Letter to the editor: Ban cluster bombs

August 28, 2014

bombOPINION By ALLAN COOPER

President Obama was quoted recently saying that the murder of reporter James Foley by Islamic State militants was an act of terrorism. Obama’s saber-rattling speech was obviously provoked by the manner in which Foley was executed…vis-a-vis decapitation…which has been described by the popular press as “barbaric.”

And yet the U.S. is systematically killing innocent civilians every day in a far more barbaric manner.

For years, the U.S. has scattered unexploded, fist-sized “bomblets” (a.k.a., cluster bombs) over large areas of Afghanistan, Viet Nam, Laos, Iraq and Yemen. These bombs kill and maim in particularly excruciating ways. The majority of the victims of these unexploded bombs are children who accidentally detonate them. Cluster bombs cut babies in half, pepper their bodies with shrapnel, blacken the skin, smash heads and tear limbs.

The U.S. press won’t comment on this, far less film it, because it is considered too terrifying to witness. In conclusion, 63 U.S. financial institutions currently finance cluster munition production for producers such as Lockheed Martin, Textron and Raytheon. Eighty-three countries have ratified a ban on their use. The United States is not among them.

Allan Cooper is a retired Cal Poly professor.


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44 Comments

  1. NorthCountyGuy says:

    Can you think of a few historical examples where pacifism in the face of indoctrinated violence has solved the same issues? Here’s the rub. Life sucks. There is always someone or some group out there who wishes to either take over the world or take from others to derive political power. You can either roll over, or find a solution they understand. Radical Muslims don’t understand diplomacy, instead they see it as weak. They will pretend to discuss things, but all it does is buy time and maybe some concessions from their weak-minded counterparts who don’t understand how they think.

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. SnakePliskin says:

    Bob, needless to say and as you well know, it doesn’t really matter that Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan and virtually ALL US wars and invasions are based on lies and profit. All that matters to those on the right and an increasing number of Democrats is that the US is involved, therefore the US must be right and it must have the total support of the low informed and bloodthirsty.

    Millions of men, women and CHILDREN slaughtered for nothing more than making a few billionaires even more rich… Thousands of US military killed needlessly and in vain for corporate enrichment. The only bright side is that the US Empire is in decline… unfortunately empires in decline are dangerous places to live…

    “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” – George Orwell

    On War, by U.S General Smedley Butler (1933)

    “I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

    I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

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    • ToHellinaHandBasket says:

      Snake.

      Post your DD214 here for us to see your claims.

      Otherwise, you’re a phony. And a you have beef with the Marine Corps. First in, last out.

      Once a Marine, Always a Marine. Unless you wore your mothers underwear during your “supposed” service.

      Your whole retort stinks of lies……..

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      • bobfromsanluis says:

        “Your whole retort stinks of lies …….” Um, no, google “Smedly Butler” and you will see that this is an accurate quote of a man who served our country with valor, was decorated and promoted several times, and was in a unique position to speak out against “the racket of war” as he did.

        I don’t see anywhere in this comment by Snake where he is claiming to have military service experience, and no where, at any time have I ever asserted or claimed that I have any military experience; that doesn’t mean that I cannot understand the futility of war.

        We have had “war” as an event, an experience, as a means of exercising domination over others since man first learned to walk upright; what did change in a small degree was that once we had language and writing, once a war is “done”, there is a written agreement about the spoils of war. It all comes down to diplomacy and negotiations; without agreements to either abide by or violate, “war” becomes an unending concept. And, it is my opinion that “war” is the ultimate failure of diplomacy; if negotiations are allowed to come to a final agreement, war is usually avoided. “War” happens when there is no agreement.

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      • kettle says:

        ToHellinaHandBasket No you have no right to demand anything of a citizen, but feel free to post with your real name and you DD214.

        Both quotes are accurate and a matter of history.

        Your whole retort stinks of a lack of American history.

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • Moderator says:

        ToHellinaHandBasket You are making a personal attack because he quoted “Smedley Butler”?

        No not ok, welcome to the moderation que. Further personal attacks will cause account suspension.

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