Blair impedes ban on cluster bombs
It seems that in Geneva - at the review of the conventional weapons treaty - the British Government will be doing its utmost to prevent a ban on cluster bombs (proposed by Sweden, Austria, Mexico and New Zealand). These are dreadful weapons, scattering tiny "bomblets" many of which fail to explode and lie as - essentially - land mines. George Montiob, in yesterday's Guardian, says that 98% of known casualties are civilians. Many are children who are horribly maimed or killed. Most of the cluster bombs dropped during the past forty years have - unsurprisingly - been dropped by the USA and Israel (Russia has also used them in Chechnya). The case for banning these weapons is clear. That the Labour Government should feel unable to join Sweden in proposing a ban is a mark of its cowardice and a measure of its abject servility towards the United States.