Ban the bomb

Clusters bombs are a deadly addition to any country’s arsenal. During the Iraq war, Britain and America dropped many of these deadly weapons. Numerous unexploded cluster bombs now exist in Iraq, likely to cause death or serious bodily harm if and when detonated.

Human rights groups are continuing their campaign to outlaw the use of these weapons. The risk to civilians is great and yet many Western countries still produce and use the bombs. There is no international transparency in the manufacture of the weapons and it is estimated that the US has a stockpile of over a billion submunitions.

Head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff defended the use of cluster bombs in 2003, saying that effect on civilians was minimal. Perhaps he should have spoken to an Iraqi eyewitness.

In other Iraq-related news, the UN’s Oil for Food scandal has caused ripples across the world body. A former senior advisor to the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which ran Iraq until the election of an interim Iraq government in January, says that the US government’s refusal to prosecute US firms accused of corruption in Iraq is turning the country into a “free fraud zone.

I await critics of the UN, recently heard muttering about weakening or even disbanding the UN, to outline appropriate proposals for the US. Dismantle the empire. Any takers? Or is it more convenient and politically expedient for the UN to remain a hobbled body, in their eyes, leaving the US and its random allies to take charge of world affairs?

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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