Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel’s Cluster Bombs: Still Killing and Maiming

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:
October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail