Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Cluster Bomb as a Defensive Weapon?

I got an e-mail from Jeff this morning titled, Cluster Bombs used in self-defense, and I imagined it was a bit of satire. But no, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman actually did claim that the IDF used cluster bombs during last summer's botched invasion of Lebanon, but in self defense.

"Our understanding is that the use of these weapons was done within the framework of self-defense in dealing with rockets designed to kill Israeli citizens."
The cluster bomb is one of those weapons that should have never been devised. It is a hollow shell dropped from a plane and filled with numerous bomblets that spread out on the ground waiting for children to find them and pick them up. To aid in this, many newer cluster bomblets are made of bright, shiny plastic.

During Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, it was pointed out that the yellow bomblets looked a lot like the packages of food that were also distributed from the air. Handicap International says that 98% of the victims of cluster bombs are civilians.

This image was originally posted at The Tribal Messenger

Developed by Nazi scientists during the Second World War, the only way this could be seen as a defensive weapon would be if a country dropped them on itself and I don't believe this was the case in the latest Israeli assault on Lebanon. This is the same kind of nebulous logic that claims deer hunters need assault rifles and rocket launchers.

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