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Special Democracy Now! Report from Southern Lebanon: Lasting Dangers of Cluster Bombs

by Shime on Ben Kosiba Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006 at 3:21 PM

Israel dropped thousands of cluster bombs on at least 170 villages in southern Lebanon during its month-long war against Hezbollah. The bomblets that failed to explode are now a deadly trap for civilians. At least eight people have been killed and 25 wounded from the unexploded ordinances. Democracy Now!'s Ana Nogueira files a report from southern Lebanon. [includes rush transcript] Since a UN-brokered ceasefire came into effect nine days ago, tens of thousands of displaced Lebanese civilians have returned to their homes in southern Lebanon. While Israel's bombing of the south may have ended, it left a deadly legacy in its wake: unexploded cluster bombs. Israel dropped thousands of cluster bombs on at least one hundred and seventy villages in south Lebanon during its month-long war against Hezbollah. The bomblets that failed to explode are now a deadly trap for civilians.

Special Democracy Now! Report from Southern Lebanon: Ana Nogueira Investigates the Lasting Dangers of Unexploded Israeli Cluster Bombs


Israel dropped thousands of cluster bombs on at least 170 villages in southern Lebanon during its month-long war against Hezbollah. The bomblets that failed to explode are now a deadly trap for civilians. At least eight people have been killed and 25 wounded from the unexploded ordinances. Democracy Now!'s Ana Nogueira files a report from southern Lebanon. [includes rush transcript] Since a UN-brokered ceasefire came into effect nine days ago, tens of thousands of displaced Lebanese civilians have returned to their homes in southern Lebanon. While Israel's bombing of the south may have ended, it left a deadly legacy in its wake: unexploded cluster bombs. Israel dropped thousands of cluster bombs on at least one hundred and seventy villages in south Lebanon during its month-long war against Hezbollah. The bomblets that failed to explode are now a deadly trap for civilians.

Democracy Now's Ana Noguiera is in southern Lebanon. She filed this report:

* Ana Nogueira reports from southern Lebanon

Ana reported after she filed this story that the number of casualties from unexploded ordinances has risen to eight people killed and at least 25 wounded.

For more on this story we speak with longtime peace activist Caoimhe Butterly. She is in southern Lebanon where she is helping with rebuilding efforts and working to raise awareness about leftover cluster bombs.

* Caoimhe Butterly, longtime Irish peace activist. In the past two years she has spent time in Iraq, as well as in Southern Lebanon, much of that time with Palestinians displaced to Lebanon. She is currently working with a group of more than 400 activists and aid workers in Beirut to empower uprooted Lebanese citizens to rebuild the south of the country and parts of Beirut following the month-long Israeli assault.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
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AMY GOODMAN: Democracy Now!'s Ana Nogueira went to South Lebanon. She filed this report.

ANA NOGUEIRA: When Bilal Beydoun returned to his village of Bint Jbeil one week after the ceasefire, he discovered the war not over.

BILAL BEYDOUN: I found an unexploded bomb on my front porch and an unexploded missile on my back porch. And I don't know where I’m going to sleep tonight. I mean, I can't even go in my backyard, because the grass is high, and you just can't go back there. You don't know where you're going to step. Your next step might be your last step.

ANA NOGUEIRA: The United Nations interim force in Lebanon estimates that Israel dropped approximately 150,000 bombs during the 34-day military offensive. Many of these remain unexploded, even as villagers return home to start clearing away the rubble. The large unexploded missiles, while extremely threatening, are easier to find. It is the estimated 15,000 cluster bomb munitions, each carrying anywhere from 80 to 600 small bomblets, that pose the most immediate threat. Mark Garlasco is the senior military analyst for Human Rights Watch.

MARK GARLASCO: The use of submunitions here in Lebanon really is at a crisis point. We're seeing the contamination levels far higher than many areas during the Iraq war. Interestingly, though, we've also seen the exact same cluster bombs used here that were used in Iraq. And these same weapons were the main killers of civilians during the war in Iraq in 2003. We've seen dud rates from the American submunitions, which are not manufactured particularly well, on paper 14%, but in the field 30% to 40%. So the American stuff is much, much worse than the Israeli-manufactured, and primarily the Israelis have been using American weapons.

ANA NOGUEIRA: 21 people have been injured and four killed from these unexploded ordinances in the weeks since the ceasefire took effect. In Nabatiya, an 11-year-old boy was killed after stepping on an unexploded bomb in front of his house. His father, running out to help him, stepped on another and died 72 hours later. Not even the hospital grounds, where many of these patients are being taken, are safe. Doctor Fouad Faha shows us around the hospital in Bint Jbeil, where we counted six visible unexploded devices, including a 500-pound missile in the backyard.

