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#929956 --- 12/03/08 03:35 PM US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban.
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Registered: 01/09/06
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92 nations sign cluster-bomb ban; US, Russia don't
By DOUG MELLGREN
Associated Press Writer

OSLO, Norway An Afghan teenager who lost both legs in a cluster bomb explosion helped persuade his country to change its stance and join nearly 100 nations in signing a treaty Wednesday banning the disputed weapons.

Afghanistan was initially reluctant to join the pact which the United States and Russia have refused to support but agreed to after lobbying by victims maimed by cluster munitions, including 17-year-old Soraj Ghulan Habib. The teen, who uses a wheelchair, met with his country's ambassador to Norway, Jawed Ludin, at a two-day signing conference in Oslo.

"I explained to the ambassador my situation, and that the people of Afghanistan wanted a ban," Habib, who said he was crippled by a cluster bomb seven years ago, told The Associated Press.

Speaking through an interpreter, Habib said the ambassador called Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who agreed to change his stance on the treaty.

"Today is a historic day," Habib declared.

Afghanistan's reversal even surprised the activists who are urging countries to join the pact against cluster munitions, which have been widely criticized for maiming and killing civilians.

"It is just so huge, to get this turnaround. Afghanistan was under a lot of pressure from the United States," said Thomas Nash, coordinator of The Cluster Bomb Coalition. "If Afghanistan can withstand the pressure, so can others."

Australian activist Daniel Barty said the Afghan ambassador appeared to start changing his mind after meeting Habib at a reception Tuesday.

The U.S., Russia and other countries refusing to sign the treaty say cluster bombs have legitimate military uses, such as repelling advancing troop columns.

Cluster bomblets are packed by the hundreds into artillery shells, bombs or missiles, which scatter them over vast areas. Some fail to explode immediately. The unexploded bomblets can then lie dormant for years until they are disturbed, often by children attracted by their small size and bright colors.

The group Handicap International says 98 percent of cluster-bomb victims are civilians, and 27 percent are children.

Organizers hoped that more than 100 of the 125 countries represented will have signed by the end of the conference on Thursday. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said 92 countries did so on Wednesday.

The treaty must be ratified by 30 countries before it takes effect.

His country, which began the drive to ban cluster bombs 18 months ago, was the first to sign, followed by Laos and Lebanon, both hard-hit by the weapons.

Britain, formerly a major stockpiler of cluster munitions, also signed the treaty, which Foreign Secretary David Miliband said showed that a NATO country can defend itself without cluster weapons.

Miliband said he would urge President-elect Barack Obama's administration to reconsider the U.S. stance.

The Bush administration says a comprehensive ban would hurt world security.

"Although we share the humanitarian concerns of states signing the (accord), we will not be joining them," the U.S. State Department said in a statement. "Such a general ban on cluster munitions will put the lives of our military men and women, and those of our coalition partners, at risk."

In Jerusalem, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said his government had decided not to join the treaty, and instead believes the issue of cluster bomb use should be addressed through the U.N. Convention on Conventional Weapons.

The anti-cluster bomb campaign gathered momentum after Israel's monthlong war against Hezbollah in 2006, when it scattered up to 4 million bomblets across Lebanon, according to U.N. figures.

"In southern Lebanon, for more than two years, children and the elderly have been victimized (by cluster munitions)," Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Saloukh said.

Activists hoped the treaty would pressure non-signers into shelving the weapons, as many did with land mines after a 1997 treaty banning them.

"The cluster bomb treaty will save countless lives by stigmatizing a weapon that kills civilians even after the fighting ends," said Steve Goose, arms director of Human Rights Watch.

____

Associated Press writer Shawna Ohm in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

___

On the Net:

http://www.stopclustermunitions.org

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#930131 --- 12/03/08 06:44 PM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: ]
SkySoldier Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 08/18/01
Posts: 25300
Loc: Finger Lakes National Forest, ...
They do too much damage to troop concentrations for either the US or Russia to ban them.

When yer top dog on the block there will always be threats trying to take you out.

The military will always get pretty much everything they deem crucial. especially weapons as lethal as cluster bombs.

And it is land mines that are really all that stands between North and South Korea.

That and 35 thousand US troops.

The North has had massive concentrations of artillery and almost a million troops massed on that border for the past 50 years.

We, the USA have not signed the world wide ban yet either. Most all other countries in the world have.



Hard to be a cop sometimes.
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America has problems.

We can fix that.

America is not THE problem.

Next time. Vote for the AMERICAN.


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#930705 --- 12/04/08 09:16 AM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: SkySoldier]
LaughinWillow Offline
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Registered: 04/12/01
Posts: 1950
Loc: State of Emergency
98 percent of cluster-bomb victims are civilians

Yes, really hard to be a cop.

