Should the U.S. ban the use of land mines?

Discussion in 'World Events' started by ISDAMan, Dec 16, 1999.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The USA is one of the few countries that has not ratified the UN convention on the banning of land mines.
     
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  3. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Yes and no. Like most weapons, it depends on the application. Landmines in the Korean theatre are essentially on the 38th parallel.

    Weeell, you don't want to start trading nukes with North Korea, because IMHO they just don't fucking care and "tactical" to Kim Jung Bill means "capitalist running dogs in Seoul". The Navy is so-so: it's more the mass of personnel and land vehicles that the mines are intended to slow down or stop so that the Americans can lift some actual heavy units into Korea to stop the NKA. One Yank division, M1A1s or no, is not enough to stop the NKs, and the ROKs have enough cut out for themselves. Now, possibly it would go exactly as the Fulda yonks would like and the NKA would find itself burning on the border wondering exactly WTF happened. But the Soviet-style frontal movement strategy has yet to be really tested. I've no idea how it would really turn out.

    Korea.
     
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  5. Challenger78 Valued Senior Member

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    I honestly doubt that trouble spots around the world will allow for precise deployment. When were the korean mines deployed?
     
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  7. Dr Mabuse Percipient Thaumaturgist Registered Senior Member

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    We should be using the hell out of the cluster mine bombs in the mountain passes between Afghanistan and Waziristan/Pakistan. Have so many mine sin those passes we can spot them coming over with detonations.
     
  8. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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  9. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    We shouldn't limit our options. The US military believes they need the mines in Korea, and it's not inconceivable that other circumstances could arise where they'd be useful as well.
     
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly. One can't go willy-nilly laying them about everywhere.

    Ohh, ages ago I would think.
     
  11. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

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    Ah. So if you are for the little buggers, then you are also for drawing and quartering? If not, why not?
     
  12. superstring01 Moderator

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    There are bases that may well need the higher level of automated security that a mine can provide. I can imagine better ways (with the advent of automated technology, those ways may not just be better for civilians, they might actually be better altogether).

    That misses a big point that neither has Russia, China, India or Korea. As was already pointed out, this has more to do with Korea than anything else. Neither the USA nor Korea will support removing the mine fields from the peninsula at present.

    ~String
     
  13. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Only when appropriately sanctioned by a shura council, I'm sure.

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    That is, if there are no stones about.
     
  14. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    But... But... we can't miss any chance to portray the US as backwards and immoral!
     
  15. Fukushi -meta consciousness- Registered Senior Member

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    The US is backwards and immoral, there you said it.
     
  16. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    While this may be considered minor and irrelevant are there any statistics on animals victimised by landmines?
     
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I have seen numerical estimates of draft animal casualties in Vietnam and Lebanon, but I can't find them off hand. The problem has also been discussed in some hard detail for Indonesia, and a couple of other places. I remember reading about a village somewhere that lost all its cattle when some kind of flood or mudslide moved a minefield into their pastures.

    Biologists have mentioned it in reference to migration routes , but I haven't seen any statistical attempts with wild animals.

    It was a serious problem in Vietnam, where draft buffalo were key farming power. The denial of farmland and pasture in Lebanon, by Israel's refusal to provide maps of its minefields after withdrawal, is naturally well known.
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    This boot was made for walking?

    I feel obliged to point out that you probably shouldn't expect an answer. The thread itself is nearly ten years old, and ISDAMan hasn't posted for over seven years.

    • • •​

    I'm not finding any global statistics, but I did come across a couple of articles:

    In some instances, land mines directly threaten both people and animals. Reuters reporter Roger Atwood wrote in 1997 that roughly 20,000 land mines are strewn acrossthe Falkland/Malvinas Islands, a remnant of Argentinean attemptsto keep British soldiers off the land 15 years ago. According to Atwood, "No [human] has been killed by the mines since the war .. but animals are regularly blown to pieces." The minefields are identified by fences and warning signs, but with "75,000 sheep, keeping the livestock from danger can be a struggle" ....

    .... In Sri Lanka, as many as 20 Asian elephants are killed by mines every year, according to zoologist Charles Santiapillai of the University of Peradeniya. Thousands of miles away, in Africa, land mines have ravaged wildlife, including threatened and highly endangered species. Mines reportedly have killed more than 100 elephants in Mozambique. Scott Nathanson, a Disarmament Campaign organizer, writes that elephants in the Gorongosa national gamepark "have been maimed because of anti-personnel land mines or killed because of anti-tank mines."

