No Cluster Bomb Ban for Turkey, US (Turkey/US)
The United States and Turkey both have both said they are boycotting a treaty to ban cluster munitions. European nations have taken the initiative to rid the world of these bombs, they have now designed a draft for such a treaty, but Turkey and the US refuse to play ball.
All in all, 111 countries are supporting the European initiative. Once the treaty is written, all these countries are likely to sign it. Obviously, these countries include both rich and poor countries.
But the most important countries refuse to ban the cluster bomb; Russia, the US, China, Brazil, Pakistan, Turkey, Israel and India have said "thanks, but no thanks."
TDN explains that "[c]luster munitions are canisters packed with many bomblets that spread over a large area when dropped from a plane or fired from the ground. The problem is that while the weapons are meant to explode on impact, they often do not. Civilians, particularly children, are often maimed or killed when they pick up unexploded bombs, sometimes years later."
So, why don't the US and Turkey (and the others) agree to get rid of the cluster bombs then? A Turkish official explained why: "In a war against a legitimate enemy, cluster munitions remain to be the most effective weapons against area targets, and we've got a lot of these munitions in our stocks. Unless you find a viable option to cluster munitions, you can't simply rule out their use."
"If you're Luxembourg and have no enemies, fine, such a ban is ideal for humanitarian purposes, but we're not living in an ideal world," said one Turkish defense analyst.
And the same undoubtedly goes for the US - which is taking on terrorists in the Middle East; Israel - which is taking on terrorists in Israel, Palestine and Lebanon; Russia - which is fighting against terrorists within its own borders as well; China - which has some trouble with separatists now, and fears more is yet to come; Pakistan - which is fighting against Al Qaeda and the Taliban; and so on.
The fact of the matter is that weapons are designed to kill, and that they are seldom nice. It's also a fact that modern governments usually do everything in their power to prevent civilian losses but you can't rule them out completely if you want to actually win wars.
Making cluster bombs saver is probably the best option; not using them isn't an option.
Well, not for countries that actually have to fight wars and defend themselves against mortal enemies, that is.
Von: 30.5.2008, poligazette.com, Michael van der Galien