Friday, October 27, 2006

Kill People, Break Things

cluster bombsA couple of my colleagues and I got into a slightly heated discussion about Israel's use of cluster bombs in Lebanon this summer. Granted, the Israelis used these things two days before a cease fire.

And God help us, they don't always go off, and that means that people who live there or are trying to rebuild southern Lebanon hit them and die when they do. The things that we have to ask outselves is why do we make - and supply - them to Israel and other nations. And come to find out, Hezbollah also used them, according to Human Rights Watch.

See we're not the only ones who make these things. The Chinese also make them, and because China needs hard currency, and Iran - which backs Hezbollah - has plenty of that and is willing to spend it to supply its "brothers" then Hezbollah gets its hands on cluster bombs.

But I don't hear anyone with their knickers in a twist about Hezbollah firing these instruments of death at Israel.

And don't think this is just "the big. bad U.S. supply instruments of death to their subordinates in Israel." Not so dear reader. Here's a partial list of the countries that possess - and use - these weapons.

Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Italy, India, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Romania, Switzerland, Spain, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Syria, Sudan,Thailand, United Arab Emriates,United States, United Kingdom.

And war is "kill people and blow up things." The thing that makes me upset is that these type of weapons have a place in our world. It's a much more brass-knuckled place than I would like, but it is what it is.

What really upset me is that one of my colleagues was stupid enough to say that these munitions are painted yellow or flourescent green so they would attract children. Please, don't flog me with your stupidity. These munitions are to be used against military targets. But this woman is Lebanese-American and just got back from Northern Iraq. So maybe she has an ax to grind.

These are horrendous weapons. And Israel dropped a shitload of them on Lebanon. But let's be real. If there weren't people in the world who wanted to do us harm, we wouldn't need these perfectly crafted killing machines. That doesn't mean dropping them on civilian areas is right.

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