ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

An Easy One for Obama--Sign the Anti-Cluster Bomb Treaty!

Updated on August 5, 2009

Cluster bombs

Sign the Anti-Cluster Bomb Treaty ASAP!

A quick and easy way for President-elect Obama to demonstrate he meant what he said when he promised change would be for him to join the growing number of civilized nations and sign the international anti-cluster bomb treaty ASAP after he takes office in January. This treaty which the Bush administration has refused to sign was agreed to be signed yesterday by Afghanistan. By agreeing to sign the treaty Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai led his country in joining 90 other nations in pledging to ban the use or storage of cluster bombs and, as well, demonstrated his independence from the Bush administration which has opposed the treaty.

According to this morning's (12-4-08) New York Times, Norway's foreign minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, said he expected several more nations to sign on Thursday. Among them, however, will not by the United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan or several other Middle Eastern nations. Of the 90 signatory countries, 18 out of 26 NATO members have signed the treaty.

Mr. Stoere said that universal agreement to the treaty was not necessary for the anti-cluster bomb treaty to work. "What we have adopted today is going to create profound change. If you us or stockpile cluster weapons after today, you will be breaking a new international norm."

Whether dropped from aircreaft or fired from artillery, cluster bombs scatter dozens or even hundreds of small explosives across an area the size of a football field, Some of the bomblets fail to explode when they hit the ground and remain a hazard for children, farmers and others long after the conflict ends. Clearing the unexploded bombs is costly and difficult.

"This is a weapon that just can't stop killing," said Thomas Nash, coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition, a London-based group of organizations. Nash said that Laos was the country most saturated with un-exp0loded cluster munitions, including types that attract children because they look like "little baseballs." They are a legacy of the United States' bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam war. Georgians, he said face their own clanup problem following what human rights groups say were cluster bomb exchanges during the recent conflict with Russia.

Israel fired significant numbers of cluster bombs into sourthern Lebanon during a monthlong conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. Afterward, United Natios peacekeepers reported unexploded munitions strewn across the landscape.

The United States defended its decision not to sign the treaty. James Lawrence, director of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement of the State Department, said cluster bomgs were sometimes more humane than conventional bombs. As an example, he said that antennas on a roof could ber taken out efficently with a cluster bomb, without bringing the building down. [Sounds to me like we need a new director of Weapons Removal and Abatement!]

Defense Secretary Gates answer--Better cluster bombs! In a June 2008 policy memo Gates ordered all U.S. military services to gradually replace their least reliable cluster bombs. He said that by 2018 only munitions with a failure rate of less than 1 percent would be employed.

American officials lamely said the United States would continue pursuing measured restrictions on the use of cluster bombs by trying to amend the 1980 United nations convention on conventional weapons.

The cluster munitions convention will not take effect until six months after 30 nations have officially ratified it--a milestone that Norwegian organizers said would be acueived by 2009. Signatories agree to destroy their stockpiles within eight years of the treaty taking effect. Each signer also promises to make "its best efforts to discourage" non-treaty countries from using the weapons.

BARACK OBAMA, HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU HAVE SERIOUS INTENTIONS TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE!

Based on a NYTimes article 12-4-08 by Walter Gibbs and Kirk Semple.

[The references to Obama as well as other changes and comments above are my own not those of Messrs. Gibbs or Semple.]

 

Child Victim of Israeli Cluster Bombs in Lebanon

Child Victim of a Cluster Bomb

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      New York Times "must do" list for Congress:

      http://hubpages.com/hub/New_York_Times_Must_Do_Lis...

    • profile image

      ColdWarBaby 

      9 years ago

      Always happy to make the facts available when I can. It's a very good Hub by the way Ralph.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Thanks for the excellent comment. I've passed your list on to others on another forum.

    • profile image

      ColdWarBaby 

      9 years ago

      Cluster bombs are a source of profit for the capitalist machine. How dare you suggest that profit be given a lower priority than the life of some insignificant human being?

      This kind of obscenity will not end as long as capitalism reigns supreme.

      Check out this list of treaties that amerika has broken or refused to ratify. Just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

      http://www.vote.org/treaties

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)