This past week more than 100 countries signed onto a treaty banning cluster bombs. Cluster bombs are very dangerous weapons that, when dropped, disperse hundreds of smaller bomblets over an area the size of two football fields. They indiscriminately kill thousands of innocent civilians each year. Most of the bomblets fail to detonate and become landmines, lying dormant for months or years until a child or farmer picks up what looks like a toy or food can, but in fact is a bomb.
Despite so many countries seeing the danger of these weapons and wanting to get rid of them, the U.S. will be absent in Oslo, refusing to sign onto the treaty. Following the example of the U.S., China, Russia, Pakistan and Israel will also not sign onto the treaty to ban these weapons.
Almost all countries in the world have signed onto the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which carries the weight of the U.S. Constitution. Each year we celebrate the signing of this important document, which was signed on Dec. 10, 1948, 60 years ago this year.
Our hope is that people read and understand this important document to understand their legitimate human rights; and we ask all governments, including our own, to follow the statutes contained therein. Mind you, these rights do not depend on how much money or power you have. You deserve to have these simply because you are a human being.
Cluster bombs are an infringement on the rights of all human beings. By allowing these to be manufactured and exported all over the world our country, Russia and China are violating human rights.
Rev. Don Timmerman