The Ban That Bombed

Today, an international agreement reached in Croke Park to ban cluster bombs will take effect.

Over 100 countries agreed not to use these horrific weapons, and destroy stockpiles within eight years.

Notable exceptions include the USA, China, and Russia.

American and British troops used over twelve thousand cluster bombs during the invasion of Iraq.

Five years later, the bombs are still killing civilians.

But campaigners hope the agreement will stigmatise their use so much that countries who have not yet signed up will also agree to abandon their use.

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin said he was proud Ireland was able to play a strong part in its adoption.

This should present a moral dilemma for the Government, which allows US military planes to refuel at Shannon airport on their way to Iraq.

Yeah right.

The agreement contains a clause allowing countries who have banned the bomb to ‘continue to cooperate militarily with non-signatory nations’.

And there’s a get out of jail card allowing the use of new and improved cluster bombs which pick targets more precisely in the future.

How exactly something dropped from a plane can be precise isn’t explained.

So much for the ban.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.