US Rejects Cluster Bomb Treaty

by matttbastard

The BBC reports that over 100 nations have reached an agreement to ban the use of cluster bombs–with a notable abstention (yeah, I think you know what’s coming):

[I]n a statement, the Pentagon stood firm, saying: “While the United States shares the humanitarian concerns of those in Dublin, cluster munitions have demonstrated military utility, and their elimination from US stockpiles would put the lives of our soldiers and those of our coalition partners at risk.”

You know, at this point, I for one am sick to death of this (selective) obsession with demonstrable military utilitarianism and how it trumps basic fucking human rights and the lives of civilians. (Remember them? Technically, you aren’t allowed to kill them–wild, I know.) Let me second Cernig’s demand that the next US president break ranks with the kewl kidz in Russia, China, India and Pakistan (thank Christ the Harpercrats tepidly support the treaty, for now, at least), hold his or her nose, and join noted dirty fucking hippies like Pope Benedict XVI and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in support of the ban.

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Popcorn Sunday: Why We Fight

by matttbastard

WHY WE FIGHT, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. It is an unflinching look at the anatomy of the American war machine, weaving unforgettable personal stories with commentary by a [who’s] who of military and beltway insiders. Featuring John McCain, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson, Gore Vidal, Richard Perle and others, WHY WE FIGHT launches a bipartisan inquiry into the workings of the military industrial complex and the rise of the American Empire. Inspired by Dwight [Eisenhower’s] legendary farewell speech (in which he coined the phrase military industrial complex), filmmaker [Eugene] Jarecki (THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER) surveys the scorched landscape of a half-[century’s] military adventures, asking how and telling why a nation of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war. The film moves beyond the headlines of various American military operations to the deeper questions of why…does America fight? What are the forces political, economic, ideological that drive us to fight against an ever-changing enemy? Frank Capra made a series of films during World War II called WHY WE FIGHT that explored Americas reasons for entering the war, Jarecki notes. Today, with our troops engaged in Iraq and elsewhere for reasons far less clear, I think its crucial to ask the questions: Why are we doing what we are doing? What is it doing to others? And what is it doing to us?

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers