For Our 100th Post: A reminder

Since May 20, 1996, when US President Bill Clinton announced in a White House briefing that “the United States will seek a worldwide ban as soon as possible to end the use of all anti-personnel land mines” (Department of Defense) an estimated 172,000 people have been killed or injured by landmines.  That’s as many people as were killed at Hiroshima.  That’s three times as many Americans as have been killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.  That’s four times as many casualties as at Gettysburg.  Every day, another dozen people are added to the list of people killed by landmines.

Since announcing the plan to ban landmines, the US government has reviewed its policy three times: once under Clinton (when the US withdrew from negotiations that led to the Ottawa Treaty which has since banned landmines in 161 countries), once under George W. Bush (State Department) and most recently under Barack Obama.  The results of the Obama Administration’s review have not been released, but if the Administration were to support the Ottawa Treaty, the US might reclaim the position it once held, in the Spring of 1996, when the US was a leader in the movement to ban landmines.

Michael P. Moore

March 18, 2013

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