through the mountains and the rice paddies of south-east Asia where several hundred million sub-munitions were dropped and many tens of millions remain today," he said.

""This path runs through the lives of civilians in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam who have lived with the threat of unexploded sub-munitions for four decades.""

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