Suffer the Little Children, Cluster Bombs and the US Senate

September 9, 2006

On 6 September 2006 the US Senate had a rollcall vote on an amendment on the FY 07 DOD budget, the Feinstein-Leahy Amendment, which would restrict the usage of cluster bombs in civilian areas throughout the world. The amendment failed, the result of the vote was 30 ayes, all by Democrats and one Independent, and 70 nays, including all Republicans and a sizeable number of nominal Democrats.

Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Evan Bayh, supposed potential candidates for the Democratic nomination for President included themselves among the Nays. We must ask why.

Why was this most moral of all recent legislation rejected? Was it because it would have been an ex post facto condmenation of US use of bomblets in Iraq and Israeli use in Lebanon? One cannot imagine that a weaponette that looks amazingly like a toy and is frequently confused by children as a toy would not be condemned, save for that reason — unless the US Senate doesn’t care about Arab children’s lives or else loves war.

From the FAS, the Federation of American Scientists , a detailed illustrated technical synopsis of cluster bombs is available. Please note that the anti-personnel bomblets illustrated below appear to be amazingly similar to a ball — a child’s toy. Please note well Senators Bayh, Biden and Clinton:

cluster bomb bomblet

We must ask, once again, why? One cannot merely blame the “blank check” given to Israel to destroy Lebanon, as the US use of these are well documented in the press worldwide in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the war against the Serbs. Senator Feinstein did not spare the delicate feelings of the Senate in her floor presentation, showing graphic photos of the damage these bomblets have done to children. Is the Senate too ashamed to face the evidence? I humbly submit to a candid world, yes. The number of supposed duds and pressure activated bomblets is well documented by FAS as well as the emergency wards of Baghdad and Beirut.

Here is the honor roll:

YEAs —30
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dorgan (D-ND)

Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Wyden (D-OR)

All ScreechingRats can do is to urge that everyone remember these names and, more importantly, the names of all those who do not appear.