Senators Feinstein, Leahy aim to restrict the use of cluster bombs, and are motivated by the recent Lebanon War.
U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D—Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D—Vt.) today introduced an amendment to the FY 2007 Department of Defense Appropriations bill aimed at preventing hundreds of unnecessary civilian deaths and injuries caused every year by unexploded cluster bombs.
The Cluster Munitions Amendment would prevent funds from being spent to purchase, use, or transfer cluster bombs until the Department of Defense has adopted rules of engagement to ensure that cluster bomb are not used in or near any concentration of civilians. [....]
'For too long, innocent civilians, not enemy combatants, have suffered the majority of casualties from cluster munitions. The recent experience in Lebanon is only the latest example of the appalling human toll of injury and death. Strict rules of engagement are long overdue, and I hope the Pentagon will support this amendment to ensure that our cluster munitions are not used in civilian areas,' said Senator Leahy. [....]
Senator Feinstein cited Israel's recent alleged use of cluster bombs in Lebanon as a factor in proposing this amendment. Throughout southern Lebanon, more than 405 cluster bomb sites containing approximately 100,000 unexploded bomblets have been discovered. Each site covers a radius of 220 yards.
No mention is made of Hezb'allah's use of missiles containing hundreds of ball bearings nor the fact that cluster bombs are legally acceptable under international law and accepted practice.
The net effect of this legislation would be to impose restrictions on one side and not the other.
Ed Lasky 9 06 06