Monday, May 19, 2008
Cluster bombs and Nu Labour's 'ethical' foreign policy
The IHT reports:
Ireland convened diplomats from more than 100 countries Monday in hopes of negotiating a treaty banning cluster bombs, which have littered battlefields worldwide with potentially deadly "duds."
Each bomb, rocket or shell scatters "bomblets" that carpet enemy troops or armored vehicles. But some fail to detonate, creating unmapped minefields that kill or maim civilians - including children who can mistake the objects for toys - months or years later....
Most countries want a full ban. Pope Benedict XVI backed that call Sunday.
So did nine British generals in a letter published Monday in The Times newspaper of London. The signatories included former field commanders in Yugoslavia and Iraq.
"Cluster munitions were developed to combat a level of Cold War confrontation that never happened," the generals wrote. "However, in modern wars, conducted among the people, they have consistently caused civilian casualties both during and after attacks."
Britain is not among the 100 countries who want a ban on cluster bombs. Yes, that's right: the Nu Labour government which repeatedly promised us an 'ethical foreign policy' is quite happy to see these dreadful weapons remain legal.
Among other countries who oppose a ban are the U.S., Russia and China.
It's not often you see Britain, the US, Russia and China on the same side these days. What a dreadful issue on which to find common ground.