DR. FOUAD FAHA: The day before yesterday, we had three kids who were playing with one of these bombs, and it exploded among them, and all of them got injured. One of them has all his intestines out. The other two girls were badly injured in their chest. We transferred them to Saida, because we didn’t finish -- the operation room wasn't really ready, because of what happens over here.

ANA NOGUEIRA: Human Rights Watch says Israel could face legal action for their use of these types of munitions in civilian areas. Although the weapons are not themselves banned, the Geneva Conventions prohibits their use in civilian areas. This is Nadim Houry, head researcher of Human Rights Watch in Lebanon.

NADIM HOURY: I mean, there are very serious legal ramifications. By using these cluster munitions in areas where there are civilians, Israel not only endangered people at the time of the attack, but they created minefields that villagers are coming back to today. And we have counted over 30 villages so far, where people are coming back to their homes to find unexploded ordinances in their living room, in their patios, on their rooftops, and in their cars. This is truly very dangerous, and it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions to do so.

ANA NOGUEIRA: Andrew Gleeson of the Mine Action Group has been working to de-mine the region. He estimates it will take one year to 18 months for complete clearance of populated areas. But that does not include farms and fields, which are also littered with these bombs.

ANDREW GLEESON: At the moment, we’re prioritizing people, houses and roads, and later we will target fields of agriculture that require clearance as well. The agricultural land is a concern for two reasons: one, people might go into the agricultural land without knowing there’s munitions there; and the second is, people may take the risk. We heard some tobacco fields are contaminated. It's harvesting time for tobacco fields, and that means people might go in and recover that tobacco and take the risk, because it's part of their economy.

ANA NOGUEIRA: In every town, anxious citizens toured us around their homes, where so many of these bombs lied scattered amongst the ruins. They mark them off with stones and red spray paint in the hopes of avoiding more injuries.

LEBANESE VILLAGER: You can’t walk in this area. You can see all the bombs around you. You might step on one of these. You can see it. Boom! Kill you.

ANA NOGUEIRA: For Democracy Now!, this is Ana Nogueira with Jackson Allers in Lebanon.

AMY GOODMAN: Ana reported, after she filed the story, that the number of casualties from unexploded ordinances has risen to eight people killed and at least 25 wounded. For more on the story, we're joined by longtime peace activist Caoimhe Butterly. She's in southern Lebanon, where she's helping with rebuilding efforts and working to raise awareness about the leftover cluster bombs. We welcome you to Democracy Now!, Caoimhe Butterly.

CAOIMHE BUTTERLY: Good morning, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: It's good to have you with us. Can you tell us about the situation there and exactly what you're doing?

CAOIMHE BUTTERLY: We’re presently based in a village called Aita al-Shaab, which is near to Bint Jbeil, which was sort of scene of some of the heaviest fighting during the invasion. I’m working with a sort of grassroots activist and volunteer network called Samidoun, which is based out of Beirut and comprises over 400 mainly volunteers, although we have sort of teams of doctors and engineers, etc., working with us.

And our main function at the moment in Aita al-Shaab is the distribution of aid and just trying to see that it's distributed sort of equally and fairly in surrounding villages, as well as doing workshops and sort of role-playing activities with children and with different both Lebanese and international groups who are trying to de-mine the area, in terms of raising awareness about the situation in terms of cluster bombs and just trying to teach children how to identify the different unexploded ordinances and to stay away from them and how to mark them, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: Caoimhe, we also have reports that an Israeli soldier was killed and three others wounded in southern Lebanon, when their tank drove over a landmine believed to have been placed there by the Israeli military before they pulled out in 2000.

CAOIMHE BUTTERLY: I mean, the situation in the south of Lebanon is, you know, that this policy of using ordinances, which are designed for maximum impact and maximum civilian deaths, that this is continuing, that when the Israelis left in 2000, that obviously there were thousands of landmines planted, and that this has made life impossibly difficult, but particularly for farmers, and that's something that a lot of families are saying, you know, that they've already lost the tobacco harvest this year, because they were under siege and unable to harvest their crops, but also, now fields are completely unsafe for them to enter into.

But a lot of these villages are compromised of subsistence farming families, you know, so this is again how people will probably be either wounded or killed, you know, of course, economically to harvest their crop and basically brave the dangers of the countryside, just littered with cluster bombs. The school that we're working out of, actually, with aid distribution, has a cluster bomb in one corner of it and three others on the roof. The roof is the only spot where you can get phone reception, you know, in the entire sort of village, so it’s -- that's one example. But there are, as mentioned in Ana’s report, cluster bombs in people's kitchens, living rooms, backyards, schools, etc., all over the place.

