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Stop Cluster Bombs


Need to Amend S 416, Stop Cluster Bombs,
Join Int'l Treaty Soon
by Arn Specter, June 3, 2009

Once again we are hearing the call from a few of the groups for us to support S416, called the "Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2009".

We are told that "in the coming week (this one) key Senators plan a major push to persuade more of their colleagues to endorse this legislation..." At the same time, a Report has been issued by Human Rights Watch coming at the beginning of a CMC-sponsored Global Week of Action on Cluster Munitions, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the conclusion of the convention in Dublin on May 30, 2008, where the Treaty was signed by 94 countries.

Lobbying for more support on this bill seems rather senseless. S 416 falls far short

of being a serious effort to disarm and support victims of cluster weapons. Amending the bill, on the other hand, would help foster something of worth on disarmament that would help the U.S. come closer to the International effort of the Cluster Ban Treaty and encourage a Presidential Review, as promised, to help facilitate serious discussion on disarmament of cluster bombs and joining with the International Community by signing-on to the Treaty.

Below is a listing of the sponsors and co-sponsors of the bills.

Let's encourage them to:

AMEND S416 SO THAT IT IS CLOSER IN CONTENT TO THE

CLUSTER BAN TREATY.

Here are the prohibitions of both U.S. Law and International Treaty restrictions.

U.S.Law signed at end of 2007 International Convention, Dec.2008
by President Bush aided by S.594, Oslo, Norway, 95 Countries with Sen. Feinstein and Leahy and meeting on March 18, 2009 at the H.R. 1755, Rep.McGovern United Nations for signing

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1) no sale of cluster bombs 1) no production of cluster bombs

2) no transfer 2) no transfer

3) no use

New Bills now in process in U.S. 4) no trade

S.416 and H.R.981,same sponsors 5) no stockpiing

3) no monies for purchases of bombs 6) some reduction

of stockpiles

7) some elimination of stockpiles

So we see here that the International standards are much more comprehensive that the laws in the United States (some other countries as well). The 95 countries who have signed on want to stop using these bombs altogether, stop making them and reduce or eliminate their stockpiles while the U.S. law prohibits the sale and transfer, and prohibits monies for the military to order any more made.

http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/media/videos/
A webpage of the CMC, Cluster Munitions Coalition
at stopclustermunitions.org

4 films and audios of talks by representatives from countries
worldwide who have signed onto the Cluster Munitions Treaty.

Steinberg and Inderfurth (see article below) argue for a commission to review the evidence... 'We believe President Barack Obama should sign these treaties and submit them to Congress for ratification. But we recognize that the new president has many urgent issues on his plate and does not need a contentious fight with the skeptics, including some in the Pentagon. A reasonable approach would be to launch a commission to consider U.S. adherence to these two treaties, charged with reviewing

the broad diplomatic, humanitarian and military dimensions, and making a recommendation by the end of this year.

I would suggest an ealier deadline for a commisions recomendations since the next treaty signing at the United Nations is in September 2009 and it would be most helpful
to the entire Cluster Munitions Coalition for the U.S. to join at that time.

The Bill, S416, restricts any Federal department (mostly the military) from obtaining more funds to order/purchase Cluster Bombs which is rather useless because the U.S. has vast stockpiles of cluster bombs, 5,500,000 of them along with 728,500,000 submunitions, dozens or hundreds fit into a single bomb). Since we stockpile so many we have no need for funds to order or purchase any more of them. Therefore I question the need for this bill as it is written.

Instead we need to amend the bill so that it more fully restricts the manufacture, sale or transfer, our use of them, reduction of stockpiles, and offers assistance to victims of the horrible effects of explosions in past wars and from live ones on the ground picked up and detonated by innocent civilians...mostly children who have been very badly injured and maimed over the years in countries overseas.

On March 11, 2009 President Obama did sign into law, HR 1105, FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, p.155, which states no military assistance shall be furnished for cluster munitions, no defense export license for cluster munitions technology shall be sold or transferred, unless...the bombs are made safer and they do not harm civilians.

The military set policy stating that not until 2018 will the U.S. use a safer bomb, and until then will use the "unsafe" bombs whenever they want.

