Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Feel-Good Diplomacy

The Associated Press reported this morning that the US and Russia are the only two nations that have refused to sign a 92 nation ban on the use of cluster bombs. They follow-up by pointing out that even Afghanistan has signed.

The between-the-lines story is that it's morally repugnant that the US won't sign, that even Afghanistan will sign. It's a bit of a despicible story, really. I mean, how often have you read about the US using cluster bombs? I don't know that we ever have. So what useful purpose will our signing such a treaty serve?

Frankly, I find such treaties to be a waste of time, and nothing more than "feel-good" diplomacy. If, in fact, cluster bombs are inhumane, then it stands to reason that a reasonable nation, interested only in protecting their country, will refrain from using them regardless whether they've signed this treaty.

On the other hand, a country (or terrorist group) who couldn't care less about humanitarianism is not likely likely to honor such a ban--whether they've signed or not.

So even if the US signs, has this agreement done anything to make the world a better or safer place? Probably not.

Why don't we forget about the feel-good diplomacy and focus on doing things that really matter?

1 comment:

Shane Eccles said...

Great point you make.
So what make being splattered into milkshake density by a conventional bomb more humane than being killed by a cluster bomb anyways?
Cluster bombs are not a new idea, but I believe that Russia and the United States have developed smart cluster ballistics in order to defeat antimissile ballistics, such as our very one missile shield in which we are so proud. Imagine one ballistic achieving a height near space and then dispersing into many smaller ballistics each having its own target below, a missile shield may have trouble defending against that, an anti-antiballistic missile in a sense. Of course we have already developed an anti-anti-antiballistic missile in which we publicly tested. We shot down a satellite traveling 14,000 mph in space, which could have represented an anti-antiballistic.
OK, now I’m just rambling… good night…
BTW, we missed you guys at Thanksgiving; I hope all went well for you and the family…