AMY GOODMAN: Caoimhe Butterly, you're particularly known for working with children, longtime peace activist, Irish peace activist. You spent five years working with refugees in Jenin. You were shot there by Israeli soldiers when you were trying to lead a group of Palestinian children to safety. Can you specifically talk about children right now and these unexploded ordinances, these unexploded bombs?

CAOIMHE BUTTERLY: I think what we've seen in a lot of the villages that we've been touring is, I mean, that there is -- it's hard to express really, I think, people's sentiments at the moment, but there is, Amy -- there’s this feeling of great pride. And I wouldn't call it a victory, but at least, you know, people having resisted, on all levels, I think, militarily and socially and politically, and sort of displaced people, you know, sort of braving the discomforts of being displaced, but that the fact that Lebanon was not reoccupied. But there is also a very crushed, traumatized sort of infrastructure and people. And we're seeing that more and more in children. I think like ten-and-up-year-olds are, you know, quite defiant and brave, and they sort of talk about having resisted the occupation or the invasion and occupation, but smaller children are just obviously traumatized.

There were three children wounded in Aita al-Shaab, which is the village where we're based, a few days ago. One of them was seriously wounded and is still in intensive care in Sour in Tyre. But it's something that the children are very aware of, you know, and I think the sort of vulnerability that has impacted on their life, you know, having seen their family members killed and their homes destroyed, etc., is further enhanced by their mothers telling them -- and their mothers are terrified, the mothers we speak to -- but really that no place is safe to play. And they know that, that every time they go out, that there is no safety.

The last few nights that we’ve spent in the village, there have been tanks moving up and down the borders. There's been drones and helicopters. And people are seeing this as deliberate psychological intimidation, as a way of really reminding them that they're being watched, that they're still not safe. And people are terrified. Samidoun, the group I’m working with, was also working with displaced people in Beirut, and some of the nights that we were there, whenever there was an explosion or a sonic boom sort of above the camp, there would be sort of screaming and fainting, and, you know, there’s this deep, deep trauma and a deep sense of vulnerability. But again, I mean, people have to get on with their lives, but the situation is pretty intolerable. There's no running water, no electricity, very basic sort of food stuff, in terms of aid getting in, you know, and the threat really of the Israelis either coming back in or gratuitously sort of targeting Aita al-Shaab or the villages on the border again.

AMY GOODMAN: Caoimhe Butterly, I want to thank you for joining us from southern Lebanon. Caoimhe Butterfly, longtime peace activist, has spent time in Iraq, a long time in West Bank, and now spending time in southern Lebanon working with children and refugees who have returned back to their homes.

To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for our new online ordering or call 1 (888) 999-3877.
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Landmines and Unexploded Ordinances: Israel's Legacy of Terror

by Brad Sellars Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006 at 3:25 PM

Landmines and Unexploded Ordinances: Israel's Legacy in Southern Lebanon


Steve Goose, executive director of Human Right Watch's Arms Division discusses the leftover landmines in southern Lebanon from Israel's 18 year-occupation, new landmine legislation in Washington, the threat to civilians of unexploded cluster bombs and where it all fits into the framework of international law. [includes rush transcript] The recent list of casualties from unexploded Israeli ordinances also includes...Israeli troops. One Israeli soldier was killed and three others wounded in southern Lebanon on Wednesday when their tank drove over a land mine. Lebanese officials told the Associated Press that the soldiers had entered a minefield - one of the many leftover by the Israeli military after their troops withdrew south Lebanon in 2000, ending 18 years of occupation. Israel is required to provide maps for the minefields in Lebanon under the UN ceasefire resolution that ended the latest fighting.

* Steve Goose, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Arms Division and a leading expert on land mines and cluster munitions.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
Donate - $25, $50, $100, more...

AMY GOODMAN: Steve Goose joins us on the phone right now from Washington, D.C., executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Arms Division, a leading expert on landmines and cluster munitions. We welcome you to Democracy Now!

STEVE GOOSE: Good morning.

AMY GOODMAN: As you've listened to the reports from southern Lebanon, can you comment on landmines and cluster bombs there?

STEVE GOOSE: You've given a very strong and compelling report this morning on the problem of cluster munitions and other unexploded ordinance in Lebanon. The situation that we're seeing there is compelling testimony for why governments all around the world should no longer be using cluster munitions. Cluster munitions, along with landmines, are the weapons system -- the conventional weapons system that poses the greatest dangers to civilian populations. And it's time that governments just face up to the fact that these weapons shouldn't be used.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask about a bill introduced in the Senate this month that would block the Pentagon from beginning production of the first new landmines in nearly a decade. The bill was introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter and would bar production of landmines and other weapons that are so-called victim-activated. Can you talk about the significance of the legislation and what that means?

