Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Cluster Bombs

Textron Defense Systems announces a new cluster bomb, designed to spray 40 individual projectiles of molten copper destroying enemy tanks across a 30-acre swath of battlefield. Cluster bombs are vicious weapons that, upon impact, explode into clouds of small metal projectiles causing multiple injuries to many victims. Often the clusters do not explode immediately but cause terrible damage to children who find them and to farmers who stumble on them in their fields.
Not so this new type cluster bomb which Textron announces with great satisfaction will not threaten the health of civilians. Each of these new technological marvels costs close to $ 700,000.00. The US Defense Department has already committed several BILION dollars to purchase more than 4000 of these bombs.
With almost 50 million Americans without health insurance, with 36 million people, including 13 million children in the US at risk of going hungry, the Defense Department spends BILLIONS of dollars to buy these new weapons. They may not be a danger to civilians abroad. But they certainly are a danger to civilians at home. Our government prefers to spend billions on death dealing weapons instead of promoting life by feeding people.
Another question arises: Our military is fighting insurgencies against shadowy groups, armed most often with home made bombs, or with cars, trucks, even bicycles loaded with explosives; they are confronted by suicide bombers who die as they explode themselves. Cluster bombs to destroy tanks are useless in this fight. Clearly the Defense Department in purchasing this new weapon is looking ahead to more or less conventional warfare against an enemy army deployed with tanks and other conventional weapons. What are our defense planners preparing for?
Are they planning a war they are not telling us about?