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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Ban the bomb

Clusters bombs are a deadly addition to any country's arsenal. During the Iraq war, Britain and America dropped many of these deadly weapons. Numerous unexploded cluster bombs now exist in Iraq, likely to cause death or serious bodily harm if and when detonated.

Human rights groups are continuing their campaign to outlaw the use of these weapons. The risk to civilians is great and yet many Western countries still produce and use the bombs. There is no international transparency in the manufacture of the weapons and it is estimated that the US has a stockpile of over a billion submunitions.

Head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff defended the use of cluster bombs in 2003, saying that effect on civilians was minimal. Perhaps he should have spoken to an Iraqi eyewitness.

In other Iraq-related news, the UN's Oil for Food scandal has caused ripples across the world body. A former senior advisor to the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which ran Iraq until the election of an interim Iraq government in January, says that the US government's refusal to prosecute US firms accused of corruption in Iraq is turning the country into a "free fraud zone."

I await critics of the UN, recently heard muttering about weakening or even disbanding the UN, to outline appropriate proposals for the US. Dismantle the empire. Any takers? Or is it more convenient and politically expedient for the UN to remain a hobbled body, in their eyes, leaving the US and its random allies to take charge of world affairs?


Anonymous Simon James said...

"Clusters[sic] bombs are a deadly addition to any country's arsenal. During the Iraq war, Britain and America dropped many of these deadly weapons...

What a wonderful example of hysterical language. These are bombs, Antony. If one explodes above or beside you, you will very probably be killed. That is a common understanding of the nature of explosive ordinance.

You are somewhat belabouring the point by adding melodramatic premodifiers like "deadly" to things, the express purpose for which are to end life.

That's why we don't see people being described as holding a "deadly gun" in their hand. Unless it is a cheap detective novel, that is.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 4:05:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

But many of these weapons don't explode for years and the countries using them, such as the UK and the US, refuse to stop using them, despite the long-term damage on a country, refuse to clean-up their mess, and care little for the effects on civilians, children etc.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 7:32:00 pm  

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