STEVE GOOSE: The legislation has sort of multiple purposes. One it’s just to move the U.S. closer to the community of nations that have already banned anti-personnel landmines. There's a 1997 treaty, the Mine Ban Treaty, that comprehensively prohibits the use, production, trade and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines. And there are now 151 countries that are party to that. The U.S. is one of the few that's not. It's the only NATO country, for example, that is not. And this is designed to try and move the U.S. closer to the rest of the world in rejecting completely this weapon.

But more particularly it's aimed at stopping a Pentagon plan to produce a new weapons system called the Spider, that while usually it is used in what's called command-detonated mode, where a soldier decides when to set the munition off, has a special feature that has been added, which would turn it into a standard anti-personnel mine, the kind of thing that’s already banned by so many other countries. And indeed this would then constitute the first time since 1997 that the U.S. would produce a weapon that qualifies as an anti-personnel mine.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain the difference -- landmines, cluster bombs -- what the international legislation is on this, where the U.S. stands on this?

STEVE GOOSE: Cluster bombs, cluster munitions and landmines have a lot of similarities. As I’ve mentioned before, the main one is the long-term threat that they both pose to civilians. The difference is that cluster bombs are designed to explode on impact. That's what they're supposed to do. They're problematic, even during attack, and let me come back to that point in a minute. But they're designed to explode on impact. When they don't, they leave behind large numbers of what are simply called hazardous duds. Dud sounds benign. It's not. They’re still live, and if you touch them or kick them or pick them up to play with, they're going to explode. They, in essence, become de facto landmines. That is what the vast majority of your report from southern Lebanon was all about. These duds that are left behind that act just like landmines, posing an indiscriminate danger to civilians.

There is no international legislation that deals specifically with the problem of cluster munitions. There are the general rules against using weapons against civilians that apply to cluster munitions. There's a protocol to something called the Convention on Conventional Weapons that deals somewhat with the cleanup side of the problem of cluster munitions, but there's nothing specific on the weapon. We've been pushing governments who are part of this Convention on Conventional Weapons to take up the issue directly and agree to a new protocol that would regulate or hopefully prohibit inaccurate and unreliable cluster munitions. This contrasts with the landmine situation, where we have had a treaty that entered into force in 1999 that the vast majority of the world has already signed onto, that comprehensively prohibits the weapon.

AMY GOODMAN: And where does the U.S. stand on that?

STEVE GOOSE: The U.S., with the Clinton administration, under strong pressure from the Pentagon, refused to sign that treaty in 1997 and has not joined it since. The Clinton administration established an objective of joining this year, of joining in 2006, and instructed the Pentagon to search for alternatives to the weapon.

The Bush administration undertook a review of that landmine policy and, very regrettably, decided not to join and in fact became the first nation to declare that it would never join. Even countries like China and Russia, who also haven't signed, have said that they eventually intend to join the treaty. But the U.S. has said that it wants to hold onto some of its high-tech anti-personnel mines indefinitely. So they put themselves really outside of the rest of the world with their approach on this issue.

And this search for alternatives paradoxically is what has led to this Spider system. Spider was supposed to be alternative have to anti-personnel mines, but the Pentagon, in its way, decided to add a feature that in fact turns it back into an anti-personnel mine.

AMY GOODMAN: Steve Goose, the recent list of casualties from unexploded Israeli ordinances also includes Israeli troops. One Israeli soldier was killed and three others wounded in southern Lebanon today, when their tank drove over a landmine. Lebanese officials told the Associated Press the soldiers had entered a minefield, one of the many leftover by the Israeli military after their troops withdrew from South Lebanon in 2000, at that time ending 18 years of occupation. Now, Israel's required to provide maps for the minefields in Lebanon under the UN Ceasefire Resolution that ended the latest fighting. Can you talk about the issue of landmines in Lebanon going back to 1982?

STEVE GOOSE: It goes back even farther than that. Landmines were used there in the conflict in the 1970s, as well. And it's not just Israel. All the parties who were fighting in the 1970s and ’80s in Lebanon laid landmines. And Israel did lay the majority of them and apparently continued to use them up until the withdrawal in 2000. It's a huge problem in Lebanon. I mean, their estimates are that some 400,000 to half a million landmines were laid. And there has been a fairly vigorous effort since 2000 to get those mines out of the ground. And they now think that there are still some 2,500 minefields.

That problem has now been exacerbated greatly by this recent conflict, not so much by landmines that have been laid. In fact, we don't know of any confirmed examples of Israel using mines in the most recent fighting, and there have only been a few spotty reports of Hezbollah laying landmines. But the overall problem of unexploded ordinance and explosive remnants of war has been exacerbated hugely by the cluster munitions, in particular, but also by the other kinds of unexploded ordinance that comes from using rockets and missiles and even grenades and other things, so that the efforts that were made to protect the population from these kind of dangers has now just been set back hugely.

