Posted by: Ken Homer | May 27, 2008

The Turning Point in Charlie Wilson’s War

If you’ve not seen Charlie Wilson’s War, I highly recommend it. 

Charlie Wilson for those who don’t know him, was a “Good Time Charlie” kinda guy.

A Congressman from Texas, Charlie happened to sit on the House Appropriations committee in the 1980s. He is credited with nearly single handedly delivering the defeat the Russian Army suffered in Afghanistan.

The turning point for Charlie came when he went to Afghanistan and looked into the eyes of children whose hands, arms and legs had been blown off when they saw something shiny on the ground, and like any curious child, bent to pick it up.

How could they know that the shiny object they were drawn to pick up was part of a cluster bomb?

Every year in dozens of countries, thousands of tiny hands reach out to pick up shiny bits of metal on the ground, only to suffer a horrible and irrevocable consequence.

Jody Williams won a Nobel Prize for her campaign to ban land mines. But the work is far from over.

There are many efforts underway to ban the manufacture of cluster bombs. There is a treaty being negotiated this month among 116 countries but there are pressures to weaken the provisions.

Any argument affirming the need make and deploy these types of munitions is defended by a torturous logic. A logic that can not be defended when confronted by the reality of a three year old who has lost an arm, a leg, any eye or worse. 

If this is an issue about which you are concerned and you’d like to add your voice to growing chorus of those calling for protection of the rights of children you can learn more and sign a petition here.

And next time you watch a three year old bend down to pick up something shiny, pray that it is only a gum wrapper.

 

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