When we look closely at the law, S 416 and the military policy we see that the U.S.

posture is far short of that set by the International Cluster Munitions Treaty, signed in May 2008, now by 96 countries that sets the tone for major disarmament in the near future for restricting more harm from the use of cluster bombs...

the Treaty bans the use, production, trade and stockpiling of cluster bombs, commits nations to clear affected areas within 10 years, declare and destroy stockpiled cluster munitions within 8 years, help affected nations with clearance and provide comprehensive assistance to victims of the weapon.

The ban, the most significant arms control and humanitarian treaty in a decade (since the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997) is supported by the overwhelming majority of NATO members but was opposed by the Bush and Obama Administrations to date, much to the shame and disgrace of its foreign policies and in the eyes of the world peoples.

The three articles (of many over the last few years) below speak more specifically of the situation.

1. US Out of Step on Cluster Bomb Ban , May 29, 2009

by Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action in the UK.

2. On Disarmament: 2 Strikes Against U.S., Europe and Africa Way Ahead

by Arn Specter, March 23, 2009

3. Viewpoint: U.S. should join effort to ban 'hidden killers' , April 20, 2009

by Donald Steinberg and Karl F. Inderfurth, BaltimoreSun.com

During the coming weeks there will be much discussion of the entire cluster bomb issue. If we want disarmament and a safer world in the future then we need to support the work of the Cluster Ban Coalition and help bring U.S. Law and policies much more in line with their perspectives.

Let us work with the Administration and Congress and look to the independent groups, some websites listed below, for their experiences "in the field" with victims of cluster attacks and with discussions and shared opinions in the making of the Cluster Ban Treaty.

Arn Specter, Phila.

arnpeace@yahoo.com

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US Out of Step on Cluster Bomb Ban

New Report Charts Changing Global Opinion Against the Weapon
May 29, 2009
US: Cluster Bomb Exports Banned
Twelve Facts and Fallacies about the Convention on Cluster Munitions
Other Material:
Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice
In the span of just a few years, many nations have gone from insisting that cluster munitions are wonder weapons vital to their national defense to proclaiming that cluster munitions must never be used again.

Steve Goose, Arms Division director
(Geneva) - The prohibition on cluster munitions is firmly taking hold as more countries join the new treaty banning the weapon and hold-out states shift their policies in the right direction, says a report jointly released today by Human Rights Watch, Landmine Action, and Landmine Monitor.

The 288-page report, "Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice," contains entries on 150 countries. It documents a major shift in global opinion about cluster munitions in recent years, with numerous former users, producers, exporters, and stockpilers of the weapon now denouncing it because of the humanitarian harm it causes.

The shift resulted in the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits use, production, and transfer of cluster munitions, requires destruction of stockpiles in eight years and clearance of affected areas in 10 years, and establishes a strong framework for assistance to victims of the weapon.

"In the span of just a few years, many nations have gone from insisting that cluster munitions are wonder weapons vital to their national defense to proclaiming that cluster munitions must never be used again," said Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch and final editor of the report.

Cluster munitions can be fired by artillery and rocket systems or dropped by aircraft. They typically explode in the air and send dozens, even hundreds, of tiny submunitions or bomblets over an area the size of a football field. These often fail to explode on impact, acting like landmines and posing a danger to civilians for years.

Among the signatories whose policies changed most dramatically are Denmark, France, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Others include Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and South Africa.

A total of 96 countries have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions since December 2008, including 20 of the 28 NATO members. Thirty-five countries that have stockpiled cluster munitions have signed the treaty. "Banning Cluster Munitions" notes that many signatories have already started to destroy their stockpiles, and Spain has completed destruction, the first country to do so since the signing in December. Some of the countries most contaminated by past use of cluster munitions have signed, including Afghanistan, Laos, and Lebanon.

However, some major users of cluster munitions, notably the United States, Russia, and Israel, have not signed the treaty, nor has China, which is believed to have a large stockpile.

"The US is out of step with most of its major military allies," said Goose. "There should be a NATO-wide policy not to use cluster munitions in joint military operations. The United States should not put treaty signatories in a position where they have to fight alongside US forces that use cluster munitions."

In its own policy shift, the US agreed last year that most cluster munitions should be banned, but only starting after 2018. At the initiative of the US Congress, the United States outlawed exports of cluster munitions in March 2009.

