Please Oppose Cluster Bombs - For the Sake of Family Farmers, Rural Kids, & Peaceful Reconstruction!
From John Peck, WNPJ Board member and contact for the member group, Family Farm Defenders.
Greetings, As many of you may know, the Biden White House recently approved the transfer of cluster bombs to Ukraine. Here is one story about this: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-66144153 The U.S. has not joined the majority of nations in the world to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions (including many of our allies - the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Spain to mention a few). The U.S. should not be producing and transferring any indiscriminate weapons (cluster bombs, land mines) that disproportionately harm civilians in any conflict.
Now is a good time for those who care about the future livelihood of rural people in Ukraine (or elsewhere) to contact their Congressional representatives, senators, and the White House to oppose this decision. Many elected officials - both Democrats and Republicans - have already expressed their opposition. You can add your voice by visiting this website: https://afsc.org/action/tell-congress-dont-send-cluster-munitions-ukraine The "dud" rate on these munitions is incredibly high. They are scattered over a vast area (several football fields in most cases). The ribbons attached to cluster bombs often fatally attract the attention of children, and the unexploded bomblets persist for decades, killing farmers who are cultivating their fields, people foraging for firewood or mushrooms, even tourists who are just rambling. I've been to many countries and seen the horrific byproduct of such indiscriminate weapons on rural people and wildlife myself. Zimbabwean elephants that were maimed stepping on a landmine leftover from the apartheid regime in Rhodesia. Peasants in East Timor that were crippled by deadly ordinance due to the Indonesian occupation. Friends in Vets for Peace telling me about grisly encounters between children in Iraq and Afghanistan that played with a cluster bomblet.
One of the principles of food sovereignty is social peace - and the use of cluster bombs and land mines is a clear violation of such. Ukraine deserves support in its effort to resist Russia's invasion (with hopefully a peaceful diplomatic resolution), but providing U.S. cluster bombs to contaminate the Ukrainian countryside for decades into the future is not a humane option. They should be banned - period. Best - John
John E. Peck Executive Director Family Farm Defenders, P.O. Box 1772, Madison, WI 53701 tel./fax. 608-260-0900 http://www.familyfarmers.org