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Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the US abstained from UN vote to ban the use of cluster munitions.
Cluster Bomb Victim

Ninety two states signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions - which bans the production, stockpiling, use and export of cluster bombs during a ceremony in Oslo on Wednesday.indexresearch.blogspot.com

Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the US abstained from the UN vote.  

internet
Cluster Bomb Victim
Ninety two states signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions - which bans the production, stockpiling, use and export of cluster bombs during a ceremony in Oslo on Wednesday.
Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the US abstained from UN vote.
“Mustard agents are usually classified as ‘blistering agents’ owing to the similarity of the wounds caused by these substances resembling burns and blisters. However, since mustard agents also cause severe damage to the eyes, respiratory system and internal organs, they should preferably be described as ‘blistering and tissue-injuring agents’. Normal mustard agent, bis-(2-chloroethyl)sulphide, reacts with a large number of biological molecules. The effect of mustard agent is delayed and the first symptoms do not occur until 2-24 hours after exposure.”
Mustard gas, devastatingly, isn’t the only nightmarish chemical used against Syrian civilians.
“Officers from the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense troops in Syria previously produced evidence of chlorine and white phosphorus usage by militants in Aleppo province.
“In November, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the expert found ‘nine selected samples which confirmed [that the terrorists] had used chlorine and white phosphorus munitions to fill their ammunition.’
“The traces of the agents were on the fragments of mines, shells and soil from the craters to the southwest of Aleppo, Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said,” according to RT.
Flagrant false reports
Civilians have flown Aleppo in droves, thanks to the efforts of Russia and Syria — although U.S. and the West have attempted to fully propagandize the situation and have criminally misrepresented what is actually taking place.
Flagrantly false reports of genocide and brutality by Syrian government forces against civilians are thought to be the last gasps of the American regime change agenda in Syria.
But if Russia is correct, and the Hague agrees about the use of mustard gas against innocent people, the whole plot could be for naught.
rt.com       click here
How cluster bombs work.

Ninety two states signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions - which bans the production, stockpiling, use and export of cluster bombs during a ceremony in Oslo on Wednesday.indexresearch.blogspot.com

Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the US abstained from the UN vote.  

internet
cluster Bomb Strikes in Yemen Images in Children Killed Saudi

Ninety two states signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions - which bans the production, stockpiling, use and export of cluster bombs during a ceremony in Oslo on Wednesday.indexresearch.blogspot.com

Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the US abstained from the UN vote.  

internet
Cluster Bomb Victim - bombed child suffering from cluster bomb

Ninety two states signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions - which bans the production, stockpiling, use and export of cluster bombs during a ceremony in Oslo on Wednesday.indexresearch.blogspot.com

Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the US abstained from the UN vote.  

internet
Obama killing people in Yemen with American made cluster bombs
Saudi Arabia bombs Yemen with US-supplied cluster bombs.

An expended BLU-108 canister from a CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon found in the al-Amar area of al-Safraa, Saada governorate, in northern Yemen on April 17, 2015.

Photo: internet
An expended BLU-108 canister from a CBU-105 sensor fuzed cluster bomb weapon found in the al-Amar area of al-Safraa, Saada governorate, in northern Yemen on April 17, 2015.
S. Arabia bombs Yemen with US-supplied cluster bombs
RT.com     click here
Arms firms dine at Tower of London days after ‘sea of poppies’ close
Arms firms dine at Tower of London days after sea of poppies close.

Photo: Internet
Tower of London host dinner for global arms manufacturers, days after ‘sea of poppies’ remembrance installation close.
RT.com   click here
7 UK firms finance globally banned cluster bombs
Since 2011, 151 financial institutions worldwide have invested £17 billion in firms that produce deadly cluster bombs, which are banned under international law.
Seven of these financial institutions are British.
RT.com   click here

US plan to sell cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia draws condemnation
August 25, 2013
The United States has announced it is to sell controversial cluster munitions worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Saudi Arabia, a move that has drawn condemnation from campaigners and rights groups.
Last week, the US Defense Department gave a contract valued at $641 million to manufacture 1,300 cluster bombs for Saudi Arabia to Textron Defense Systems, a unit of Textron Inc. (TXT.N), according to the Pentagon and Textron.
US sellinf cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia draws condemnation from cluster bomb </b></font>

Photo: Internet
Anti-arms campaigners and human rights groups condemned the US for formalizing the sale of Textron's CBU-105 cluster bombers — munitions blamed for killing and injuring civilians long after conflicts end, Inter Press Service news agency reported on Saturday.
Said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a watchdog group in Washington.
“Both the US and Saudi Arabia have recently condemned the use of cluster munitions… that’s ironic given this new sale, because a cluster munition is a cluster munition, no matter what kind it is.
The sale is surprising in the sense that this is a very sophisticated, controversial system because these are cluster bombs.
Further, that these weapons are used by Saudi Arabia is questionable from a military standpoint.
These weapons have not been used by the US in over a decade, so it’s hard to see why it’s in our interest to sell these to Saudi Arabia.”
Sarah Blakemore, the director of the Cluster Munition Coalition, a London-based advocacy group, also condemned the US move:
“Cluster munitions have been banned by more than half the world’s nations, so any transfer goes against the international rejection of these weapons.
We are disappointed with the US decision to export cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, as both countries acknowledge the negative humanitarian impact of these weapons on civilians.
The US should acknowledge the treaty’s ban on cluster munition exports and reevaluate the criteria for its export moratorium so that no cluster munitions are transferred.”
Cluster bombs are weapons dropped by aircraft or fired from the ground, and scatter submunitions over a wide area.
Campaigners say that many of these submunitions or bomblets fail to blow up during wars, posing a long-lasting threat to civilians, particularly farmers and children.
An international convention on cluster munitions has been in force since 2010 that requires signatories to give up the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of the weapons.
So far 111 states have joined the convention.
The United States, Israel, and Russia manufacture and stockpile most of the world's cluster munitions.
They are among countries which have not signed the treaty.
They are negotiating a separate agreement to regulate cluster munitions.
Tens of millions of bomblets
International researchers say the US has transferred hundreds of thousands of cluster munitions, containing tens of millions of bomblets, to 28 countries in the world.
The worst affected countries are Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
The US Campaign to Ban Landmines said on its website:
“Cluster munitions stand out as the weapon that poses the gravest dangers to civilians since antipersonnel mines, which were banned in 1997.
Israel’s massive use of the weapon in Lebanon in August 2006 resulted in more than 200 civilian casualties in the year following the ceasefire and served as the catalyst that propelled governments to secure a legally binding international instrument tackling cluster munitions.”
More than 200,000 unexploded cluster bombs have been found and made harmless since 2006, but millions still remain unfound in southern Lebanon.
GJH/AS
© 2013 Press TV.  All rights reserved.
Secret deal let Americans sidestep cluster bomb ban by UK
Officials concealed from parliament how US is allowed to bring weapons on to British soil in defiance of treaty
Rob Evans and David Leigh
Wednesday 1 December 2010
British and American officials colluded in a plan to hoodwink parliament over a proposed ban on cluster bombs, the Guardian can disclose.
David Miliband approved allowing cluster bombs on British territory
According to leaked US embassy dispatches, David Miliband, who was Britain's foreign secretary under Labour, approved the use of a loophole to manoeuvre around the ban and allow the US to keep the munitions on British territory.
Unlike Britain, the US had refused to sign up to an international convention that bans the weapons because of the widespread injury they cause to civilians.
The US military asserted that cluster bombs were "legitimate weapons that provide a vital military capability" and wanted to carry on using British bases regardless of the ban.
An expert from the Mines Advisory Group inspects an unexploded Israel cluster bomb in the Lebanese village of Ouazaiyeh, Lebanon, after the 2006 attack on Lebanon.

Photo: AP/Mohammed Zaatari
An expert from the Mines Advisory Group inspects an unexploded Israel cluster bomb in the Lebanese village of Ouazaiyeh, Lebanon, 2006.
Photo: AP/Mohammed Zaatari
Whitehall officials proposed that a specially created loophole to grant the US a free hand should be concealed from parliament in case it 'complicated or muddied' the MPs' debate.
Gordon Brown, as prime minister, had swung his political weight in 2008 behind the treaty to ban the use and stockpiling of cluster bombs.
Britain therefore signed it, contrary to earlier assurances made by British officials to their US counterparts.
The US had stockpiles of cluster munitions at bases on British soil and intended to keep them, regardless of the treaty.
Repeatedly proclaimed cluster bombs would be removed
When the bill to ratify the treaty was going through parliament this year, the then Labour foreign ministers Glenys Kinnock and Chris Bryant repeatedly proclaimed that US cluster munition arsenals would be removed from British territory by the declared deadline of 2013.
But a different picture emerges from a confidential account of a meeting between UK and US officials in May last year.
It shows that the two governments concocted the 'concept' of allowing US forces to store their cluster weapons as 'temporary exceptions' and on a 'case-by-case' basis for specific military operations.
Foreign Office officials "confirmed that the concept was accepted at highest levels of the government, as that idea had been included in the draft letter from minister [David] Miliband to secretary [of state Hillary] Clinton".
US cluster munitions are permanently stored on ships off the coast of the Diego Garcia airbase in the Indian Ocean, the cables reveal.
The base is crucial for US military missions in the Middle East.   Diego Garcia, still deemed British territory, has been occupied by the US military since its inhabitants were expelled in the 1960s and 1970s.
The British concept of a 'temporary exception' to oblige the US does not appear to be envisaged in the treaty.
But the British arranged that "any movement of cluster munitions from ships at Diego Garcia to planes there, temporary transit, or use from British territory ... would require the temporary exception".
Nicholas Pickard, head of the Foreign Office's security policy unit, is quoted as saying:
"It would be better for the US government and HMG [the British government] not to reach final agreement on this temporary agreement understanding until after the [treaty] ratification process is completed in parliament, so that they can tell parliamentarians that they have requested the US government to remove its cluster munitions by 2013, without complicating/muddying the debate by having to indicate that this request is open to exceptions."
Lady Kinnock subsequently promised parliament that there would be no "permanent stockpiles of cluster munitions on UK territory" after the treaty as the US had decided it no longer needed them on British soil.
There is no suggestion that Kinnock or Bryant were aware of a plan to mislead parliament.
Tonight, a Foreign Office spokesman said:
"We reject any allegation that the Foreign Office deliberately misled parliament or failed in our obligation to inform parliament.
We cannot go into specifics of any leaked documents because we condemn any unauthorised release of classified information."
MP and brother of Labour leader Ed Miliband declined comment
David Miliband declined to comment.
Cluster bombs drop large numbers of 'bomblets' over a wide area.
Many do not explode at the time but can kill long afterwards.
The Americans dropped thousands of cluster bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Civilians in Vietnam still die from cluster bombs dropped by the US in the 1960s.
The leaked US state department documents reveal American displeasure at the international project launched by Norway to outlaw cluster munitions.
US did not like project to outlaw cluster bombs
An American arms control diplomat, John Rood, privately told the Foreign Office in 2008 that the US disliked this initiative, called the Oslo process.
The Americans denounced it as 'impractical and unconstructive' and were urging countries not to sign up.
Mariot Leslie, then director general of defence and intelligence in the Foreign Office, reassured him that the British were only taking part as a 'tactical manoeuvre' and cluster bombs were 'essential to its arsenal'.
Leslie is recorded as saying:
"The UK is concerned about the impact of the Oslo process on the aftermath of a conflict, foreseeing 'astronomical bills' handed out to those who used cluster munitions in the past."
But two weeks later Brown defied military opposition and went ahead in banning British cluster munitions.
US continues to use cluster bombs despite Afghanistan ratification
Afghanistan, which had suffered grievous civilian casualties from the continuing war on its territory, also unexpectedly signed up to the treaty in December 2008 "without prior consultation with the US government" and "despite assurances to the contrary from President Karzai".
Washington's reaction was to seek to convince the Kabul government that the US could still legally use cluster munitions on Afghan territory under the treaty, even if the Afghan regime itself could not.
Diplomats recommended a "low-profile approach" at "sub-ministerial level ... given the political sensitivities in Afghanistan surrounding cluster munitions, as well as air and artillery strikes in general".
Title and subtitles inserted by Kewe.info
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011
'U.S. Resisting Ban on Cluster Bombs'
By David Cronin
BRUSSELS, Oct 29, 2007 (IPS)
The U.S. is leading efforts to resist a complete ban on cluster bombs, human rights activists have complained.
But a conference called by European governments in Brussels Tuesday is regarded as a step towards an international agreement on eliminating cluster weapons — in which hundreds of small 'bomblets' are packed together.
Although an accord appears likely to be reached during 2008, activists are concerned over diplomatic manoeuvres by Washington to ensure that it will not be too stringent.
Representatives of the U.S., the world's number one user of cluster munitions, have been holding bilateral discussions with some European governments recently in a bid to water down any potential accord.
The Bush administration has observer status at the Brussels conference, though it is a Europe-led initiative.
In February this year, a number of governments and humanitarian organisations joined forces in Oslo to urge that a legally binding international accord on banning these weapons should be finalised in 2008.
"Almost 90 countries have joined the Oslo process," said Stan Brabant from Handicap International, one of the groups most vociferous in opposing cluster bombs.
"We believe it is a very strong process, that it's unstoppable," he told IPS.   "Have the U.S. efforts been successful?   So far, not really.   But we shall keep a very close eye on what they are doing."
Branislav Kapetanovic, a former member of the Serbian army, lost his arms and legs in an accident in November 2000 while he was trying to clear cluster bombs dropped by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) the previous year.
His hearing was also damaged, and he was blinded for several months.
"These weapons are monstrous, and they cannot be controlled," he said.   "A total ban is the only way to go. No exceptions, no excuses."
Cluster bombs were the focus of international attention again during the war in Lebanon last year.
In the last 72 hours of that conflict, the Israeli defence forces used about four million cluster sub-munitions.
The weapon has a long history.
Cluster bombs were first used by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
In the intervening six decades, they have been found in at least 25 countries.
Over these years, some 5,500 people are officially known to have been killed, and 7,300 maimed by these bombs.
But the real death toll is believed to be considerably higher.
Virtually all of the confirmed victims were civilians.
Because cluster bombs can lie undetected long after they have been discharged, they are known to continue killing even when a war is over.
In Iraq, a minimum of 50 million sub-munitions have been used in U.S.-led operations between 1991 and 2006.
About 3,000 casualties have been identified because of these weapons.
Within Europe, Britain, Germany and France have sought that the future agreement should provide exceptions for their weapons.
Britain, which dropped 755 cluster bombs on Serbia in 1999, was condemned for its stance by members of the European Parliament (MEPs) last week when they approved a formal resolution calling for a total ban on cluster bombs.
"Diplomatic moves by the UK government and others to suggest there are 'dumb' and 'smart' cluster munitions must be given short shrift," said British Liberal MEP Liz Lynne.   "They all kill and maim."
Belgium, Norway, Hungary and Austria, on the other hand, have all taken steps to eliminate cluster bombs by introducing moratoria or bans on them.
Mark Hiznay, a specialist in arms issues with Human Rights Watch, said that Russia has also been opposed to international prohibition.
Russia has been accused of explicitly targeting civilians in the breakaway republic of Chechnya with cluster bombs.
"Russia has articulated the view that these weapons are critical for it, now that it has downsized the military," he said, adding that Russia has used cluster bombs "extensively both overseas — in Afghanistan — and on its own territory in Chechnya."
Hiznay said that cluster bombs are a relic of the Cold War, and Russia should deem them obsolete now that the Soviet Union has been dissolved.
This view, he said, is widely shared by military officers.
When arguments are made in favour of cluster bombs, "the military is not able to keep a straight face," he said.   "These weapons are 20 to 30 years old, so they would have to get rid of them anyway."
The bombs which Israel dropped on Lebanon last year were made in the 1970s, and their failure rate was "predictably high", Hiznay said.
In the month after the Aug. 14 2006 ceasefire in Lebanon, cluster bombs caused an average of three casualties each day.
Two casualties were caused each day on average for the remainder of the year.
Many of the victims were simply walking through their village.
Copyright © 2007 IPS-Inter Press Service. All rights reserved.
A B 1B dropping a stick of retarded Mk 82 bombs, fitted with AIR tails.

Based on the B-1A bomber, the B-1B bomber was developed by Rockwell International in the period of 1980.

100 of the aircraft were produced for use in nuclear missions.

These were stationed at varioua Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases. 

The B-1B bomber was transitioned to a conventional-weapons mission able to carry Mk 82 bombs, fitted with AIR tails.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

The U.N. has estimated that Israel dropped as many as 4 million of the bomblets in southern Lebanon, with perhaps 40 percent of the submunitions failing to explode on impact.

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

US government
A B 1B testing Mk 82 bombs fitted with AIR tails.
US Israel atrocities.

Advisory Group (MAG) personnel prepare to detonate an M-42 Israeli submunition cluster bomb they found in the village of El Maalliye, southern Lebanon, on Tuesday.

UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

The U.N. has estimated that Israel dropped as many as 4 million of the bomblets in southern Lebanon, with perhaps 40 percent of the submunitions failing to explode on impact.

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'

Photo: NPR/AP/Sergey Ponomarev
Advisory Group (MAG) personnel prepare to detonate an M-42 Israeli submunition cluster bomb they found in the village of El Maalliye, southern Lebanon, on Tuesday
The little canisters of cluster bomb dropped onto the city
White ribbons trailing behind
They clattered into streets
Landed in lemon trees
Fruit farms
Rattled around on roofs
Settled onto lawns
Amputee Jihad Sghaier lost his limb to a US dropped cluster bomb found in a field.

