It was good to see US Ambassador Charles Ray recognising the horrific impact that
landmines have on the population, and on the growth of the country ('Loony Tunes
to combat mines', PPPost May 23).
His comments, however, stink of hypocrisy. If the US government was really concerned
over the deployment of such weapons, and their indiscriminate and devastating toll
on civilians in Cambodia and in other parts of the world, it would have already signed
up to the Ottawa Convention on the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of
Anti-Personnel mines and on Their Destruction.
Not only does it refuse to do so, it continues to deploy them on the Korean peninsula.
I wonder how good Bugs and the gang are in Korean for their next outing?
But landmines are not the only non-conventional weapons deployed by the US military.
The US continues to use depleted uranium (DU) weapons - they used 944,000 rounds
(source: US Government) in the first Gulf War, and countless hundreds of thousands
more in their latest, in my opinion illegal, attempts to liberate Iraq's natural
While Italy, Germany, Norway, Finland, and the European Parliament have called for
the ban of DU weapons, and while leukemia, cancer, and birth defect levels have rocketed
in Iraq over the last decade, the US government continues to irradiate and poison
civilians in its military actions.
I wonder if Disney would match Warner's largesse with an educational movie starring
Donald Duck with a deformed Huey, a cancerous Duey, and the dead fetus of Louie.
We can but wait and see.
As Ambassador Ray has recognised the enormity of landmine deployment, I invite him
to openly condemn the current US policy and push for both a swift signature of the
Ottawa Convention and a ban on DU weapons.
- Danny Whitehead - Phnom Penh