Federal

Mar 16, 2011

Gillard’s about to bomb out where Rudd didn’t

The Australian government is set to pass legislation that woefully fails to ban cluster munitions as has been agreed with the international community, writes Nicholas Taylor.

A cluster bomb is a weapon that has inside multiple — often hundreds — of small explosive sub-munitions or bomblets that are dispersed over an area the size of several football fields. As a result, the final location of each bomblet is impossible to control for those deploying them, and so whom they maim or kill is  unknown and indiscriminate. Some bomblets are even designed to look like soft drink cans, hockey pucks or tennis balls.

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11 comments

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11 thoughts on “Gillard’s about to bomb out where Rudd didn’t

  1. shepherdmarilyn

    Even if we ratified we would break the treaty.

    WE have not only ratified the refugee convention but enshrined it in the migration act and still ignore the provisions of the treaty and treat it like border security instead of a legally binding humanitarian treaty.

  2. Jim Reiher

    What a disgrace. If this is not fixed, before it gets passed, we are a laughing stock… and worse… we are participants in cruel and barbaric methods of modern warfare that shame us as a country.

    Who really controls government? Who is telling Government what can and cant be banned in this country? One wonders about the influence of multinationals, and their lobbying efforts, their political donations, their persuasive influence on our leaders…

    But just maybe this will all be rectified and our fears are misplaced.

  3. rossco

    Hopefully the Greens will be able to bring the govt into line on this.

  4. hbrimble

    A few paragraphs in I was convinced the author was using the cluster bomb as a clever analogy for Gillard’s carbon tax proposal.

  5. kennethrobinson2

    Its not only cluster bombs that are the problem, its Politicians, that are the problem, its their inability to diplomatically solve the problem, that starts wars in the first place.
    Cluster munitions will never be banned, the US will need such weapons when it takes on China, and drags us along.

  6. Michael Sprange

    I and nine others made a submission to the Senate Committee on this.

    We had just returned from Laos where massive cluster bombing by the US in the sixties and seventies still kills hundreds every year and will do for many years ro come

    In the Iraq war Robert Hill as defence minister admitted we co-operated with our US allies in the use of cluster bombs and we are accessory before the fact so to speak in the deaths of ten of thousands of Iraqi civillians many of which are children. The injuries and deaths are continuing to this day.

    What really Shxxs me is that the ratification of this treaty as it stands will enshrine in law our continued inability to disconnect ourselves from the use of cluster bombs by an ally, obviously specifically the US.

    It is agonising to travel to places like Lao, see the trauma that these weapons cause innocent civillians, and be told how well we contribute to UXO clearance there, whilst we are so hopeless, blind, or subjugated by Uncle Sam, that we make our ratification of the Cluster Munitions Treaty worse than useless and our nation a mockery.

  7. Kevin Herbert

    A pox on the US military & the political establishment for their on-going destruction of the way of life of the Laotian & Vietnamese peoples.

    And to think the gutless US political establishment refused to pay the $8 billion reparation they’d agreed to pay Vietnam at the Paris peace talks…based on trumped up bullshit about POW airmen that were still being held.

    And the US wonders why there was shriek of joy around the globe when 11/9 struck..only a paltry 3000 US citizens died then, compared to the 3 million Vietnamese civilians who were murdered by the US in the illegal Vitenam war…and the on-going casualties in both Laos & Vietnam due to unexploded munitions.

    Land of the free my arse.

  8. Kevin Herbert

    For the record, there are 70 million bomblets remaining in Laos & Vietnam..and they’re being cleared at the rate of only 300,oo per annum.

    As I said, screw the US military & political establishments…..

  9. mattsui

    Seriously though. What is the point of these UN treaties?
    Sign, ratify, ignore, repeat.
    If signatory nations are serious, they should call for expulsion of non-signatory nations.
    The UN has no mandate while it continues to allow member states to behave immorally.
    The worst offenders are permanant memebers of the security council.
    The UN made it’s greatest mistake when it chose the USA for it’s base.
    Now it has nowhere to go.

  10. FelineCyclist

    Good article but I find the title a bit misleading. This is not a case of the brave K-Rudd destroying evil in the world only to be undone by his successor. It’s easy to ratify treaties; the hard part is always getting the domestic legislation through Parliament. Any criticism should be leveled at the government as a whole, of which K-Rudd remains a part. Indeed, as Minister for Foreign Affairs, isn’t he the Minister responsible for this appalling legislation?

    Might I suggest that, with the opinion polls as they are and shock jocks leaping to blame all the world’s ills on the PM, the title is no more than a lazy grab for attention, feeding off the ongoing “Blame Julia” mentality, while having nothing at all to do with the substance of the article.

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