Thursday, February 22, 2007

Norway Leads Effort To Ban Clusterbombs

OSLO, Norway -- Representatives from 48 nations on Thursday launched a global effort to ban the use, production and stockpiling of cluster bombs by the end of next year, despite the opposition of several of the world's major military powers.

A draft declaration, obtained by The Associated Press, said these weapons - which can linger on former battlefields for years - cause "unacceptable harm." It calls for a treaty banning them by 2008, despite concerns that some countries would not agree to act that quickly.

Cluster bombs are small devices packed with high explosives and loaded into artillery shells, bombs or missiles. When the larger munition explodes, it scatters hundreds of the mini-explosives - called bomblets - over large areas.

The U.S., China and Russia oppose the ban and did not send representatives to the meeting.

Yes, we are the beacons of light. We have so many other ways of killing people, why do we need a method that leaves unexploded ordinance around for years to come? Because we say so. The next time George Bush bitches about Iran, or Venezuela, or any other "rogue" nation, let's please keep in mind that we want any weapon we can get our hands on, no matter how dangerous it is to civilian populations.

I am going to eat some lutefiske to celebrate the Norwegian effort.