FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel’s Cluster Bombs: Still Killing and Maiming

by MITCHELL KAIDY

After Israel’s no-holds-barred attack on population centers in Lebanon last year, thousands of little bomblets were left behind that exacted little damage on the Islamic cleric and his rocket-armed Hizbullah forces. But those little things are still causing misery and damage to the Lebanese populace,its homes, farms and apartments.

In addition to massive destruction in the cities, Israel left millions of cluster bomblets scattered in villages and countrysides. Like nearly all of Israel’s ordnance, the bomblets were manufactured in the United States.

Nothing new about that. When U.S. forces exited Kosovo ten years ago, they also left a legacy of millions of cluster munitions armed with decades-long killing power. In both Lebanon and Kosovo, these tiny munitions become evident only when they blow up people or body parts.

In legislation seeking to prove that the Democrats are really dedicated to peace under a Democratic Congress, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy have introduced tricky new legislation appearing to curb cluster weapons. Both claim to want to reduce “appalling” civilian deaths and injuries wherever the U.S. has employed-or will employ–cluster weapons. Even more the two Senators say they want to reduce the cluster bombs’ use by other nations-although it’s apparent “other nations” including Israel, are still receiving everything from mass-wrecking bulldozers to massive tanks, supersonic jets, plus village-busting bombs, all emblematic of the U.S. as the world’s leading arms supplier.

The problem is the Senators-and other Democratic co-sponsors- don’t want to ban the bomblets altogether, but to ban only defective weapons that have a failure rate of 1 per cent or more. One peaceminded organization, Jewish Voice for Peace–despite this atrocious legislative hook-is publicly supporting the legislation.

But there’s even more deception tied to this new legislation, for even if the specified level of defective bomblets is confirmed, their legislation allows the President to waive the prohibitions in the interest of “national security.”

Ha ha ha.

Even while introducing their legislation, Sens. Feinstein and Leahy were well aware that their bill does nothing to ameliorate or curb Israel’s air aggression. All they have to say is their bomblets aren’t defective at all, and to use the claim to push ahead with their aggression.

Of course, in bombing Lebanon, Israel was only emulating its trusty ally elsewhere.The United States, which provided them (probably free for “self defense”) and has itself extensively launched the bomblets from aircraft in Kosovo and especially throughout Afghanistan. Yet so impressed is the U.S. military by the devices, it’s currently replacing its aging and less effective Vietnam-era stock and stockpiling improved versions that are intended to disable not only humans but lightly-armored ground weapons .

So far, cluster weapons are not known to have been used in the bloody Iraq war, but it’s a clear possibility this Administration will suddenly discover “emergencies” like the 2 percent exemption to do so.

Meantime, the Bush Administration refuses, despite the fact that 122 nations have signed a 1999 treaty,

One organization that has been especially active worldwide in banning the bomblets is Human Rights Watch, an international organization that maintains a considerable presence in the United States. By international treaty the organization promotes a much more sweeping program that is more extensive and far superior to the Feinstein-Leahy bill. Human Rights Watch seeks:

* A prohibition on bomblet use in or near populated areas.

* Accurate mapping and recording of cluster bomb distributions.

* Clear warning markers for civilians, clearance crews and others at danger.

* Anti-cluster bomb research to defuse the weapons over time.

* Research into development of self-destruct weapons to curb their tragic and indefinite aftermath.

Because Israel is involved, it’s uncertain that even peaceminded Democrats will move toward approving the Feinstein-Leahy legislation, which as yet has no counterpart in the House of Representatives. And after that? Whenever has George Bush dignified an effective, peaceminded proposal that the world sorely and bloodily needs?

MITCHELL KAIDY, A journalist for over half a century, lives in Rochester, New York. He has contributed articles to a series which won a special citation from the Pulitzer Prize Committee in 1963, and in 1993 won a Project Censored award. He can be reached at: mkaidy@rochester.rr.com

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail