[Marxism] american use of internationally banned weapons in iraq

Carlos A. Rivera cerejota at optonline.net
Fri Mar 4 05:29:37 MST 2005

There are some factual errors:

"That is of course, if all the bomblets explode. There is a dud rate of 
10-30%, meaning that around 200 unexploded bombs could be left lying around 
per cannister, and the B1 This bomber is capable of releasing enough cluster 
bombs to turn an area the size of 350 football fields into a killing zone, 
not just at impact, but for decades afterwards."

B-1s are not used in the delivery of cluster bombs. These are usually 
delivered by the Air Force using A-10s and F-15E, and by the Navy/Marines 
using F/A-18s and AV-8Bs. The B-1B is a supersonic bomber penetrator, used 
in the delivery of stand-off weapons and nuclear bombs. The other planes are 
ground support figthers much better equipped and trained in the use of 
cluster bombs. There have been reports of B-1Bs used in the role, but the 
highest figure I can come across is 5 missions, sounds more like a test than 
a deployment.

Besides, most of the cluster munitions are ground delivered, not 

Some of the confussion stems from the fact that a "mine canister" very 
similar to the "cluster bomb" exists in the USA's arsenal (the cluster bomb 
is CBU-87 and the mine canister is CBU-89; both are called cluster bombs by 
the military). The mine canister's mines are indeed designed to survive 
launch and then explode as regular mines and can survive decades, with a 
combination of anti-personnel and anti-armor mines. These mine canisters to 
my knowledge have not been used in Iraq, and I doubt they have been in large 
numbers; due to the level of occupation they would pose a threat to the US 
forces. Afghanistan is another deal altogether, and I could picture them 
being used there, and have seen reports that seem to confirm this.

Also these "mine canisters" are the ones who can deploy on an area of 350 
football fields. The main USA air-launched bomblet cluster bomb covers and 
area of roughly 100 meters by 50 meters, or more or less a football field.

Yes, cluster munitions must be opposed, and represent one of the most savage 
anti-civilian weapons in use today. But we most oppose them truthfully, 
without exageration.

For example:

Cluster Munitions and the Dangers of Duds


As with DU, whose main killing characteristic is not radioactivity, which is 
questioned by hard science, but being a heavy metal (e.g. lead and 
tungsten), we must when arguing these things stick to the closest science 
possible. The use of cluster bombs, in particular in civilian areas, is 
indeed one of the worse features of current US military doctrine, second 
only to lung-busting FAE bombs (cave busters of Afghan infamy). If we 
attempt to go into details, rather than a blanket denouciation, the details 
must be solid and unquestionable. In this case they aren't.

As to the use of nerve agents, I don't doubt that the USA is capable of 
using them. Yet I have yet to see any compeling evidence. Nerve agents 
cannot be deployed selectively over a small area, and they are not very 
useful in extreme urban situations such as Falujah. If the USA had used 
them, there would be photographic and video evidence circulating, because it 
would have killed more people than Saddam's 1988 incident, because Fallujah 
is simply a much more densely populated place.

What I do expect the USA to have used is "less-than-lethal" weapons, such as 
CA/CS (pepper spray and tear gas), which do burn and are even capable of 
some semi-permanent damage, in particular to people with previous lung 
conditions. But CA/CS are not only permitted under international 
humanitarian law, they are considered non-military weapons. Having been on 
the recieving end of CA/CS more times than I care to have been, I know they 
can be a bitch, but they wear off like a cold, even faster if you care to 
smell like salad for the next 2 days...

During the Vieques struggle, we almost went into a dead-end when someone in 
the government, probably in cahoots with the navy, decided to make a big 
issues out of "vibro-acoustics". They have been proven to harm acoustic sea 
life (i.e. whales and dolphins) but not humans. The Navy saw this as an 
opportunity to counter-attack, questioning ALL of the science against them, 
including things that are solid, such as lead and mercury poisoning and 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "r3negade" <r3negade at gmail.com>

> www.r3negade.co.uk/article/bannedweapons.html 

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