AMY GOODMAN: Steve Goose of Human Rights Watch is our guest. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported the Bush administration was set to approve an Israeli request to speed delivery of missiles armed with cluster munitions. “The M-26 rockets carry hundreds of grenade-like bomblets that explode over a wide area. Israel said it needed them to strike Hezbollah missile launchers.” The U.S. halted the cluster bomb sales to Israel in 1982 -- that was under Reagan -- after use against civilians, but rescinded that ban in 1988. Where is the U.S. getting these munitions from, that they are sending to Israel, and can you comment on this?

STEVE GOOSE: Well, the U.S. produces -- different companies in the U.S. produce a wide variety of cluster munitions and the submunitions that they carry. Indeed, the U.S. has an inventory of nearly one billion submunitions. The numbers are staggering when you start talking about cluster munitions and the submunitions that they carry. We used to be completely overwhelmed by the notion of 200 million landmines out there. But when we start talking about cluster submunitions, we're talking about billions that are already in the stockpiles of more than 70 countries around the world. They haven't been used as extensively as mines, and that's why they're not as hot an issue, but the future dangers are huge.

Israel also produces large numbers of submunitions. They're one of the world's biggest producers, as well. But they wanted this particular system from the U.S. they had ordered a number of years ago, the multiple-launch rocket system, that, as you say, carries a staggering number of cluster munitions. And they wanted that delivery expedited. We came out very strongly against that, because of the predictable dangers that that would pose to civilian populations.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about the companies that make these cluster bombs here in this country? The U.S. is the largest producer of cluster bombs?

STEVE GOOSE: Well, that's probably fair to say, although you never know what the arsenals are in places like Russia and China. So with that caveat, certainly the U.S. is one of the largest producers. And it's sort of the typical people who make these kind of munitions, a company like Textron or Alliant Techsystems. But there are many U.S. companies that are involved in the business.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you have any names of those companies?

STEVE GOOSE: Well, two of the biggest would be Textron and Alliant -- Textron in Massachusetts and Alliant Techsystems in Minnesota.

AMY GOODMAN: Alliant is one of the companies where Minneapolis peace activists have protested for years outside that company as a result of this. The legislation in Washington, how would it affect these companies? And how much support does it have? I mean, you've got a Republican and a Democrat, Leahy and Arlen Specter. Where do you expect it to go from here?

STEVE GOOSE: Well, it was just recently introduced, and they're still in the stage of gathering co-sponsors for the legislation. We think that there will be a very strong support for it. Indeed, when the landmine issue was before Congress during the Clinton administration, a majority of senators were in favor of the Clinton administration signing the Mine Ban Treaty. So there is, I think, a strong sentiment that the U.S. shouldn't be involved in this kind of activity.

Of course, we only have a short time left for Congress to deal with any issue before it finishes up this session. So we're in the process here of building awareness in the Congress. But ultimately, we think that the Pentagon will get the signal that Congress is opposed to this and that the American public is opposed to this, and, indeed, U.S. allies are opposed to this.

One of the points that we've tried to make is that all of the U.S. allies who are part of the Mine Ban Treaty -- as I say, that includes almost all of the E.U. and virtually all of NATO, and many other key U.S. allies are part of this -- and those who are part of the treaty cannot assist in any way with a prohibited act. That's one of the provisions of the Mine Ban Treaty, so that we already have a number of those who are part of the treaty saying that they would have to divest in any U.S. companies that are involved in the production of this Spider anti-personnel mine system. Norway has already made that ruling, for example, with their huge multibillion-dollar petroleum fund that they would have to no longer be involved in investments with companies that are part of this weapon. So it will create problems for the U.S., problems for U.S. companies, U.S. interoperability problems with its NATO allies. It's just a bad idea with no real benefit.

AMY GOODMAN: Steve Goose, I want to thank you very much for being with us. We'll link to Human Rights Watch website and your reports on this issue at democracynow.org. Steve Goose is executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Arms Division, leading expert on landmines and cluster munitions.

To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for our new online ordering or call 1 (888) 999-3877.
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Are cluster munitions a violation of international law?

by just wondering Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 8:42 AM

Are cluster munitions a violation of international law?
Just wondering.
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Challenge for fresca

by ditto Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 8:49 AM

Let him cite to the relevant clause/s in international law and link to them so we can verify for ourselves.
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SchtarkerYid

by ball bearings Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 8:58 AM

Its about the same as the law that applies to Hezbollah firing missiles loaded with ball bearings into Israeli hospitals.
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Timkin

by Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 9:17 AM

yup ball bearings.
Think of all the potential slips and falls these little delayed bastards represent. Now the people of israel will have to watch their step.
Just like cluster bombs but even worse.
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What a sarcastic racist oaf

by sheep jerkoff Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 9:26 AM

These ball bearings pierce people just like bullets fired from high power shotguns do. They shatter bones and internal organs just the same. But jerkoffs who consider 95% of Jews (and how many Israeli Arabs?) assholes are eager to joke about such a dangerous destruction tool. You and J.A. are on the same lowlife level.
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dear sheep jerkoff

by Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 9:41 AM

And to bring up the bit about hitting hospitals.
http://www.workers.org/2006/world/lebanon-0727/
www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0717-04.htm

Good move.
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Can racist tool for theocracy and genocide sheep

by make a good move? Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 9:52 AM

You'd have a tad more credibility as a subscriber to humanism if you cared a whit about the Nahariya and Haifa hospitals that were hit.


