Archive for the ‘disarmament’ Category

THE U.S. NEEDS TO SIGN THE LANDMINE TREATY:A MORAL IMPERATIVE

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

It seems inconceivable that President Obama, having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his respect of international law and efforts for world disarmament, represents a country not among those 156 nations signing the international landmine treaty banning the manufacture, stockpiling and use of landmines. The signers include every nation in NATO. Since 1987 40 million landmines have been destroyed. Although the United States has not actively used landmines since 1991, we still possess them. This country has now stockpiled 10-15 million of them, the third largest stockpile in the world behind China and Russia. The landmine, one of the most insidious of weapons, claims innocent civilians as victims 75-80 % of the time. Last year alone 5000 people were killed or wounded by landmines. They are detonated by the touch of a foot or a very slight movement nearby. They were often placed in the ground years earlier during wars long over. [1]
 Twelve years ago Jody Williams, a citizen activist, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with the organization, The International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She has recently condemned the United States’ refusal to sign the existing treaty. Commitments to allies such as South Korea, where there are a million mines in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, is our weak excuse for not signing the treaty. At a recent international summit held in Columbia, United States representatives agreed to review our current policy.
 To further rid the world of these inhumane weapons, we believe there is a moral imperative for the United States to sign this treaty now.

[1] Bill Moyers and Michael Winship; The Bill Moyers journal posted on Dec. 11, 2009.