Monday, August 28, 2006

Cluster Fuck

from Billmon

Hypocrisy, thy name is Uncle Sam:

The US is investigating whether Israel's use of American-made cluster bombs in Lebanon violated an agreement that the weapons not be used in populated areas, officials said yesterday . . . "We've heard the allegations that these munitions were used in Lebanon and we're looking into it," a State Department spokesman said yesterday.
Another official confirmed that the sale of cluster bombs was conditional on Israel using them only against military targets in the open, away from civilian areas.
The Guardian US investigates whether Israel violated deal on cluster bombs August 26, 2006
On March 31, 2003, a United States cluster munition attack on al-Hilla in central Iraq killed at least thirty-three civilians and injured 109. While an egregious incident, this was not an anomaly in the conflict in Iraq, or in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002, or in Yugoslavia in 1999. In all of these recent conflicts, and others as well, cluster munition strikes caused significant civilian casualties — casualties that could have been avoided had greater care been taken. Worse still, the vast number of explosive “duds” these weapons left behind have continued to kill and maim civilians long after the attacks, and the conflicts, have ended.
Human Rights Watch Cluster Munitions: Toward a Global Solution January 2004

The little canisters dropped onto the city, white ribbons trailing behind. They clattered into streets, landed in lemon trees, rattled around on roofs, settled onto lawns . . . The deadly objects were cluster bomblets, small explosives packed by the dozens or hundreds into bombs, rockets or artillery shells known as cluster weapons. When these weapons were fired on Baghdad on April 7, many of the bomblets failed to explode on impact. They were picked up or stumbled on by their victims..
USA Today Cluster bombs kill in Iraq, even after shooting ends December 16, 2003

Having the U.S. government investigate Israel's use of cluster bombs is like having the Unibomber investigate the London subway bombings.


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