Speaking at an event in Portland Oregon on August 1, 2010, to ban the use of these weapons, these were the words of Lynn Bradach whose life was changed unalterabley on that day in July, 2003.|
Though the Pentagon claims that these weapons are necessary to protect our troops, according to the Government Accountability Office, in the Persian Gulf War, these munitions killed or maimed 80 U.S. troops who had to pass through desert areas scattered with hidden cluster munitions.
Lynn believes that the dangers to local civilians and U.S. soldiers are too high, and has been campaigning for five years to ban the use of these weapons.
Her efforts are part of an International Convention to ban the production and use of cluster bombs which took effect on August 1, 2010. To date, 107 countries have signed the Convention and 37 have ratified.
The Portland event to celebrate this Convention took place at Peace Memorial Park, and was organized by Chapter 72 of Veterans for Peace.
The event was also to pay tribute to Marine Corporal Travis Bradach, whose picture playing a set of drums was on display during the event.
People were encouraged to bring drums to the event and after remarks from Lynn Bradach and Grant Remington of Veterans for Peace, all drummed to celebrate the Convention and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in war.
War is not hell; war is a crime, a failure, an ongoing destruction of our Humanity and the Planet. Hell is the path we choose to take in order to justify and excuse those means we employ to kill other human beings. Hell is a choice, even if a choice we make by choosing not to speak out and against the destructive insanity which permeates the design, manufacture and use of all manners of such technology.
Anything that is so designed to take a human life is evil, though some are more evil others. In November of 2009, Barak Obama, announced that his administration would not be signing the international convention to ban land mines. Our country has used and condoned these weapons both in the past and at the present time; our country has used phosphorus bombs in Iraq; our country has inflicted chemical warfare with the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam; our country supports murderous dictators and regimes; our country murders innocent civilians with the use of drones in Pakistan.
Our country, our country is not 'tis of thee, but of you and me, and only we can stop this! We are at liberty to ignore the outrage perpetrated upon the Earth and her people and we are free to conduct our lives like none of these outrages matter.
Yet, there are those who stand up for Peace, and these are the real War Heros.
Soldiers, by definition, perpetuate war, as do those who pay for the war machine and ignore the crimes being committed in their name. Perhaps, as some would argue, war is a necessary evil; but it is still evil and we as citizens of the most powerful nation on the planet must come to some awareness as to how we are using that power and begin the process of waging peace.