Picture: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Amputee Jihad Sghaier lost his limb to a US dropped cluster bomb found in a field.
Britain is determined to protect its right to kill civilians at random
The British and US governments will today join forces in Geneva to block an international ban on cluster bombs
George Monbiot
Tuesday November 7, 2006
The Guardian
The central mystery of the modern state is this.   The necessary resources, both economic and political, will always be found for the purpose of terminating life.
The project of preserving it will always struggle.
When did you last see a soldier shaking a tin for a new rifle, or a sponsored marathon raising money for nuclear weapons?
But we must beg and cajole each other for funds whenever a hospital wants a new dialysis machine.
If the money and determination expended on waging war with Iraq had been used to tackle climate change, our carbon emissions would already be in free fall.
If as much money were spent on foreign aid as on fighter planes, no one would ever go hungry.
When the state was run by warrior kings, this was comprehensible: they owed their existence to overwhelming force.
Now weapons budgets and foreign wars are, if anything, an electoral liability.   But the pattern has never been broken.
In Geneva today, at the new review of the conventional weapons treaty, the British government will be using the full force of its diplomacy to ensure that civilians continue to be killed, by blocking a ban on the use of cluster bombs.
Sweden, supported by Austria, Mexico and New Zealand, has proposed a convention making their deployment illegal, like the Ottawa treaty banning anti-personnel landmines.
But the UK, working with the US, China and Russia, has spent the past week trying to prevent negotiations from being opened.   Perhaps this is unsurprising.
US Israel dropped most cluster bombs during past 40 years
Most of the cluster bombs dropped during the past 40 years have been delivered by Britain's two principal allies — the US and Israel — in the "war on terror".
And the UK used hundreds of thousands of them during the two Gulf wars.
Cluster munitions are tiny bombs — generally about the size of a drinks can — packed inside bigger bombs or artillery shells.
They scatter over several hectares and they are meant to be used to destroy tanks and planes and to wipe out anti-aircraft positions.   There are two particular problems.
The first is that the bombs, being widely dispersed, cannot be accurately targeted.
The second is that many of them don't detonate when they hit the ground.
Officially, cluster bombs have a failure rate of between 5% and 7%.   In reality it's much higher.
Between 20% and 25% of the cluster munitions Nato forces dropped during the Kosovo conflict failed to go off when they landed.
The failure rate of the bombs dropped by the US in Indochina was roughly 30%.   Of the cluster bombs that Israel scattered over Lebanon, 40% did not detonate.
The unexploded bombs then sit and wait to be defused — leg by human leg.
They are as devastating to civilian populations as landmines, or possibly worse, because far more of them have been dropped.
Even 30 years or more after they land — as the people of Vietnam and Laos know — they can still be detonated by the slightest concussion.
A report published last week by the independent organisation Handicap International estimates that around 100,000 people have been killed or wounded by cluster bombs.
Of the known casualties, 98% are civilians.   Most of them are hit when farming, walking or clearing the rubble where their homes used to be.
Many of the victims are children, partly because the bombs look like toys.
Handicap's report tells terrible and heartbreaking stories of children finding these munitions and playing catch with them, or using them as boules or marbles.
Those who survive are often blinded, lose limbs or suffer horrible abdominal injuries.
Among the case histories in the report is that of a family in Kosovo who went to swim in a lake a few kilometres from their village.
One of the children, a six-year-old called Adnan, found a metal can on the bank and showed it to his family.   It exploded.
His father and older brother were killed and Adnan was gravely wounded.   His sister later returned to the lake to collect the family's belongings, stepped on another Nato cluster bomb and was killed.
The economic effects of cluster bombs can also be deadly.   Like landmines they put many agricultural areas out of bounds, because of the risk of detonating one while ploughing or harvesting.
In some parts of Lebanon the fields have remained unharvested this year.   Cluster bombs dropped on to the rubble of Lebanese towns have made reconstruction slow and dangerous.
The numbers of cluster bombs deployed are mind-boggling.   The US air force released 19m over Cambodia, 70m in Vietnam and 208m in Laos.
Over much shorter periods, the US and the UK dropped some 54m cluster bombs on Iraq during the 1991 Gulf war and around 2m during the 2003 Iraq invasion.
Israel scattered 4m cluster bombs during final 72 hours
Israel scattered 4m cluster bombs over Lebanon during its latest invasion earlier this year, almost all of them during the final 72 hours.
It looked like revenge, or an attempt (like its deliberate bombing of the Jiyeh power plant, causing a massive oil spill) to cripple Lebanon's economy.
Since the invasion, more than two Lebanese civilians have been blown up by cluster bombs each day on average.
The only other nation which has used cluster bombs extensively since the second world war is Russia, which dropped large quantities in Afghanistan, and which scatters them in Chechnya, sometimes deliberately bombing market places and other civilian targets.
Apart from that they've been deployed in small numbers by Sudan, Libya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Serb forces, Hizbullah and warring factions in Tajikistan.
What good company we keep.
These weapons are arguably already illegal.
A protocol to the Geneva conventions prohibits attacks which "are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction" and "which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated".
I think 98% would be a fair definition of "excessive".
But their deployment will continue until there is a specific treaty banning them.   It's clear the US and UK governments know their use is wrong.  
Handicap International reports that the Coalition Provisional Authority (the administration set up by the US to govern Iraq in 2003) "strongly discouraged casualty data collection, especially in relation to cluster submunitions".
Government seems unable to break its habit of killing
During a debate in the House of Lords last month, the Foreign Office minister, Lord Triesman, made such a feeble show of justifying their use that you couldn't help suspecting he was batting for the other side.
The only justification he could find was that, unlike landmines, cluster bombs are not intended to lie around undetonated.
Two days ago, a letter sent to the defence minister by the international development secretary, Hilary Benn, was leaked to the press.
He argued that "cluster munitions have a very serious humanitarian impact, pushing at the boundaries of international humanitarian law.
It is difficult then to see how we can hold so prominent a position against landmines, yet somehow continue to advocate that use of cluster munitions is acceptable."
But Benn appears to be alone.
The foreign office maintains that "existing humanitarian law is sufficient for the conduct of military operations, including the use of cluster munitions, and no treaty is required".
The government seems unable to break its habit of killing.
Monbiot.com
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006
Israel attack post
Israeli soldiers stand guard at a military staging post on the Israel-Lebanon border.

Three Lebanese soldiers were killed trying to defuse an unexploded Israeli cluster bomb as the Jewish state lost a soldier to one of its own mines in Lebanon.

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.

UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'

Photo: AFP/Odd Andersen     

Israeli soldiers stand guard at a military staging post on the Israel-Lebanon border.
Three Lebanese soldiers were killed trying to defuse an unexploded Israeli cluster bomb as the Jewish state lost a soldier to one of its own mines in Lebanon.
Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.
Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.
UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.
Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.
UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.
American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.
Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'
Photo: AFP/Odd Andersen
 
 
Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 by Reuters
Israel Cluster Bomb Use in Lebanon "Outrageous": UN
by Alistair Lyon
BEIRUT — Israel scattered at least 350,000 unexploded cluster bomblets on south Lebanon in its war with Hizbollah, mostly when the conflict was all but over, leaving a deadly legacy for civilians, U.N. officials said on Tuesday.
"The outrageous fact is that nearly all of these munitions were fired in the last three to four days of the war," David Shearer, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon, told a news conference in Beirut.
"Outrageous because by that stage the conflict had been largely resolved in the form of (U.N. Security Council) Resolution 1701," he said.
The resolution adopted on August 11 halted 34 days of fighting three days later. A truce has largely held since then.
Israel denies using cluster bombs illegally.
A U.N. fact sheet said the figure of 350,000 unexploded bomblets was based on reports by Israeli soldiers, and excluded cluster bomb firings by conventional artillery or aircraft.
Chris Clark, manager of the
U.N. Mine Action Coordination Center of South Lebanon, said the cluster bomb threat in the south was "extensive and, in my opinion, unprecedented".
While Israel has provided general information about where it believes unexploded ordnance might be, Clark said tactical maps given to the United Nations by Israeli forces withdrawing from the south were "absolutely useless" in clearance efforts.
Shearer said cluster bombs had killed or wounded an average of three people a day since the war ended, with 15 killed, including a child, and 83 wounded, of whom 23 are children.
<David Shearer, United Nations humanitarian coordinator
"We have asked through many channels for the headquarters of these units to provide detailed strike data," he told a briefing at the United Nations in Geneva. "It has not yet been received."
FAILED TO EXPLODE
The United Nations has so far identified 516 cluster bomb strike locations and says 30 to 40 percent of the bomblets they scattered over the south failed to explode at the time.
Only about 17,000 bomblets have been defused so far and the United Nations says clearance work could take up to 30 months.
Shearer said cluster bombs had killed or wounded an average of three people a day since the war ended, with 15 killed, including a child, and 83 wounded, of whom 23 are children.
Clearance efforts have so far focused on villages, schools and playing areas, but will soon shift toward farmland, which provides 70 percent of household incomes in the south, he said.
"The cluster munitions are stopping farmers from getting out to their fields and resuming their farming activities," he said.
Cluster bombs have been found on the ground and hanging on barbed-wire fences and trees, including in citrus, banana and olive groves, Clark said. They have also turned up in the rubble of destroyed buildings, complicating reconstruction efforts.
Human rights groups have criticized Israel and Hizbollah for indiscriminate attacks on civilians in the fighting that began after the guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers on July 12.
Shearer said it "defied belief" that so many cluster bombs were fired in the last hours of the war.
© Copyright 2006 Reuters Ltd
Common Dreams © 1997-2006
Cluster bomb sent and paid for by US taxpayer
Two army explosives experts killed
Another seriously wounded trying to defuse unexploded artillery shell
Also paid for by US taxpayer
A Lebanese soldier places plastic explosives on a cluster bomb, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006, found in a field outside the southern Lebanese
town of Jbal el Botm.

Two Lebanese army explosives experts were killed and another seriously wounded Wednesday trying to defuse an unexploded
artillery shell left over from the war in southern Lebanon, security officials said.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

The UN's top humanitarian official denounced Israel's use of cluster bombs in the last days of the Lebanon conflict as immoral and said that thousands of civilians were at risk from unexploded munitions.

The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.

Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.

Picture: AP/Karel Prinsloo
Bombs dropped courtesy of US taxpayer
Chinese U.N. Interim Force mine-clearing unit
walks through a fruit farm
A member of the Chinese U.N. Interim Force mine-clearing unit walks through a fruit farm September 5, 2006, while carrying unexploded bomblets from cluster bombs dropped by Israel forces during their attacks near the village of Al Hinneyeh in southern Lebanon.

The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.

Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.

Picture: REUTERS/Peter Andrews


(left)
A Lebanese soldier places plastic explosives on a cluster bomb, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006, found in a field outside the southern Lebanese town of Jbal el Botm.
Two Lebanese army explosives experts were killed and another seriously wounded Wednesday trying to defuse an unexploded artillery shell left over from the war in southern Lebanon, security officials said.
The UN's top humanitarian official denounced Israel's use of cluster bombs in the last days of the Lebanon conflict as immoral and said that thousands of civilians were at risk from unexploded munitions.
US supplied and paid Israel bombing across Lebanon expanded Monday with missiles targeting all areas.
The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.
(right)
A member of the Chinese U.N. Interim Force mine-clearing unit walks through a fruit farm September 5, 2006, while carrying unexploded bomblets from cluster bombs dropped by Israel forces during their attacks near the village of Al Hinneyeh in southern Lebanon.
More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.
Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.
Photos: AP/Karel Prinsloo, REUTERS/Peter Andrews
The hell that once was a hospital
Suzanne Goldenberg in Baghdad
Saturday April 12, 2003

The Guardian
The man had been dumped near the rubbish bins at the back, blood spreading across his chequered shirt.
An orderly, who had been burying bloated corpses in a mass grave in the hospital grounds, recited the Muslim last rites.
"Dead, dead, he's died, what can we do?" and returned to his shovel.
But the man was breathing, in slow laborious gurgles, and his flesh was warm.
Cluster bomb dropped by US
Najaf, Iraq
Forty-eight hours after Baghdad was liberated — as President George Bush would call it — by American forces, the city yesterday was in the throes of chaos.
Men with Kalashnikovs dragged drivers from their cars at gunpoint, babies were killed by cluster bombs, and hospitals that had carried on right through the bombing were transformed into visions of hell.
Floors were coated with stale blood, and wards stank of gangrene.
The wounded lay on soiled sheets in hospital lobbies, screaming with pain, or begging for tranquillizers.
Orderlies in blue surgical gowns shouldered Kalashnikovs to guard against marauders.
Ambulance drivers staged counter-raids on looters to reclaim captured medicines and surgical supplies.
Amid such scenes of anarchy, it was not always clear who was responsible: US soldiers, unnerved by a spate of suicide bombings, who continued yesterday to open fire on civilian cars; the pockets of resistance by the die-hard supporters of the regime; the scores of armed Iraqis rampaging through Baghdad; or the unexploded ordnance strewn about the city.
But Iraqis had a ready culprit: they blame America for toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein before it was prepared to deliver order to Baghdad.
At Yarmouk hospital, once the city's main casualty centre, the unclaimed corpses were so badly rotted that volunteers wearing chemical warfare masks buried them in mass graves.
Sixteen stinking corpses were heaved into the ground yesterday and 20 on Thursday, after collection from the local mosques.
Some were Arab recruits to Saddam's cause, from Syria and Lebanon, with no one to mourn them in Iraq.
Some belonged to families stranded in those pockets of Baghdad which remained outside the control of the US troops even yesterday.
Others were so badly charred and bloodied, the doctors gave up hope of ever knowing who they were.
"I am searching for my brother.   He's dead since four days ago," said Thair Mohe el-Din, green eyes tired beyond exhaustion as he returned from the morgue of the Saddam children's hospital.
Injured by cluster bomb
Girl tries to give US soldiers something she thought belonged to them
On Monday the family home in the Beyaa neighbourhood of west Baghdad was bombed by American aircraft, wounding one of Mr Din's brothers, and killing another outright.
He had visited seven hospitals and countless mosques searching for him.
At each makeshift mortuary he had encountered dozens of corpses.
None was his brother, and as he continued to search, edging his car warily through the columns of smoke from plundered buildings and the armed mobs who have taken over the streets, grief was making way for a powerful hatred.
"It's my country, and I hate Saddam," he said.   "But why are they allowing robbing, why are they allowing people to set fire to buildings? Saddam was right to put those kinds of people in prison.
"I don't like Saddam, I hate him; but when I see American soldiers I want to spit on them."
At Yarmouk hospital there was no time for anger yesterday — only the sad, sickening work of burying the dead.
Rifle fire crackled, and the volunteer burial committees stolidly dug on.
Then came the boom from an American tank shell, and the hospital guards — neighbours drafted into service with their Kalashnikovs — fled into the grounds.
A young man, naked to the waist, ran in screaming, waving his bloodied hands in the air.
A sedan with two flat tyres pulled up, with an entire wounded family, and the corpse of a baby girl.   Her name was Rawand, and she was nine months old.
When her family returned to their home for the first time since the war yesterday, she crawled over to a small dark oval — a cluster bomblet — which detonated, killing her outright, and injuring her mother, and two of her boy cousins.
Only one doctor was on duty at Yarmouk yesterday — it shut down at the beginning of the week — and he left the grave diggers and went to try to save the family.
Rawand's father, Mohammed Suleiman, was inconsolable.   "I am going to kill America — not today, after 10 years," he swore.
Battle at hospital
By the rubbish bins, the unknown man was barely breathing.
His eyes were closed, and he could not speak.
After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor was brought, and he ran an intravenous drip into his arm from a trolley of supplies abandoned in the yard.
The hospital ceased to function on Monday when it became a main battle theatre between US forces and Iraqi fighters.
But there was no time to tell the wounded streaming in from other parts of Baghdad.
"Many cars came from here and there.   They didn't know there was a battle.   When they came, the American forces shot them," said Mohammed al-Hashimi, a doctor at Yarmouk.
A Volvo was hit directly opposite the hospital, a Volkswagen a few yards away, and an ambulance further down the road.
"There were injured people in those cars, and we wanted to treat them.   We were in our coats," Dr Hashimi said, tugging at his white doctor's collar.   "We took a gurney to transfer the injured patients.   They saw them, and they still shot them."
He interrupted his story to beg a car to take Mr Suleiman's relatives to the nearest hospital — a paediatric centre.   There was little the staff there could do.
"We are working with no anaesthetic at all," said Iman Tariq al-Jabburi.   "The doctors are exhausted.   There is no water to wash our hands from patient to patient.   But what we really need is security."
She summoned an ambulance to move the family — and the unknown man — to yet another hospital, Saddam medical centre, once the finest facility in a city known for the quality of its medical care, and now the only hospital with a functioning operating theatre.
Another doctor stepped out of the crowded ward, grabbing a cigarette from a passing ambulance driver.
"Where is freedom in Iraq?" he said.   "Where?"
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003
Angola HALO landmine clearing RTR machine stops to let people pass.

halotrust.org
Angola HALO landmine clearing RTR machine stops to let people pass
Angola children collecting water from the shared borehole.

halotrust.org
Angola children collecting water from the shared borehole
Bush "Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons" for Offensive Use
By Sherwood Ross
t r u t h o u t
Wednesday 20 December 2006
In violation of the US Code and international law, the Bush administration is spending more money (in inflation-adjusted dollars) to develop illegal, offensive germ warfare than the $2 billion spent in World War II on the Manhattan Project to make the atomic bomb.
So says Francis Boyle, the professor of international law who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 enacted by Congress.
He states the Pentagon "is now gearing up to fight and 'win' biological warfare" pursuant to two Bush national strategy directives adopted "without public knowledge and review" in 2002.
The Pentagon's Chemical and Biological Defense Program was revised in 2003 to implement those directives, endorsing "first-use" strike of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) in war, says Boyle, who teaches at the University of Illinois, Champaign.
Terming the action "the proverbial smoking gun," Boyle said the mission of the controversial CBW program "has been altered to permit development of offensive capability in chemical and biological weapons!"   [Original italics.]
The same directives, Boyle charges in his book Biowarfare and Terrorism (Clarity Press), "unconstitutionally usurp and nullify the right and the power of the United States Congress to declare war, in gross and blatant violation of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution."
For fiscal years 2001-2004, the federal government funded $14.5 billion "for ostensibly 'civilian' biowarfare-related work alone," a "truly staggering" sum, Boyle wrote.
Another $5.6 billion was voted for "the deceptively-named 'Project BioShield,'" under which Homeland Security is stockpiling vaccines and drugs to fight anthrax, smallpox and other bioterror agents, wrote Boyle.
Killed trying to dismantle cluster bomb
Lebanese Army soldiers carry the coffin of killed Lebanese Captain Samir Meraab in St. Seman chruch during his funeral in the northern Lebanese village of Kfour el-Arbi.

Samir Meraab was killed yesterday with two other colleagues while trying to dismantle a cluster bomb on the outskirts of the village of Tebnin, east of the southern port city of Tyre.

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.

UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'

Photo: AFP/Anwar Amro

slide cursor here

Lebanese Army soldiers carry the coffin of killed Lebanese Captain Samir Meraab in St. Seman chruch during his funeral in the northern Lebanese village of Kfour el-Arbi.
Samir Meraab was killed yesterday with two other colleagues while trying to dismantle a cluster bomb on the outskirts of the village of Tebnin, east of the southern port city of Tyre.
Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.
UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.
Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.
UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.
American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.
Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'
Photo: AFP/Anwar Amro
Image inserted by Kewe.info
Protection of the civilian population is, he said, "one of the fundamental requirements for effectively waging biowarfare."
The Washington Post reported December 12 that both houses of Congress this month passed legislation "considered by many to be an effort to salvage the two-year-old Project BioShield, which has been marked by delays and operational problems."
When President Bush signs it into law, it will allocate $1 billion more over three years for additional research "to pump more money into the private sector sooner."
"The enormous amounts of money" purportedly dedicated to "civilian defense" that are now "dramatically and increasingly" being spent," Boyle writes, "betray this administration's effort to be able to embark on offensive campaigns using biowarfare."
By pouring huge sums into university and private-sector laboratories, Boyle charged, federal spending has diverted the US biotech industry to biowarfare.
According to Rutgers University molecular biologist Richard Ebright, over 300 scientific institutions and 12,000 individuals have access to pathogens suitable for biowarfare and terrorism.
Ebright found that the number of National Institute of Health grants to research infectious diseases with biowarfare potential has shot up from 33 in 1995-2000 to 497.
Academic biowarfare participation involving the abuse of DNA genetic engineering since the late 1980s has become "patently obvious," Boyle said.  
"American universities have a long history of willingly permitting their research agendas, researchers, institutes, and laboratories to be co-opted, corrupted, and perverted by the Pentagon and the CIA."
"These despicable death-scientists were arming the Pentagon with the component units necessary to produce a massive array of ... genetically-engineered biological weapons," Boyle said.
In a forward to Boyle's book, Jonathan King, a professor of molecular biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote that "the growing bioterror programs represent a significant emerging danger to our own population" and "threaten international relations among nations."
While such programs "are always called defensive," King said, "with biological weapons, defensive and offensive programs overlap almost completely."
Boyle contends the US is "in breach" of both the Biological Weapons and Chemical Weapons conventions and US domestic criminal law.
In February 2003, for example, the US granted itself a patent on an illegal long-range biological-weapons grenade.
Boyle said other countries grasp the military implications of US germ-warfare actions and will respond in kind.
"The world will soon witness a de facto biological arms race among the major biotech states under the guise of 'defense,' and despite the requirements of the Biological Warfare Convention."
"The massive proliferation of biowarfare technology and facilities, as well as trained scientists and technicians all over the United States, courtesy of the Neo-Con Bush Jr. administration will render a catastrophic biowarfare or bioterrorist incident or accident a statistical certainty," Boyle warned.
As far back as September 2001, according to a report in the New York Times titled "US Pushes Germ Warfare Limits," critics were concerned that "the research comes close to violating a global 1972 treaty that bans such weapons."
But US officials responded at the time that they were more worried about understanding the threat of germ warfare and devising possible defenses.
The 1972 treaty, which the US signed, forbids developing weapons that spread disease, such as anthrax, regarded as "ideal" for germ warfare.
According to an article in the Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel of last September 28, Milton Leitenberg, a veteran arms-control advocate at the University of Maryland, said the government was spending billions on germ warfare with almost no analysis of threat.
He said claims terrorists will use the weapons have been "deliberately exaggerated."
In March of the previous year, 750 US biologists signed a letter protesting what they saw as the excessive study of bioterror threats.
The Pentagon has not responded to the charges made by Boyle in this article.
© t r u t h o u t 2006
NEWS YOU WON'T FIND ON CNN
U.S. Charged With War Crimes
The Evidence File
The use of cluster bombs
1. Why cluster bombs are so harmfull
1.1.  Each cluster bomb is composed of 200 to 700 bomblets.
When each bomblet explodes it fragments into about 300 pieces of jagged steel — sending out virtual blizzards of deadly shrapnel.
People are decapitated, arms, legs, hands and feet are severed from their bodies — anyone and anything alive in the immediate vicinity is shredded into a bloody mess.
1.2.  Cluster bombs cause damage over a very large and imprecise area. Once released from a U.S. Air Force or Navy jet, cluster bombs fall for a pre-set amount of time or distance before their dispensers open, spreading the bomblets widely so they can effectively slaughter people over a wide area.
The wide dispersal pattern of cluster munitions makes them difficult to target accurately.
Iraq hospitals are having to deal with constant US bombing and shelling
Hospitals are coping with thousands of dead and injured people
1.3.  Each cluster bomblet is activated by an internal fuze, and is set to explode above ground, on impact, or to be time-delayed — that is, they can be made into time bombs or mines.
The smaller bombs are designed to explode near the time of impact.
But since 5% to 30% fail to explode at the time set for them, unexploded bombs litter every target area, silent and nondescript.
Until picked up by an unfortunate child or accidentally kicked by a passerby.
In this way they become hidden killers, blending into their surroundings like land mines.
And over time cluster bombs become more unstable — they explode more easily.
Because of their high failure rate, cluster munitions leave large numbers of hazardous, explosive duds, a great many unexploded "dud" submunitions that become de facto antipersonnel landmines that may cause injury or death to civilians long after the war is over…
   (Amnesty International "Iraq: Use of cluster bombs — Civilians pay the price" 2 April 2003, AI Index: MDE 14/065/2003)
1.4.  A Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) firing unit could sequentially launch twelve rockets containing 7,728 submunitions (dual-purpose grenades) designed to explode on impact into an area of 120,000 to 240,000 square meters at a range of up to 32 kilometers.
The reliability rate for the M77 submunitions is 84 percent according to a U.S. Department of Defense report to the U.S. Congress on unexploded ordnance (UXO) published in 2000.
Using this reliability rate, the MLRS firing mission described above would result in 1,236 unexploded submunitions scattered randomly in the impact area. Only a trained military expert could tell whether they are armed and hazardous or whether they failed to arm.
The preceding illustration uses only one launch unit firing its payload once.
Typically there are four launch units in a battery of MLRS.
   (Human Rights Watch: A Global Overview of Explosive Submunitions 1 May 2002)
2. Dangers were foreseeable and avoidable
Human Right Watch wrote on 18 March: Cluster Munitions a Foreseeable Hazard in Iraq.
"The use of cluster munitions in Iraq will result in grave dangers to civilians and friendly combatants.
Based on experiences in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Yugoslavia/Kosovo in 1999, and Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002, these dangers are both foreseeable and preventable."
HRW has written multiple studies about the dramatic harms caused by the use of cluster bombs during the previous US-wars of Irak, Kosovo and Afghanistan.
At least eighty U.S. casualties during the 1991 Gulf War were attributed to cluster munition duds.
More than 4,000 civilians were killed or injured by cluster munition duds after the end of the war. http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/arms/cluster031803.htm
3. Geneva Convention
"Persons taking no active part in the hostilities ... shall in all circumstances be treated humanely."
Those are the opening words of the Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, signed at Geneva, 12 August 1949.
Although cluster bombs are not explicitly forbidden by the Geneva Law, the rules of war prohibit the use of inherently indiscriminate weapons or weapons that are incapable of being used in a manner that complies with the obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants.
Those who use them in civilian areas therefore open themselves to charges of war crimes.
Girl wounded in US attack, April 2003
Hospitals are continuing to cope with thousands of dead and injured people due to:
US cluster bombs
US missiles
US attack helicopters
US artillery shelling
4. U.S. Cluster Munitions
The United States stockpiles over one billion submunitions in weapons currently in service.
Nearly three-quarters of this stockpile of submunitions are contained in MLRS rockets and 155mm artillery projectiles.
Given reported failure rates, a stockpile of that size creates the specter of well over 100 million explosive duds, each posing a danger to civilians similar to antipersonnel landmines.
   (Human Rights Watch: A Global Overview of Explosive Submunitions May 2002)
Four types of U.S. cluster munitions have a history of producing high numbers of hazardous submunition duds.
High dud rates have been documented in testing for Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) M77 submunitions and 155mm artillery projectiles with M42 and M46 Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) submunitions.
Two types of air-dropped cluster munitions — older Rockeye (CBU99/CBU-100) bombs and newer Combined Effects Munitions (CBU-87) — have produced high numbers of hazardous duds in combat operations in Iraq, Kuwait, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan. www.hrw.org/backgrounder/arms/
In addition to these four cluster munitions, there are others with high failure rates that could be used in Iraq.
While many of the older Vietnam-era cluster munitions that were used in large numbers in 1991 in Kuwait and Iraq are no longer serviceable and are prohibited from use, the U.S. military is retaining some older cluster munitions to make up for shortfalls in the inventories of newer, more reliable cluster munitions.
For example, one older type of 105mm artillery projectile (designated M444) with a submunition dud rate of 12 percent is being retained to cover for stockpile shortages of another projectile (designated M915) with a 1 percent dud rate and a self-destruct fuze.
5. The cluster bomb "Made in UK" : RBL 755
Each RBL 755 weighs 600 lb and breaks up in the air releasing 147 bomblets, each of which explodes into approximately 2000 metal fragments.
About the size of a soft-drink can, parachutes slow the bomblets' fall, and each has the explosive power to destroy a tank — if by some miracle it hits a tank in the right place.
That's a big "IF" indeed — considering the safe-for-the-pilot altitude from which the bombs are dropped.
Such high-altitude delivery guarantees there will be essentially zero accuracy.
That means lots of dead civilian people, including children.
6. US-army and UK-army massively used cluster bombs
6.1.  The use of cluster bombs has been admitted by both the U.S. and British military.    (Human Rights Watch "U.S. Misleading on Cluster Munitions" 25 April 2003)
Both the U.S. and the British used several types of cluster munitions, including those that have caused severe humanitarian problems in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.    (Human Rights Watch "U.S. Use of Clusters in Baghdad Condemned" 16 April 2003)
Baby killed when US forces opened fire
Four member of the baby's family were killed
Hospitals are continuing to cope with thousands of dead and injured people due to:
US cluster bombs
US missiles
US attack helicopters
US artillery shelling
The cluster bombs that were used in Hilla were identified by Landmine Action, a UK-based NGO, as BLU97.
Submunitions from artillery projectiles and multiple launch rockets, as well as aircraft cluster bombs, may have produced tens of thousands of hazardous duds in numerous locations in Iraq, including urban areas, said Reuben Brigety, researcher with the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch.
6.2.  The U.S. Department of Defense has acknowledged using nearly 1,500 air-dropped cluster bombs, but has not revealed any information about ground-launched cluster munitions, which may have been much more numerous.
An unnamed U.S. defense official told a reporter for Los Angles Times that the U.S. does not keep track of ground launched cluster munitions.
6.3.  The U.K. Ministry of Defense Geoff Hoon, admitted on April 24 that its forces had used 2,100 cluster munition artillery projectiles and at least 66 BL-755 cluster bombs in the conflict.
The out-of-date BL-755 cluster bombs produced a large number of unexploded duds in combat operations in Kuwait and Yugoslavia/Kosovo.
The artillery projectile used by the United Kingdom, called the L20A1, contains 49 submunitions, each equipped with a self-destruct device, which the manufacturer claims reduces the dud rate to below 2 percent.
There have also been reports that U.K. ground forces used Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, which have a submunition dud rate of 16 percent or more.
6.4.  The U.S. even boasted that they used "for the first time in combat history" a new version of this banned weapon, the CBU-105.
   ("US drops new high tech cluster bomb in Iraq" — http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s823003.htm
Also British officers, and Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon, confirmed that they had used new cluster munitions near Basra.    (Mark Odell "Widespread Use of Cluster Bombs Sparks Outrage" Financial Times, 4 April 2003)
7. Some facts
7.1.  On Tuesday 1 April, an AFP correspondent at Hilla south of Baghdad saw what seemed to be the parts of cluster bombs peppered over a large area. Hospital officials and witnesses said 48 civilians had died in US-British bombardment of the area since late Monday.
The scenes at al-Hilla's hospital on 1 April showed that something terrible had happened.
The bodies of the men, women and children — both dead and alive — brought to the hospital were punctured with shards of shrapnel from cluster bombs.
Robert Fisk of the Independent wrote:
"Terrifying film of women and children later emerged after Reuters and the Associated Press were permitted by the Iraqi authorities to take their cameras into the town.
Their pictures — the first by Western news agencies from the Iraqi side of the battlefront — showed babies cut in half and children with amputation wounds, apparently caused by American shellfire and cluster bombs.
Much of the videotape was too terrible to show on television and the agencies' Baghdad editors felt able to send only a few minutes of a 21-minute tape that included a father holding out pieces of his baby and screaming "cowards, cowards" into the camera.
Two lorryloads of bodies, including women in flowered dresses, could be seen outside the Hilla hospital."
   (The Independent April 03, 2003)
Injured survivors told reporters how the explosives fell "like grapes" from the sky, and how bomblets bounced through the windows and doors of their homes before exploding.
A doctor at al-Hilla's hospital said that almost all the patients were victims of cluster bombs.
Many of the cluster bombs reportedly dropped from the air by US forces on a civilian area of al-Hilla were of the type BLU97 A. Landmine Action, a UK-based non-governmental organization, has stated that pictures from al-Hilla show unexploded BLU97 A cluster submunition.
When questioned about the attack on al-Hilla, General Brooks, speaking for the US Central Command, did not deny the use of cluster bombs.
He said:
"[I]n our approach to targeting and using things like cluster munitions, we always give consideration to what types of activities are likely to occur there next… I don't have any specifics about that particular attack and the explosions that would link it to cluster munitions at all."
Killed in US bombing attacks
Wedding party in the desert
7.2.  Apart from the attack on Hilla, the U.S. troops have reportedly also used cluster bombs in Baghdad and other places. According to some reports, children have been severely injured when they found unexploded fragments of cluster bombs in densely populated areas of Baghdad.
   (Thomas Frank "Grisly Results of U.S. Cluster Bombs" Newsday, 15 April 2003
Rosalind Russell "Cluster bombs — a hidden enemy for Iraqi children" Reuters, 18 April 2003
Mark Baker "Hundreds are dying who should not die" The Age, 21 April 2003) —
http://www.theage.com.au/ articles/2003/04/20/1050777165468.html
7.3.  Several reports indicate that there may have been civilian casualties as a result of the use of cluster bombs.
For example, on 5 April two clusters bombs reportedly dropped by US forces on the al-Baladiyat quarter in the southwest of Baghdad left eight people wounded, residents told AFP.
Small bomblets were scattered over a courtyard between several brick buildings.
Most of the 50,000 residents of the quarter are Palestinian families who fled to Iraq in 1948.
7.4.  The AFP reported on April 29 that unexploded U.S. cluster bombs were still making civilian casualties in the city of Najaf.
A U.S. marine confirmed that unexploded ordnance still littered the area but added that they were unable to clear it because they were short on people.
   ( "US cluster bombing leaves Iraqi city angry over dead, maimed" AFP, 29 April 2003)
7.5.  "The Evil of Cluster Bombs", by Essam Al-Ghalib, Arab News War Correspondent http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=24936
Babies killed in US bombing attacks
NAJAF, 9 April 2003 — Six days after the "liberation" of Najaf, Iraqis of all ages continue to pack the corridors of Saddam Hussein General Hospital.
They are mostly victims of unexploded munitions that are strewn throughout various residential neighborhoods — along streets, in family homes, in school playgrounds, in the fields belonging to farms...
US forces have been using cluster bombs against Iraqi soldiers.
But the majority of the victims are civilians, mostly children curious about the small shiny objects which are the same size as a child's hand.
Cluster bombs, as explained by an administrator at the hospital, have been dropped by the hundred.
They are supposed to explode on impact.
However, many do not, and lie on the street exposed to the elements.
A young Iraqi in Najaf told Arab News yesterday:
"They are everywhere, and they are going off periodically.
We don't even have to touch them — they just go off by themselves, especially as the temperature rises throughout the day."
In a residential neighborhood where nine civilians were killed by heavy US shelling last week, a sudden explosion sent this correspondent and civilians running for cover.
Back at Saddam Hussein General Hospital, a seven-year-old boy, the skin burned off his legs, was being turned away by the doctors.
The burns extended from the soles of his feet to midway up his little thighs.
His father, distraught and with a look of desperation on his face, told Arab News as he held his son in his arms:
"They say his injuries are minor compared with others here.
They say that they can't waste their medication on him.
They won't even give him pain killers."
"He was playing at his school when somehow a munition exploded," the father explained.
"They need to come and clear our schools and homes of these explosives."
Arab News visited several of the hospital's wards and saw victims of the "liberation" of Najaf.
A six-year-old girl suffering from shrapnel injuries, whose leg was drilled to accommodate a bone brace for her broken thigh, started crying as the doctor explained to the journalists present that her right foot had become gangrenous and so would have to be amputated.
Saddam Hussein General Hospital alone has seen 307 deaths and treated 920 injuries.
Of those, only 20 of the dead and 50 of the injured were soldiers.
8. How many civilians were killed by cluster bombs?
John Sloboda and Hamit Dardagan : "The Pentagon says 1. Iraq Body Count says at least 200." — Tuesday 6th May 2003 http://www.iraqbodycount.net/editorial.htm
Last month's claim by the Pentagon that only one civilian has died from cluster bombing is breathtaking in its audacious distortion of reality.
General Richard Myers, chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday 25th April:
"Only one of the nearly 1,500 cluster bombs used by coalition forces in Iraq resulted in civilian casualties.
An initial review of all cluster munitions used and the targets they were used on indicate that only 26 of those approximately 1,500 hit targets within 1,500 feet of civilian neighborhoods.
And there's been only one recorded case of collateral damage from cluster munitions noted so far."
   (Agence France-Presse April 25, 2003)
But this was only part of the picture, for: [...] Myers did not mention surface-launched cluster munitions, which are believed to have caused many more civilian casualties.
"To imply that cluster munitions caused virtually no harm to Iraqi civilians is highly disingenuous," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.
"Instead of whitewashing the facts, the Pentagon needs to come clean about the Army's use of cluster munitions, which has been much more fatal to civilians." (Human Rights Watch April 25, 2003)
Boy killed in US bombing attack
70 people killed when two villages hit by US airstikes
Data compiled by Iraq Body Count from widely published press and media reports shows that at least 200 civilian deaths have already been reliably reported as being due to cluster bombs, with up to a further 172 less firmly linked deaths that also involved other munitions.
A table consultable at http://www.iraqbodycount.net/editorial.htm lists these 372 deaths and provides basic information for all reported incidents in which cluster bombs were involved.
It reveals that 147 of the 372 deaths have been caused by detonation of unexploded or "dud" munitions, with around half this number being children.
Cluster bombs have been used by coalition forces right through the war. Basra, Nassiriya, Hilla, Najaf, Manaria, Baghdad: all these towns have lost scores of civilian lives in cluster bombing raids.
Not only do cluster bombs kill; they maim in particularly excruciating ways.
On April 10th Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times reported that All over Baghdad, the city's five main hospitals simply cannot cope with an avalanche of civilian casualties.
Doctors can't get to the hospitals because of the bombing.
Dr Osama Saleh-al-Duleimi, at the al-Kindi hospital, confirms the absolute majority of patients are women and children, victims of bullets, shrapnel and most of all, fragments of cluster bombs:
"They are all civilians," he says, "caught in aerial and artillery bombardment".
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is in a state of almost desperation.
Its spokesman, Roland Huguenin-Benjamin, contacted by satellite telephone, still mentions casualties arriving at hospitals at a rate of as many as 100 per hour and at least 100 per day.
   (Asia Times April 10, 2003)
The Mirror's reporter Anton Antonowicz visiting a hospital in Hillah, wrote:
"Among the 168 patients I counted, not one was being treated for bullet wounds.
All of them, men, women, children, bore the wounds of bomb shrapnel.
It peppered their bodies.
Blackened the skin.
Smashed heads.
Tore limbs."
"All the injuries you see were caused by cluster bombs," Dr Hydar Abbas told Antonowicz.
"Most of the people came from the southern and western periphery.
The majority of the victims were children who died because they were outside."
   (The Mirror April 03, 2003)
   On April 8th, Amnesty International urged that an independent and thorough investigation must be held and those found responsible for any violations of the laws of war should be brought to justice.
The US and UK authorities should order the immediate halt to further use of cluster bombs. —
   (Amnesty International April 08, 2003)
   It is unsurprising to us that, on the same day as General Myers issued his "body count" of 1, the United States blocked international efforts to allow a United Nations Human Rights Commission investigator of crimes under Saddam Hussein to look at the post-Saddam period.    (Reuters April 25, 2003)
Such blocking strongly suggests that the USA and the UK have much to hide.
Aljazeera
Child with blood on face.

