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Friday, May 30, 2008

Cluster Bomb Ban Opposed By McCain/Clinton Passed by 100 Countries

What have we been left with over the past 8 years of George W. Bush with regard to international treaties?

Over and over again, the U.S. stands alone in opposing treaties that have overwhelming support in the international community.

Remember the Kyoto protocol? The global warming treaty signed by 178 countries and rejected by the Bush administration?

Well, here we are again.

A group of 100 countries came together in Dublin Ireland and agreed today to a treaty that would ban the use of cluster bombs, those canister munitions filled with bomblets that are often left in civilian areas long after the conflict is over where they maim and kill the innocent, especially children.

If Hillary Clinton, John McCain and George W. Bush had their way, the U.S. would again stand nearly alone in the developed world in supporting the use of cluster bombs.

From The Swamp:

The U.S. has opposed the treaty because it wants to maintain the military option of using them as a defensive weapon, a position that has placed it at odds with global human-rights groups. The U.S. is joined by Russia and China in opposing the ban. It's not just the Bush Administration that opposes the treaty. There was a telling vote in September 2006 on legislation that would have banned the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas. Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain voted against the ban which failed 70-30. Sen. Barack Obama voted for the ban.

Here's Wikipedia on cluster munitions:

While all weapons are potentially dangerous to civilians, cluster bombs pose a particular threat to civilians for two reasons: they have a wide area of effect, and they have consistently left behind a large number of unexploded bomblets. The unexploded bomblets remain dangerous for decades after the end of a conflict.

Cluster munitions are opposed by many individuals and hundreds of groups, such as the Red Cross, the Cluster Munition Coalition and the United Nations, because of the high number of civilians that have fallen victim to the weapon. Since February 2005, Handicap International called for cluster munitions to be prohibited and collected hundreds of thousands of signatures to support its call. 98% of 13,306 recorded cluster munitions casualties that are registered with Handicap International are civilians; however they also note releasing the report "Despite a general lack of information on casualties both during and after strikes..."

Please, God, let this election deliver us from hawkish cowards, who stand up in Congress and vote with the fear that they shall be seen as weak on national security.

Please, God, give us a President who has the strength and courage to stand up for what he believes and join the international community in addressing serious dangers like global warming and humanitarian blights like cluster bombs.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that John McCain opposes banning the user of cluster bombs in civilian areas, although as announced on johnmccain.com his wife supports the NGO HALO Trust, which is clearing the very cluster bombs and landmines John McCain supports.