New Internationalist

Bombs away

This month last year, Israel’s military forces were attacking Lebanon. One year later, a horrifying legacy remains. Imagine walking into a field where hundreds of unexploded cluster bomblets lie – just some of the four million that Israel’s military dropped into South Lebanon in the last days of its bombardment. You know that – in this field – living and dying can change with the wind. You have seen the faces and limbs that are blown away with one wrong step. What do you do? What John Rodsted did was grab a camera, film the fields, and take the footage to the Norway Government. Within weeks the Oslo Process had begun – an international dialogue to negotiate a treaty to ban cluster bombs. John is the official photographer to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines – the team that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. Ten years later John is still campaigning against those cruel and life-destroying legacies of war – the anti-personnel bombs that fighting forces leave behind when they withdraw from conflict. To explode the argument that cluster bombs are legitimate weapons of war, he is joined in conversation with other international campaigners:

  • Rae McGrath, a driving force behind the campaign to ban landmines, describes the anatomy of this successful international campaign: where to lobby, when to fight, and how to win.
  • Simon Conway, the Director of the British NGO Landmine Action, who’s a global advocate effectively prosecuting both landmines and cluster bombs, translates what the politicians are saying.  
  • Arms traders make their money from dead bodies. Their best products are the ones that kill the most effectively. Siemon Wezeman from the Stockholm International Peace Research explains why the international arms trade continues to be brisk.  
And what’s a more appropriate CD for the topics that we’ve been discussing in this program than Ceasefire. Rock meets rap in this musical collaboration from Sudan inspired by peace-talks between the Muslim North and the predominantly Christian South.

Listen now (click the play button left) or download the program (click this link)

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