The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

"War Crimes":
The U.S. Sends Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

Aug 7, 2023

In July, the Biden administration said it would send cluster bombs to Ukraine for use in its war against Russian forces.

Cluster bombs are a munition that explodes before hitting the ground and spreads tens or hundreds of small bomblets over a wide area. These bomblets are supposed to explode on impact and kill or maim soldiers in the area. However, many of these bomblets fail to explode when they hit the ground, but they stay there and can explode in the future when stepped on or touched.

The International Commission of the Red Cross estimates that 10 to 40% of the bomblets fail to detonate on impact, but they can kill civilians months, or even years, later. An estimated 40% of the later victims of cluster bombs are children. The vice president of the International Committee of the Red Cross said that “cluster bombs remain one of the world’s most treacherous weapons. They kill and maim indiscriminately and cause widespread human suffering.”

123 countries in the world have signed an agreement to not use cluster bombs. However, the U.S. government refuses to sign this agreement. The U.S. government used cluster bombs during the war in Viet Nam and Southeast Asia. Since the end of the war, about 25,000 people in Viet Nam and Laos have been killed or wounded by cluster bombs that the U.S. dropped during the war. The U.S. also used cluster bombs in Iraq when it invaded that country from 2003 to 2006.

Human Rights Watch has called the use of cluster bombs a “war crime.” Earlier in the Ukraine war, the White House accused Russia of using cluster bombs and called this a “war crime.” That certainly was the height of hypocrisy. Now it is the U.S. government, which is, once again, the one committing this “war crime.”