Israel and Cluster Bombs
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On August 1, 2010, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, adopted in Dublin, Ireland in May 2008, took effect worldwide. 108 countries have signed it, 38 of them have already ratified it. Among these societies, are former users, producers and victims of cluster munitions. Two countries are notorious for their absence in this honorable list: the USA and Israel.
Cluster bombs are air-dropped or artillery launched explosive weapons that eject smaller sub-munitions: a cluster of bomblets; they are designed to kill personnel and destroy vehicles. Their most serious problem is unexploded ordnance (UXO) of cluster bomblets; these can go up to roughly 25% of their total number.
Israel used extensively cluster bombs artillery with US made M77 sub-munitions during the 1978 invasion of Lebanon, the 1982-2000 First Lebanese War and in the 2006 Second Lebanese War. The subsequent atrocities have been broadcast worldwide.
The illustration at the top of this page shows an M77 bomblet. The hollow cone at its heart is very important. It directs the explosion energy forward, thatís what gives the bomblet the capability to destroy light vehicles. The other important part is almost hidden because itís folded. At the top of the device is a ribbon loop. Once deployed from the mother bomb, the ribbon opens and begins rotating, creating a miniature parachute. This is aimed to stabilize the bomblet and to cause it to hit ground (or target) vertically. Only in such a way, the detonator is activated. (see The Cross of Bethlehem for the source of the details)
Unluckily, this simple ribbon can get tangled in a variety of ways, thatís why there is so much UXO related to this bomb. This fault is systematic and shows that the designers of this diabolical device just donít care about UXO and innocent victims. They chose the cheapest solution to the problem. Killing kids in a cheap way is acceptable for the IDF. I donít know why the US is producing them. I only know it is constantly providing cluster bombs to Israel and the last is no shy of killing children with them.
President Obama: can you explain why your administration is producing and selling cluster bombs? Did American voters ever openly accept this policy? Can your administration openly sponsor the systematic assassination of innocents when nothing in the American legal system seems to be supportive of such practices?
American voters: if you keep silent, then you agree with this policy and share responsibility for its results. Thatís how you want to be remembered in history?
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