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Saturday, April 23, 2011


Let's talk cluster bombs

I continue to hear references to Libyan government use of cluster bombs, despite the fact that A) there haven't been any new alleged instances since the first; and B) there hasn't been any significant proof of even that first use. I continue to hear the phrase "banned by most countries in the world" without the following phrase "not including the United States."

And just what does the U.S. do with their cluster bombs, which are orders of magnitude more deadly than the ones allegedly used in Libya (which had 20 sub-munitions)? Read this account by Jeremy Scahill of their use in a 2009 attack in Yemen:

"The operation kicked off at dawn, as a Tomahawk cruise missile was fired from a submarine positioned in the waters off the coast of Yemen...

"Among those found at the scene were BLU 97 A/B cluster bomblets, which explode into some 200 sharp steel fragments that can spray more than 400 feet away. In essence, they are flying land mines capable of shredding human beings into small pieces. The bomblets were equipped with an incendiary material, burning zirconium, to set fire to flammable objects in the target area. The missile used in the attack, a BGM-109D Tomahawk, can carry more than 160 cluster bombs."
Notwithstanding such incidents, you'll continue to hear how it's radical Muslims and their beheadings that epitomize brutality. Not even close. Not even close.

And by the way:

"The investigation determined that the strike had killed forty-one members of two families, including seventeen women and twenty-one children. Some of the dead were sleeping when the missiles hit. Rimi was not among the dead, and survivors said they had no connection to Al Qaeda."
Not even close.

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