Man in hospital

Cluster bombs used by US military forces

Aljazeera logo used during US invasion of Iraq, March 2003Bombing of Iraq

US invasion of Iraq, March 2003Tanks

US invasion of Iraq, March 2003
 Destruction, deaths and injury of Iraq citizens by US and UK forces

Aljazeera composite picture used during US invasion of Iraq, March 2003Destruction, deaths and injury of Iraq citizens by US and UK forces

Condoleeza Rice, Saddam Hussein, Jalal Talabani

Talabani after obtaining a law degree in Baghdad threw himself into the movement for Kurdish autonomy.

1966 Talabani launched an armed assault on Barzani's KDP, Kurdistan Democratic Party, with the help of the Iraqi army.

When Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, Talabani sided with Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini against Hussein.

1988 Hussein launched al-Anfal, a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing, depopulating thousands of Kurdish villages where support for Talabani was strong.

'It was because they were thinking about Iran,' says Aref Korbani, a journalist at the PUK's television station in Kirkuk and and an expert on the Anfal campaign.

Through all this, the West stood by and watched.

Aljazeera composite picture used during US invasion of Iraq, March 2003
 George Bush, missiles, planes set to bomb targets in Baghdad, Mosul and other cities of Iraq.

Washington, Supreme Court builing, appointment of Bush by Supreme Court.

Backed by Congress and Senate of US.

Aljazeera composite picture used during US invasion of Iraq, March 2003USA is first murderer in the world

Protest by much of the world against the bombing of Iraq.

Australian troops aiding the US and UK in the attack.

Aljazeera composite picture used during US invasion of Iraq, March 2003


<posted by kewe 5:44 PM
Children injured in US bombing attacks, April 2003
Hospitals are continuing to cope with thousands of dead and injured people due to:
US cluster bombs
US missiles
US attack helicopters
US artillery shelling
But it is upstairs on those wards that the suffering scream.
Anton Antonowicz And Mike Moore
Report From Inside Babylon General Hospital.
Apr 3 2003   Mirror.co.uk
THEY lie in packed wards, eight to each airless room. Many are crying.
Others softly moaning.
Some stare, as if lifeless.
These are the survivors of what are claimed to be cluster bomb attacks on villages in Babylon and its capital Al Hillah, some 70 miles south of Baghdad.
The attacks, which happened around lunchtime on Monday, are said to have killed at least 60 people and injured a further 250.
But no one has completed the tally.
I see six bodies in the makeshift morgue, a crude metal box teeming with flies, situated beneath an awning at Babylon General Hospital.
There are scores of slightly injured patients hobbling through the grounds.
Beds are laid in the entrance, every space being exploited.   But it is upstairs on those wards that the suffering scream.
Among the 168 patients I counted, not one was being treated for bullet wounds.
All of them, men, women, children, bore the wounds of bomb shrapnel.
It peppered their bodies.
Blackened the skin.
Smashed heads.
Tore limbs.
Two sisters, Khoda, five, and Mariam Nasser, aged 10, share the same bed.
Khoda is crying when I approach.
Her mother is trying to re-dress the wounds to her forehead and the back of her skull.
Mariam sits there saying nothing, a dressing over her left shoulder, cuts all over her back and one eye bloodied.
They had been playing in the garden of their home, 15 miles from Al Hillah, when the bombs went off.
Goran Ali, three, has a huge blood-blister beneath one eye.
His little body is a mess of tubes.
His mother Zubeida just looks at me shaking her head at the madness of it all.
Kifel Hassan, 13, tries to tell me what happened when the explosions struck but the effort made in pointing to his mother, his brother and sister, all lying injured alongside him, proves too much.
He lowers his bandaged arm.
He has lost his hand.
Sejad Ali is five and lies alone.
His three brothers were killed.
His parents are burying them as I look upon this lad with wounds all over his body.
Khalid Hallil, 21, was inside his house three miles from the centre.
Children injured in US bombing attacks, April 2003
Hospitals are continuing to cope with thousands of dead and injured people due to:
US cluster bombs
US missiles
US attack helicopters
US artillery shelling
His left thigh is torn from knee to crotch.
His father Hamid speaks English:
“Metal just came from everywhere.
Believe me, there were no soldiers in the area.
Only civilians.
There was no reason for attacking us in our homes.
No justification for this murderous act.
“Tell your countrymen what is happening.
Let them see with their eyes instead of listening to Tony Blair’s lying words.
Look, this is reality — not the make-believe world of Bush and Blair.”
Ali Abed bends to kiss his injured son Hussein.
Ali tells me his wife died in the attack.
He is all that’s left for his four-year-old boy.
AZOR Abdul Waled, 20, holds her seven-month-old daughter Zena, her head swathed in bandages.
Two other daughters have died.
Her own right leg is gashed.
She comes from the village of Al-Ameinera, six miles south.
And she tells me a different story.
Azor says that US soldiers had tried to land in the village outskirts by helicopter but that local militia and tribesmen had sent up a hail of fire which had seen off the three twin-prop transporters.
Then, some 10 minutes later, fighters screamed out of the sky, delivering their fatal payloads.
“All the injuries you see were caused by cluster bombs,” Dr Hydar Abbas tells me.
“Most of the people came from the southern and western periphery.
The majority of the victims were children who died because they were outside.
“We have an ambulance driver, Abdul Zahra, whose leg has had to be amputated after he came under attack while he was driving to the area.
“What kind of war is it that you and America are fighting?
Do you really think that you will be supported by the Iraqi people if you win?
Do you think we will all forget this and say it was for our own good?
“This war is building a hatred which will grow and grow against you.
I have no anger for the British people.
But one day, I fear they will suffer for this just as we do now.”
I find another ambulance driver, Hassan Ali, 37, and ask him what happened two days ago.
He said he was racing to the scene of the first attack when cluster bombs erupted around him, cutting his tyres to shreds.
“I turned around and slowly drove back to shelter,” he says.
“Even in that short space, I saw so many injured.
Some dead. Animals - dogs, cattle, sheep - lying all over.”
He adds that there are reports that a bus containing 35 people had been hit by a tank or artillery shell.
Children injured in US bombing attacks, April 2003
Hospitals are continuing to cope with thousands of dead and injured people due to
US cluster bombs
US missiles
US attack helicopters
US artillery shelling
But I cannot obtain confirmation.
It is getting on for 1pm, about the time that those bombs fell, and the minders want us back aboard the bus for the 65-minute journey to Baghdad.  
There is no time to make polite farewells to the injured.
They are abruptly left to their misery...
On the way back, a guide proudly announces that we are crossing the River of Babylon, a tributary of the Euphrates.
In the distance, through the date palm groves, lies the ancient city, named after the river.
Here, I can see the resistance with my own eyes.
The troops digging in.
The field guns and tanks hidden in the trees.
The lorries parked in ditches.
The machine-gun nests.
It would be wrong to say it’s an iron ring.
The defences are patchy but, nevertheless, there is a significant presence.
Yet the closer we come to Baghdad, the less evidence there is of soldiery — a few emplacements but nothing obvious.
The guides prevent filming.
Suddenly, over to the south-west of the capital and about six miles from our hotel — we see an enormous angry cloud.
It is too light to be one of Saddam’s oil fires.
It must be a bomb.
Its shape and colour then changes, with blacker smoke coming from its heart.
Huge balls of fire lick and spit into the sky.
It didn’t look as if the local refinery had been hit.
This looked as though the bombs had found a fuel dump — and an enormous one at that.
“No pictures!” yells the guide.
None are taken but everything is seen.
It is only then that you notice how dark the sky is over the capital and how polluted the air is.
At Babylon, the sky was blue and cloudless.
Child killed in US bombing attacks, November 2005
Hospitals are continuing to cope with thousands of dead and injured people due to
US cluster bombs
US missiles
US attack helicopters
US artillery shelling
Here, on the edge of the city, its true colour is masked by smoke which is dark, low and cruel.
That is the space in which five million Iraqis are forced to live.
Not that there are five million here any more.
Most have moved elsewhere.
Drivers in the hotel make constant phone calls to loved ones and return with tears in their eyes.
They have to make a living and it’s a lonely one now their families have gone.
The Information Minister, Mohammed Sayeed al-Sahaf, gives us an afternoon update, saying 10 people were killed and 90 wounded overnight in Baghdad.
He also accused the Americans of dropping booby-traps — shaped like ballpoint-pens — to maim anyone picking them up.
DURING fighting on Tuesday and into yesterday morning, Iraqi troops had destroyed two Apache helicopters, nine tanks and 26 armoured personnel carriers.
“We have again inflicted heavy casualties on the mercenary enemy,” he says.
He scoffs at reports that the US and Britain have made substantial gains.
“They claim to have taken Karbala.
Well, this morning I sent an Iraqi TV team to record what’s really happening there and all the world will see it.
“I also had a detailed briefing from the Governor there, who said that what the Pentagon is saying is an illusion, all lies.
“They claim to have inflicted heavy losses on our soldiers.
Believe me, the impact on our capacities is trivial — trivial.”
He then went on to complain that enemy fighters were deliberately flying low over the ancient Shiite shrines in Kerbala and Najaf, attempting to wreck them.
These magnificent tombs are the most sacred in Shiism.
Any desecration would inflame the largely Shiite Iraqi population, not to mention the 65 million faithful in neighbouring Iran.
Whether the claim is true or false, it is easy to see its value in the propaganda war.
“Deeds not words. That is what is important,” the Minister is saying...
Deeds not words.
Visible deeds which result in so many lying in Babylon Hospital.
Visible deeds such as that fireball rising before us on the way home.
Invisible ones, like so much battleground bravery.
Or the moment that high-flying pilot’s finger presses the button.
All deeds which matter.
While words are tossed around like shrapnel.
While words are tossed around like shrapnel.
BOMBS FALL ON BABYLON.
posted by kewe 11:09 AM
 
US Israel atrocities.
Advisory Group (MAG) personnel prepare to detonate an M-42 Israeli submunition cluster bomb they found in the village of El Maalliye, southern Lebanon, on Tuesday.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.
Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'
September 14, 2006
A Walk Through the Rubble
Israel's Use of American Cluster Bombs
By FRANKLIN LAMB
Al Sultaneih, Lebanon.
A s the initial assessment and clean up of American cluster bombs, estimated at more than 130,000 unexploded bomblets across the south of Lebanon, gets underway, unanticipated findings are emerging:
The breadth and depth of the problem with cluster bombs found in 498 locations in scores of villages as of September 9th was not expected.
So far less than 4% have been disposed of, and 0% of the villages in the south have been certified as safe for domestic or agricultural use by the United Nations ordnance disposal task force.
Even operators of heavy rubble clearing equipment are finding their work is stymied because Israel dropped cluster bombs both before and after many buildings were destroyed by bombs, and therefore cluster bombs are sandwiched between layers of pancaked walls and piles of rubble.
While the M-26 Cluster Bomb Unit may have looked "promising" at military demo shows when observed in ideal conditions of level, obstruction-free open areas, using "polished bomblet" conditions, the reality is very different in villages which are seeing not the military touted "dud rates" in the 1% to 4% range, but rather "dud rates" in the 40-60% range.
No weapons with this performance statistic would be taken seriously at arms sale outlets.
The U.S. cluster munitions dropped across Lebanon have been a near total failure as far as their claimed purpose and justification, degrading Hezbollah forces.
Lebanese Army, UN, and Hezbollah sources agree the Cluster Bombs had virtually no impact on Palestinian, Amal, and Hezbollah fighters during the recent conflict.
One Hezbollah commander told this observer:
"Maybe 3 or 4 [were killed] — perhaps a few more I didn't hear about — due to accidents by our forcesbut unlike the civilian population, we have a long history of confronting the Zionist aggressors and we often know what they will do before they do.
True, they have your country's latest weapons, but one-on-one they are not impressive at all.
Much more cowardly and incompetent than their propaganda claimsplus they are very weak psychologically — they know they stole Palestine, and they realize that sooner or later they will have to make peace, or they will destroy themselves and disappear from the region."
Another commander added:
"My brothers can't wait for their [Israeli] troops to enter Lebanon again on the ground.   We are eager to hit them harder next time.   The Zionists' training has been used to using tanks against stone-throwing children and harassing pregnant women at check points.   We now have the weapons to quickly destroy their tanks.   That is why they couldn't enter and finally accepted a ceasefire.   We don't respect them either as men or soldiers".
Yet another offered:
"When we fire a rocket or series of rockets at their weapon stockpiles or artillery positions in northern Palestine, our brothers know that they have approximately 6-7 minutes to disappear — usually underground.   The Zionists place their weapons next to Arab neighborhoods, where they have not provided shelters for the non-Jews.   We are accused of targeting civilians.   This is not truewe know where their weapons are exactly.   They hide behind the civilians in northern Palestine like they do in Gaza.   Using the people as shields."
Other recent findings confirm that Israel may have dropped as many as 60% of the cluster bombs they used during July-August 2006 in the 72 hours immediately before the ceasefire.
Military analysts on the ground offer two explanations:
1.   Shear frustration, hatred, and rage by Israel's leadership and its obsession with punishing Lebanon for its more than 85% support (including Lebanon's middle class and Christian citizens) for Hezbollah's resistance to Israel's attempted reoccupation up to the Litani River.
2.   A desire by Israel to get rid of as much of its U.S. cluster bomb inventory as possible, which the Pentagon has stipulated must be reduced to a lower level before Israel can reorder newer models like the M-26.
This is why the 33 year old CBU-58, almost extinct, was used so widely.   Israel was cleaning out its CBU closet for new orders, one Lebanese army source reported.
Senator Ted Stevens and those in the Senate who opposed banning cluster bombs on Sept. 9 might want to reflect on what actual utility the US cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon actually achieved.
* * *
According to Israeli soldiers, reported in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on Sept. 13, the Israeli military launched over 1.2 million cluster bombs into Lebanon, and used phosphorous shells as well — "the overwhelming majority used in the last ten days of the war."
The use of phosphorous, which causes excruciating burns, is prohibited under international law.
An Israeli rocket unit commander stated that because the Israeli rockets are so imprecise, his unit was ordered to "flood" the area with them.
The soldiers said that during IDF training exercises live rockets are almost never fired, to prevent leaving duds behind that would "fill the IDF's firing grounds with mines."
Yet, the soldiers said, Israeli forces in Lebanon fired the rockets at ranges of less than 15 kilometers, "even though the manufacturer's guidelines state that firing at this range considerably increases the number of duds."
The rocket commander, who said he had complained to Israel's Defense Minister but has received no response, stated:
"In Lebanon, we covered entire villages with cluster bombs.   What we did there was crazy and monstrous."
Cluster bomblet
Italian UNIFIL peacekeeper of San Marco Regiment, takes a picture of a cluster bomblet as Lebanese resident looks on, while patrolling a road in the southern Lebanese village of Ras Al Ain, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006.

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.

UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'

Photo: AP/Francois Mori     

Italian UNIFIL peacekeeper of San Marco Regiment, takes a picture of a cluster bomblet as Lebanese resident looks on, while patrolling a road in the southern Lebanese village of Ras Al Ain, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006.
Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.
Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.
UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.
Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.
UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.
American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.
Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'
Photo: AP/Francois Mori
 
Data on 11 Weeks of US Cluster-Bombing of Afghanistan
According to UN Afghanistan about 200,000 civilians have died and 400,000 have been disabled in incidents in Afghanistan.
20 innocent civilians including children and women, daily fall victim, half of whom loss their lives due to lack of medical facilities.
Access has been denied to more than 488 square kilometer of land, including agricultural fields, irrigation canals roads and residential areas.
Approximately 6,000 more people are expected to lose either their lives or limbs each year.
Afghanistan is infested with 10 Million weapons ready to explode the moment anyone steps on them.
'When I saw my deformed grandson, I realized that my hopes of the future have vanished for good'
'I know we are part of the invisible genocide brought on us by America, a silence death from which I know we will not escape'
United Nations war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte with Sharon Stone
Chief United Nations war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte chats with U.S actress Sharon Stone during a news conference at the Cinema Verite Festival in Monte Carlo October 10, 2007.

The main focus of the first edition of the festival is landmines and cluster bombs, on the 10th Anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty. 

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.

UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'

Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard     

Chief United Nations war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte chats with U.S actress Sharon Stone during a news conference at the Cinema Verite Festival in Monte Carlo October 10, 2007.
The main focus of the first edition of the festival is landmines and cluster bombs, on the 10th Anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty.
Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.
Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.
UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.
Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.
UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.
American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.
Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'
Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Army shells pose cancer risk in Iraq
Depleted uranium causing high radioactivity levels
Antony Barnett, public affairs editor
Sunday December 14, 2003

The Observer
Depleted uranium shells used by British forces in southern Iraqi battlefields are putting civilians at risk from 'alarmingly high' levels of radioactivity.
Experts are calling for the water and milk being used by locals in Basra to be monitored after analysis of biological and soil samples from battle zones found 'the highest number, highest levels and highest concentrations of radioactive source points' in the Basra suburb of Abu Khasib — the centre of the fiercest battles between UK forces and Saddam loyalists.
Injured by mine
Afghanistan
Readings taken from destroyed Iraqi tanks in Basra reveal radiation levels 2,500 times higher than normal.
In the surrounding area researchers recorded radioactivity levels 20 times higher than normal.
Critics of these controversial munitions — used to penetrate tank armour — believe inhaling the radioactive dust left by the highly combustible weapon causes cancer and birth defects.
It has long been alleged that depleted uranium (DU) used in the first Gulf conflict was responsible for abnormally high levels of childhood leukaemia and birth defects in Iraq.
Depleted uranium is also believed by some to be a contributing factor in Gulf War syndrome.
The disclosure comes days after the charity Human Rights Watch claimed hundreds of 'preventable' deaths of civilians have been caused by the use of cluster bombs by US and UK forces during the conflict.
The latest research, based on a two-week field trip by scientists, was carried out by the Canadian-based Uranium Medical Research Centre (UMRC) led by a former US military doctor Asaf Durakovic.
Tedd Weymann, deputy director of UMRC, said: 'At one point the readings were so high that an alarm on one of my instruments went off telling me to get back. Yet despite these alarmingly high levels of radiation children play on the tanks or close by.'
The amount of DU used during the Iraq war has not been revealed, although some estimate it was more than a thousand tons.
Last week, Labour MP Llew Smith obtained from the Ministry of Defence a list of 51 map co-ordinates in Iraq where sites were struck by DU weapons.
France, Spain and Italy claim soldiers who served in Bosnia and Kosovo, where DU shells were used by Nato, have contracted cancers.
Iraq tank destroyed by depleted uranium weapons
Witnesses told the UMRC that a British Army survey team inspected Abu Khasib.
'The UK team arrived dressed in white full-body radiation suits with protective facemasks and gloves.    They were accompanied by translators who were ordered to warn residents and local salvage crews that the tanks in the battlefield are radioactive and must be avoided,' the report states, adding:   'The British forces have taken no steps to post warnings, seal tanks and personnel carriers or remove the highly radioactive assets.'
Dr Chris Busby, who is a member of a government committee examining radia tion risks, expressed concern.
'There is no question that inhaling this radioactive dust can increase the risk of lymphomas,' he said.
Professor Brian Spratt, who chaired a Royal Society working group on the hazards of DU, said: 'British and US forces need to acknowledge that DU is a potential hazard and make inroads into tackling it by being open about where and how much has been deployed.
Fragments of DU penetrators are potentially hazardous, and should be removed, and areas of contamination around impact sites identified.
Impact sites in residential areas should be a particular priority.
Long-term monitoring of water and milk to detect any increase in uranium levels should also be introduced in Iraq.'
In a statement, the MoD said: 'The allegations made by the UMRC are not substantiated by credible scientific evidence.    They give no activity concentrations of the material concentrations on the ground or in the air, and their conclusions are not substantiated by readings taken by MoD's own survey team...   The MoD sent a small team of scientists to Iraq in June to perform a preliminary survey in order to identify issues...   and provide safety advice to scientists in the field.    This survey looked at a small number of locations where tanks had been defeated by DU and found limited contamination at localised points; the highest contamination was at the point of entry on a defeated tank and this was fixed to the metal and could not be rubbed off on the skin by touch, much less inhaled.
'The UMRC appears to consider a small, highly localised area of contamination to present a large health risk.   Use of "worst case" data to calculate risks to the population is inappropriate.'
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003
US/NATO Cluster Bombs Kosovo
The cluster bombs, dropped by US, British and other Nato aircraft, are scattered all over the province.
Both RAF Harrier GR7s and Tornado GR1s dropped cluster bombs
Cluster bombs look like toys and are extremely sensitive.
When children pick them up they are maimed and killed.
Kfor, the Nato-led peacekeeping force, had an initial policy of only clearing mines and other devices, such as cluster bombs, from routes needed for operational reasons.   They were not involved in locating and removing un-exploded munitions dropped in other areas.
"If you pick up a cluster bomb it will explode, it's even more dangerous than a mine.    Anything can detonate a cluster bomb."
More than 200 villages and 41 Serb churches have been destroyed in Kosovo since NATO Kfor entered the province.
Cluster bomb sent and
paid for by US taxpayer
Walks through fruit farm
full of bomblets
A member of the Chinese U.N. Interim Force mine-clearing unit walks through a fruit farm full of unexploded bomblets from cluster bombs dropped by Israeli forces during their attack on Lebanon near the village of Al Hinneyeh in southern Lebanon.

Two Lebanese army explosives experts were killed and another seriously wounded Wednesday trying to defuse an unexploded
artillery shell left over from the war in southern Lebanon, security officials said.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

The UN's top humanitarian official denounced Israel's use of cluster bombs in the last days of the Lebanon conflict as immoral and said that thousands of civilians were at risk from unexploded munitions.

The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.

Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.

Picture: REUTERS/Peter Andrews, September 5, 2006
Bombs dropped courtesy
of US taxpayer
Hassan Tahini, who was injured by a cluster bomb in the southern village of Aita Chaab, looks at his grandmother as she visits him at the Jabal Amer hospital in southern city of Tyre August 22, 2006.

Clearing unexploded cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon during the month-long war, many of them U.S.-manufactured, could take 10 years, a British-based demining group said on Friday. 
 
The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.

Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.

Picture: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

(left)
A member of the Chinese U.N. Interim Force mine-clearing unit walks through a fruit farm September 5, 2006, while carrying unexploded bomblets from cluster bombs dropped by Israel forces during their attacks near the village of Al Hinneyeh in southern Lebanon.
Two Lebanese army explosives experts were killed and another seriously wounded Wednesday trying to defuse an unexploded artillery shell left over from the war in southern Lebanon, security officials said.
The UN's top humanitarian official denounced Israel's use of cluster bombs in the last days of the Lebanon conflict as immoral and said that thousands of civilians were at risk from unexploded munitions.
US supplied and paid Israel bombing across Lebanon expanded Monday with missiles targeting all areas.
The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.
(right)
Hassan Tahini, who was injured by a cluster bomb in the southern village of Aita Chaab, looks at his grandmother as she visits him at the Jabal Amer hospital in southern city of Tyre August 22, 2006.
Clearing unexploded cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon during the month-long war, many of them U.S.-manufactured, could take 10 years, a British-based demining group said on Friday.
More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.
Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.
Photos: REUTERS/Peter Andrews, September 5, 2006, REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Special Democracy Now! Report from Southern Lebanon: Ana Nogueira Investigates the Lasting Dangers of Unexploded Israeli Cluster Bombs
AMY GOODMAN:    Democracy Now!'s Ana Nogueira went to South Lebanon.   She filed this report.
ANA NOGUEIRA:    When Bilal Beydoun returned to his village of Bint Jbeil one week after the ceasefire, he discovered the war not over.
BILAL BEYDOUN:    I found an unexploded bomb on my front porch and an unexploded missile on my back porch.   And I don't know where I’m going to sleep tonight.   I mean, I can't even go in my backyard, because the grass is high, and you just can't go back there.   You don't know where you're going to step.   Your next step might be your last step.
ANA NOGUEIRA:    The United Nations interim force in Lebanon estimates that Israel dropped approximately 150,000 bombs during the 34-day military offensive.   Many of these remain unexploded, even as villagers return home to start clearing away the rubble.   The large unexploded missiles, while extremely threatening, are easier to find.   It is the estimated 15,000 cluster bomb munitions, each carrying anywhere from 80 to 600 small bomblets, that pose the most immediate threat.   Mark Garlasco is the senior military analyst for Human Rights Watch.
MARK GARLASCO:    The use of submunitions here in Lebanon really is at a crisis point.   We're seeing the contamination levels far higher than many areas during the Iraq war.
Interestingly, though, we've also seen the exact same cluster bombs used here that were used in Iraq.   And these same weapons were the main killers of civilians during the war in Iraq in 2003.
We've seen dud rates from the American submunitions, which are not manufactured particularly well, on paper 14%, but in the field 30% to 40%.
So the American stuff is much, much worse than the Israeli-manufactured, and primarily the Israelis have been using American weapons.
ANA NOGUEIRA:    21 people have been injured and four killed from these unexploded ordinances in the weeks since the ceasefire took effect.   In Nabatiya, an 11-year-old boy was killed after stepping on an unexploded bomb in front of his house.   His father, running out to help him, stepped on another and died 72 hours later.   Not even the hospital grounds, where many of these patients are being taken, are safe.   Doctor Fouad Faha shows us around the hospital in Bint Jbeil, where we counted six visible unexploded devices, including a 500-pound missile in the backyard.
DR. FOUAD FAHA:    The day before yesterday, we had three kids who were playing with one of these bombs, and it exploded among them, and all of them got injured.   One of them has all his intestines out.   The other two girls were badly injured in their chest.   We transferred them to Saida, because we didn’t finish — the operation room wasn't really ready, because of what happens over here.
ANA NOGUEIRA:    Human Rights Watch says Israel could face legal action for their use of these types of munitions in civilian areas.   Although the weapons are not themselves banned, the Geneva Conventions prohibits their use in civilian areas.   This is Nadim Houry, head researcher of Human Rights Watch in Lebanon.
NADIM HOURY:    I mean, there are very serious legal ramifications.   By using these cluster munitions in areas where there are civilians, Israel not only endangered people at the time of the attack, but they created minefields that villagers are coming back to today.   And we have counted over 30 villages so far, where people are coming back to their homes to find unexploded ordinances in their living room, in their patios, on their rooftops, and in their cars.   This is truly very dangerous, and it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions to do so.
ANA NOGUEIRA:    Andrew Gleeson of the Mine Action Group has been working to de-mine the region.   He estimates it will take one year to 18 months for complete clearance of populated areas.   But that does not include farms and fields, which are also littered with these bombs.
ANDREW GLEESON:    At the moment, we’re prioritizing people, houses and roads, and later we will target fields of agriculture that require clearance as well.   The agricultural land is a concern for two reasons: one, people might go into the agricultural land without knowing there’s munitions there; and the second is, people may take the risk.   We heard some tobacco fields are contaminated.   It's harvesting time for tobacco fields, and that means people might go in and recover that tobacco and take the risk, because it's part of their economy.
ANA NOGUEIRA:    In every town, anxious citizens toured us around their homes, where so many of these bombs lied scattered amongst the ruins.   They mark them off with stones and red spray paint in the hopes of avoiding more injuries.
LEBANESE VILLAGER:    You can’t walk in this area.   You can see all the bombs around you.   You might step on one of these.   You can see it.   Boom!   Kill you.
Chinese U.N. Interim Force mine-clearing unit
AMY GOODMAN:    [To CAOIMHE BUTTERLY]    It's good to have you with us.    Can you tell us about the situation there and exactly what you're doing?
CAOIMHE BUTTERLY:    We’re presently based in a village called Aita al-Shaab, which is near to Bint Jbeil, which was sort of scene of some of the heaviest fighting during the invasion.   I’m working with a sort of grassroots activist and volunteer network called Samidoun, which is based out of Beirut and comprises over 400 mainly volunteers, although we have sort of teams of doctors and engineers, etc., working with us.
And our main function at the moment in Aita al-Shaab is the distribution of aid and just trying to see that it's distributed sort of equally and fairly in surrounding villages, as well as doing workshops and sort of role-playing activities with children and with different both Lebanese and international groups who are trying to de-mine the area, in terms of raising awareness about the situation in terms of cluster bombs and just trying to teach children how to identify the different unexploded ordinances and to stay away from them and how to mark them, as well.
AMY GOODMAN:    Caoimhe, we also have reports that an Israeli soldier was killed and three others wounded in southern Lebanon, when their tank drove over a landmine believed to have been placed there by the Israeli military before they pulled out in 2000.
CAOIMHE BUTTERLY:    I mean, the situation in the south of Lebanon is, you know, that this policy of using ordinances, which are designed for maximum impact and maximum civilian deaths, that this is continuing, that when the Israelis left in 2000, that obviously there were thousands of landmines planted, and that this has made life impossibly difficult, but particularly for farmers, and that's something that a lot of families are saying, you know, that they've already lost the tobacco harvest this year, because they were under siege and unable to harvest their crops, but also, now fields are completely unsafe for them to enter into.
But a lot of these villages are compromised of subsistence farming families, you know, so this is again how people will probably be either wounded or killed, you know, of course, economically to harvest their crop and basically brave the dangers of the countryside, just littered with cluster bombs.
The school that we're working out of, actually, with aid distribution, has a cluster bomb in one corner of it and three others on the roof.
The roof is the only spot where you can get phone reception, you know, in the entire sort of village, so it’s — that's one example.
But there are, as mentioned in Ana’s report, cluster bombs in people's kitchens, living rooms, backyards, schools, etc., all over the place.
AMY GOODMAN:    Caoimhe Butterly, you're particularly known for working with children, longtime peace activist, Irish peace activist.   You spent five years working with refugees in Jenin.   You were shot there by Israeli soldiers when you were trying to lead a group of Palestinian children to safety.   Can you specifically talk about children right now and these unexploded ordinances, these unexploded bombs?
Recovers furniture from US Israel destroyed apartment
CAOIMHE BUTTERLY:    I think what we've seen in a lot of the villages that we've been touring is, I mean, that there is — it's hard to express really, I think, people's sentiments at the moment, but there is, Amy — there’s this feeling of great pride.
And I wouldn't call it a victory, but at least, you know, people having resisted, on all levels, I think, militarily and socially and politically, and sort of displaced people, you know, sort of braving the discomforts of being displaced, but that the fact that Lebanon was not reoccupied.
But there is also a very crushed, traumatized sort of infrastructure and people.   And we're seeing that more and more in children.
I think like ten-and-up-year-olds are, you know, quite defiant and brave, and they sort of talk about having resisted the occupation or the invasion and occupation, but smaller children are just obviously traumatized.
There were three children wounded in Aita al-Shaab, which is the village where we're based, a few days ago.   One of them was seriously wounded and is still in intensive care in Sour in Tyre.
But it's something that the children are very aware of, you know, and I think the sort of vulnerability that has impacted on their life, you know, having seen their family members killed and their homes destroyed, etc., is further enhanced by their mothers telling them — and their mothers are terrified, the mothers we speak to — but really that no place is safe to play.   And they know that, that every time they go out, that there is no safety.
The last few nights that we’ve spent in the village, there have been tanks moving up and down the borders.   There's been drones and helicopters.   And people are seeing this as deliberate psychological intimidation, as a way of really reminding them that they're being watched, that they're still not safe.   And people are terrified.
Samidoun, the group I’m working with, was also working with displaced people in Beirut, and some of the nights that we were there, whenever there was an explosion or a sonic boom sort of above the camp, there would be sort of screaming and fainting, and, you know, there’s this deep, deep trauma and a deep sense of vulnerability.
But again, I mean, people have to get on with their lives, but the situation is pretty intolerable.   There's no running water, no electricity, very basic sort of food stuff, in terms of aid getting in, you know, and the threat really of the Israelis either coming back in or gratuitously sort of targeting Aita al-Shaab or the villages on the border again.
AMY GOODMAN:    Caoimhe Butterly, I want to thank you for joining us from southern Lebanon.   Caoimhe Butterfly, longtime peace activist, has spent time in Iraq, a long time in West Bank, and now spending time in southern Lebanon working with children and refugees who have returned back to their homes.
Interview and more on cluster bombs — Click Here
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Landmines and Unexploded Ordinances: Israel's Legacy in Southern Lebanon
Steve Goose, executive director of Human Right Watch's Arms Division discusses the leftover landmines in southern Lebanon from Israel's 18 year-occupation.
Also new landmine legislation in Washington, the threat to civilians of unexploded cluster bombs and where it all fits into the framework of international law.
   — Click Here
US Israel atrocities.
United Nations officials said that 12 people had been killed as of August 30, 2006, and another 49 injured by such bombs since the war ended and that the casualty rate was likely to rise.
 
Published on Monday, August 21, 2006 by the Guardian / UK
Unexploded Cluster Bombs Prompt Fear and Fury in Returning Refugees
Four dead as mine-clearing teams fear death toll from Israeli weapons could soar
When the guns went silent in Aitta Shaab, a war-ravaged village close to the Israeli border, three children skipped through the rubble looking for a little fun.
Hurdling over lumps of crushed concrete and dodging spikes of twisted metal, Sukna, Hassan and Merwa, aged 10 to 12, paused before a curious object. Sukna picked it up.
The terrifying blast flung her to the ground, thrusting metal shards into her liver.
Hassan's abdomen was cut open.   Merwa was hit in the leg and arm.
"We thought it was just a little ball," said Hassan with a hoarse whisper in the intensive care ward at Tyre's Jabal Amel hospital.
In the next bed Sukna, a ventilator cupped to her mouth and a tangle of tubes from her arms, said even less.
Her mother watched anxiously.   "The Israelis wanted to defeat Hizbullah," said Najah Saleh, 40.   "But what did these children ever do to them?"
The most popular delivery device, the American-made M26 rocket, scatters 644 bomblets over 20,000 square metres.
Under test conditions up to 23% of bomblets from the M26 failed to explode on impact.
Under test conditions up to 23% of bomblets from the M26 failed to explode on impact.
The United States keeps 370,000 such rockets in stock.
Israel may be pulling out of Lebanon but its soldiers leave behind a lethal legacy of this summer's 34-day war.
The south is carpeted with unexploded cluster bombs, innocuous looking black canisters, barely larger than a torch battery, which pose a deadly threat to villagers stumbling back to their homes.
Mine-clearing teams scrambling across the region have logged 89 cluster bomb sites so far, and expect to find about 110 more.
Meanwhile, casualties are being taken into hospital — four dead and 21 injured so far.
Officials fear the toll could eventually stretch into the thousands.
"We already had a major landmine problem from previous Israeli invasions, but this is far worse," said Chris Clark of the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre in Tyre, standing before a map filled with flags indicating bomb sites.
Cluster bombs are permitted under international law, but UN and human rights officials claim Israel violated provisions forbidding their use in urban areas.
"We're finding them in orange plantations, on streets, in cars, near hospitals — pretty much everywhere," Mr Clark said.
The bombs are ejected from artillery shells in mid-flight, showering a wide area with explosions that can kill within 10 metres (33ft).
But up to a quarter fail to explode, creating minefields that kill civilians once the war is over.
A decades-old campaign to ban them has failed.
Israel turned to cluster bombs in the last week of the war, apparently frustrated at the failure of conventional weapons to rout Hizbullah fighters from their foxholes.
Mine-clearance teams are finding evidence pointing to their provenance: the US, the world's largest cluster bomb manufacturer, which gave Israel $2.2bn (£1.2bn) in military aid last year.
In Nabatiye, 15 people were injured in just one day along a bomb-strewn road.
In Tibnin, 210 bombs were found around the town hospital.
"That's about as inappropriate [a use of cluster bombs] as you can get," Mr Clark said.
In Yahmour, a hilly frontline village that has become a complex urban minefield, minesweepers from the UK-based Mine Action Group have cleared the main roads and some house entrances.
But danger lurks everywhere.
One elderly woman lost her leg in an explosion last Monday as she swept her yard.
Now holes pock the road, yellow tape appears around fields and houses, and residents tip-toe around the "grape bombs".
Ilham Tarhini, 45, stood at her front door appealing for help.
After returning from refuge in Syria three days ago she found tiny bomblets poking from the soil of her garden of olive trees.   From where she was standing she could count eight: "I'm afraid to step into the streets."
But the most volatile payload sat in Jamil Zuhoor's living room.   During the war an unexploded rocket packed with bomblets punched through his front wall, skidding to a halt before a chest of drawers.
"I can't see us moving back in here for another year at least," he said, shutting the door of his shattered house.
The UN is appealing for money and minesweepers.
With such help it hopes the worst-hit areas can be cleared within six months, Mr Clarke said.
But until then residents live in fear.
Many share the blame equally between Israel and the US.
"It's like we are living in a prison," said Aisa Hussain, 38, a Yahmour resident who has ordered his children to remain inside his house.
Strolling through the village he pointed to yet another tiny black canister perched under a tree.
"You see what America is sending us," he said bitterly.   "This is their idea of democracy."
Backstory
Cluster bombs were first used by the Germans in the second world war but have become a standard weapon for many countries, including Britain, France and Italy.
The most popular delivery device, the American-made M26 rocket, scatters 644 bomblets over 20,000 square metres.
Under test conditions up to 23% of bomblets from the M26 failed to explode on impact.
The United States keeps 370,000 such rockets in stock.
The M26 inflicted hundreds of civilian casualties in Iraq in 2003, says Human Rights Watch, over populated areas.
The British army used M26s in the 1991 Gulf war
The US halted cluster bomb exports to Israel in 1982 after indiscriminate use against civilians but rescinded the ban in 1988.
Belgium is the only country in the world that has banned cluster bombs.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006
US Israel atrocities.
Mine-clearance specialists said densely populated southern Lebanon was blighted by thousands of unexploded bomblets, which can kill or maim if they are moved or touched.
In one case this week 35 bomblets were cleared from in and around one house.
In another a woman lost her hands when a bomblet became tangled in her tobacco crop.
US Israel atrocities.
Frank Cook, chairman of the UK Parliament all-party Landmine Group, said: "These weapons are totally indiscriminate.   For them to be used by Israel among a civilian population is quite outrageously inexcusable."
Israelis Accused of Using Illegal Weapons
The Israeli military is using illegal weapons against civilians in southern Lebanon, according to several reports
by Dahr Jamail
BEIRUT, Jul 28 2006
Inter Press Service
U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said this week that Israel had used cluster bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon, in clear violation of international law.
The group said cluster bombs killed a civilian and injured 12 others in Blida village in the south of Lebanon last week.
Hundreds of thousands of landmines scattered across south Lebanon
Cluster bombs disperse hundreds of tiny shrapnel-filled 'bomblets' that are "unacceptably inaccurate and unreliable", and should not be used in civilian areas, HRW said.
Lebanese doctors, aid workers and refugees are reporting that the Israeli military has used the incendiary weapon white phosphorous in civilian areas, also in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Dr. Bachir el-Sham at the Complex Hospital in Sidon in the south of Lebanon told IPS in a telephone interview that he has received civilian patients injured by incendiary weapons.
"We are seeing people that are all blackened, with charred flesh that is not burned by normal bombs and flames," he said.
"I am sure this is a special bomb.   They are using incendiary weapons on civilians in the south.   We are seeing these patients."
The doctor also told IPS that the Israelis are again using suction bombs, which they used heavily during the Lebanese civil war.
"They are using suction bombs that implode our buildings," he added, "With implosive bombs...instead of the glass blasted out, it is inside the building.   These kill everyone inside the building.   There are rarely survivors when they use these bombs."
Bilal Masri, assistant director of the Beirut Government University Hospital (BGUH) had told IPS earlier that "many of the injured in the south are suffering from the impact of incendiary white phosphorous."
Wafaa el-Yassir, Beirut representative of the non-governmental organisation Norwegian People's Aid, told IPS that several of her relief workers in the south had reported assisting people hit by incendiary weapons.
"The most important thing is that we have an investigation for the Israelis' use of banned weapons," she said.
"They have used phosphorous in Nabatiyeh and cluster bombs in Dahaya district of Beirut."
Two Lebanese army explosives experts killed
She also told IPS that a doctor at the Bint Jbail hospital, in the small city near the southern border of Lebanon where much of the fierce fighting has taken place, had told her agency that he was certain that white phosphorous had been used against civilians there.
Zacharia al-Amedin, an 18-year-old refugee being treated for lacerations from bomb shrapnel told IPS, "I was in a village near Tyre, and the Israelis were dropping incendiary bombs all around us, even though there weren't fighters near us.   So many civilians were hit by these weapons."
The Lebanese ministry of interior has officially said that the Israeli military has used this weapon.
President Emile Lahoud said recently on French radio: "According to the Geneva Conventions, when they use phosphorous bombs and laser bombs, is that allowed against civilians and children?"
An Israeli military spokesman told Reuters news agency, "Everything the Israeli defence forces are using is legitimate."
International law requires that the military distinguish between combatants and civilians.   Incendiary weapons and cluster bombs when used in areas where there may be civilians contravene international humanitarian law.
"We are a country of humans, not animals," Sham told IPS.
"Real people are dying here. You must ask this of the world, to please help."
House occupied for several days by Israel forces
A graffiti that reads in English:' We are peace nation, we want peace no war but if you want war we will win' is seen at a garage of a house, damaged during the 34 day-long Israeli forces' offensive, in the southern border village of Maroun el-Ras, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2006.

