Moe than 100 countries in the world led by the European Union agreed on Wednesday to ban the use of cluster mbomb ammunition, but the United States and a few other nations like Turkey refused to sign on to the agreement. Cluster munitions are canisters packed with many bomblets that spread over a large area when dropped from a plane or fired from the ground. A major problem is many do not explode on hitting the ground and when civilians, including children, pick up thes lethal weapons it can result in loss of limbs or life. The draft treaty would not compel existing cluster bomb stocks to be destroyed.
The Bush administration insists the treaty is “flawed” because although the United States shares its humanitarian goals, “cluster munitions have demonstrated military utility and their ellimination fom U.S. stockpile would put the lives of our sodliers andthose of our coaltion partners at risk” claimed a Pentagon spokesperson. The State Department insists cluster bombs are part of the arsenal of the future and why single out one weapon.
If one pursues the logic of the US State Department and Pentagon, why not use atomic weapons against terrorists? Why single out a single weapon like that? Over a hundred nations have agreed to end the use of cluster bombs, surely the United States can go along with other nations of the world on ending use of a terrible weapon.