The White House sought on Friday to defend its controversial decision to send cluster bombs to the Ukrainian military but, instead, all it did is inspire even more criticism and mockery over its blatant disregard for international humanitarian law.
As previously reported, early on Friday the administration announced it’d be sending largely banned cluster munitions to Ukraine as part of a new $800 million military aid package.
Then later that afternoon, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan defended the decision during a press briefing.
“Ukraine has provided written assurances that it is going to use these in a very careful way that is aimed at minimizing any risk to civilians,” he claimed.
“Ukraine, the democratically elected government of Ukraine, has every incentive to minimize risk to civilians because it’s- their citizens. It’s Ukrainians who they are trying to protect and defend,” he continued.
“This is not Ukraine taking these and going and using them in the Middle East or in Southeast Asia or in some faraway land. They’re using them on their territory to defend their territory. So we believe that they’re highly motivated to do this,” he added.
His remarks prompted massive mockery on social media.
First casualty in war is truth
— Joe Wallin (@joewallin) July 7, 2023
Just like they don’t know where all the money is going we are sending? Now, they will be able to direct how those bombs are used?
— Lauren Dillard (@ldillardj) July 7, 2023
Iran had given “written assurances” they wouldn’t produce weapon grade plutonium…
“The Taliban won’t take over Afghanistan”
— Baruch Sandhaus (@BaruchSandhaus) July 7, 2023
Assurances are not worth the paper their written on. Especially with anything Sullivan has touched, you cant be sure of its authenticity, integrity or truthfulness. He’s the king of dirty tricks.
— Les Reed (@NewageReed) July 7, 2023
And a wonderful example of a warmonger bending over backwards to justify the actions. Almost as if they know it’s a bad idea.
Not very convincing after Biden pissed away billions in unaccounted money and weapons and the Pentagon accidentally sent +$6B.
— Darth_Argh (@Darth_Argh) July 7, 2023
The problems with cluster munitions are many, and President Joe Biden would know. As a senator, he’d been against the use of cluster munitions without the input of Congress, according to The Times of India.
“Cluster bombs have always posed problems for responsible military forces like those of the United States,” he reportedly said in 2006.
“The weapons are very useful militarily, but they also carry a real risk of causing civilian casualties if they are used where civilians are present or if too many submunitions fail to explode when they hit the ground,” he added.
The risk runs so deep that cluster bombs are “banned by a convention signed by more than 100 countries, including many NATO allies,” notes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Cluster bombs are banned by a convention signed by more than 100 countries, including many NATO allies. Because of their huge civilian toll, their use has long been seen as a war crime (including by the US when used by Bad Countries™),
Biden is now sending them to Ukraine . https://t.co/qhWQ66T4bl
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 7, 2023
The risk also runs so deep that when asked just five days into Russia’s war with Ukraine about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s use of “illegal cluster bombs and vacuum bombs,” then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki replied, “If that were true, it would potentially be a war crime.”
And for good reason.
“The weapons, which are meant to explode when they hit the ground, have caused thousands of deaths and injuries, often among children who have picked up duds that failed to go off in the initial attacks, only to explode long after a conflict is over,” according to The New York Times.
To understand how shocking the administration’s cluster bomb decision happens to be, just consider that even the administration’s sycophants at MSNBC are crying foul.
“[N]o matter what promises Ukraine makes about how these weapons will be used, the use of cluster munitions in any theater isn’t worth the price. This is a decision the Pentagon should rethink immediately, before even one of these weapons can be shipped off to the front lines,” reads an opinion piece published by the network on Friday.
Do keep in mind though that both Ukraine and Russia have already been using cluster munitions — their own supply — throughout the war.
“Kyiv and Moscow had substantial stockpiles of them at the beginning of the war, and Russia in particular has been using them heavily, shrinking its supply and killing hundreds (if not more) in the process. Cluster Munitions Coalitions, a disarmament group devoted to monitoring the use of these weapons, estimated in August that cluster munitions had already killed almost 700 people in Ukraine,” MSNBC notes.
The Biden administration has diverged from its closest allies by deciding to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine. Cluster bombs are weapons that disperse multiple smaller submunitions over a wide area.
While they can be effective in targeting large areas or concentrated enemy… pic.twitter.com/vj5HKcduId
— Brian Allen (@allenanalysis) July 7, 2023
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