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I already said

by Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 9:57 AM

Yes those damned ball bearings. Much worse than unexploded bomblets scattered everywhere. I bet the israelis are still falling down on those damned things.
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You're compulsively

by avoiding it Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 10:14 AM

That is, avoiding the recognition of the humanity of Israelis. If you hadn't erected such a partition between yourself and realistic (i.e. impartial) observance, you'd have to jettison your racist prism. But heck, your bigoted outlook provides you with a few emotional compensations you're not willing to part with for all the gold in this world. That's why you're considered a crypto-Nazi and you futily try to escape this fact by lashing out at any Zionst hurling the Zionazi slur.
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slurs

by Sheepdog Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 10:34 AM

ha ha ha
my crypto dogish slurs Stop it, yer killing me.
Let's see here...

You just want to be able to-use any and all weapons delivered with precision guidance, from a well equipped military against civilians ( who are not israeli ) w/o any retaliation from the victims. Who are the nazis?
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Haughty, nefarious strawman

by from a sheep brain Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 10:52 AM

The truth about yourself and the nuanced picture in the Middle Eastern arena is too much for you to bear so you're ascribing to me something preposterous. Which in turn casts light on just how preposterous your mind's workings are. The jury already came back with the verdict on your benighted soul.

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"(i.e. impartial) observance"

by heard it before Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006 at 7:32 AM

In the 1930s, to be "impartial" was to give equal weight to the pronouncents Nazis and Jews when they condemned each other.
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"to be "impartial" was to give equal weight to the pronouncents Nazis and J

by bunk logic Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006 at 8:28 AM

Did that actualy happen in the 1930's? If it did surely you of everyone can prove it. I'm awaiting the proof.

Nowadays impartial observance is considered by most the concept of giving equal weight to the pronouncements of Israelis that target genocide perpetrator wannabes and those by the murder profs themselves.
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solution

by Timkin Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006 at 12:00 PM

If these BBs are so repulsive why not give them some jets and artillery ( with cluster bombs, of course ) and then maybe you'll stop wanking.
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no no

by Pillsberry Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006 at 12:04 PM

marshmallows are the answer. The Lebanese should only use marshmallows to defend their country. That's the ticket. Yeah.
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Who'll stop wanking?

by re: Timkin Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006 at 1:55 PM

And if all the jets and cannons and superior munitions are obliterated in a manner of hours or a few days, will you refrain from wanking about the disparity?
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plowshare them now

by Sheepdog Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006 at 4:29 PM

And refrain from using any other WMDs.
For your own sake.
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Cluster Bombs go on killing

by Becky Johnson Monday, Aug. 28, 2006 at 10:06 AM
Santa Cruz, CA.

I am against the use of cluster bombs by the USA or by Israel. I protested their use during the 1999 Yugoslavian air war. The weapons were designed to kill and injure people, not destroy buildings. While this may at times be a desired result, too often, in fact, almost always, the 2,000 "bomblets" which scatter prior to impact and flutter to the ground on little parachutes are just the sort of thing a child would likely pick up, or a pet dog, or a jogger could trip over. The killing goes on and on.

I support Israel. I supported their actions in the Israeli-Hezbollah war. But I do not support the use of cluster bombs.

I urge both the USA and Israel to put this weapon on its banned weapons list.

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MOre on Israeli Terror

by Brad Sellars Monday, Aug. 28, 2006 at 6:03 PM

U.S. State Dept Investigates Israeli Use Of Cluster Bombs
The U.S. State Department has begun investigating Israel’s use of U.S.-made cluster bombs in southern Lebanon. The New York Times reports that Israel may have violated secret agreements with the United States that restrict when it can employ such weapons. Three types of U.S.-made cluster munitions have been found so far in southern Lebanon. The State Department has also held up sending Israel a shipment of M-26 artillery rockets, a cluster weapon. During the 1980s, the U.S. imposed a six-year ban on sales of cluster bombs to Israel after a Congressional investigation determined that Israel had used the weapons against civilians during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Yesterday we questioned Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Daniel Carmon, about the cluster bombing of the Lebanese civilian population.

