Cluster Bombs... and “Protecting Human Rights”

June 1, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


When the U.S. invades or attacks a country, it often says it’s to “protect human rights.” When it wages war, the U.S. claims to avoid civilian casualties at all costs. You’d think cluster bombs wouldn’t be anywhere in this picture, because cluster bombs are barbaric weapons designed to indiscriminately kill or maim lots of people.

Victims of cluster bombs in Afghanistan and Ethiopia demanding a ban on cluster bombs, May 2008, outside an international conference on cluster bombs in Dublin, Ireland. Photo: Flickr/pxkls

One cluster bomb sprays dozens, even hundreds, of small lethal bombs across a large area, sometimes the size of a football field. According to Legacies of War, “More than 98 percent of known cluster bomb victims are civilians and 40 percent are children, who are drawn to the small, toy-like metal objects.” (, “Cluster Bomb Fact Sheet”) During the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the United Nations estimated that up to 40 percent of Israeli cluster bomblets failed to explode on impact, and years later they pose a dangerous threat to children and others (BBC, November 22, 2006).

The use and distribution of cluster bombs is banned by 107 countries. But two countries where cluster bombs are not banned are the United States and Saudi Arabia (Israel, Russia, and China have also refused to ban cluster bombs).

Did you know that the U.S. has manufactured and supplied Saudi Arabia with cluster bombs? Or that Saudi Arabia has dropped cluster bombs at least twice this year in Yemen, from U.S.-supplied planes? Did you know that in 2009, the U.S. Navy fired cruise missiles with cluster bombs and killed dozens of civilians in Yemen? Did you know that during its 2003 invasion of Iraq, the U.S. used 13,000 cluster bombs containing two million bomblets?

And the U.S. has a long history of terrorizing and murdering children and others with cluster bombs. As part of the U.S. wars against the peoples of Indochina in the 1960s and ’70s, from 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped over two million tons of ordnance over Laos in 580,000 bombing missions—the equivalent of one planeload every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years. At least 270 million cluster bomblets were dropped as part of the bombing campaign.

So tell us again—who is the great protector of human rights in the world?



Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.



"The film brings you up close inside Cornel West's and Bob Avakian's dialogue: the passion, the audacity, the science, the morality, the revolutionary substance. Two courageous voices modeling a morality that refuses to accept injustice – pouring heart and soul into standing together challenging all of us to fight for a world worthy of humanity."

Andy Zee,
co-director of the film


BA Speaks

"No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that."

BAsics 1:13

Do you know anyone else—any person or organization—that has managed to bring forth an actual PLAN for a radically different society, in all its dimensions, and a CONSTITUTION to codify all this? — A different world IS possible — Check out and order online the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

What Humanity Needs

At the beginning of 2012, an in-depth interview with Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, was conducted over a period of several days by A. Brooks, a younger generation revolutionary who has been inspired by the leadership and body of work of Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism this has brought forward.

Special Issue

People need the truth about the communist revolution. The REAL truth. At a time when people are rising up in many places all over the world and seeking out ways forward, THIS alternative is ruled out of order. At a time when even more people are agonizing over and raising big questions about the future, THIS alternative is constantly slandered and maligned and lied about, while those who defend it are given no space to reply.

Contains Interview with Raymond Lotta, Timeline of The REAL History of Communist Revolution, and more...