More than 100 governments, including virtually all major NATO allies, will gather in Dublin, Ireland to negotiate a global treaty banning cluster bombs on May 19. One important country will be missing however: the United States, which is actively working to undermine the proposed treaty overseas and which has used cluster bombs in the last ten years in civilian-populated areas of the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Meanwhile, at home the Pentagon is lobbying to prevent passage of the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act. Introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Mikulski and co-sponsored by eighteen other Senators (though neither Obama nor Clinton), the act states that “Cluster munitions will not be used where civilians are known to be present or in areas normally inhabited by civilians.” We wouldn’t want to tie our hands, now.
The YouTube video below shows Lynn Bradach bravely telling the story of her son, Travis Bradach-Nall, who was killed by a US cluster submunition while serving in Iraq. Her sorrow helps makes clear why cluster bombs should be banned.
One of the saddest realities about cluster bombs is how many children they kill–Children between the ages of 5 to 15 have accounted for almost half of the world’s cluster bomb casualties–because kids are drawn to unexploded cluster submunitions thinking that they are toys.
Because no mother should have to ever lose her child to such terror, a coalition of groups, led by the Friends Committee on National Legislation is sponsoring a national Day after Mother’s Day Cluster Bomb call-in this Monday, May 12. Click here to help send a message to the rest of the world that most Americans stand with the goal of preventing harm to children and others from cluster bombs.