"Even governments that have not signed the treaty are re-examining their policies on cluster munitions because they know that history will not look kindly on future users, producers, or exporters of this weapon," said Goose.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions requires 30 ratifications to trigger entry into force six months later. Seven states have ratified so far, including five that led the process to create the treaty (Austria, Holy See, Ireland, Mexico, Norway), and two countries where cluster munitions have been used (Laos and Sierra Leone).

"Banning Cluster Munitions" looks at how governments engaged in the "Oslo Process," an unconventional fast-track diplomatic initiative started by Norway in November 2006 to create a legally binding treaty to outlaw cluster munitions. The report also shows how civil society groups organized under the umbrella of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) fought for a strong treaty. Charting the evolution of cluster munition policy in 150 countries, the report highlights marked policy shifts by major powers such as France and the UK.

The report also identifies difficult issues from the treaty's development and negotiation that are likely to remain contentious as the treaty goes into effect, including potential use of cluster munitions by non-signatories such as the US in joint military operations with treaty signatories.

The report was written jointly by Human Rights Watch and the UK-based Landmine Action, two nongovernmental organizations that played central roles in the creation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and serve as CMC co-chairs. The report was produced by Landmine Monitor, the civil society-based research and monitoring wing of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).

The release of the report comes at the beginning of a CMC-sponsored Global Week of Action on Cluster Munitions, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the conclusion of the negotiations of the convention in Dublin on May 30, 2008.

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March 23, 2009
On Disarmament: 2 Strikes Against U.S.,
Europe and Africa Way Ahead
by Arn Specter

The United States has failed in the last two opportunities to join with the International Community, lead by Europe and Africa, in disarming Landmines and Cluster Bombs (munitions), restricting their use.

The first opportunity was last December in Oslo, Norway when 95 Nations signed onto the Cluster Munitions Ban Treaty, prohibiting the making, sale,use. transfer and giving aid to victims, and locating and destroying remaining cluster bombs from previous military attacks harming civilians.
The U.S. failed to sign that agreement and again failed to sign at a follow-up meeting held on March 18 at the United Nations.

The second opportunity, where the U.S. has failed, was in Congress and the Obama administration, as well as the Military, where the combination of a watered down law was passed and a luke warm Bill, S.416 now in process,
both falling far short of protecting civilians in future combats from the harmful effects of thousands to millions of these small, but deady bombs, from being dropped from planes and attacking the civilian populations.

Most recently horrors of dismemberment and death to civilians by the use and demolition of cluster bombs have occurred in Sri Lanks, south of India,where many hundreds of civilians have been severely maimed and killed over the last month. The fighting continues today.

Europe, on the other hand, has made great progress by deciding to ban together, forming The Cluster Munitions Coalition, made up of many NGO's from Europe and other countries, held meetings on different continents over
the last few years, and held the Cluster Munition Ban Convention last Dec. in Oslo, Norway. There 95 countries signed on to the Cluster Ban Treaty -
a great victory for disarmament and hope for a safer and more secure future for millions of civilians in the world.

The Cluster Ban Treaty bans the use, production, transfer, trade. and stockpiling of cluster bombs, according to the Cluster Munitions Convention.

The Treaty also makes provisions for some reduction and elimination of stockpiles (accumulations of cluster bombs previously manufactured). Some countries have chosen to eliminate their stockpiles completely.

U.S. law and current legislation fall far short of protecting civilians than the Cluster Ban Treaty. The Law, H.R. 1105, FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, Division H-State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Title 1,
Department of State, p.155 was signed into law by President Obama earlier this month. The Bill S.416 sponsored by Senators Leahy and Feinstein is currently active, after previous bills and law over the last few years - which
were stronger in their restrictions on clusters than this one.

Current Law states: (b) Cluster Munitions - No military assistance shall be furnished for cluster munitions, no defense export license for cluster munitions may be issued, and no cluster munitions technology shall be sold or transferred, unless -
(1) the submunitions of the cluster munitions have a 99 percent or higher functioning rate; and
(2) the agreement applicable to the assistance, transfer,
or sale of the cluster munitions ...specifies that the cluster munitions will only be used against clearly defined military targets and will not be used where civilians are known to be present.

