Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sitting on the Fence on Cluster Bombs

This is what cluster bombs do to kids.

In Oslo, Norway, 48 nations have signed a declaration calling for a total ban on cluster bomb munitions by 2008.
The resolution says that the bomblets dispersed by cluster bombs, which can litter a countryside for years, cause "unacceptable harm."
The U.S., China and Russia oppose the ban and did not send representatives to the meeting. Australia, Israel, India and Pakistan also did not attend. Foreign minister Peter MacKay indicated that Canada would send a representative as an observer only.
Canada is not believed to have joined as a signatory to the declaration, which would seem to be in keeping with our Furious Leader's global outlook.
Cluster bombs are essentially cannisters packed with hundreds of smaller bomblets which are dispersed over wide areas. It is estimated that between ten to thirty per cent fail to explode on contact and remain live and lethal for years afterward endangering civilians, too often children who step on them or pick them up.
Israel is known to have used cluster munitions against residential areas of Lebanon last year.
In Southeast Asia, it's estimated that 60% of cluster bomb victims are kids.

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