The house which was occupied for several days by Israel forces was littered with soldiers' belongings, empty food cans and water bottles but it is unclear who wrote this message on the wall.

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.

UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'

Photo: AP/Lefteris Pitarakis     

A graffiti that reads in English:' We are peace nation, we want peace no war but if you want war we will win' is seen at a garage of a house, damaged during the 34 day-long Israeli forces' offensive, in the southern border village of Maroun el-Ras, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2006.
The house which was occupied for several days by Israel forces was littered with soldiers' belongings, empty food cans and water bottles but it is unclear who wrote this message on the wall.
Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.
Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.
UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.
Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.
UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.
American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.
Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'
Photo: AP/Lefteris Pitarakis
 
Daughter and relative injured by cluster bomb
Najah Hassan walks past her daughter Sakina Merra and her relative Hassan Tahini, who were injured by a cluster bomb in the southern village of Aita Chaab, as they lie in the Jabal Amer hospital in southern city of Tyre (Soure), Lebanon August 22, 2006. 

It looks innocuous, but a careless kick from a passing child would detonate this cluster bomb, one of thousands of unexploded devices Israel scattered over the towns, villages and hillsides of South Lebanon during its 34-day war with Hizbollah fighters.

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.

UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'

Photo: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra     

Najah Hassan walks past her daughter Sakina Merra and her relative Hassan Tahini, who were injured by a cluster bomb in the southern village of Aita Chaab, as they lie in the Jabal Amer hospital in southern city of Tyre (Soure), Lebanon August 22, 2006.
It looks innocuous, but a careless kick from a passing child would detonate this cluster bomb, one of thousands of unexploded devices Israel scattered over the towns, villages and hillsides of South Lebanon during its 34-day war with Hizbollah fighters.
Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.
Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.
UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.
Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.
UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.
American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.
Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'
Photo: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
 
Published on Tuesday, November 7, 2006 by the Agence France Presse
UN Calls for Immediate Freeze on Use of Cluster Bombs
United Nations humanitarian chief Jan Egeland has called for an immediate global freeze on cluster bombs following their intensive use during the recent conflict in Lebanon, adding to a growing chorus to outlaw the weapons.
The United Nations said in a statement that hundreds of thousands of people in Lebanon were at risk due to unexploded cluster munitions, marking only the most recent example of the "devastating" and lingering impact of such weaponry.
"As a matter of urgency, I call on all states to implement an immediate freeze on the use of cluster munitions," Egeland, the UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, said in a statement Tuesday.
"This freeze is essential until the international community puts in place effective legal instruments to address urgent humanitarian concerns about their use," he added.
The appeal came at the beginning of a review conference on a global arms treaty that restricts some types of conventional munitions, which has been ratified by about 100 countries.
The International Committee of the Red Cross made a similar appeal on Monday, calling for stocks to be destroyed and for a freeze on the trade of cluster bombs.
A US official speaking on condition of anonymity said Monday that Washington did not believe that new rules were necessary.
Egeland said Tuesday: "Ultimately, as long as there is no effective ban, these weapons will continue to disproportionately affect civilians, maiming and killing women, children and other vulnerable groups."
"The states gathered for the Review Conference should commit to immediately freeze the use of cluster munitions and strengthen existing international humanitarian law."
The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons bans or restricts the use of chosen types of weapons that cause "unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering to combatants" or that indiscriminately affect civilians.
The countries involved have so far failed to agree on including cluster munitions.
The United Nations said the density of unexploded cluster munitions in Lebanon was higher than those found after conflicts in Kosovo and Iraq — which had already caused alarm among humanitarian agencies.
Unexploded cluster munitions are a "constant threat" to 200,000 refugees and internally displaced people in Lebanon as well as for hundreds of thousands of people returning to their homes and for humanitarian and reconstruction workers, it added.
Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam are still suffering from the burden of unexploded cluster munitions some 30 years after the end of conflicts there, hampering farming and key building projects.
"While some progress has been made in the intervening years, these weapons have continued to be used with devastating effect, most recently in Lebanon and Israel by both sides to the conflict," the UN added.
The ICRC says that 95 to 98 percent of cluster munitions are neither reliable nor accurate.
Its staff have found that about 10 to 40 percent of the bomblets scattered by a mother bomb fail to explode, leaving a long-term legacy of contamination which continues to kill and maim civilians years later.
An additional protocol to the Convention, which obliges signatories of the protocol to help clean up any unexploded munitions after conflicts, is due to enter into force next Sunday.
Only 25 nations have signed up to the pledge so far.
"I call upon all States to ratify and implement it in order to help us in the humanitarian community address the challenges posed by cluster munitions in post-conflict settings," Egeland said.
Copyright © 2006 AFP
10th Anniversary of Mine Ban Treaty
U.S. actress Sharon Stone attends the gala dinner of the Cinema et Verite Festival in Monte Carlo, late Wednesday October 10, 2007.

The main focus of the first edition of the festival is landmines and cluster bombs, on the 10th Anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.

UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'

Photo: Pool     

U.S. actress Sharon Stone attends the gala dinner of the Cinema et Verite Festival in Monte Carlo, late Wednesday October 10, 2007.
The main focus of the first edition of the festival is landmines and cluster bombs, on the 10th Anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty.
Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.
Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.
UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.
Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.
UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.
American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.
Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'
Photo: Pool
 
UN estimates Israel dropped 4 million cluster bomblets
Forty percent failing to explode
Mines Advisory Group (MAG) Technical Field Manager Nick Guest inspects a Cluster Bomb Unit in the southern village of Ouazaiyeh, Lebanon, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006, that was dropped by Israeli warplanes during the 34-day long Israel attack on Lebanon.

A top U.N. humanitarian official Tuesday demanded an immediate moratorium on the use of cluster bombs, a day after the international Red Cross stepped up its campaign against the unreliable and inaccurate weapons.

The U.N. has estimated that Israel dropped as many as 4 million of the bomblets in southern Lebanon, with perhaps 40 percent of the submunitions failing to explode on impact.

Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.

Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.

Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.

Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'

Photo: AP/Mohammed Zaatari     

Mines Advisory Group (MAG) Technical Field Manager Nick Guest inspects a Cluster Bomb Unit in the southern village of Ouazaiyeh, Lebanon, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006, that was dropped by Israeli warplanes during the 34-day long Israel attack on Lebanon.
A top U.N. humanitarian official Tuesday demanded an immediate moratorium on the use of cluster bombs, a day after the international Red Cross stepped up its campaign against the unreliable and inaccurate weapons.
The U.N. has estimated that Israel dropped as many as 4 million of the bomblets in southern Lebanon, with perhaps 40 percent of the submunitions failing to explode on impact.
Civilians make up 98 percent of the tens of thousands of victims of cluster bombs in the 30 years since their introduction during the Vietnam war.
Momentum is building for a long-overdue ban on cluster bombs that kill or maim thousands every year around the world long after wars have ended.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
'What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution,' Egeland said.
Chris Clarke, head of the UN mine action service in southern Lebanon, who has worked in bomb clearance in Sudan, Kosovo, Kuwait and Bosnia, said: 'This is without a doubt the worst post-conflict cluster bomb contamination I have ever seen.'
Photo: AP/Mohammed Zaatari
Friday, 17 November 2006
New drive against cluster bombs
Cluster bomb in Lebanon.

The use of cluster bombs in Lebanon focused world attention
The use of cluster bombs in Lebanon focused world attention
Norway is pushing for an international meeting on cluster bombs that it hopes will lead to a worldwide treaty restricting the use of the munitions.
The move follows the failure of a United Nations conference to agree any curbs on cluster weapons.
Oslo says it will now invite countries to work outside the UN system to agree a ban modelled on the Ottawa Convention restricting the use of landmines.
Cluster bombs are blamed for killing and maiming thousands of civilians.
The small, orange-coloured munitions are packed into larger, conventional artillery shells which can be dropped from aircraft.
Each shell scatters hundreds of the smaller bomblets over a large area.
According to activists, the bomblets frequently fail to detonate until they are disturbed by people on the ground - effectively making them as lethal as landmines.
A recent report by the Handicap International charity said civilians accounted for 98% of cluster-bomb casualties.
The report estimated some 100,000 civilians had been struck by cluster bombs, many of them children.
Ottawa Convention
Norway says it plans to ask countries to meet in Oslo to begin talks on banning cluster bombs.
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told the Associated Press news agency he will "invite countries that have shown an interest and a will to take urgent action to address the cluster munition problem".
UN bodies, the Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations would also be invited he said.
No date for the talks was given.
A similar initiative led to the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines, which has now been signed by 154 countries.
'Inadequate proposal'
Calls for curbs on using cluster bombs have been growing since Israel's month-long conflict with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon this summer.
De-mining agencies say the conflict has left behind some one million unexploded cluster bombs in Lebanon.
But despite intense lobbying by the Red Cross and by some European countries, a UN conference in Geneva last week failed to agree a ban on the weapons.
Countries such as the United States and Russia, which have big stockpiles of cluster munitions, tried hard to keep the issue off the agenda completely.
A proposal put forward by Britain to talk about cluster munitions in the future was finally adopted but was dismissed by humanitarian organisations as inadequate.
Cluster bombs kill in Iraq, even after shooting ends
By Paul Wiseman, USA TODAY
11/4/2003
Shahad Thaer Mustafa, 5, stands in front of her Baghdad home where her uncle was killed by a cluster bomblet.

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY
Shahad Thaer Mustafa, 5, stands in front of her Baghdad home where her uncle was killed by a cluster bomblet.
BAGHDAD — The little canisters dropped onto the city, white ribbons trailing behind. They clattered into streets, landed in lemon trees, rattled around on roofs, settled onto lawns.
When Jassim al-Qaisi saw the canisters the size of D batteries falling on his neighborhood just before 7 a.m. April 7, he laughed and asked himself: "Now what are the Americans throwing on our heads?"
The strange objects were fired by U.S. artillery outside Baghdad as U.S. forces approached the Iraqi capital.
In the span of a few minutes, they would kill four civilians in the al-Dora neighborhood of southern Baghdad and send al-Qaisi's teenage son to the hospital with metal fragments in his foot.
The deadly objects were cluster bomblets, small explosives packed by the dozens or hundreds into bombs, rockets or artillery shells known as cluster weapons.
When these weapons were fired on Baghdad on April 7, many of the bomblets failed to explode on impact.   They were picked up or stumbled on by their victims.
The four who died in the al-Dora neighborhood that day lived a few blocks from al-Qaisi's house.   Rashid Majid, 58, who was nearsighted, stepped on an unexploded bomblet around the corner from his home.
The explosion ripped his legs off.   As he lay bleeding in the street, another bomblet exploded a few yards away, instantly killing three young men, including two of Majid's sons — Arkan, 33, and Ghasan, 28.
"My sons! My sons!" Majid called out.   He died a few hours later.
Cluster bomb terminology
Cluster bomb: A bomb that contains dozens or hundreds of small explosives and is dropped by aircraft.
Cluster munition: A piece of ordnance that contains dozens or hundreds of small explosives and is fired by ground-based howitzers or rocket launchers.
Bomblet (also called submunition or grenade): A small explosive packed inside cluster bombs and cluster munitions.   Roughly the size and shape of a soft-drink can, tennis ball or D battery, bomblets are designed to explode on impact and spray an area with shrapnel.
Dud: A cluster bomblet that fails to explode on impact.
Multiple launch rocket system (MLRS): A ground-based weapon that fires up to 12 rockets a minute, each of which carries 644 cluster bomblets.
The deaths occurred because the world's most modern military, one determined to minimize civilian casualties, went to war with stockpiles of weapons known to endanger civilians and its own soldiers.
The weapons claimed victims in the initial explosions and continued to kill afterward, as Iraqis and U.S. forces accidentally detonated bomblets lying around like small land mines.
A four-month examination by USA TODAY of how cluster bombs were used in the Iraq war found dozens of deaths that were unintended but predictable.
Although U.S. forces sought to limit what they call "collateral damage" in the Iraq campaign, they defied international criticism and used nearly 10,800 cluster weapons; their British allies used almost 2,200.
The bomblets packed inside these weapons wiped out Iraqi troop formations and silenced Iraqi artillery.   They also killed civilians.   These unintentional deaths added to the hostility that has complicated the U.S. occupation.
One anti-war group calculates that cluster weapons killed as many as 372 Iraqi civilians.
The numbers are impossible to verify: Iraqi hospital records are incomplete, and many Iraqi families buried their dead without reporting their deaths.
In the most comprehensive report on the use of cluster weapons in Iraq, USA TODAY visited Iraqi neighborhoods and interviewed dozens of Iraqi families, U.S. troops, teams clearing unexploded ordnance in Iraq, military analysts and humanitarian groups.
The findings:
• The Pentagon presented a misleading picture during the war of the extent to which cluster weapons were being used and of the civilian casualties they were causing.
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters on April 25, six days before President Bush declared major combat operations over, that the United States had used 1,500 cluster weapons and caused one civilian casualty.
It turns out he was referring only to cluster weapons dropped from the air, not those fired by U.S. ground forces.
In fact, the United States used 10,782 cluster weapons, according to the declassified executive summary of a report compiled by U.S. Central Command, which oversaw military operations in Iraq.
Centcom sent the figures to the Joint Chiefs in response to queries from USA TODAY and others, but details of the report remain secret.
Old bombs cause problems
The U.S. Air Force used new, improved cluster bombs in Iraq that pose fewer dangers to civilians.
But U.S. ground forces used old cluster munitions with a history of leaving unexploded bomblets (duds) that can detonate any time after they are deployed, causing civilian casualties.
"The bulk of civilian casualties caused by cluster munitions (in Iraq) appear to have resulted from ground-launched munitions rather than by aircraft," Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., an advocate on behalf of civilian war victims, recently wrote Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Defense Department began to review its use of cluster submunitions after the 1991 Gulf War, when unexploded cluster munitions killed 22 U.S. troops and injured 58.
Starting in the mid-1990s, the Air Force outfitted some cluster bombs with fins and a navigation system that adjusts for the wind.   The new cluster bombs land within 70 feet of a target, compared with 700 or 800 feet in some cases for the models they replaced, Air Force Col. James Knox says.   The CBU-105 (CBU stands for cluster bomb unit) carries 40 "skeet" bomblets.   These "smart" bomblets are designed to self-destruct if they do not detect a valid target and deactivate within minutes if they hit the ground and do not explode.
In Iraq, the Air Force also tried out two new cluster bombs.   Each carried thousands of darts instead of bomblets; the darts can kill and destroy targets.   But there is no dud problem because they don't explode.
U.S. ground forces won't get improved cluster bombs until at least 2005.   So in Iraq, they used cluster bomblets with dud rates well above the 1% the Pentagon set as its goal in 2001.
"As far as I can tell, it's an Army problem, not an Air Force problem," says John Pike, director of the non-partisan defense think tank GlobalSecurity.org.
The Army's new version of the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) warhead is supposed to have nearly twice the range (37 miles vs. 20) of existing rockets.   It also would land within 10 yards of a target compared to within 120 yards.   A global positioning system would improve the rockets' accuracy to contain bomblets to target areas.   Tests are scheduled for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2005.
Self-destruct fuses for submunitions were tested last summer at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in an effort to eliminate duds.   The Army is adding self-destruct fuses to M42 and M46 bomblets fired by 155 mm artillery.
- By Paul Wiseman, USA TODAY
U.S. forces fired hundreds of cluster weapons into urban areas.
These strikes, from late March to early April, killed dozens and possibly hundreds of Iraqi civilians.
Forty civilians were killed in one neighborhood in Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad, say residents and Saad Khazal al-Faluji, a surgeon at Hillah General Hospital who tracked casualties.
The attacks also left behind thousands of unexploded bomblets, known as duds, that continued to kill and injure Iraqi civilians weeks after the fighting stopped.
U.S. officials say they sought to limit civilian casualties by trying to avoid using cluster munitions.
But often alternative weapons were not available or would not have been as effective during the invasion.
• Unexploded U.S. cluster bomblets remain a threat to U.S. forces in Iraq.
They have killed or injured at least eight U.S. troops.
• The U.S. Air Force, criticized for using cluster bombs that killed civilians during the wars in Vietnam, Kosovo and Afghanistan, has improved its cluster bombs.
But U.S. ground forces relied on cluster munitions known to cause a high number of civilian casualties.
The Air Force, responding to the criticism, began working on safer cluster bombs in the mid-1990s and started using them in Afghanistan.
But the Army started a program to install self-destruct fuses in existing cluster bomblets only after former Defense Secretary William Cohen called in January 2001 for dud rates of no more than 1% after 2005.
The safer bomblets won't be available for at least two years.   During the war in Iraq, U.S. ground forces dipped into stockpiles of more than 740 million cluster bomblets, all with a history of high dud rates.
Senior Army officials in Washington would not answer questions about the Army's use of cluster weapons in Iraq.
Maj. Gary Tallman, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said such weapons are effective "against enemy troop formations and light-skinned vehicles" and are used only after "a deliberate decision-making process."
Why cluster bombs are deadly
Cluster bombs have been controversial since they killed thousands of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian civilians during and after the Vietnam War.
They have since been used by armies around the world, including Russian forces in Chechnya and Sudanese government troops fighting rebels in a long-running civil war.
But their use in urban areas of Iraq has given new momentum to a movement to restrict the use of cluster bombs.
Last month, dozens of activist groups hoping to duplicate the success of the campaign to ban land mines formed a coalition aimed at getting a worldwide moratorium on cluster weapons.
After seeing the toll the weapons took on Iraqi civilians and their own forces, even some U.S. soldiers have misgivings about using cluster weapons, at least in urban areas.
As the war in Iraq approached, humanitarian groups warned the Pentagon against using cluster weapons, especially in urban areas.
New York-based Human Rights Watch predicted on March 18, a day before the war began with an airstrike in Baghdad: "The use of cluster munitions in Iraq will result in grave dangers to civilians and friendly combatants."
Cluster weapons are especially dangerous to civilians because they spray wide areas with hundreds of bomblets.
Most are unguided "dumb" weapons, so they can miss their target, and many of the bomblets don't explode immediately.
The U.S. military was aware of the threat cluster munitions posed and was determined to minimize them.
Col. Lyle Cayce, an Army judge advocate general (JAG), led a team of 14 lawyers providing advice on the battlefield to the 3rd Infantry Division on the use of cluster munitions, as well as other weapons, during its 21-day, 450-mile drive north from Kuwait to Baghdad.
The goal was to ensure that U.S. forces complied with international humanitarian law, enshrined in the Geneva Conventions.   "No other army in the world does that," Cayce says.   "We value the rule of law."
The Geneva Conventions hold that when choosing which targets to hit and which weapons to use, armies must make sure they do not "cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering" and ensure that the harm to civilians does not outweigh the military advantages.
U.S. forces relied on sophisticated radar to pinpoint the sources of Iraqi fire, then cross-checked them against a computerized list of about 10,000 sensitive sites, such as mosques and schools.
Cayce and the other lawyers looked at potential targets and advised U.S. commanders whether the military benefits of using specific weapons against those targets justified the risks to civilians.
Cayce gave advice 512 times during the war, usually in cases involving cluster munitions.
Most involved sites outside populated areas.   Cayce estimates he dealt with only 25 to 30 "controversial missions."
For example: He approved a strike against an Iraqi artillery battery in a soccer field next to a mosque because it was firing on the 3rd Infantry Division's artillery headquarters.
Iraqi armor that took cover in such date palm groves as this one in Yusifiyah was bombed by U.S. forces

