Thursday, December 04, 2008

On reasons to continue using cluster bombs

90 nations so far have signed a treaty banning use of cluster bombs.
Whether dropped from aircraft or fired from artillery, cluster bombs can scatter dozens or even hundreds of smaller explosives across an area the size of a football field. Some bomblets fail to explode upon hitting the ground and, like land mines, can remain a deadly hazard to children, farmers and others long after a conflict ends.
The US has not signed the treaty and insists that it will not do so. The reason given is even more appalling.
From the Times: The United States defended its decision not to sign the treaty. James F. Lawrence, director of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement of the State Department, said cluster bombs were sometimes more humane than conventional bombs.
Here is a description of the effects of using cluster bombs in the Iraq fiasco:
Terrifying film of women and children later emerged after Reuters and the AP were permitted by the Iraqi authorities to take their cameras into the town. Their pictures – the first by Western news agencies from the Iraqi side of the battlefront – showed babies cut in half and children with amputation wounds, apparently caused by American shellfire and cluster bombs.
So, I guess babies cut in half and children with amputation wounds makes "cluster bombs more humane than conventional bombs" because conventional bombs would have just blown the babies and children into smithereens and not cut them so cleanly into halves.

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