Largely in response to reckless Trump regime treaty busting, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock closer than ever to midnight.
It now stands at 100 seconds from potential catastrophe to humanity.
In June 2017, the Trump regime ceased participation in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, falsely claiming it “will undermine (the US) economy…put(ting) (America) at a permanent disadvantage.”
In May 2018, Trump abandoned the landmark JCPOA nuclear deal — unanimously adopted by the Security Council, making it binding international and constitutional law.
In August last year, he pulled out of the vitally important 1987 INF Treaty — Washington and Moscow agreeing to eliminate their ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with rages of 500 to 5,500 km.
For the first time, both nations agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate a category of WMDs, and institute on-site inspections for verification of compliance to treaty provisions.
On Friday, Trump abandoned the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, aiming to eliminate use of these weapons worldwide.
The Geneva Convention prohibits their indiscriminate use against civilians.
Radiological, chemical, biological, cluster bombs and landmines are terror weapons — able to kill and maim indiscriminately, civilian harmed most.
Signatories to the landmine treaty must cease their use, development, production, stockpiling, and transferring of these weapons, along with eliminating existing stockpiles, except for small numbers used for training purposes — notably mine clearance and detection.
The treaty only covers anti-personnel mines, not anti-tank and other static explosive devices.
Since the treaty became effective in March 1999, 159 countries completed elimination of their stockpiles, or declared they had none to destroy.
Most world community states ratified the landmine ban. Thirty-two non-signatory states include the US, Russia, China, and Israel.
On Friday, the Trump regime announced that it will no longer observe Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention restrictions — reversing Obama’s 2014 order that restricts their use to the Korean peninsula and abandons further production and transfer of these terror weapons.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody William founded the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) — its objective to eliminate use of antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions worldwide.
Asked about the danger posed by landmines, Williams earlier said the following:
They remain dangerous longterm “(b)ecause no human being monitors their action. The soldier plants the landmine and walks away, and that weapon just sits and waits for someone to step on it or touch it,” adding:
“It has been called ‘the perfect soldier.’ You don’t have to feed it. You don’t have to put a uniform on it. You don’t have to keep monitoring its activities.”
“It sits and waits for its victims for up to 100 years. Landmines from World War I and World War II still claim victims from Europe and North Africa today.”
“Obviously, after the end of the war, every victim is a civilian, a man, a woman, a child trying to live a normal life. Instead they live with daily terror.”
Mine clearance requires dangerous labor-intensive effort, removing them “mine by mine,” Williams explained.
The US hasn’t used landmines since 1991, hasn’t exported them since 1992, hasn’t produced them since 1997, and eliminated about three million landmines in its stockpile.
Will all of the above now change in the wake of Friday’s White House and war department announcements?
A White House press secretary statement falsely claimed landmines “are to ensur(e) our forces are able to defend against any and all threats (sic).”
No real ones exist, just invented ones.
US war secretary Mark Esper falsely claimed “(l)andmines are one of many other important tools that our commanders need to have available to them on the battlefield to shape the battlefield and to protect our forces (sic),” adding:
“(W)e want to make sure that we have all the tools in our toolkit that are legally available and effective to ensure our success and to ensure the protection of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines (sic).”
The US didn’t sign the landmine treaty, falsely claiming they’re needed on the Korean peninsula — knowing the DPRK poses no threat, pretending otherwise since the peninsula was divided post-WW II.
Along with the White House and war department announcements, the State Department said the Trump regime rescinded Obama’s directive for the US no longer to “produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel landmines.”
Henceforth, they’ll likely be produced by US contractors and used in theaters of the Pentagon’s choosing.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, “war surgeons consider them among the worst injuries they have to treat,” often requiring amputation of one or more limbs and multiple operations.
The Landmine Monitor watchdog group reported that most landmine victims post-9/11 have been civilians.
In response to Trump’s action, Arms Control Association (ACA) executive director Daryl Kimball issued a statement, saying the following:
“The resumption of the use of anti-personnel land mines and continued stockpiling and production of these indiscriminate weapons is militarily unnecessary and dangerous,” adding:
“If the Trump administration seeks to reverse the Obama-era policy on anti-personnel mines, Congress should respond by imposing a ban on the deployment of any type of anti-personnel land mine in new theaters of operation.”
ACA said the US “continues to stockpile millions of” these weapons.
ACA senior fellow Jeff Abramson stressed that “(t)he world has rejected landmines because they are indiscriminate and disproportionately harm civilians, who make up the vast majority of landmine casualties,” adding:
“Technical solutions to make landmines self-destruct or otherwise labeled as ‘smart’ have failed to work as advertised and have been rejected by 164 countries.”
“The world has moved on from the use of landmines. The United States should too.”
Will Congress overrule Trump? Most likely not with a two-thirds House and Senate super-majority needed to override a presidential veto.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.