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The Trouble with Landmines...

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The Trouble with Landmines...

The Trouble with Landmines

Since World War II landmines have been used in battle fields around the world as a means of crippling armies. Currently there are more than 110 million abandoned landmines throughout the world on every continent. These landmines were laid in times of war and hostility; however, they remain there, and were never removed once peacetime was reached. The landmines lay dormant, waiting for an innocent civilian to walk by and detonate one, two, or perhaps an entire field. These silent killers inflict damage in several aspects, by killing or maiming individuals, destroying fertile soil, occupying fertile lands keeping farmers from cultivating those fields, causing countries to go bankrupt over demining, or an overflow of landmine victims into hospitals and clinics. The effects are devastating to countries all around the world. But who is to blame for the steady placing and distribution of these deadly weapons? The Unites States is the one to blame. The United States is producing and selling landmines to more than thirty-eight countries around the world (humanrightswatch.org). Also, between 1969 and 1992 the United States had exported more than 5.6 million antipersonnel landmines to more than thirty- eight countries. These facts are incriminating. “One person dies every fifteen minutes around the world because of landmines, and it is not getting any better,” (Hindustantimes.com). The United States must stop the production and exportation of these dangerous landmines to any country not at war. I believe it is morally repugnant to sell weapons of death that will remain hidden from view for hundreds of years waiting for an unlucky soul to step on it.

The effects of landmines are terrible. Children around the world are killed or severely maimed by landmine injuries. Some are left to die in fields with no medical care, or they are orphaned because they have lost their parents in landmine accidents. More than 300,000 children have been severely disabled as a result of mine injuries. All these injuries occur because the United States wishes to turn a profit by selling these powerful weapons. A tiny portion of the average taxpayer’s yields to the government go to weapons production. Imagine what it would feel like to know that just $3 out of your income tax can manufacture one landmine which was going to be sold to a war ravaged country where it will most likely kill a mother, a father, or even a child. It is heartbreaking to know how the government really uses your taxes, to manufacture and sell landmines to countries that will use them for ill-will. Imagine if you were in the shoes of a landmine victim, wouldn’t you want someone to do whatever they could for you? Of course you would. The United States must stop exporting landmines. These innocent and senseless killings must stop. We as the United States call ourselves a large moral influence on the world, but to the point where we are selling death in a shell, are we really being a moral leader? I am afraid not.

As Americans, we are not directly affected by landmine explosions. We do not experience loss of limbs or share the pain of losing a loved one when a landmine is detonated. However, we still suffer. We suffer in the area of foreign relations by producing, developing, and selling landmine technology. By allowing innocent civilians to die and suffer at the hands of our weapons, we lose favor with those countries. We also lose favor with ally countries when we supply weapons to one of their enemies. Having this anti-American sentiment from other countries around the world is dangerous for our foreign relations programs, because we risk losing powerful allies, all because of the production of landmines and other weapons as well. We cannot allow the relations with other countries to deteriorate. We cannot allow the prospect of war to linger over our heads. This issue can and must be resolved. The damage is done, but we can do something about the problem. Present demining rates will take more than 1,110 years to clear all the landmines in the world (hindustantimes.com). By stopping at least the United States’ contribution, we can at least cut the amount of injuries in half and we can reduce the timeframe by offering assistance as a means of apologizing for the plague we have entrenched upon the world.

Of course landmines directly affect the populations of other countries. Landmines

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