Friends Committee on National Legislation – 2007-11-01 23:03:09
(November 1, 2007) — You really can’t imagine the effect of a cluster bomb until you’re sitting across the table from Raed Mokaled. Raed told us last week at a briefing in our building here in Washington, DC. He then described how his 5-year-old son Ahmed was killed by a US-made cluster munition that he picked up while playing at his own 5th birthday party in southern Lebanon.
“I am sure Ahmed was not a criminal. He was not a terrorist,” Raed Mokaled told a hushed audience of congressional staffers as he described the 1999 death of his five-year-old son and the need to eradicate the deadly, indiscriminate weapon that killed him, and many other children and innocent civilians, over the past four decades.
An optician from southern Lebanon, Mokaled came to the United States in late October as part of a small group of cluster bomb survivor and activists hoping to inform people in the U.S. about the weapon and to persuade legislators to approve a ban on cluster bomb use and exports. In addition to the congressional briefing, the group met with faith leaders in Washington, DC, college students in Boston, and people in several other cities throughout the country.
Over the past 40 years, 98% of all known cluster bomb casualties have been civilians, and because of the weapons design, the deaths and maimings do not stop when the bombing ends.
• Read Raed’s story click here.
The US has a stockpile of nearly 1 billion cluster “bombies,” the sub-munitions that a cluster bomb contains. You can help keep these bombs out of the hands of children. On November 5, tens of thousands of people around the world will be urging their governments to ban cluster bombs.
FCNL is joining with the US Fund for UNICEF, Amnesty International USA, Adopt-A-Minefield, UNA-USA, and many other groups to call on senators to cosponsor the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act (S. 594). You can help. Ask five friends to make a call , and put a note in your calendar to call Monday.
FCNL has set up a toll-free number for you to make your calls – see more details below.The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act would prevent the US military from using cluster bombs in areas where civilians are known to be present. But the Bush administration says the military benefits outweigh the civilian costs. The bill currently has 12 cosponsors. We need many more-from both parties-to move this bill to a vote in the coming year.
Encourage your friends and families to participate in the national call-in day, and remember to call yourself on Monday. Urge your senators to cosponsor the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act (S.594) and ensure its passage in the coming year. Spread the word in your community – download a flyer or print out the background in this email. Let people know that this day of action is a first step in a campaign over the next year to build support for a cluster bomb ban.
• Find out more about the call in day:
Ban Cluster Bomb Call-in Day November 5
• Call 1-800-352-1897 and ask for your senator by name
What? — National call-in day to the Senate, urging senators to cosponsor the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act (S. 594). The bill would substantially restrict both the use and export of cluster bombs by: 1) requiring that they not be used in areas where civilians are known to be present, and 2) requiring that they have a dud rate of less than 1 percent (meaning that they will leave behind fewer deadly submunitions on the ground after the combat ends).
Why? — November 5 is a Global Day of Action against cluster bombs. People all over the world are taking action to urge the banning of these indiscriminate killers. The call-in day is a chance to show senators that there is strong public opposition to these inhumane weapons in the US and strong support for S.594.
When? — Make calls on Monday, November 5, any time. Regular business hours are better, as you will get to talk to a real person (instead of leaving a message). If you can’t call on November 5, please call on another day.
How? — You can call the Senate toll-free: 1-800-352-1897. When you call, you will automatically be redirected to the Capitol switchboard. Ask for one of your senators by name. Once directed to the office, ask for the legislative assistant who deals with military and national security issues. Urge your senator to become a cosponsor of S.594 and to work for its passage in the coming year. Then call back and ask for your other senator.
Current Cosponsors: Feinstein (CA), Boxer (CA), Harkin (IA), Mikulski (MD), Kennedy (MA), Bingaman (NM), Brown (OH), Whitehouse (RI), Leahy (VT), Sanders (VT), Cantwell (WA), Feingold (WI) Find out more:
http://capwiz.com/fconl/utr/1/CQXOHUSWHQ/ODBWHUTALZ/1526081136 **About the Movement to Ban Cluster Bombs** A growing coalition is forming in the US to ban cluster bombs-including Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, Landmine Survivors Network, the US Fund for UNICEF, Veterans for America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Center for International Rehabilitation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the United Methodist Church/General Board of Church in Society, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops/Office of International Justice and Peace, and World Vision.
Many of these groups are cosponsoring with FCNL a national call-in day to senators to urge them to cosponsor S.594 and ensure its passage in the coming year. Don’t stop with the phone call. Find out more easy actions you can take to ensure that no more civilians are killed or maimed by US cluster bombs at: www.banclusterbombs.org.
• The Next Step for Iraq: Join FCNL’s Iraq Campaign, http://capwiz.com/fconl/utr/1/CQXOHUSWHQ/HTTWHUTAMA/1526081136
• Congress and the Administration: http://capwiz.com/fconl/utr/1/CQXOHUSWHQ/AYTNHUTAMB/1526081136/
• Order FCNL publications and “War is Not the Answer” campaign bumper stickers and yard signs: http://capwiz.com/fconl/utr/1/CQXOHUSWHQ/AGHNHUTAMC/1526081136/
Friends Committee on National Legislation 245 Second St. NE, Washington, DC 20002-5795 email@example.com *