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Group Calls for Cluster-Bomb Ban February 3, 2007

Posted by publicpolitics in Ecology of War.
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After returning from a ten-day fact-finding trip to Lebanon, American Task Force for Lebanon Executive Director Dr. George Cody said: “The problem of unexploded cluster munitions is the number one humanitarian issue that Lebanon faces today.”

Source: arabamericannews.com

This report in Arab American News highlights one of the more technologically advanced and continuously deadly legacies of modern war. There are several types of cluster bombs, but the essential feature is a shell filled with submunitions that explode themselves. Israel is believed to have dropped anywhere from 1.2 to 4 million cluster bomblets on Lebanon in a little over a month last summer.

The problem is that the bombs have about a 40 percent failure rate, making the unexploded ordnance a widespread environmental contaminant with the lethal potential of a land mine. The small size of the bomblets- each is about as big as a “D” battery makes them difficult to see and more likely to be scooped up inadvertently or to attract children.

As a result, large areas of otherwise useful land have become uninhabitable or extremely dangerous , not just for people, but for animals as well. Demographics will change, and ongoing death will be a feature of the peace.

The American Task Force for Lebanon’s campaign has six objectives:

  • To make clearing the bomblets a U.S. priority
  • To ban cluster-bomb transfers from the U. S. to other countries
  • To press Israel to provide bombing sites coordinates
  • To support the State Department’s investigation into whether the Israeli use of U.S manufactured bombs violated agreements prohibiting the use of the bombs in civilian areas
  • To petition the President and Congress to ban this type of bomb altogether.

War planners are unlikely to think much about the ecology of what they do. Well informed citizens, however, have a duty to think and inquire about the dreadful, expensive ecological consequences of war- else all peace will be technologically condemned , as Tacitus might have said, to be merely another variant on desolation.

Tags: unexploded | ten-day | returning | MUNITIONS | Issue | humanitarian | fact-finding | faces | cluster | campaign | bomblets | Politics | Lebanon | Israel | george | executive | Director | cody | Atfl | American

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