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY
Iraqi armor that took cover in such date palm groves as this one in Yusifiyah was bombed by U.S. forces
The choices could be agonizing.   He says he asked himself, "How many Americans do I have to let get killed before I take out that (Iraqi) weapons system?"
Ten to 15 times, Cayce advised commanders against firing on a target; they never overruled him.
Five times, in fact, they decided against using cluster munitions even after he gave them the go-ahead because they believed the risk to civilians was too great.
"We didn't just shoot there willy-nilly," he says.   "It was the enemy who was putting his civilians at risk. ... They put their artillery right in town.   Now who's at fault there?"
Rather than call upon their artillery to hit a target with cluster munitions, U.S. ground forces preferred either to use other weapons, such as M-16 rifles or tank rounds, or to summon the Air Force to hit Iraqi targets from the sky with precision bombs.
"Cluster munitions were the last choice, not the first," Cayce says.
But aircraft frequently were unavailable.
Sometimes the weather was bad or sandstorms were swirling.
Sometimes Air Force pilots insisted on seeing targets instead of relying on radar readouts.
The cluster munitions, especially M26 rockets fired by a multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS), had greater range than other weapons and were more reliable in bad weather.
Commanders also thought an MLRS was better at returning fire and killing the enemy.
"MLRS is ideal for counterfire," says Col. Ted Janosko, artillery commander for the Army's V Corps.
In fighting on March 31 around Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, U.S. forces came under heavy artillery fire from the Iraqis.   "We used (MLRS) rockets to fire back," Janosko says.
"As soon as we started using rockets, guess what? We never heard from that unit again.   I'm not going to say we killed them all ... but believe me, they did not fire again from that position."
The 3rd Infantry Division also used MLRS frequently.
Houses in border village of Ghajar
The rockets can go more than 20 miles, and they spray a wider area than other weapons.
The 3rd Infantry fired 794 MLRS rockets during the Iraq war, according to an assessment by two high-ranking division artillery officers in the U.S. Army journal Field Artillery, published at Fort Sill, Okla.
As they raced north from Kuwait toward Baghdad in late March and early April, U.S. forces fired rockets and artillery shells loaded with bomblets into Iraqi troop and artillery positions in Hillah, in Baghdad and in other cities.
U.S. aircraft sometimes dropped cluster bombs as well.
Just before U.S. forces' "thunder run" into Baghdad on April 7, the 3rd Infantry Division fired 24 MLRS cluster rockets into Iraqi positions at an important intersection in the capital.
The damage assessment, recounted in the Field Artillery article: "There's nothing left but burning trucks and body parts."
Iraqis — and U.S. troops — stumble across bomblets
No civilians in Iraq endured as much "steel rain" from U.S. cluster munitions as the impoverished squatters who live in the Nader neighborhood of Hillah, a city of 650,000 near the ruins of ancient Babylon.
In Nader, stone houses are packed close together, roads are unpaved, raw sewage runs stinking in ditches and livestock wander aimlessly amid trash.
Town hit hard by 'steel rain'
Children forage in an area of Hillah where cluster weapons killed 40 people

Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY
Children forage in an area of Hillah where cluster weapons killed 40 people
Residents, many of whom opposed Saddam Hussein and welcomed the U.S. decision to topple him, say there was no resistance in Nader, just Iraqi troops fleeing north through the area toward Baghdad.
But U.S. radar reports showed Iraqi guns firing from Hillah, and anti-aircraft guns were located in a Nader-area schoolyard.
The cluster attack began mid-morning on March 31.
"I wish they'd shelled with regular artillery, not with those bloody cluster bombs," says retired civil servant Ali Selman al-Isawi, whose son, Wisam, 30, was killed that day.
"Regular shells would hit only one spot, not every place just like a rain of death."   Al-Isawi, 58, took six bodies to the morgue in his car.
When the bombing started, Abdul Jewad al-Timimi, 44, a disabled veteran of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, decided to gather his wife and six children and clear out of Nader.
He hoped to catch a taxi on a main road and get to his parents' house, 3 miles away.
It was the wrong decision. Exposed on open ground, al-Timimi and his family were caught in a storm of falling bomblets.   "We had no place for shelter," he says.
"We were an easy target for the cluster bombs.   It was just like land mines exploding everywhere."
They stopped near a refuse-filled canal.   "I heard only the explosion," al-Timimi says.
"I caught two of the kids with my hand.   But they were thrown backward, and I was thrown into the canal.   My wife was thrown into a wall nearby.   The baby was in her arms.   The six children immediately were dead."   Al-Timimi and his wife were injured.
The scenes from Nader that day, including footage of a baby torn in half, were so gruesome that Westerntelevision networks refused to air them.   The dead child, 2 months old, was Jacob al-Timimi.
"My son," al-Timimi says.   "I could not talk at that time.   But I wished that the person who started this war, whether Iraqi or American, could be brought before me so I could kill him six times or kill six of those close to him.   I still feel that way."
Iraq Body Count, an anti-war group that has been compiling a database of civilian casualties from media reports, attributes 200 to 372 Iraqi civilian deaths to cluster bombs and munitions.
That doesn't include 78 to 201 civilians who died in fighting in and around Hillah; many of them were killed by cluster munitions, Iraq Body Count says, but it doesn't know how many.
Bitterness in Baghdad
In Baghdad neighborhoods such as al-Dora, al-Furat and al-Hurriyah, the evidence of cluster-munition attacks is obvious.   Holes the size of golf balls still riddle dust-colored stone walls around homes.
Metal gates are pinged and punctured.   Windows are shattered.   Shrapnel from cluster bomblets has ripped into rooftop water tanks and torn through walls.
Many Iraqis are bitter that their neighborhoods were chosen for attacks by U.S. cluster munitions.
Lizard passes cluster bomb
That anger has hurt efforts to convince Iraqis that U.S. troops came as liberators, not occupiers.
Baghdad was hit particularly hard in late March and early April.
Cluster munitions landed in north Baghdad's al-Hurriyah neighborhood on April 8, apparently aimed at anti-aircraft batteries in a nearby park.
"The whole street went black," recalls Mohammed Mustafa al-Bayati, 42, a sergeant in the Iraqi army.
Al-Bayati's brother Maher, 33, was mentally disabled.
He became disoriented by the explosions and smoke.
Maher staggered into an intersection, where a bomblet got him.
He died after 12 days in a hospital.
Mohammed says he found 85 metal fragments in his brother's body.   "I counted them one by one," he says.
Their father died a week later.
Mohammed believes he died of grief.
A few blocks away in al-Hurriyah, a submunition exploded in the courtyard of the home of Bashir Abdul al-Zaidi, 32 the same day.   Shrapnel pierced his neck and abdomen.
He crawled into the kitchen.   Family members found him by following the trail of blood.
He died on the way to a hospital.
Before the attack, al-Zaidi's older brother had a dream in which their dead father returned to remove a date palm tree from the garden.
Asked why he was taking it, the father just said: "I need it."
Now, the family understands the dream.   "We realized it meant that someone was going to join their father in eternal life," says their mother, Telba Gutheb, 60.   "It was Bashir."
The cluster-bomb attack left hundreds of duds in al-Furat, a poor, densely packed Baghdad neighborhood of narrow streets and low, sparsely furnished houses with modest gardens.
"This neighborhood became a no-man's land," says Sheik Abul Amir Hussein al-Amir, 40, a local political leader.   "You couldn't take a car out unless someone walked ahead to lead you."
Ten days after the attack, Tareq al-Lami, 35, discovered several unexploded cluster bomblets inside his family's house in al-Furat.
He carried them with a pile of trash to a vacant lot down the street.
Border village of Ghajar, southern Lebanon
His relatives don't know exactly what happened.
They heard an explosion and found him dead.
Children were particularly vulnerable.
About a week after the cluster attack on Hillah, Mahmoud Medhi al-Jabouri, 15, was wandering the Nader neighborhood's trash-filled streets with his brother Salem, 13.
Mahmoud either picked up a dud cluster bomblet or stumbled across one concealed by refuse.
There was an explosion, and Mahmoud was killed.
"The bomb tore away his face," says his father, Mehdi Tali al-Jabouri, 53.
Salem spent three days in a hospital with leg injuries; he has recovered.
Duds continued to turn up in gardens, trees and fields months after the military campaign ended.
Al-Furat resident Adel Khalil al-Taie, 35, found one on his roof when he went up to install a satellite dish in July.
It was an irony he relished: The U.S. campaign to topple Saddam Hussein gave him the freedom to put up a previously forbidden satellite dish but left a deadly explosive on his roof.
Sa'ad al-Shawk, 51, lost his wheat harvest to cluster munitions.
His family's field in Yusifiyah, which is south of Baghdad, is filled with unexploded cluster bomblets.
A mine-clearance team that works for the U.S. State Department took a look at the field of waist-high stalks and decided it was too dangerous to clear.

Dangers for U.S. troops
The abundance of unexploded submunitions also left a dangerous mess for U.S. soldiers advancing into Baghdad.
Troops from the 101st Airborne found themselves in Baghdad's al-Jihad neighborhood in mid-April, contending with hundreds of unexploded M42 cluster bomblets.
"There were M42s all around the houses," says Maj. Mike Getchell, 37, of Bridgewater, Mass., executive officer of the 101st Airborne's 3rd Brigade.
During the three weeks the 101st troops patrolled al-Jihad, they destroyed an average of 100 M42s every day.
On April 19, Sgt. Troy Jenkins, 25, a 6-foot-7 paratrooper from Repton, Ala., was bringing up the rear of a patrol through the streets of al-Jihad.
Southern Lebanon village of Adaisseh
The streets were packed with people celebrating a festival.
Suddenly, a little girl emerged from the crowd, carrying what turned out to be an M42 cluster bomblet.
She tried to hand it to Jenkins.
No one in the patrol knows exactly what happened next.
But the bomblet went off, and the little girl, Jenkins and three other soldiers went down.
The little girl died after her family took her to a hospital.
Jenkins was evacuated for medical treatment, first to Kuwait and then to Germany, where he died after losing his left leg.
He left behind a wife and two sons, ages 4 and 2.
The three other soldiers recovered.
Cluster munitions also may have claimed the life of Lance Cpl.
Jesus Suarez del Solar, 20. The Marine scout from Escondido, Calif., died March 27 after stepping on some type of unexploded ordnance while on reconnaissance patrol outside Baghdad.
A Marine investigation concluded that the "origin of the ordnance is unknown and really impossible to determine," says First Lt. Eric Knapp, spokesman for the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, Calif.
But the dead Marine's father, Fernando Suarez del Solar, 47, has a different account.
He says he was contacted by one of his son's friends, who said the Army dropped cluster weapons on March 26 and not all of the submunitions exploded.
"The next day, on the 27th, my son's company received the order for advance and my son was a scout, so he advanced ahead of the others without information that there were unexploded bombs. ... The scout is looking for the enemy, so his eyes are on the horizon, so he was not looking down toward the ground.   And he stepped on a bomb."
Fernando Suarez, a former print shop worker who is now a full-time anti-war activist, is seeking an official explanation for his son's death.
He has angry words for President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "They say that America has the best weapons and the best technology and the best army.   Well, this is not the best technology when they drop bombs that don't explode, and then they don't tell their own military where the bombs are.   The best army would make that information available."
Paid for by US taxpayer
Sgt. 1st Class Rick Johanningsmeier, 34, of Martinsville, Ind., was in the same Army unit as Sgt. Jenkins.
He saw four more U.S. troops injured when a dud bomblet exploded near the Baghdad airport.   "These things are wicked.   They're evil," Johanningsmeier says.
In their Field Artillery article, Army Col. Thomas Torrance, who commanded the 3rd Infantry Division's artillery in Iraq, and Lt. Col. Noel Nicolle praise the MLRS cluster munitions, calling them "the munition of choice for killing tanks and personnel in the open."
They also note the weapon's major drawback: the dud rate.
"The duds ... littered the battlefield and created a hazard to the local populace," they write.
"We need to develop a bomblet for cannons and MLRS that self-destructs or re-engineer the round to significantly reduce the dud rate."
To reduce casualties from dud bomblets, the military tried to keep track of where it fired cluster munitions.
U.S. military and State Department teams are working to clear unexploded bomblets in Iraq.
The U.S. military also has tried to warn Iraqis about the dangers of unexploded submunitions.   U.S. forces have addressed schools and town councils and put up educational posters.
Cayce, the Army lawyer, believes U.S. forces acted responsibly.
Even so, he says: "Ethically and morally, we need to find alternatives to cluster weapons in cities."
Contributing: Valerie Alvord in Escondido, Calif.; Steven Komarow in Baghdad, Dave Moniz in Washington, D.C., and Mark Memmott
Interactive graphic click here:
   How a cluster bomb works and more
© Copyright 2003 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Cluster bomb sent and
paid for by US taxpayer
Bomb experts from the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) explode a cluster bomb after finding it in the southern Lebanese village of Sultaniyeh.

The British charity MAG had been in Lebanon for six years clearing land mines but the priority switched to unexploded cluster bombs after the July-August war because they pose an immediate danger to people wanting to return home.

Two Lebanese army explosives experts were killed and another seriously wounded Wednesday trying to defuse an unexploded
artillery shell left over from the war in southern Lebanon, security officials said.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

The UN's top humanitarian official denounced Israel's use of cluster bombs in the last days of the Lebanon conflict as immoral and said that thousands of civilians were at risk from unexploded munitions.

The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.

Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.

Picture: AFP/Thomas Coex, August 31, 2006
Bombs dropped
courtesy of US taxpayer
Fact file on cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon.

UN chief Kofi Annan has voiced his anger at Israel for using cluster bombs over the villages of Lebanon.

Using cluster bombs in this manner is a War Crime.

Those responsible in Israel will have to be brought to trial sometime in the future. 

The British charity MAG had been in Lebanon for six years clearing land mines but the priority switched to unexploded cluster bombs after the July-August war because they pose an immediate danger to people wanting to return home.

Clearing unexploded cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon during the month-long war, many of them U.S.-manufactured, could take 10 years, the British-based demining group said on Friday. 
 
The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.

Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.