    In Zimbabwe, Lt. Col. Martin Rupiah, a lecturer at the Centerfor Defense Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, claims that "every village near Chiredzi has lost at least one animal to land mines ... In the Gonarezhou National Park, elephants and buffaloes have had to be killed after they were injured by landmines." In northwest Rwanda, one of the region's highly endangered mountain gorillas was killed by a land mine as a result of that country's recent civil war. According to the field staff of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, the 20 year-old male silverback was named Mkono, which means "hand" in the Kiswahili language; he had already lost a hand to a poacher's snare.

    In Croatia, wildlife fatalities due to land mines have been documented by Professor Djuro Huber of the University of Zagreb. His reports note the deaths of European brown bears, roe deer, lynxes, and foxes as a result of mines placed in the region from 1990 to 1996 ....

    .... No one knows for sure how many animals are killed ....


    (Roberts and Stewart)

    • • •​

    The elephant Mohey's year-old baby was oblivious, as babies can be when they are safely near their parents. "He was trying to eat and play with his mother," Mr. Dee Ngae said. "And she was in such pain that she kept pushing him away. The baby didn't know what was going on."

    But Mr. Dee Ngae did. A dozen elephants from his village had already been killed by land mines as encroaching farmland edged loggers and their beasts of burden deeper and deeper into the jungle battlefields along the border between Thailand and Myanmar, the former Burma.

    The elephants' deaths are part of a worldwide epidemic of land mine injuries to animals who stray into battlefields or former battlefields, joining some 25,000 humans who are also killed or injured every year by this most indiscriminate of weapons.

    No one has counted—or is able to count—the toll on animals of the 100 million land mines that the International Campaign to Ban Landmines estimates have been sown throughout the world. But anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of animal victims—both in the wild and in grazing herds—is much higher than that of human victims ....

    ... The 29-year-old elephant and her baby were transported in the back of a small truck from the border to an elephant hospital here, just south of the northern city of Chiang Mai, a nine-hour ride that has become a sort of ambulance route for more than a dozen injured elephants in recent years.

    Here, she joined another elephant from her village named Motola who lost a foot more than a year ago and is till waiting for it to heal enough to be fitted with an experimental prosthetic.

    Chained inside an enclosure and sighing deeply, the 39-year-old Motola sways and hobbles in obvious discomfort, sometimes leaning the top of her trunk against an iron bar, sometimes lying on the ground, to ease the burden of her weight from her three remaining legs ....

    .... One-third of potential agricultural land in Libya is considered unsafe for agriculture because of land mines and unexploded ordnance that dates from World War II, Mr. Gray said. He cited a report that 125,000 camels, sheep, goats and cattle had been killed by mines and other ordnance in Libya in the years between 1940 and 1980.


    (New York Times)

    They're both old articles, and the general idea seems to be that nobody really knows how many animals are killed by land mines each year. But it should be said that Motola was recently fitted with a permanent prosthesis. Very recently, in fact. She took it for a maiden stroll last weekend, after three years of preparation with a temporary prosthesis.

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    Ten years after: Motola steps gingerly on a new prosthetic leg.
    (Photo by Apichart Weerawong/AP)

    Yeah. I can't quite figure out what to say to that.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Roberts, Adam M. and Kevin Stewart. "Land Mines: Animal Casualties of the Underground War". Animals' Agenda, v. 18, n. 2. March/April, 1998. AWIonline.org. August 19, 2009. http://www.awionline.org/ht/d/ContentDetails/i/1652/pid/714

    "Mines Maim the Ultimate Civilians: Animals". The New York Times. March 5, 2001. NYTimes.com. August 19, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/05/science/05ANIM.html

    Smith, Gail. "Elephant injured by land mine walks with artificial leg". Animal Cazy. August 16, 2009. OrlandoSentinel.com. August 19, 2009. http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/fe...nt-hurt-by-land-mine-gets-artificial-leg.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  19. superstring01 Moderator

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    Doesn't this treaty only ban anti-personal mines? What are the majority of the mines in no-man's-land in the Koreas?

    ~String
     
  20. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  21. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks tiassa, I couldn't find any numbers to crunch. Its good that in a world where so many are willing to lay down mines, there is at least that one guy out there making a prosthesis for animal victims. They are the real "collateral damages" in these wars
     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The buffalo in Southeast Asia, like the stock animals in Lebanon (and, earlier, the bison on the Great Plains of North America), were targeted.
     

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