One of the most indiscriminate and terrifying weapons in humanity’s vast arsenal, among a long, long list of terrifying instruments, are cluster bombs.
Situated within the category of dumb bombs, or those just dropped from aircraft without any specific target, gravity-fed, these little sonofabitches have an enormous killing zone — cats, dogs, children, women, old men, sick people, those in wheelchairs, kids on a playground, some asshole sitting on a toilet, mothers, daddies, a guy looking out the window, people in vehicles, walking around, or maybe scrambling for cover, and then maybe a few insurgents.
Weeks later, a small-boy survivor of the original bombing, upon discovering a metal, ball-shaped chunk in some rubble, picks it up and is blown nearly half-in-two.
This effectiveness as a killing tool is obtained by little bomblets scattered about by the dispenser before hitting earth — submuntions in military terms.
Although today about 100 nations will sign a binding document that would ban such weapons, the real shitheads won’t be putting any John Hancocks on the treaty.
- But the big military powers, most, or all, of which are also nuclear-capable — namely the United States, Russia, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan — have declined to sign the cluster-bomb ban.
Hypocrisy of weaponry.
Seemingly, the more humanity civilized itself, the less humane its warfare.
India and Pakistan can obliterate a couple of continents and sub-continents, and of course, the US and Russian could reduce the entire planet to ash.
(Illustration found here).
How does President-Elect Obama react?
Last year as senator he backed an amendment to curb the Pentagon’s use of cluster bombs, but what will he do as commander-in-chief in inking the treaty?
Right now, he’s dancing around the subject with thick verbiage.
Reports the New York Times‘ The Lede blog:
- “President-elect Obama is deeply concerned about the well-being of civilians in situations of conflict, as reflected by his support of the legislation in 2006 that would have prohibited the use of cluster munitions near concentrations of civilians. As president, he will carefullly review the new treaty and work closely other countries to ensure that the United States is doing everything feasible to promote protection of civilians in conflict.”
– Brooke Anderson, Obama’s chief national security spokesperson
One would think with all this change we can believe in stuff, a concept of banning a horrible, and unnecessary, weapon would be a no brainer.
Politics is the US way.
The NYT bog also noted Decider George’s official stance, via the State Department:
- U.S. government officials have stated that “the United States relies on them [cluster munitions] as an important part of our own defense strategy,” and that Washington’s preferred alternative to a ban would be “to pursue technological fixes that will make sure that these weapons are no longer viable once the conflict is over.”
What conflict, asshole?
And a defense strategy — Cluster bomb the Canadians if they decider to invade the US in mass?
Or better yet, and also, use cluster bombs as an alarming deterrent tool for immigration control along the southwestern US?
Innocent victims the bottom line.
According to a Handicap International survey two years ago, casualties off cluster munitions could number a 100,000:
- The full extent of the damage caused by unexploded “bomblets” scattered by the weapons will probably never be known, it says.
Ninety-eight per cent of the casualties it found were civilian.
Of the 11,044 cases it discovered, 3,830 people were killed and the remainder injured.
Read the details here.
Get some backbone Barack!