Picture: AFP/Martin Megino, August 31, 2006

(left)
Bomb experts from the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) explode a cluster bomb after finding it in the southern Lebanese village of Sultaniyeh.
Two Lebanese army explosives experts were killed and another seriously wounded Wednesday trying to defuse an unexploded artillery shell left over from the war in southern Lebanon, security officials said.
The UN's top humanitarian official denounced Israel's use of cluster bombs in the last days of the Lebanon conflict as immoral and said that thousands of civilians were at risk from unexploded munitions.
US supplied and paid Israel bombing across Lebanon expanded Monday with missiles targeting all areas.
The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.
(right)
Fact file on cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon.
UN chief Kofi Annan has voiced his anger at Israel for using cluster bombs over the villages of Lebanon.
Using cluster bombs in this manner is a War Crime.
Those responsible in Israel will have to be brought to trial sometime in the future.
Clearing unexploded cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon during the month-long war, many of them U.S.-manufactured, could take 10 years, a British-based demining group said on Friday.
More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.
Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.
Photos: AFP/Thomas Coex, August 31, 2006, AFP/Martin Megino, August 31, 2006
Israel asks U.S. to Ship Rockets With Wide Blast
August 2006
Israel has asked the Bush administration to speed delivery of short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions, which it can use to attack Lebanon
M-26 artillery rockets are fired in barrages and carry hundreds of grenade-like bomblets that scatter and explode over a broad area
M-26 artillery rocket loaded with cluster bombs
The rockets are fired by the dozen and cause huge casualties when used, especially when used in populated areas.
The United States has approved the sale of M-26’s to Israel but as of early August the cluster bombs have not yet been delivered.
After being pressed in recent days on what Israel intends to use the M-26 rocket weapons for, Israeli officials disclosed that they planned to use them in Lebanon.
It is this intent that is raising intense concerns among peace activiists and even among some in the US government over the number of civilian casualties that will likely result.
Between 1982 and 1988 the United States did maintain a moratorium on selling cluster munitions to Israel, following disclosures that civilians in Lebanon had been killed with the weapons during the 1982 Israeli invasion.
Yhe moratorium was lifted late in the Reagan administration, and since then, the United States has sold Israel some types of cluster munitions.
State Department officials “are discussing whether or not there needs to be a block on this sale because of the past history and because of the current circumstances,” said the senior official, adding that it was likely that Israel will get the rockets, but will be told to be “be careful.”
We don’t fire into populated areas
David Siegel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said that “as a rule, we obviously don’t fire into populated areas...”
He said in these instances Israel drops leaflets warning of impending attacks.
Another Israeli official said in the case of cluster munitions, including the Multiple Launch Rocket System, which fires the M-26, the Israeli military only fires into open terrain where rocket launchers or other military targets are found.
M-26 artillery rocket
While Bush administration officials have criticized Israeli strikes that have caused civilian casualties, they have also backed the attack on Lebanon by rushing arms shipments to Israel.
Last month the administration approved a shipment of precision-guided munitions, which one US senior official said this week included at least 25 of the 5,000-pound “bunker-buster” bombs.
Israel has asked for another shipment of precision-guided munitions, which is likely to be approved, the US senior official said.
In July Human Rights Watch said its researchers had uncovered evidence that Israel had fired cluster munitions on July 19 at the Lebanese village of Bilda.
At least one person was killed and 12 or more people wounded, including 7 children, Hunman Rights Watch said.
Hunman Rights Watch said it had interviewed survivors of the Israel attack, who described incoming artillery shells dispensing hundreds of cluster submunitions on the village.
Human Rights Watch also released photographs, taken recently in northern Israel, of what it said were American-supplied artillery shells that had markings showing they carried cluster munitions.
The United States Army employs the M-26 rocket and the Multiple Launch Rocket System.
Rockets have caused much injury and death since 2003 Iraq invasion
The Pentagon has sold these weapon to numerous other countries in addition to Israel.
The rockets can be quickly targeted against a defined geographic area, military experts say, the system being especially effective at killing and wounding people.
Each rocket contains 644 submunitions that kill and wound people.
Many groups have campaigned for the elimination of cluster munitions, noting that as well as killing and injuring when used, submunitions that do not detonate on impact later injure and kill.
The M-26 rocket is a particularly deadly weapon for killing and injuring people.
They have been used widely by U.S. forces in Iraq and have resulted in much injury and death since the 2003 Iraq invasion.
Images used in the Amnesty International report showing a section of southern Beirut in June 2006 (left) before the war, and August 2006 (right) after heavy Israeli bombardment.

Photo: Alaska Image Library
Southern Beirut in June 2006 (left) before the war, and August 2006 (right) after heavy Israel attack
Photo: Digital Globe/BBC
 
Published on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 by OneWorld.net
US No Longer Promoting Landmine Abolition
by Haider Rizvi
UNITED NATIONS — In 1994, the United States was the first nation to call for the elimination of landmines that killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of innocent people around the world.
But that was then.   Today, Washington not only stands in opposition to an international treaty that bans the use and production of antipersonnel landmines, but intends to make new ones too.
Spider is an advanced, man-in-the-loop, area denial munition.

It will protect the warfighter by laying down either a lethal or non-lethal field of fire yet puts complete command and control in the hands of the soldier.

Spider offers remotely controlled force protection while enhancing the operational and tactical flexibility of forces in the field.

Spider is being developed by ATK with its joint venture partner Textron.

Photo: www.commondreams.org

Spider

Spider is an advanced, man-in-the-loop, area denial munition.
It will protect the warfighter by laying down either a lethal or non-lethal field of fire yet puts complete command and control in the hands of the soldier.
Spider offers remotely controlled force protection while enhancing the operational and tactical flexibility of forces in the field.
Spider is being developed by
        ATK — click here       

with its joint venture partner Textron.
In reversal of its earlier policy, the U.S. is reportedly planning to produce a new generation of landmines called "Spider" by March 2007, a move that has alarmed civil society groups campaigning for a global ban on the use and production of landmines for years.
"We are concerned about this," says Alison Bock, president and founder of Landmines Blow!, a U.S.-based independent group.   "This would erase many of the positive steps the U.S. has taken in the past."
Landmines Blow! has joined a number of other groups in urging the Bush administration to drop its plans for Spider production and instead support the goals of the Mine Ban Treaty.
The 1997 treaty, which has been endorsed by nearly 150 countries, calls for a ban on the production, stockpiling, and use of antipersonnel landmines.
Major powers among the 40 nations who have not signed the treaty are the United States, Russia, and China.
Last month, more than 100 countries sent delegates to an international meeting on landmines in Croatia, but the United States did not.
Bock thinks it was wrong on part of the United states to stay away from the meeting.   "We believe the U.S. should engage in global discussions on the landmine issue."
Ironically, the United States was at the forefront of international efforts to adopt the landmine treaty in the 1990s.   It had not used antipersonnel landmines since the 1991 Gulf War and had not exported them to other countries since 1992.
The United States would "seek a worldwide agreement as soon as possible to end the use of antipersonnel mines," President Bill Clinton said at the start of his second term in the White House.
But the Bush administration reversed that promise last February with the Department of State declaring that landmines still have "a valid and essential role" in protecting U.S. forces in military operations.
"No other weapon currently exists that provides all the capabilities provided by landmines," the official statement added.
Disappointed with the administration's stance, supporters of the treaty fear that the new policy on landmines might set a bad precedent for other nations who are still outside the fold of the treaty.
"It's a step backward for the United States," says Stephen Goose, an arms expert with U.S.-based Human Rights Watch
"While the rest of the world is rushing to embrace an immediate and comprehensive ban, the Bush administration has decided to cling to the weapons in perpetuity," he adds.
Goose and others note that the administration often does not use the word landmines while referring to new weapons, such as Spiders, which are designed to blow up automatically after a certain period of time.
"These are not safe mines," Goose contends.   "They still pose real dangers for civilians."
Between 15,000 and 20,000 people are killed or maimed by mines each year — most civilians and most in countries now at peace — according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), an independent umbrella organization.
Landmines are especially heinous weapons of war, the group says, because they are indiscriminate — unable to distinguish between soldiers, civilians, peacekeepers, aid workers, or others — and inhumane, designed to maim rather than kill but frequently killing nonetheless.
The also deprive people of land and infrastructure in some of the poorest countries in the world, hamper reconstruction and the delivery of aid, deprive communities and families of breadwinners, and kill livestock and wild animals, according to the group.
ICBL released a report last week suggesting that despite the fact that "immense challenges" remained to be dealt with, the worldwide use of landmines and the number of related casualties were going down.
Last month, in a report on landmines, the group, however, suggested that some positive changes must still be forthcoming.
"Although we are making great strides in our work to rid the world of this weapon, we need to do more," says ICBL leader Jody Williams, who won the Noble Peace Prize for her work in 1997.
That's exactly what's on the minds of anti-mines activists like Bock and Goose, who believe that the world cannot achieve much unless the United States decides to reverse its policy.
Many groups are now reaching out to U.S. lawmakers in an attempt to prevent the administration from pursuing its retrogressive policy on landmines.   It appears they have succeeded in gaining support from some of them.
"I believe that more can and must be done to stop this crisis," Senator Barack Obama, (D-IL) told Bock in a letter, while assuring his support in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"I will be working with my colleagues in Congress and with the Bush administration on this issue."
Whether lawmakers like Obama will succeed in their efforts remains to be seen.
Common Dreams © 1997-2005
US US Israel atrocities.
UN mine clearance experts have identified 390 strikes by US Israel cluster bombs in its recent attack on Lebanon.
Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.
UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.
American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.
Latest information issued by UN agencies is that 4 million cluster bombs have been dropped on southern Lebanon, the majority of the cluster bombs released on the towns and farmland in the last 72 hours before Israel forces withdrew.
The most common result of cluster bomb release is the death and injuries caused, often resulting in amputations, to the civilian population, especially children.
Unexploded Israeli Bombs Menace Lebanese
By TODD PITMAN
The Associated Press
Thursday, August 31, 2006
YUHMOUR, Lebanon — The fighting stopped two weeks ago, but it's still too dangerous for Abdullah Ziaeddine to move back into his war-blasted home, much less start to rebuild.
Like hundreds of fields, houses and roads across Lebanon, his yard is littered with unexploded bomblets from an Israeli cluster bomb attack that spewed the small and deadly metal canisters.
One step in the wrong place risks injury, loss of a limb — or death.
The fist-sized bomblets, leftovers from the Israeli military fight with Hezbollah guerrillas, have killed 13 people and wounded 48 in Lebanon since the Aug. 14 truce, said Dalya Farran, spokeswoman for the U.N. Mine Action Coordination Center here.
Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, drew attention to the issue Wednesday when he called Israel's use of the weapons cruel.
"What's shocking and I would say, to me, completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution," Egeland said.
Israel said it used its weapons legally.   During the 34-day war, Israel used cluster bombs to attack Hezbollah fighters who often took up positions in village streets and residential neighborhoods in southern Lebanon to launch rockets at Israel.
"Israel does not break any international laws in the type of armaments it uses," government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Thursday.   "Their use conforms with international standards."
No international treaties or laws specifically forbid the use of cluster bombs, but the Geneva Conventions outline rules to protect civilians during conflict.   Because cluster bombs often maim civilians after fighting ends, their use by Israel against targets in Lebanese cities and towns has been criticized by human rights groups.
The U.S. State Department's Office of Defense Trade Controls is investigating whether Israel inappropriately used U.S.-made cluster bombs in civilian areas during the conflict, which began after Hezbollah guerrillas raided an Israeli army outpost July 12 and captured two soldiers.
More than 400 cluster bomb sites have been found so far in Lebanon, and survey teams are finding dozens more every day, Farran said.   The bomblets — small metallic spheres or black and gray cylinders — are about as big and powerful as a grenade.
"I don't walk around here anymore," Ziaeddine said, pointing to a half dozen bomblets that failed to explode on impact, lying atop dirt in his yard.   Bomblets that did work tore at least a dozen small holes through Ziaeddine's roof and the walls of a villa.
The 36-year-old businessman is staying at a relative's home on the edge of town with his wife and 2-year-old son, waiting for a bomb squad to sweep his property — something that could take weeks or months.
The U.N. estimates around 250,000 people cannot move back to their homes because they were either leveled during fighting or because missile warheads, artillery shells and cluster bomblets sit unexploded around them.
When the bombs started to fall on Yuhmour, a Shiite village in foothills about 10 miles from the Israeli border, most of the residents fled.   It was not clear if Hezbollah fighters used the village as a base during the fighting, but the vast majority of Shiites in Lebanon support the guerrilla fighters.
In a classic battle between two armies, cluster bombs are designed to destroy or slow enemy forces by spreading a blanket of explosives across an area the size of one or two football fields.   Fired by howitzers or dropped from aircraft, the bombs release hundreds of smaller bomblets in mid-air that are supposed to explode upon impact.
Farran said 10 percent typically fail to detonate, but at some sites in Lebanon demining teams have estimated failure rates as high as 70 percent.
The U.N. has identified 405 bomb strike areas contaminated with up to 100,000 unexploded bomblets.
Along the main street in Yuhmour, red and white tape seals off parts of yards and abandoned houses where unexploded bomblets were found.   Red arrows spray-painted on piles of rubble point to more bomblets lying in debris.   Others are unmarked and residents, suspecting more nearby, keep far away.
One woman sat in the collapsed ruins of her single-story home, confined to a small path because bomblets had been found everywhere else.
In Yuhmour this week, teams from the Mines Advisory Group, a British non-governmental group that clears land mines, blocked traffic as ordnance disposal experts deliberately blew up more than 50 bomblets one by one, shaking the village.   Lebanese soldiers are also working in other areas to defuse or destroy them.
For many, the disposal process is too slow.
"They're not doing enough, fast enough," said Chirine Mehdi, a 33-year-old mother of two who has warned her children to stay indoors or on main roads when outside.   "The war is over.   Why do we have to keep living in fear?"
Farran said there aren't enough disposal teams.
Unexploded artillery shells and missile warheads also litter yards and streets, but the U.N. and the Lebanese army have shifted their focus to cluster bomblets, which are considered more of a threat because they're far more numerous, harder to spot and appear innocuous, Farran said.
In the southeastern border village of Blida on Saturday, 11-year-old Ali Hussein Hassan picked up a bomblet he thought was an old perfume container.   It exploded, wounding him and three other children, said his mother, Fatima Hussein Hassan.
At a hospital in Nabatiyeh where the four were taken, one of the boys lay on a bed with tubes streaming vital fluids into his stomach.   The 6-year-old, wincing in pain whenever he moved, had been struck by 50 tiny bits of shrapnel and a larger fragment that ripped through his intestines, family members said.
"What did these children do to anybody? They're innocent," said Fatima, standing beside her bedridden son whose right leg was broken when he was thrown back by the blast.   "We survived the war, but we are still being attacked."
© 2006 The Washington Post Company
Do not approach,
unexploded cluster bombs
will injure and kill
Lebanese army soldiers stand behind a car door used as a warning sign that reads: 'Do not approach, unexploded cluster bombs,' in the southern Lebanese city of khiam, 23 August 2006.

The United States probed Israel's use of US-made cluster bombs in its blitz on southern Lebanon, after warnings that the devices, which sow mini-minefields, were still killing civilians.

The British charity MAG had been in Lebanon for six years clearing land mines but the priority switched to unexploded cluster bombs after the July-August war because they pose an immediate danger to people wanting to return home.

Two Lebanese army explosives experts were killed and another seriously wounded Wednesday trying to defuse an unexploded
artillery shell left over from the war in southern Lebanon, security officials said.

Munitions include American-made M42 and M47 shells which each contain about 80 bomblets.

UN staff have also found the remains of Israeli-manufactured M85 weapons, which are fired by rocket and contain 644 bomblets.

American-made cluster bombs have been dropped from aircraft all across southern Lebanon.

The UN's top humanitarian official denounced Israel's use of cluster bombs in the last days of the Lebanon conflict as immoral and said that thousands of civilians were at risk from unexploded munitions.

The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.

Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.

Picture: AFP/Ali Dia
Bombs dropped
courtesy of US taxpayer
Smoke rises from Khiam village in south Lebanon, August 11, 2006.

The U.S. is investigating whether Israel violated U.S. rules in its use of U.S.-made rockets armed with cluster bombs in Lebanon, the State Department said on Friday.

UN chief Kofi Annan has voiced his anger at Israel for using cluster bombs over the villages of Lebanon.

Using cluster bombs in this manner is a War Crime.

Those responsible in Israel will have to be brought to trial sometime in the future. 

The British charity MAG had been in Lebanon for six years clearing land mines but the priority switched to unexploded cluster bombs after the July-August war because they pose an immediate danger to people wanting to return home.

Clearing unexploded cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon during the month-long war, many of them U.S.-manufactured, could take 10 years, the British-based demining group said on Friday. 
 
The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.

Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.

Picture: REUTERS/Karamallah Daller

(left)
Lebanese army soldiers stand behind a car door used as a warning sign that reads: 'Do not approach, unexploded cluster bombs,' in the southern Lebanese city of khiam, 23 August 2006.
The United States probed Israel's use of US-made cluster bombs in its blitz on southern Lebanon, after warnings that the devices, which sow mini-minefields, were still killing civilians.
Two Lebanese army explosives experts were killed and another seriously wounded Wednesday trying to defuse an unexploded artillery shell left over from the war in southern Lebanon, security officials said.
The UN's top humanitarian official denounced Israel's use of cluster bombs in the last days of the Lebanon conflict as immoral and said that thousands of civilians were at risk from unexploded munitions.
US supplied and paid Israel bombing across Lebanon expanded Monday with missiles targeting all areas.
The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.
(right)
Smoke rises from Khiam village in south Lebanon, August 11, 2006.
The U.S. is investigating whether Israel violated U.S. rules in its use of U.S.-made rockets armed with cluster bombs in Lebanon, the State Department said on Friday.
UN chief Kofi Annan has voiced his anger at Israel for using cluster bombs over the villages of Lebanon.
Using cluster bombs in this manner is a War Crime.
Those responsible in Israel will have to be brought to trial sometime in the future.
Clearing unexploded cluster bombs used by Israel in Lebanon during the month-long war, many of them U.S.-manufactured, could take 10 years, a British-based demining group said on Friday.
More than Fifteen million US dollars is given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.
Total funding is more than 4 billion US dollars per year.
Photos: AFP/Ali Dia, REUTERS/Karamallah Daller
Iraq War Images
US UK war crimes — Fallujah 2004
But this kind of depravity…   this is worse than the torture and its affecting far more people
These are whole platoons, large numbers of U.S. forces either seeing these acts happening, participating in them, not trying to stop them
The Americans committed bad things — but who can discover and say this
US used white phosphorus chemical and thermobaric fuel-air weapons
Terrorists kill people and often put them in mass graves
The soldiers are doing strange things in Fallujah
Unspeakable grief and horror
                        ...and the circus of deception continues...
He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
And of course I am.
Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
"It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
Let's change it!
Mother her two babies killed by US
More than Fifteen million
US dollars given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use
4 billion US dollars per year
Nanci Pelosi — U.S. House Democratic leader — Congresswoman California, 8th District
Speaking at the AIPAC agenda   May 26, 2005
There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.   This is absolute nonsense.
In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been:  it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist.
The greatest threat to Israel's right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran.
For too long, leaders of both political parties in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear and missile technology....
In the words of Isaiah, we will make ourselves to Israel 'as hiding places from the winds and shelters from the tempests; as rivers of water in dry places; as shadows of a great rock in a weary land.'
Pelosi
The United States will stand with Israel now and forever.
Now and forever.
  Afghanistan — Western Terror States: Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, Italy      
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