The U.S. National Security State touting U.S. "moral authority" to promote a banned submunitions shipment to Ukraine is a colossal nonstarter.
Jul 20, 2023
“Our moral authority has not derived from being a signatory to the Convention Against Cluster Munitions. We are not, we have not been, at any point since that convention came into effect, neither has Ukraine.”
After this cluttered start, Sullivan continued:
“Most members of NATO have signed on to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, an international agreement that bans the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of these weapons because of the risk they pose to civilians. But the U.S. has not signed the treaty, and neither has Russia or Ukraine.”
And for the record, we are not holding our collective breath.
“Our moral authority and Ukraine’s moral authority in this conflict comes from the fact that we are supporting a country under a brutal, vicious attack by its neighbor with missiles and bombs raining down in its cities, killing its civilians, destroying its schools, its churches, its hospitals.”
As if on cue, more Security State double-speak:
“And the idea that providing Ukraine with a weapon in order for them to be able to defend their homeland, protect their civilians, is somehow a challenge to our moral authority — I find questionable.”
Even more questionable is why a pimp for war like Jake Sullivan would unabashedly toss around a term like “moral authority” to justify more Ukrainian civilians being shred for democracy. More accurately, an immoral certainty is the deadly gift cluster munitions will keep on giving, with countless hectares of Ukraine accumulating for expanding the indiscriminate killing of civilians, typically young innocents, regardless of post-war concessions.
If Sullivan’s phony claims of solidarity weren’t cringe-worthy enough, he had likely forgotten U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Colin Kahl’s claims the cluster bombs now in Ukrainian stockpiles having a failure rate of no more than 2.35%. In fact, the Pentagon reported the dud rates for these bomblets had been observed at 14 and 23% in real-world conditions.
Military analyst for PAX Marc Galasco, a known supporter of the Ukrainian fight, pushed back on the Biden Administration decision in RollingStone, decrying the moral atrocity of this saturation weapon’s lethality and its inevitable “indiscriminate wide-area effects” of what he described in his commentary as “steel rain.”
“I have been researching DPICMs for 20 years, first seeing them in Iraq in 2003 and most recently used by the Russians in Syria and Ukraine. In my research, the typical dud rate is at least 20 percent. When you combine the high dud rate with a lot of bombs you get huge minefields. If we use just the low-end test number of 14 percent, then every single artillery shell produces ten duds. Ukraine is going to be getting hundreds of thousands of shells. For every 100,000 shells that is 1 million unexploded bombs littering Ukraine.”
According to Global Times, cluster munitions were used extensively by the U.S. to carry out airstrikes on targets in Southeast Asia between 1964 and 1973, with 260 million tons of cluster bombs dropped on Laos alone with less than 1% of the duds having been cleared. The International Red Cross reported more than forty years later Laos was still contaminated by about 80 million cluster submunitions, affecting all 17 provinces and resulting in 300 yearly casualties. Even today, death and amputation are pervasive.
The U.S. ceded its mythological moral high ground decades ago.
Globally, more than 94% of cluster munition casualties have been civilian, with the numbers of the dead ranging from 55,000 to 90,000 since the Nazis dropped the first prototype on Guernica in 1937, and 40 to 50% of the victims children, a grim legacy with no end in sight.
Ahead the Biden announcement, Sera Koulabdara of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions Coalition urged Ukrainian and U.S. leaders "to look at history and for the United States of America, our own history in countries like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq."
"You learn from the impacts and the legacies of wars that this will have on human lives," Koulabdara said, "lives of civilians who have a name, who have mothers, who have fathers who cares about them."
So, as we continue to be dragged up the escalation ladder in Ukraine, past HIMARs, anti-tank missiles, the bombings of Nordstream 2 and the Kerch Bridge, depleted uranium artillery, U.S. approval of F-16 use, now cluster munitions, will American boots on the ground, even low-yield nuclear weapons be more inevitable rungs on the ascent, despite National Security State versions of moral authority?
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