How many times must the cannonballs fly?

Ban the bombs…all of them.

Nuclear weapons:  The United States is the only nation in the world that has dropped atomic weapons onto a civilian population. Right now it has a stockpile of about 5,000 nuclear weapons, many of which can be launched within 15 minutes.

Cluster bombs:  The U.S. dropped thousands of cluster bombs (weapons that kill large numbers of civilians, even after an armed conflict has ended) in Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. An international Convention on Cluster Munitions, sponsored by the United Nations, entered into force in 2010, yet the U.S.–along with Russia, China, and several other states–has been unwilling to sign the agreement. (See Feickert and Kerr [opens in pdf]).

Landmines:  The U.S. refuses to join its NATO allies and many other nations in banning the use of landmines.

Drones:  In secret meetings, the U.S. identifies individuals around the world as threats, then uses drones to kill them without trial or benefit from counsel.

Illicit arms sales:  A recent effort by the United Nations to establish an Arm Trades convention to help stop the illicit international sales of weapons failed in part because the U.S. government refused to sign off on the draft treaty. The National Rifle Association proudly takes responsibility for killing the agreement.

What can you do to help stop the U.S. government from acting like the world’s chief thug?

You can read The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb by Philip Taubman (see review).

You can support and volunteer for non-profits that strive to move the U.S. away from its preoccupation with power and destruction towards one of conflict resolution, reconciliation, social justice, and cooperation.

Engaging Peace, Inc. is one such organization, and we welcome your support in the form of reading and commenting on the blog, subscribing to the newsletter, as well as your financial donations.

In addition to Engaging Peace, here are some other groups you may want to learn about:

Please get involved in working to end the country’s headlong rush down the road to death for all.

Kathie Malley-Morrison, Professor of Psychology

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12 Responses to How many times must the cannonballs fly?

  1. Dahlia Wasfi says:

    Israel is the other major country to refuse to sign the ban. In the last days of its assault on southern Lebanon in 2006, more than one million cluster bombs were dropped in civilian areas. Many of them were older, so that up to 40% of the bomblets did not detonate on impact, staying intact on the ground and today acting as landmines. “‘What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs,’ the head of an IDF rocket unit in Lebanon said regarding the use of cluster bombs and phosphorous shells during the war,” from “IDF Commander: We fired more than a million cluster bombs in Lebanon” ( The United States funds the Israeli military with more than $3 billion American tax dollars every year.

  2. kathiemm says:

    This is really important information, Dahlia.
    The the IDF Spokesman’s Office should be ashamed of itself for quibbling re: whether these horrendous weapons with the enduring harm they do actually violate international law, and the funding of weapons and operations such as this by the United States government is also cause for shame. On the other hand, for me it is a source of some optimism and hope that the former head of that IDF rocket unit in Lebanon publically admitted to the ghastliness of the bombing. I am sure that the cluster bombing inflicted on Lebanon is yet another case of civilians being the ones to do the most suffering and dying and it seems to me that violates a basic UN principle.

    • Barbara says:

      Here is another important link I urge everyone to click on and view:
      Giles Duley gave up a life of glamour and celebrity as a fashion photographer to travel the world and document the stories of the forgotten and marginalized. While on assignment in Afghanistan he stepped on a landmine, a horrific event that left him a triple amputee. In this moving talk Duley tells us stories of peoples lost and found — including his. (Filmed at TEDxObserver.)
      Giles Duley began his career as a fashion photographer. When it was time for a change he found himself on a journey of war and hardship.
      This is really inspirational and very relevant.

      • kathiemm says:

        Thanks, Barbara, for submitting this link. I have just watched the video and find it very moving. It illustrates well the human costs of landmines–which can continue to do their deadly work for years after they have been planted, and to do that deadly work to innocent and humanitarian civilians who are sometimes from the very countries that manufactured and/or placed the devices. The video is indeed inspirational as well–leaving one admiring rather than pitying Duley.

  3. Gold Dust Twin says:

    Good question. And good reminder of our history.

  4. kathiemm says:

    The news media have been reminding us of the incredible musical talent of Marvin Hamlisch who died on Monday. Many people are familiar with the music he wrote for films such asThe Sting, The Way We Were, and Ordinary People, as well as the score for a Chorus Line. Most people probably do not know that he also wrote a classical piece for orchestra, chorus, and child soloist. This symphonic suite, called Anatomy of Peace, was inspired by a book of that name and representative of a post-World War II anti-war movement that included Albert Einstein among its members. It was performed in Paris in 1994 as part of a commemmoration of D-Day. A brief youtube video of a Sallas Symphony Orchestra production of the suite, with commentary, is available at The piece starts rather jangly and discordantly but proceeds, featuring the child soloist and chorus, to greater harmony. It is worth listening to the youtube excerpts—just over 4 minutes long.

  5. Gold Dust Twin says:

    I am glad I took the few minutes to listen to the Anatomy of Peace. It expresses musically with a tender flute solo, the longing to bring all of us together. Then the horns “horn in” with their brassy opinion that old habits are not that easily broken. But the One World concept is so irresistible that in the end, the entire orchestra falls under its spell as do we, the listeners.

  6. LG says:

    Great blog post Kathie! You are such a positive force.

  7. Roberta says:

    The cannonballs will continue to fly until we start teaching our children how to have empathy, compassion and love for other humans. I have presented “Peace Begins With A Child” one national and one international conference. As long as we allow our children to grow up amid violence, abuse and trauma, how can we expect them not to follow and perpetuate it?

  8. Natasha Phillips says:

    This a really powerful reminder of U.S. failure to agree with U.N. policies/agreements that would be a step towards a safer world. It’s disappointing to see the failure of our government in a cause that we claim to be the champion of–“making the world safe for democracy”.

    “In secret meetings, the U.S. identifies individuals around the world as threats, then uses drones to kill them without trial or benefit from counsel.”

    I’m taking a class in Intelligence&Democracy, and these “secret meetings” are indeed secret to the public but not as secret as it sounds. Congressional and presidential approval is required for these drone strikes and both a Congressional committee and the president sign off on the “Threat List”. Official U.S. law dictates that we do not take part in assassination missions–except with the approval of the President and notification of Congress. So, the officials that we all elect are the ones who decide whether it’s okay to kill certain individuals without trial and they represent us in our democratic republic. Even so, we don’t get to hear about these meetings in which they decide these things for us.

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