The law falls short as follows: there is no restriction on the manufacture of cluster bombs (the U.S. is the world's largest ); they can be sold or transferred if a country says it will not use them where civilians are located ( most fighting occurs today in urban areas where safeguards against civilian casualties cannot be guaranteed and there is no oversight on another country's casualties); there is no limitation at all on the use of these bombs by the U.S. military (the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Gates insist their use is of vital necessity);no provision to reduce or eliminate stockpiles ( the U.S. has vast stockpiles
of 5,500,000 bombs and 728,500,000 submunitions (hundreds may fit into one bomb).

The bill S.416, called "Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2009"
states: No funds appropriated or otherwise available to any Federal department
or agency may be obligated or expended to use any cluster munitions unless -
...(2) the policy applicable to the use of such cluster munitions specifies that the cluster munitions will only be used against clearly defined military targets and will
not be used where civilians are known to be present or in areas normally inhabited
by civilians. (current U.S. policy in Pakistan does not prohibit the U.S.military
from firing missiles into civilian areas, maiming and killing many, and raising mass protests from the people and government of that country)

With current vast stockpiles the U.S. military or any federal department does not
need any additional funds to acquire and use these cluster munitions thus making
the provisions of this bill restricting funding rather useless.

In addition, the bill allows the President to override any restrictions for use if
"it is vital to protect the security of the United States..." a provision so general
that the bill and the law, in effect , would become useless.

With close reading and understanding of the law and bill regarding cluster
bombs and civilian protection we see that the U.S. has failed time and time
again to show an interest in disarmament or to show a serious interest in
protecting civilians from harm. Regardless of a few restrictions the U.S. Military
is still able to use and even foster the selling of these destructive weapons
around the world.

In December 2008, according to Peter Beaumont, The Guardian, March 13
- and others- a spokesman for the Obama transition team said the next president would "carefully review" the treaty banning cluster munitions and
"work closely with our friends and allies to ensure that the United States is doing everything feasible to promote protection of civilians". Earlier the President,
then Senator Obama did vote for a bill that would help protect civilians.

Perhaps the President wasn't able to grant a full review of the importance of
this provision in the new law due to the great length of the law or business of
his first 60 days in office.

With "two strikes against it" the U.S. has one more chance to make some
progress on disarmament and civilian protection (and decrease military spending
as well). Despite a current campaign by one of our NGO's to support S.416
the U.S. can amend S.416 to include many more of the protections for civilians included in the International Treaty Ban restrictions and actually sign onto the
Treaty as well. The next "official" signing at the UN is in September.

By upgrading S.416 and/or signing onto the International Treaty Ban the U.S. would uplift it's status greatly in the eyes of the world disarmament and peace movement and help give hope to millions of civilians around the world caught
up in military conflicts where the U.S. or other countries who may purchase weapons from the U.S. (the world's largest producer and arms dealer) may well drop thousands of cluster bombs on them, causing lifelong injury and devastation.
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Resources:
For videos of the Dec.3 and 4th Convention from Oslo, Norway,
and other videos
see: www.youtube.com/user/cmcinternational.
for more background see: www.stopclustermunitions.org.
for testimony by victims and families see: www.banadvocates.org
Also: The United Nations has worked on Cluster Munitions as well as NGO's in the U.S. and Europe. Their websites cover legal and humanitarian concerns and the history of cluster bomb protest...check Google or Yahoo Search, Cluster Munitions.
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Arn Specter, Arn's News
P.O. Box 5857, Phila. Pa. 19128, USA
arnpeace@yahoo.com
(215) 843-1850
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BaltimoreSun.com
Viewpoint: U.S. should join effort to ban 'hidden killers'
By Donald Steinberg and Karl F. Inderfurth
April 20, 2009
A decade ago, the Ottawa treaty to ban land mines went into force. Yet today these "hidden killers" continue to exact a terrible toll among the world's most innocent.

In Angola, one of the first songs a child learns in school is about land mines. It warns that the ground is an angry place with beasts that pop up and bite off your leg unless you're careful. The song is part of a land mine avoidance campaign that has likely saved lives and limbs of many young children - but consider the devastating psychological impact of having kids view the earth itself as a source of danger and fear.

Similarly, children in such varied locales as Afghanistan, Albania, Cambodia, Iraq, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Montenegro, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are now taught not to touch the shiny metal balls and brightly painted cans scattered in their fields, remnants of cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance from past or current conflicts.

