Sunday, August 24, 2008

Speaking Of That Legacy Thing

Earlier today I mentioned the Bush Legacy and how it will play out in ways we are just beginning to discover. Here's an article from Lebanon's Ya Libnan which provides a more direct illustration.

When Israel attacked Lebanon a couple of years ago, it did so with a green light from the White House. It also did so with something else provided by this country: cluster bombs. As I suspect you all know, this nasty weapon is a bomb comprised of a bunch of little bomblets which disperse when dropped. Not all of them explode at the same time, which means that there are still plenty of those live explosives lying around in Lebanon.

Like land mines, the remnants of cluster bombs have to be painstakingly cleared by hand. It takes a lot of time and a lot of money to do so. Unfortunately for Lebanese civilians, the money is about to run out:

Donors have failed to come up with a promised $4.7 million needed to fund the program in 2008, according to Dalya Farran of the U.N. Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC).

"A very large number of the clearance teams will be stopping by the end of this month if we don't get funds before that," she said, adding that some donor countries had not kept their promises and others had lost interest two years after the war.

UNMACC has led efforts to clear thousands of unexploded cluster bomblets left over after Israel's war with Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas. Israel fired or dropped most of the munitions in the last 72 hours before an August 14 ceasefire.

Since then 27 civilians have been killed and 234 wounded by unexploded ordnance, mostly cluster munitions, while 13 bomb disposal experts have been killed and 39 wounded, Farran said.

Less than half of the Lebanese strike areas have been fully cleared. The fear now is that once the bomb disposal experts pull out, untrained villagers will try to finish up the job, which just means more death and injuries.

If we were an honorable country, we would pony up the money needed to complete the job right, but I don't believe I've heard anything from Washington about such an expenditure.

Heckuva Legacy, George.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diane, you touched a pet peeve of mine - over & over we are reminded that our current emperor GW's favourite philosopher is 'Jesus Christ' yet these unexploded cluster munitions have a bad tendency to kill & maim mostly children as well as non-combatants long after the particular 'war' has ended. These people keep ramming their fundamentalist BS down our throats again & again trying to make christian religion the 'law of the land' (whatever the f*ck that means) while supporting, among other things, definitely immoral items such as cluster bombs & land mines.

I've given up trying to convince the stupids and don't give a damn about the future as I'm 52 w/no kids. Until the damned christians start to reclaim their religion, should any of them be stupid enough to come into my life I will rip them a new one over this. To hell w/my previous tolerance, those days are over.

Not in my name.

5:34 PM  

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