New Blog and Cluster Munition Video

“Disarmament Insight,”: an outstanding new blog from UNIDIR and the Geneva Forum, has a “great post”: up which contains a pretty disturbing “video”: about the impact of unexploded cluster munitions in southern Lebanon.

According to author John Borrie, the video, which was shown at the “February Oslo Conference,”:

bq. cut through acres of the usual conference room baloney of diplomats and politicians who have in many cases never even seen an unexploded submunition with their own eyes. It helped to give those present some clarity of purpose, which other multilateral meetings closed to the real world sometimes can lack.

Just FYI, Stephen Goose of HRW and Norwegian Ambassador Roald Naess discussed the cluster munitions issue during “an ACA event this past February.”:

Also check out “this piece”: from Wade about Israel’s use of cluster munitions in Lebanon.

3 thoughts on “New Blog and Cluster Munition Video

  1. asdf

    The UN regional news agency put together a decent introduction video to the unexploded munition problem in southern Lebanon.

    plain WMV:

    It explains not just the munitions, not just the victims, but also the economic impact. Do you clean up your field so you can harvest your crops, forget the harvest wasting a years work, or hire a couple of day laborers to do some cleanup at $3/bomblet? That is, if there are still people willing to do that.

    It also shows the professional cleanup work which may be done by the end of the year. The water bottles unicef hands out have pictures and a warning on the labels.

    The video starts with a bit preachy intro, after that its all completely matter of factly.

  2. Robot Economist

    The impact of UXO and landmines is a true human tragedy. I never understood the gravity of it until I met dozens of children wounded by landmines during a trip to Cambodia. I’ve been giving to UNICEF ever since…

    On a lighter note, I guess it is time for the DoD, UNICEF and DC Comics to translate their landmines/UXO awareness comic book into Arabic.

  3. Karl Schenzig

    Dear Mr. Kerr,

    A few psychological and technical issues arise from your and Mr. Borrie’s postings. This quote in particular, “A few viewers … are unable to see beyond their tired prejudices … even claiming the video was faked. No mindset adjustment for them then.” This goes beyond the legitimate criticisim of ill-informed comments and suggests a strong bias in favour of those who oppose cluster munitions and the way in which they were employed in Lebanon. The first psychological problem associated with this is that such comments are clearly supporting a certain political viewpoint, which should be unacceptable to impartial experts. Secondly, the solitary mention of the word “war” distorts the context of the use of these munitions, therefore switching the terms of the debate and avoiding what is potentially a very useful discussion of high-intensity strike operations. Thridly, the postings do not discuss local reactions to the use of cluster bombs by both sides. This is not meant to cause offense, but noting the psychological reactions of the populace is a necessary complement to the discussion of physical damage, especially from a military perspective.

    To turn to the technical side of the problem, I think it is difficult to term cluster bombs an “arms control” issue, simply because their use in conventional conflict is currently accepted at least in some form by most states. Furthermore, since the decision to discuss this has been made, it is strange that there is no mention of so-called “smart” cluster munitions, such as the Sensor Fused Weapon or munitions which pose a relatively low risk to civilians due to their nature, such as the Rockeye. Finally, a discussion of alternative technical anti-personnel and anti-materiel solutions is absent.

    I understand your desire to state your views, but once you do that it is better to launch into a wide-ranging discussion including psychology and technology instead of making the issue purely political. To be blunt, the “clarity of purpose” should involve giving issues arising from the need to kill enemy personnel equal weight to those arising from the need to save the lives of civilians.


    Karl Schenzig


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