There are strong similarities between land mines and cluster munitions. Both are man-made humanitarian disasters that threaten post-conflict societies trying to rebuild. They are anonymous weapons, killing or maiming civilians as a result of soldiers planting them in the soil or dropping them from the sky, often years before. They are inefficient, imprecise weapons generally shunned in modern warfare; the U.S. military hasn't deployed land mines since 1992, nor cluster munitions since 2003. Still, some 70 countries around the world are impacted by these killers.

Fortunately, both land mines and cluster munitions are now themselves targeted for extinction. Following lengthy global negotiations, there are treaties to prohibit the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of these weapons. The goals of the Ottawa Treaty on land mines (1997) and Oslo Treaty on cluster munitions (2008) are realistic and achievable. Signing nations commit to clear affected areas; declare their stockpiles and destroy them within reasonable time limits; assist poorer countries with clearance efforts; and support accident survivors.

Regrettably, the U.S. remains a conspicuous holdout to both treaties. It's the only NATO country and, besides Cuba, the only Western Hemisphere country not to sign the land mine treaty. A majority of countries signed the cluster munitions treaty within days of its opening for signature last December.

As former presidential representatives for humanitarian demining, we see no compelling reasons for the U.S. not to sign these treaties now. President Bill Clinton held back from the Ottawa Treaty because of overstated concerns over the potential impact of the treaty on the defense of South Korea and the use of anti-tank munitions. But he launched a major effort to find alternatives to land mines and committed to sign the treaty by 2006 if successful. Indeed, ongoing research has yielded promising results. Substitute weapons systems that would comply with the Ottawa treaty are now at hand.

Mr. Clinton also directed massive new assistance for mine clearance, accident survivors, new demining technologies, and avoidance education - making the U.S. by far the largest contributor to these efforts.

The Bush administration maintained these assistance programs but quickly pulled back from Clinton's land mine policy, arguing that land mines have a "military utility" and that our land mines - designed to deactivate or self-destruct after a given period - aren't the problem. It claimed that cluster munitions pose only an "episodic" and "manageable" threat to civilians.

These arguments are unconvincing. The world long ago recognized that humanitarian concerns can trump military utility, as in the banning of mustard gas and other chemical/biological weapons. It's time to change U.S. policy.

We believe President Barack Obama should sign these treaties and submit them to Congress for ratification. But we recognize that the new president has many urgent issues on his plate and does not need a contentious fight with the skeptics, including some in the Pentagon. A reasonable approach would be to launch a commission to consider U.S. adherence to these two treaties, charged with reviewing the broad diplomatic, humanitarian and military dimensions, and making a recommendation by the end of this year. The nonpartisan commission could be co-chaired by former national security advisers from Republican and Democratic administrations - such as Brent Scowcroft and Anthony Lake - and include former members of Congress, retired military officers, former officials of USAID, and civil society leaders.

We believe this review will show the weapons should be shelved for all time. It will take some changes in military doctrine and practice, but the benefits will be manifold. Chief among them is the powerful signal it will send to the world of the new president's commitment to re-engage with the international community to address global problems. Equally important, it will help permit future generations to walk the earth without fear.

Donald Steinberg is deputy president for policy at the International Crisis Group; Karl F. Inderfurth is a professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. They served as Special Representatives to the President and Secretary of State for Global Humanitarian Demining from 1998-2001 and 1997-98 respectively.
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March 1,2009
Subject: Cluster Munition and Landmine Treaties at UN March 18, 2009

Activists,
This is an action plan. The objective is to convince the United States government,

the President and/or Congress to join and sign onto the upcoming International Agreement on March 18,2009 at the United Nations about prohibiting and restricting Cluster Bomb and Landmine usage, production, transfering, stockpiling, trading and reducing or eliminating them.

According to International Law and U.S. Law the President can either take it upon himself to sign onto the agreement or take it up for advise and/or ratification with Congress. (see below for legal procedures, below lists of co-sponsors)
As you know the International Treaty was signed by 95 countries in December 2008 in Oslo, Norway. During the last few years the U.S. by law has also prohibited various
aspects of the use of cluster bombs. I'll hold aside discussion of landmines just to say that the U.S. has yet to sign on - with over 150 countries already joined in agreement-
although the U.S. has not used any for many years. This too is the opportunity to join the Landmine Treaty of 1997 and save many lives and misfortunes on March 18.