Gotta get that TWO PERCENT of non-civilians that these bombs kill. How honorable.

And China and Russia - what fine company to share on this humanitarian issue. You know things are bad when Afghanistan has better ethics than you.
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#930765 --- 12/04/08 10:25 AM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: LaughinWillow]
Retired Soldier Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
I think the US would feel very differently about the issue if we had foreign troops occupying our country and dropping these things where we live and work. It's pretty easy to dismiss the issue when we know that they'd never be used here.

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#930805 --- 12/04/08 11:24 AM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: Retired Soldier]
LaughinWillow Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/12/01
Posts: 1950
Loc: State of Emergency
Well, I also think that if you told the US public the truth about these bombs - that 98% of their victims are innocent civilians - and showed them the results of their use, most people are decent enough human beings to agree they should be banned. Same with landmines. I don't believe that our "government" represents the actual will of the people the vast majority of the time. It's a joke, really, to even behave as if we have any kind of democracy in this country - we just have a bunch of elite warmongering freaks ruling us and making us look like a bunch of savages to the rest of the planet.
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#930818 --- 12/04/08 11:33 AM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: LaughinWillow]
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Registered: 01/09/06
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"Cluster bomblets are packed by the hundreds into artillery shells, bombs or missiles, which scatter them over vast areas. Some fail to explode immediately. The unexploded bomblets can then lie dormant for years until they are disturbed, often by children attracted by their small size and bright colors."

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#930819 --- 12/04/08 11:35 AM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: ]
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Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 17154
It's ironic that we, as a nation, feel we are the only nation that should be allowed to have "Weapons of Mass Destruction".

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#931471 --- 12/05/08 09:24 AM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: ]
threeputt Offline
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Registered: 12/08/01
Posts: 2800
Loc: Waterloo
Show of hands. How many of you out there think we live in a civilized society?

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#931477 --- 12/05/08 09:36 AM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: threeputt]
SkySoldier Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 08/18/01
Posts: 25300
Loc: Finger Lakes National Forest, ...
Willow.

Yer posting your desires not facts.

It is true not all cluster boblents explode when they should. And if found they could explode in a civilians' hands.

spare us the rhetoric of 98% civilian deaths.


The Iraqi army during desert storm called the cluster bombs "steel rain"ecause of their devastating effect on their troop concertrations including artillary.

Even one percent civilian loss is too much.

I would personally like to see all war elminated, along with all bombs and mines.

That is not gonna happen.

So why outright lie about the percentage of civilians to military deaths due to the use of cluster bombs.

We all know that these bombs were NOT used in the heart of any cities.


So unlesss people are lining up, waiting patiently their turn to pick up and play with found ordinance in the desert, your exagerations look to be what they are ... deceptive.
_________________________
America has problems.

We can fix that.

America is not THE problem.

Next time. Vote for the AMERICAN.


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#931516 --- 12/05/08 11:19 AM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: SkySoldier]
LaughinWillow Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/12/01
Posts: 1950
Loc: State of Emergency
Uh, my "exaggeration" came from the ORIGINAL ARTICLE, genius. Did you even read it?

The group Handicap International says 98 percent of cluster-bomb victims are civilians, and 27 percent are children.
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War with civilization begins...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGxBizeiL3s

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#931521 --- 12/05/08 11:28 AM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: LaughinWillow]
LaughinWillow Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/12/01
Posts: 1950
Loc: State of Emergency
Don't like the original post? Try some more.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3463.htm

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2006-11-03-report-cluster-bombs-kill-mainly-civilians

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/front/Cluste...340912000&ty=st

http://www.fcnl.org/press/releases/cluster_speakers091708.html

Oh, and if you're wondering who Handicap International is, here's a link to their website, where you can read a mountain of information on this subject:
http://www.handicap-international.org.uk/

And by the way, they won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize - just thought people might like to know - they just might be a more reliable source of information on the subject than "SkySoldier" on the Fingerlakes message board.
_________________________
War with civilization begins...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGxBizeiL3s

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#931687 --- 12/05/08 03:48 PM Re: US and Russia refuse to sign cluster bomb ban. [Re: Retired Soldier]
HarleyBobT Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/22/08
Posts: 5106
Loc: Walloon Freedom Fighter
Originally Posted By: Retired Soldier
I think the US would feel very differently about the issue if we had foreign troops occupying our country and dropping these things where we live and work. It's pretty easy to dismiss the issue when we know that they'd never be used here.

Think about what you just said? That's one reason why we don't have foreign troops occupying the US.
Don't dismiss the use of them here either.
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