July 8, 2008

Pentagon Cluster Bomb Hoax

I see a headline announcing the Pentagon is changing its policy on cluster bombs..., I'm cautiously hopeful that there's good news. Cluster bombs, as the name implies, consist of a lot of small "bomblets." The unexploded bomblets are spread over a wide area before they detonate... or not... a significant portion bomblets don't explode as intended, but remain live until jostled, then explode, often in the hands of a curious child or by a farmer tending a field.

My cynical side thought, "Oh, they're probably just going to require manufacturers to ensure that more of the bomblets explode," not wanting to believe my own cynicism. The article opened:
Faced with growing international pressure, the Pentagon is changing its policy on cluster bombs and plans to reduce the danger of unexploded munitions in the deadly explosives.

I read on...

The policy shift... would require that after 2018, more than 99 percent of the bomblets in a cluster bomb must detonate.

Pathetic. The reality is that the percentage of detonations depends on how they are used. Israel, for instance, showered an estimated 1 million bomblets into areas of southern Lebanon in the last couple of days of their 2006 assault. Doing so from too close a range resulted in more unexploded bomblets, time bombs waiting for unsuspecting victims. Read more on this case in Haaretz.

Sources:

Associated Press, Pentagon aims for less deadly cluster bombs, July 7, 2008.

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2 comments:

Worried American said...

Whoopee!! The usual Big Fix that amounts to no fix at all, just a bit of spin to quieten the masses.

Thank you for your link to the reading of Howard Zinn's history book. It is GREAT! Thank you again and thank you for your comment.

GDAEman said...

Yes. So easily quited. I sense that might be changing.

The Zinn reading was a good reminder that the typical narrative of US history is a wee bit slanted.

Thanks for dropping by.