Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ban Cluster bombs get out clause?

Treaty piles on pressure to make cluster bombs smarter treaty piles on pressure to make cluster bombs smarter Can you build a "safe" cluster bomb? That is the question facing military...countries in Dublin, Ireland, last week. Cluster bombs scatter many small submunitions, or...

Cluster bomb get out clauseThe non-export version of JSOW is a cluster bomb. Australia has signed on to the new cluster bomb treaty but as New Scientist (7 June p25 Letting Go of Cluster Bombs) points out the cluster bomb treaty has some interesting clauses one of which is that high accuracy fragmentation warheads can be seen as meeting the guidelines of the treaty that allow for cluster bombs which engage single targets rather than a whole area.

Becky Maynard, No More Landmines, 4th Floor, Charles House, 375 Kensington High Street, London, W14 8QH.
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7471 5580 writes to say an enormous thank you for signing the No More Landmines’ petition calling on governments to ban cluster bombs. On May 31st the final text for this groundbreaking and comprehensive new treaty to ban cluster bombs was provisionally agreed in Dublin by the majority of the world's stockpilers, producers and past users of cluster munitions.

The fact that some of the key governments who were pushing for multiple exceptions, transition periods and loopholes to retain stockpiles have adopted the text proposed in Dublin is a real testament to those who stood up to say that they oppose these indiscriminate weapons. Your voice was joined by those of hundreds of thousands of others around the world and made a real difference to the creation of the most significant humanitarian treaty of the decade.

At the Dublin conference campaigners heard first hand of the terrible injuries that cluster bombs cause to innocent civilians. Soraj Ghulam Habib, pictured right, from the Herat Province of Afghanistan was only 10 years old when he lost both legs in a cluster bomb accident. Soraj said that cluster munitions destroyed his dreams - he could not go to school, he couldn’t play with his friends, people laughed at him and called him a beggar. Now 17 years old and back in education, Soraj will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair but is full of hope that this treaty will completely stigmatize the use of these weapons and that future generations of children will not suffer the same fate as him.

The treaty will be opened for signature in Oslo in December this year but will not come into force until 30 countries have signed and ratified. You can still make a big difference and help to keep the pressure on governments to sign and ratify the treaty as early as possible by signing the People’s Treaty. This is a petition that individuals and groups across the world will be signing to make sure that as many states as possible sign the new treaty from 2-3 December 2008. Just visit if you would like to sign.

RAAF, JSOW and InteroperabilityBy admin ... is treaty consistent, even though Washington didn’t sign it. I am sure Canberra would accept such an interpretation, which means that the effect of this arms control provision is to outlaw cluster munitions for low technology states.Science & Global Security -

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Raytheon Nine Prosecution collapses

Judge thows case out -Maith thu!

At Belfast Laganside court today, the trial of the Raytheon Nine collapsed when the judge threw it out for lack of evidence. The trial of the raytheon Nine has collapsed.

The defendents from Derry Anti War Coalition walked free after the judge dismissed the case for lack of evidence. Throughout the trial the Nine have maintained that their actions were legitimate as an attempt to prevent war crimes. The judge was forced to concede this when he stated that the defendents had acted to prevent destruction in Lebanon. This is a major victory and vindication of the action of the Derry Anti War Coalition and the Raytheon Nine.

The development began to emerge yesterday when, bizarrely, the barrister for the Crown conceded that the 9 were genuine in their belief that Raytheon were active in supplying the US and Isreali war machines in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon and that sabotaging Raytheon's equipment would disrupt that supply. What the Crown was then asking the jury to do was convict on the strength of the evidence, whether, at the moment of entering Raytheon, the 9 had smashed computers out of anger and wanton destructiveness. barristers for the 9 petitioned the judge to dismiss the case as this was something the jury could not find, given that the Crown had already conceded that they had gone in there with the intention to sabotage in order to disrupt the supply chain. the Judge evidently agreed.

The crown have until tomorrow to decide whether to appeal or not.
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