Here are the prohibitions of both U.S. Law and International Treaty restrictions.

U.S.Law signed at end of 2007 International Convention, Dec.2008

by President Bush aided by S.594, Oslo, Norway, 95 Countries with

Sen. Feinstein and Leahy and meeting on March 18, 2009 at the

H.R. 1755, Rep. McGovern United Nations for signing

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1) no sale of cluster bombs 1) no production of cluster bombs

2) no transfer 2) no transfer

3) no use

New Bills now in process in U.S. 4) no trade

S.416 and H.R.981,same sponsors 5) no stockpiing

3) no monies for purchases of bombs 6) some reduction of stockpiling

7) some elimination of stockpiles

So we see here that the International standards are much more comprehensive that the laws in the United States (some other countries as well). The 95 countries who have signed on want to stop using these bombs altogether, stop making them
and reduce or eliminate their stockpiles while the U.S. law prohibits the sale and transfer, and prohibits monies for the military to order any more made.

http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/media/videos/
A webpage of the CMC, Cluster Munitions Coalition
at stopclustermunitions.org

4 films and audios of talks by representatives from countries
worldwide who have signed onto the Cluster Munitions Treaty.
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In Congress S.416 is in process and could be amended to become more inclusive in reducing the weapons by prohibiting their use, not trading any stockpiles of bombs,and reducing or eliminating our vast stockpiles of 5,500,000 cluster bombs and 728,500,000 submunitions (hundreds may fit into one bomb).

The defense contractors (corporations) would be sure to balk loudly at this kind of cutback but, for the sake of disarmament and less violence in conflicts and wars,
we would be prudent to follow the lead of some European states determined to reduce their arsenals and foster more diplomacy and negotiations in settling conflicts around the world, supported by the United Nations.

The objective of this particular action plan is for the U.S. to sign onto the International Convention Treaty on March 18th at the United Nations; and possibly change the laws to become more in line with the International standards.

To help make this a reality we can contact the President and Congress, in particular the 2 sponsors, Sen.Feinstein and Rep. McGovern and the 20 co-sponsors each in the Senate and House, altogether 42 members of Congress who have a direct interest in reducing and restricting these weapons of war, and have worked to do so over the last few years. These are the key people along with the President, and some others
who can influence these decision makers. (see lists below)

The Plan: To influence the 42 we can contact their constituents throughout the country, in their districts back home. This is vitally important as most members of congress will only accept e-mails via their website from constituents
(as far as I can tell this is so in the house though senators may be more accessible)

If anyone has e-mail listings that are current I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know.

If constituents write in to the 42 then we can make a strong impact lobbying for the U.S. to sign onto the Convention Treaty.

For example as a resident of Penna. I would lobby with
Sen. Robert Casey, as I am one of his constituents. For those people without a representative on the two committees, lobbying the President, Un Ambassador, Susan Rice at the U.S. Mission, and others would make a valuable contribution.

All members offices can be reached by telephone or fax as well.

This plan would work well if the national groups and organizations would get involved. Those with chapters throughout the country or connections with other groups to encourage those constituents (voters) to lobby their representatives (the 42). This is the key, pressure to sign coming from the voters at home via e-mails that are read and considered highly by congresspeople, as one of their main concerns is to be respected for their work and re-elected.

Over the last few weeks much material has been sent out to you all with background and resources. The following disarmament and peace groups have been working with their own campaigns or support the effort.

Stopclustermunitions.org

hrw.org (Human Rights Watch)

fcnl.org (Friends Center for National Legislation)

oneworld.org

banclusterbombs.org

icbl.org (International Campaign to Ban Landmines)

cdi.org (Center for Defense Information)

armscontrol.org (Arms Control Association)

Well, that's the plan, more or less - REACH THE CONSTITUENTS

SO THEY CAN REACH THEIR REPRESENTATIVES AND VOICE

THEIR DESIRE FOR DISARMING THESE CLUSTER BOMBS AND

LANDMINES AND MAKING A MORE SANE AND SECURE WORLD.

