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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/16/11

Qaddafi Found Using Cluster Bombs in Libya, What About U.S. Doing the Same in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen

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The headline read, "Qaddafi Troops Fire Cluster Bombs Into Civilian Areas". [1]

According to the evidence cluster bomb fragments that kill indiscriminately were found on Friday in Misurata, Libya the besieged city bombed earlier and tenuously held by the rebel forces fighting against Muammar Qaddafi and his army of loyalists and African mercenaries.

Interestingly, the fragments found revealed the cluster bombs were made in Spain apparently before that country signed the international "Convention on Cluster Munitions" which banned the use of such weapons (designed to kill people and penetrate light armor). Libya under Qaddafi was not a signatory to the "Convention". Another country conspicuously missing from the list of signees is of course the U.S.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when asked to respond to Qaddafi's use of such weapons said she was "not aware" but "I'm not surprised by anything that Colonel Qaddafi and his forces do". [2]

Looking at her comment one would think we, the U.S. wouldn't resort to our dropping these lethal weapons on civilian populations. Well, think again for it is we who are dropping cluster bombs in Afghanistan, previously in the Iraq war and clandestinely in Yemen in 2009. [3]

Is it not the irony of ironies that our "official" indignation at Qaddafi's use of such weapons is with revulsion yet there is no acknowledgement "officially" of our doing the same thing?

When Clinton spoke it was at a news conference in Berlin. Did no reporter present think to ask madam Secretary about our current use of cluster bombs in our wars or is such questioning "verboten" at these "news" conferences?

The view from here is if such questioning of our "officials" is off the table then these "news" conferences aren't about "news" they are just staged events, propaganda sessions reminiscent of those held in the old Soviet Union where everyone knew the "news" coming out of those events were staged, a fake and worthless.

Another question that leaps out is if there is uncensored reporting coming out of the war zone in Libya then why is there no unrestricted reporting coming out of the war zones in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen? And if such reporting is censored or disallowed by our government then why isn't that fact reported?

One can only guess but when your country engages in unjustified pre-emptive wars and occupations, kills and maims scores of innocents not only with cluster bombs but also missile strikes and drone attacks (that require our "officials" to dissemble the truth while our reporters become little more than stenographers regurgitating whatever these "officials" say) then what we get as "news" is not worth the paper it's written on, nor worth viewing or being listened to.

Jefferson said, "An informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny by the state" and requires a free and independent press.

The sad fact is our free press has become compromised and we the people are hardly informed by faux, filtered "news" and reporting that is more stenography rather than being penetrating and revealing of what we need to know.          

What real news we got yesterday about the use of cluster bombs was more about what wasn't revealed i.e. our "official" acknowledgement of our using them in our wars rather than just learning Qaddafi's use of them in Libya against his own people.

[1] Qaddafi Troops Fire Cluster Bombs Into Civilian Areas", by C.J. Chivers, "The New York Times", April 15, 2011

[2]   See footnote #1

[3]   See footnote #1

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