Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Yay !!!

Today, representatives of 107 countries got together in Oslo to sign a

...a legally binding international instrument that prohibits the use and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians and secure adequate provision of care and rehabilitation to survivors and clearance of contaminated areas.

Interestingly, Austrian state television didn't think this story was worth their notice.
I disagree, and I've been doing my personal happydance after spotting the report on Al Jazeera.

Unsurprisingly, the US, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan and India have not signed this treaty.
The US, apparently "shares the concerns" ... but signing treaties, let alone binding ones, is un-American, or something. I suppose it interferes with their trying to be a "shining beacon of moral example". (Yes, I personally mangled this Obama quote. What can I say...I'm feeling even more cynical than normal.)

Also, there are "legitimate military uses" for cluster bombs...
...such as ruining entire crops or at least making it impossible for farmers to harvest what little might be left.
...or looking just like an interesting toy, so that children are more likely to pick it up:

Here are some more resources on this topic by people who are a lot more knowledgable than I am.

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