Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met a young man in Laos whose hand she couldn't shake. Three years ago, Phongsavath Souliyalat lost both his hands and his eyesight while walking home from school on his 16th birthday when a 40-year-old cluster bomb finally exploded.
Ask Secretary Clinton to do something about it.
There are 80 million unexploded U.S. bombs in Laos stemming from the Vietnam War era. These bombs keep on killing and maiming; they've killed 20,000 Laotian farmers and their children since the bombing ended in 1973.
Clinton's efforts in Laos are focused on encircling China with U.S. allies. She's investing in a massive new embassy in Laos, but not in a massive cleanup of our bombs.
Ask her not to condemn more children to death or disfigurement.
Clinton is lobbying other nations against the treaty banning cluster bombs -- a treaty signed by 111 nations but not ours.
The United States has used cluster bombs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and as recently as June 2010, when U.S. cluster bombs killed 35 women and children in Yemen.
Ask Secretary Clinton to support the Convention on Cluster Munitions and to clean up the U.S. bombs in Laos.
In Laos this week Clinton said, "We have to do more. That's one of the reasons I wanted to come here today, so that we can tell more people about the work that we should be doing together."
A little less talk, Madame Secretary, and a little more action. Invest in a cleanup at no less a rate than in the new embassy!
Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends. And read Fred Branfman's powerful background piece linked below.
--The RootsAction team
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P.P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, and many others.
Fred Branfman (Alternet): Young Hillary Clinton Used to Think Kissinger Was Criminal and Immoral