Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Clusterfuck

You may have heard about that draft for an international treaty about banning the use of cluster bombs, the one which 111 nations have approved. Cluster bombs are extremely nasty creatures. The unexploded bits are later often found by playing children.

You may have also seen the list of those countries which still love them dearly:

... the United States has been joined in its outright opposition to the ban, and in its boycott of the Dublin conference, by a group of military powers that includes China, Russia, Israel, India, Pakistan and Brazil.

Now it could be that it's in the interest of the United States to hug these weapons to her/his/its chest, because all that prevents the certain deaths of mother, apple pie and good C&W music might be those demonic weapons. It could be. If you choose to forget that the U.S. spends more on weaponry than the next four highest spenders together. Or if you choose to forget the idea of the United States as the home of democracy, the leader of the free world, a mature country.

The militaristic, crabby and fearful attitude reflected in this latest saga about the United States in the Bush era is not what the rest of this world's people would look up to and admire. It's hard to pretend to lead others when at the same time you are hoarding cluster bombs behind your back so that you are ready to kill them.

I'm not naive enough to assume that just being noble and enlightened would somehow make a military force unnecessary. But the U.S. already has a gigantic military force, with nuclear bombs which can kill all of us many times over. To then try to hold on to something as nasty as cluster bombs comes across mean-spirited, selfish and stupid.