Brazilian Cluster Bombs

Did you know that Brazil produces cluster-bombs? How sad. How sad also that its government now has to be pressured by other Latin American countries to join the so-called ‘Oslo Process’, which seeks to conclude a treaty banning these munitions by 2008. We thought that only the US, France, Russia, China and BritainBrazil have to join this club? Isn’t it bad enough as it is? produced such weaponry. Why did

Brazil says it would prefer to see the issue dealt under the auspices of the United Nations. Cluster-bombs are one of the most controversial weapons of war. If these smaller bombs fail to explode, they can pose a hazard to civilians and especially children for many years to come. The Costa Rica conference is part of a campaign to make Latin America the first region in the world to be completely free of cluster bombs. Thank God for Costa Rica!

Setting an example

The leading pressure group, the Cluster Munition Coalition, says it has been disappointed by the failure of Brazil, which it describes as a big producer, to take part in the process so far. Brazil will attend the conference in Costa Rica. But it seems likely its position will be a disappointment to campaigners who are pressing for change. Apparently Brazilian producers have not made enough money yet. Therefore Brazil rationalizes the dark path it is treading.

Campaigners say if Brazil was to join the Oslo Process, Latin America would set an example for the rest of the world. They have welcomed a statement from Argentina that it no longer produces or stockpiles the weapon.

Bullet in the skull …

Look, if you want to kill people there are all sorts of ways. Does it make a difference if you get a bullet in the skull, or are blown to pieces by a cluster-bomb? Ultimately, there is no difference. So why worry about cluster-bombs? Why worry about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ anyway? We worry because all these weapons are a total waste of our precious time and effort. Destruction is necessary for life. But life has its own way of destroying. It does not our help. Humans should opt for life and freedom. That is incompatible with weapons beyond the absolutely indispensable to defend life and freedom against criminal attacks.

This is one important reason why we support Dennis Kucinich. We believe him when he says he will do his utmost to rid the world of all nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. With this Kucinich has spelled out the crucial prerequisite for the construction of a planetary civilization: Strength through peace.

However, without wanting to chide the US again, isn’t it sad that the real Peace-candidates – Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel and Ron Paul – have so little support from the American people? It does make you wonder what the American people really want. It was once said of the Germans. Now we are compelled to say the same thing of the US: ‘You Americans aren’t happy unless you fight someone’. Mind you, the US is a great country based on admirable principles. What on earth has happened?

Today’s video is a report by Human Rights Watch. The madness is so overwhelming and so deep, that to think this can be turned around is a kind of counter-madness. Nevertheless, there have been tyrants before and in the end they always fall … Therefore we choose to be counter-mad.