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Failing to make Israel accountable

This piece, from counterpoint, needs no elaboration - other than to comment that Israel ought to be condemned in the strongest terms, and the US censured, for not only supplying the munitions in the first place but evidently bowing to pro-Israel pressure groups, notably AIPAC, in not condeming Israel for its actions and making it fully accountable for what it has wrought.

"In late January the State Department delivered a potentially explosive report to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The classified report asserts that Israel may have violated the Arms Export Control Act with its use of American-made cluster munitions this past summer in Lebanon.

Multiple contacts to both offices indicate neither Biden nor Pelosi has any intention of pursuing the matter. In contrast, a congressional investigation 25 years ago helped persuade President Ronald Reagan to suspend cluster munitions to Israel for six years. This Congress, however, will not call Israel to account for its actions.

Cluster munitions are a ghastly creation on two levels. First, these bombs blow apart into hundreds of smaller bomblets, thus spreading death over a wide radius. Second, a terrifying percentage of them fail to explode at least initially. These "duds" then sit on the ground like mines until the curious child or plowing farmer stumbles across them - often with devastating results.

As recently as July, the US House of Representatives voted 410-8 for a resolution including recognition of "Israel's longstanding commitment to minimizing civilian loss" and welcoming "Israel's continued efforts to prevent civilian casualties" in Lebanon and elsewhere. The language was an open insult to the hundreds of Lebanese civilians already killed and injured in the previous few days by the Israeli military."

See, also, a related piece, from IPS, "One Unexploded Bomb per Person".

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