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CuriousLurker  Feb 16, 2016 • 11:20:36am

I’d never looked into cluster bombs at any length. Fifteen minutes of reading tells me they’re especially nasty and that we’re NOT among the 98 parties who’ve signed on to the Convention on Cluster Munitions treaty banning their use.

Most of the other developed/Western nations are on board: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, etc.—but not the U.S. As a matter of fact, according to the New York Times, Human Rights Watch released a report this past Sunday indicating that Saudi Arabia has recently used American-made cluster munitions on civilian areas in Yemen (emphasis added):

Human Rights Watch released a report Sunday providing new indications that Saudi Arabia has fired American-made cluster munitions, banned by international treaty, in civilian areas of Yemen, and said their use may also violate United States law. […]

Cluster munitions contain submunitions, or bomblets, that disperse widely and kill indiscriminately. Many bomblets can fail to explode, posing a threat to civilians. A 2008 treaty bans the weapons, but major arms suppliers, including the United States and Russia, have not signed it. […]

So their use by the Saudis “may” violate U.S. law. Can’t be sure about such things, I guess. Do you suppose that if it did break any of our laws we’ll punish the Saudis in any way? Yeah, me neither—not gonna hold my breath. I can’t help but wonder how much money the arms manufacturing/supply industry is worth… what is the price for selling our collective national soul…? We talk a good game wrt human rights & freedom and all that, but we’re right up there with brutal knuckle-draggers like Putin in some matters.

Oh, and it seems that the aftermath of the use of this diabolical weapon is also quite deadly due to unexploded bomblets1:

Civilian deaths from unexploded cluster bomblets

• In Vietnam, people are still being killed as a result of cluster bombs and other objects left by the US and Vietnamese military forces. Estimates range up to 300 people killed annually by unexploded ordnance.[62]

• Some 270 million cluster submunitions were dropped on Laos in the 1960s and 1970s; approximately one third of these submunitions failed to explode and continue to pose a threat today.[63]

• During the 1999 NATO war against Yugoslavia U.S. and Britain dropped 1,400 cluster bombs in Kosovo. Within the first year after the end of the war more than 100 civilians died from unexploded British and American bombs. Unexploded cluster bomblets caused more civilian deaths than landmines.[64]

• Israel used cluster bombs in Lebanon in 1978 and in the 1980s. Those weapons used more than two decades ago by Israel continue to affect Lebanon.[65]

• During the 2006 war in Lebanon, Israel fired large numbers of cluster bombs in Lebanon, containing an estimated more than 4 million cluster submunitions. In the first month following the ceasefire, unexploded cluster munitions killed or injured an average of 3-4 people per day.[66]

Sorry, I didn’t intend to take over your page, but sometimes when I sink my teeth into a subject I can be like a dog with a bone.

1. I loathe that word “bomblets” because it makes them sound harmless, almost cute even. I read somewhere years ago that children often mistake the unexploded round ones for balls and end up getting maimed or killed when they play with them.

Great White Snark  Feb 16, 2016 • 12:25:18pm

Our sins are numerous and disturbing. Let me thread the needle of not denying what the US does wrong, yet showing Russia is a whole ‘nother level of awful.
We do not use cluster weapons anything like what you saw in the video. Putind rules of engagement and weapons choices are a diametrical opposite to US policy. We use precision weapons in Iraq and Syria. Cluster weapons are used on military targets such as convoys and troops.

Also our low collateral damage rules mean we use non lethal cluster bombs that are copper or mylar conductors. designed to cause blackouts without anything exploding, no power plant destruction. Just blown breakers and transformers. They too would be prohibited. Thick one huh?

A couple links for ya
Russia’s Questionable Attempt To Break A Siege On This Syrian City With Backfire Bomber Strikes

Syrians Are Paying A High Price For Russia’s Cheap Bombs

A bit about our guys…

CuriousLurker  Feb 16, 2016 • 2:05:50pm

re: #2 Great White Snark

Okay, but I would still posit that if we’re manufacturing the deadly kind and selling them to so called allies who are using them on civilians, then we have a problem.

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