Ambassador Daniel Carmon: What I can tell you, that Israel abides by the principle of international law and international military law. I don't want to go specifically into details of something that has been written in one report, respectable as it is or not. I’d rather not go into the details.

Amy Goodman: Well, Israel hasn't denied that it's used cluster bombs in Lebanon. And now, after the hot conflict has begun to simmer down, you still have these bomblets on the ground that are exploding.

Ambassador Daniel Carmon: Well, I didn't deny it either. What I was saying, that we are abiding by the international law, the military and the international humanitarian law. And I would leave it at that.

In Lebanon, the long process of clearing areas of cluster bombs and landmines has already begun.

* Frederick Gras of the Mine Advisory Group: "It is very difficult to say how long we need to recover everything. When we walk in a garden sometimes we find ammunition from the last war so it will take many years."

Lebanon Accuses Israel Of Waging Economic War
Lebanon’s speaker of the parliament has accused Israel of waging an economic war on Lebanon. Nabih Berri told the Financial Times that Israel’s ongoing air and sea blockade is crippling Lebanon’s economy.

France to Send 2,000 Troops to Lebanon
A top European official says international troops could start deploying to southern Lebanon within days. On Thursday France agreed to send 2,000 soldiers. French Prime Minister Jacque Chirac urged all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to contribute troops. But the United States and Britain have already ruled out sending troops. Foreign Ministers from the European Union are meeting today in Brussels to discuss the size of the European troop deployment. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke to reporters before the meeting.

* Kofi Annan: “I am very confident that we will have a successful meeting this afternoon and Europe will assume its responsibility and show its solidarity with the people of Lebanon and that region (question: will you get 15,000 troops?) not today but I will have a very good start today. But I will get the 15,000.”

Bodies of 23 Civilians Exhumed in Tyre
In other news from Lebanon, the bodies of 23 people were exhumed from a mass grave in Tyre on Thursday. The 23 civilians died two weeks ago in the Israeli bombardment of the town of Marouahine.

Lebanese Say War Traumatized Children
Meanwhile Lebanese parents are reporting their children are still suffering from the 34 days of fighting.

* Lebanese resident Khattar Kheir-Eddine: "The kids became scared of everything after the war. They have become very stressed. They would feel afraid if the electricity went off or if any strange sound appeared in the house. They have been living through a very difficult psychological state."

Israeli Military Acknowledges Shortcomings
The Israeli military’s chief of staff has acknowledged that there were considerable logistical, operational and command shortcomings during the recent attack on Lebanon. In a letter to Israeli troops, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, said the military’s response will be investigated.

Pro-War Hawks Say Intel on Iran Downplays Risk
The New York Times is reporting some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican lawmakers are accusing the intelligence community of playing down the threat posed by Iran. Much of the criticism is coming from Republicans who advocated for the invasion of Iraq. On Wednesday the House Intelligence Committee issued a report criticizing the intelligence community for not knowing more about Iran’s weapons of mass destructions programs and for being unwilling to make provocative conclusions about the danger Iran poses to the world. The consensus of the intelligence community is that Iran is still years away from building a nuclear weapon. But some Republicans have rejected that conclusion. Some veterans of the intelligence community say the current debate is similar to the one that preceded the Iraq war when backers of the Iraq invasion criticized the intelligence community for downplaying the threat posed by Iraq and for disregarding claims that Iraq had ties to Al Qaeda.

Russian Opposes Sanctions Against Iran
In other news on Iran, Russia announced today it will not support imposing sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

U.S. Claims “Great Progress on the Security Front in Baghdad”
In Iraq, the top US general in the Middle East said Thursday that there had been “great progress on the security front in Baghdad recently.” General John Abizaid made the comments on the same day that at least 16 Iraqis and two U.S. troops died. British Troops Forced to Abandon Iraq Base
Supporters of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr are rejoicing today after British troops decided to abandon their base in the city of Amara. Supporters of Sadr said this marks the first time an Iraqi city has kicked out occupying troops. The British decided to move its 1200 troops after the base came under heavy mortar and rocket fire. The British troops are now preparing to wage guerilla warfare in the region in an attempt to secure the Iranian border. According to press accounts, this marks the first public acknowledgement that forces from the U.S.-led coalition have entered into guerilla warfare.

FDA OKs Over the Counter Sale of Plan B For Adults
The Food and Drug Administration has decided to make the "morning-after" contraceptive pill known as Plan B available without a prescription to people 18 and older. But the FDA decided girls 17 and younger will need a prescription to obtain the pills. Plan B will only be available from pharmacists at drugstores and health clinics. Purchasers will be required to show proof of their age. The decision ended a three-year battle within the FDA.