AND SHARE THE DESIRE FOR THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

AND PEOPLE TO BE REPRESENTED AT THIS PRESTIGEOUS EVENT

WITH MEMBERS OF COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE ATTENDING. LET

US NOT BE ABSENT AS WE WERE LAST DECEMBER, SHAMEFULLY

RETREATED WAS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

LET US STAND TALL WITH OUR NEW PRESIDENT, BARACK OBAMA

AND OUR AMBASSADOR TO THE UN, SUSAN RICE, AND THOSE IN

CONGRESS, SENATORS DIANNE FEINSTEIN AND PATRICK LEAHY

AND REP. JIM MCGOVERN AND THE CO-SPONSORS OF THE LEGISLATION, SUPPORTING THIS MOST IMPORTANT EFFORT. EVEN

SOME MILITARY PEOPLE MAY WANT TO ATTEND ON MARCH 18

INDICATING THAT WE HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH ARMS,

NOW IS THE TIME TO DISARM THESE PARTICULAR WEAPONS AND

HELP DO OUR PART IN THIS INTERNATIONAL EFFORT OF SOLIDARITY

AND GOODWILL ON MARCH 18 AT THE UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK.

We can write to President Obama at www.Whitehouse.org

(see contact, upper right on website)

Let's do it! 17 day campaign until the UN meeting.

arn specter, phila.

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The Library of Congress > THOMAS Home > Bills, Resolutions > Search Results

S.416
Title: A bill to limit the use of cluster munitions.
Sponsor: Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] (introduced 2/11/2009) Cosponsors (20)
Related Bills: H.R.981
Latest Major Action: 2/11/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice
and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

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COSPONSORS(20), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)
Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] - 2/11/2009 Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 2/11/2009
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 2/11/2009 Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] - 2/12/2009
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 2/11/2009 Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 2/11/2009
Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] - 2/23/2009 Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 2/11/2009
Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] - 2/11/2009 Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 2/12/2009
Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA] - 2/11/2009 Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] - 2/11/2009
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] - 2/11/2009 Sen Merkley, Jeff [OR] - 2/11/2009
Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] - 2/11/2009 Sen Murray, Patty [WA] - 2/23/2009
Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 2/11/2009 Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 2/12/2009
Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] - 2/11/2009 Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] - 2/11/2009

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H.R.981
Title: To limit the use of cluster munitions.
Sponsor: Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] (introduced 2/11/2009) Cosponsors (20)
Related Bills: S.416
Latest Major Action: 2/11/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to

the House Committee on Armed Services.

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COSPONSORS(20), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: (Sort: by date)

Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] - 2/13/2009 Rep Boustany, Charles W., Jr. [LA-7] - 2/11/2009
Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 2/13/2009 Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] - 2/23/2009
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] - 2/11/2009 Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 2/13/2009
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 2/13/2009 Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 2/13/2009
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 2/13/2009 Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] - 2/13/2009
Rep Issa, Darrell E. [CA-49] - 2/11/2009 Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [GA-4] - 2/13/2009
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 2/13/2009 Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 2/26/2009
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] - 2/11/2009 Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 2/11/2009
Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 2/13/2009 Rep Rahall, Nick J., II [WV-3] - 2/11/2009
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 2/23/2009 Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 2/13/2009

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Legalities of the Cluster Munitions
Treaty/Agreement
1) Signature of the Convention
from: stopclustermunitions.org

The Convention on Cluster Munitions was signed in Oslo, Norway in December
2008 and has since been opened for signature and ratification at the United Nations headquarters in New York. By signing the Convention, a state proclaims its concent
to be bound by its provisions once it ratifies the treaty. In addition, the state is obligated
to not act against the "object and purpose" of the treaty until the treaty becomes law for
that state. Every country that has signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions must still
ratify it in order to become a State Party bound by the Convention's provisions.

2) Treaties and Agreements
from Wikipedia

Whereas treaties require advice and consent by two-thirds of the Senate,
sole executive agreements may be executed by the President acting alone.
Some treaties grant the President the authority to fill in the gaps with executive
agreements, rather than additional treaties or protocols. And finally, Congressional
executive agreements require majority approval by both the House and the Senate,
either before or after the treaty is signed by the President.

Currently, international agreements are executed by executive agreement rather

than treaties at a rate of 10:1. Despite the relative ease of executive agreements,

the President still often chooses to pursue the formal treaty process over an executive agreement in order to gain Congressional support on matters that require the

Congress to pass implementing legislation or appropriate funds, and those

agreements that impose long-term, complex legal obligations on the U.S.

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