Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cluster bombs

You know those bombs Isreal used against the Hezbollah in southern Lebanon two years ago and ended up killing or maiming many civilians, including children, due to the indiscriminate nature of cluster bombs. Except the bombs they used were newly developed ones supplied by the US government, who wanted to see how effective they were in a real world, "battlefield, situation.

Well, we learned a lot, but mostly how not use them against targets where the "enemy" is well mixed into the rural population, which can and will damage villages, homes, and mostly people. And where many of the bombs will fall unexploded into the landscape and effectively become a visible land mine, where children pick them up, only to be killed or maimed.

If you don't know what a cluster bomb, you should become familar with them, as the US is only one of a handful of nations who have not signed the treaty banning them. Yes, we haven't sign and refuse to sign because we're the world's leading developer and producer of cluster bombs. We're make and sell, or give away in the case of Isreal, these bombs.

And now I read in the latest issue of New Scientist, 9/27-10/3/2008, the US is working on the development of new and better cluster bombs where the bomblets, as they're called, are "smart" bombs, which can "fly" at specific targets, even moving ones. They want the bomblets to identify enemy targets, such a tanks, artillery, personnel carriers, etc.

Well, it's seems the US is doing something very well in the world, which is can fully develop for its customers and friendly nations, and that is military technology. We are still the world leader (although the old Soviet Union was are equal with some technology), and we're learning the other nations, like China, are quickly adapting with new military technology too.

Gee, don't you feel warm and fuzzy about this? Or is that a bomblet finding your brain to tell you it's ok to kill and maim innocent civilians in the name of fight war? Collateral damage is the operative word, which they use to hide the reality of it being people, like you and me, just going about their lives.

Maybe you should think of it as landmines thrown from airplanes indiscriminately, like leaftets of death and destruction.

And by the way, the US also never signed and refuse to the sign the ban on landmines for the very same reason, we're the world's leader in the development and production of them. You know the ones that kill people in Iraq and Afghanistan, except those are older mines from other countries, one who did sign the treaty banning landmines.

But that's another topic, and a far more troubling one since there are still buried active landmines from WW I and WW II in Europe and Russia, and many more buried and active landmines the US left behind in Vietnam when we left. We also never helped Vietnam locate and disarm these. So, we're still on the hook for them, forty years later.

We did far more damage to Vietnam from the bombing raids, landmine and Agent Orange than our soldiers ever did because we left but we left our legacy with landmine and residual Agent Orange. Still today and will be for decades to come.

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