Foreign Militants Might Be Behind Kidnapping of Journalists in Gaza
In Gaza, kidnapped journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig have entered their 11th-day in captivity. Suspicion is growing that the men were kidnapped by foreign militants. All of the major Palestinian factions have called for the men to be released.

* Ken Centanni, Steve’s brother: “By now you know, they cherish life. They have no power. They are not dealmakers. They are not politicians and they have no authority. Our brother and his colleague are in Gaza to report your story, nothing more and nothing less.”

NYC Man Arrested For Broadcasting Lebanese TV Station
Federal agents have arrested a New York man for broadcasting the Lebanese TV station al-Manar inside the United States Javed Iqbal was arrested on Wednesday. The Pakistani-born man is being held on $250,000 bail and faces at least five years in prison. In March the State Department designated the TV station to be a terrorist entity because of its links to Hezbollah. Iqbal runs a small television company in Brooklyn that installs satellite receivers across New York. He was arrested after an FBI informant attempted to have Al-Manar installed on his satellite system.

Judge: Gov’t Can Tap Phone Of Journalists
A federal judge has ruled that the government can legally tap the phones of anyone handling "material that is not generally available to the public." Privacy experts says the ruling by Judge T.S. Ellis opens the door for the U.S. government to monitor journalists. Steven Aftergood who edits the journal Secrecy News said, "If the press could only report on 'information generally available to the public,' there would be no need for a press.” The ruling came in the trial of the two former AIPAC lobbyists who are accused of receiving classified intelligence from a Pentagon official.

School Children Raise More For Hurricane Katrina Than Major Corporations
School children across the United States have given more money for Katrina relief efforts than all but five of the country’s largest corporations. According to the group RandomKid, school children have raised over $10 million over the past year through bake sales, lemonade stands, car washes and other fundraisers. School children gave more to the Katrina relief efforts than companies such as AT&T, Verizon, GE and Coca-Cola.

Report: 70% of Gov’t Katrina Contracts Were No-Bid
In other news on Katrina, a new report indicates that the government awarded 70 percent of its contracts for Hurricane Katrina work with limited or no bidding. The Shaw Group and Bechtel are among the companies that received no-bid contracts. Both have close ties to the Bush administration. The Shaw Group’s lobbyist, Joe Allbaugh, is a longtime friend of President Bush. Bechtel’s CEO Riley Bechtel served on Bush's Export Council.

Bus Driver Forces Black Students To Sit In Back
In news from Louisiana, a school bus driver has been suspended after she forced nine African-American children to sit in the back of the bus behind the white students. All of the students attended the Red River Elementary School in Coushatta, Louisiana. The NAACP said it is considering filing a formal charge with the Justice Department.

Teacher Suspended For Displaying Foreign Flags in Classroom
In other education news, a seventh grade geography teacher in Colorado was suspended earlier this week for displaying flags from Mexico, China and the United Nations in his classroom. An obscure Colorado state law prohibits the display of any foreign flag in public buildings and schools. Temporary displays of other flags are allowed but the school principal did not consider the display in Eric Hamlin’s classroom temporary enough. After the case made national news, the school said Hamlin could return to the classroom as long as he keeps the flags up for no more than six weeks.

Survivor TV Realty Show Will Pit Races Against Each Other
In television news, the producers of the reality TV program Survivor have decided that it will start dividing its contestants along racial lines and will let the groups duke it out for supremacy. It will be whites versus blacks versus Latinos versus Asians. CBS admitted the idea was controversial but denied it was intended to promote racial divisiveness. Critics of the idea say the show will nurture stereotypes and reinforce myths about the inferiority of particular races.

Agent Orange Victim Kerry Ryan, 35, Dies
And Kerry Ryan has died at the age of 35. To many Americans she was the symbol of the horrors of Agent Orange. She was the daughter of a Vietnam War veteran who had been exposed to Agent Orange, the dioxin that the U.S. military widely used in Vietnam and Cambodia. Kerry was born with multiple birth defects. She had a hole in her heart, two cervixes, no anus, a deformed right arm and spina bifida. In 1979 she was named in a class-action lawsuit against Dow Chemical, the manufacturer of Agent Orange. In Vietnam millions of people still suffer illnesses and birth defects because of Agent Orange but the U.S. has refused to compensate the victims.

To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for our new online ordering or call 1 (888) 999-3877.
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14% 'dud' ( hangfire) rate for CBs

by Sheepdog Monday, Aug. 28, 2006 at 11:31 PM

Concerning Cluster munitions.
With all the vaunted superior technology the west boasts about, one might believe that the failure to explode on delivery could have been improved to increase immediate affectivity of this weapon.
Or, like DU, this is a deliberate force multiplier in that it increases the kill ratio over the long run at the cost of non combatants.

The true targets of modern warfare. Think about it.
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