Tuesday, June 19, 2007

US Protecting its Cluster Bomb Corporate Friends While Pretending to Reverse its Position

I just read an International Herald Tribune article entitled U.S. reverses position and is now willing to negotiate a cluster bomb treaty. Here's a quote:

"U.S. officials said they are willing to start negotiating a treaty on the use of cluster bombs, reversing their previous position that no new agreement on the weapon was necessary."

So I say to myself, "Self? What is the only reason the Bushies reverse themselves on anything? Certainly never for humane reasons. It must be to support their corporate cronies." So I began to wonder who are the world's manufacturers of these horrible mini-bombs-inside-bigger-bombs-with-cute-little-yellow-parachutes. Those ones that kids are so attracted to.

So I found this Campaign Against Arms Trade blog 2006 article about a trade show company trying to hide and lying about the inclusion of cluster bombs in an arms trade show. The article listed the cluster bomb manufacturers who were represented at the show:

"And if components weren't enough, you could always just ask one of the 14 cluster bomb manufacturers at DSEi (Lockheed Martin, EADS, Daimler Chrysler, Giat Industries, MBDA, Rhienmetall, RUAG, SAAB, Denel, General Dynamics, L-3 Communications, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Textron) to discreetly flog you the whole thing. A journalist from The Independent did just this at DSEi 2005, and reported that a manager from South African arms company Denel happily discussed supplying 155mm cluster bombs with him at the event."

So you can see several US corporations on the list. Then, just out of curiosity, I went and checked the last page of the neocon PNAC Rebuilding Americas Defenses document where they list "project participants" and I noticed that Barry Watts of Northrop Grumman Corporation was on the list. From the first day I read this PNAC document I wondered at the propriety of a corporate entity participating in the development of a document whose intent it was to convince the US Government to beef up the war machine AND attack both Iraq and Iran. I remember when I was in corporate Amerikuh and our sales guys used to say that if they could "help" a company write their RFP then we would be almost guaranteed of getting the business once the RFP was put out for bid. So this Northrup guy was just helpin'.

And now the Bushies are just helpin' them back. By just coming up with some more of them voluntary regulations, which the US "demanded" from Israel when we sold them all of those cluster bombs. Those same regulations that Israel completely ignored when they dropped as many as 4 million of those puppies on Lebanon recently. I noticed then that the US was just horrified that Israel had disobeyed them thar voluntary regulations. My Ass.

"The United Nations has estimated that Israel dropped as many as four million of the bomblets in southern Lebanon last summer, with perhaps 40 percent of them not exploding on impact."