Editorial in the New York Times: Cluster Bombs, Made in America

On Friday, 111 nations, including major NATO allies, adopted a treaty that sets an eight-year deadline to eliminate stockpiles of cluster arms — pernicious weapons that scatter thousands of small bombs across a wide area, where they pose a long-term deadly threat to innocents. The Bush administration not only failed to sign the treaty but vigorously opposed it.

Modern nations need a range of weapons to protect their legitimate interests. Cluster munitions that disproportionately harm civilians are not among them. President Bush must resist the temptation to further sabotage this worthy treaty and let it take effect. It is not clear where the candidates stand on the treaty, but the next president, whoever it is, should repudiate Mr. Bush’s opposition and sign it.

Wait, “Modern nations need a range of weapons to protect their legitimate interests”? This knee-jerk stipulation is typical of the Times. I think that if you need weapons to protect your interests, they might not be legitimate. You should probably find different ones.

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