[FoRK] Africa...

Jean Jordaan jean.jordaan at gmail.com
Fri Jan 8 03:17:06 PST 2010

>> How about Laos, the most heavily bombed place ever, sown with cluster
>> bombs designed to explode when you touch them, still making large
>> areas uninhabitable and killing daily?
> They weren't "designed to explode when you touch them", they were
> designed to explode when first deployed, but didn't work very well.

Hmm, I saw ones that shoot out tripwires, but maybe I didn't understand
what I was seeing. This says: "this category of submunition is often
referred to as having an area-denial role", goes on to say that cluster
bombs were not designed as such, and: "Area denial could only be a valid
strategy if the planners or users were relying on a recognised
propensity for malfunction [...] since the malfunction is so common as
to be considered a property of the weapon". I'd say that referring to
their area-denial role constitutes such a recognition.

"US Department of Defense statistics indicate that something like 285
million BLU 26 series submunitions were dropped on Vietnam, Cambodia and
Laos", so it comes to the same thing: they knew they were dropping bombs
that would be killing for generations.

These quotes are from http://www.landmineaction.org/resources/Cluster_Bombs.pdf

Elsewhere on that site they quote failure rates of around 30% for
bombs dropped in Laos.

> Worse, everyone who used mines and didn't have a plan to completely
> clean up afterwards was really stupid and careless.

There is no plan to completely clean up afterwards, I don't think any
power who has used landmines have ever cleaned up any deployment

That's not careless, that's barbaric.

I guess that's why most countries have banned them -- though the
biggest ones and a bunch of small ones still stockpile them.

> We are desensitized only to a certain extent by pretend violence.

That's the problem, murders in your town, shack burnings beside the
highway 15 minutes drive away, suicide bombings in another country, all
become pretend violence. They have to or you can't function.

> It is only if you think that some will be more prone to violence or
> less likely to help someone that it is an issue.

It can create a miasma of depression and fear. I'm not saying that
murders should be kept secret .. I'm saying that exposure is still an

>> Whole satellite TV channels are dedicated to gloating over natural
>> disasters, or wars, or live
> Many broadcasting and watching are not gloating.

I guess that's the wrong word .. they're just broadcasting what draws
eyeballs, without any prurience. Sex sells, but death has a wider market.

I'm not taking an opposite position to you, I just think it's more grey
than you drew it ..

jean                                              . .. .... //\\\oo///\\

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