Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize discusses her international campaign to ban landmines. She is in the Twin Cities to speak at the annual Peace Prize Forum, held this year at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Williams also answers listener questions.
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(00:00:10) Good morning, and welcome to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm John Ray be sitting in for Gary (00:00:16) eichten. (00:00:22) During the Cold War nothing was more horrible than the thought of actually surviving a nuclear attack. The atomic flash was an easy way to die. You were gone in an instant the prospect of getting drenched in poisonous radioactive fallout though is what seems so Unthinkable, but while Americans fretted about the big one dozens of smaller Wars and conflicts around the world yielded a less dramatic yet more real kind of Fallout between 80 and 110 million landmines are scattered across the Earth according to the UN these mines kill or maim 800 people each month, although other estimates put it closer to 2100 landmines kill anyone who comes too close and they don't stop killing when the war ends in this hour of midday were considering landmines in the campaign to get rid of them with my guest the 1997, Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Jody Williams. She's in the Twin Cities to speak at the annual Peace Prize Forum held this year at Augsburg College in Minneapolis Ms. Williams is the co-founder of the international campaign to ban landmines, but before we speak with Miss, And take your calls. Let's listen to this report from Minnesota Public Radio. Stephen Smith. It's called a plague of plastic soldiers and it looks at how modern technology can spawn a cheap and effective weapon, but can't do much to control it. Battambang Province Western Cambodia a boy from a small village hacks at a tree with an axe other boys void or nearby herding cattle playing and teasing the land where they gather wood and graze livestock was once a government army camp all around is lethal to rain. If it's what's happened is the TV supervisor has indicated as the Mind been found in their clearance area. It's not one. He has found in this location before so Martin is going to investigate it prior to demolition British Munitions experts Russ Bedford and Martin Jordan scan the rocky Hillside. They lead a team of Cambodian deminers men and women from local Villages trained in the delicate art of clearing minefields. Just a few kilometers away the low mountains Rumble with artillery shelling Khmer Rouge Rebels are harassing the Cambodian Army, right? What do we got bomb Jordan hikes up to see the mine leaning in for a close. Look his blast visor is the only barrier between his face and The Deadly Device. We're in a rocky area and what we have placed on top of the Rocks here. (00:03:03) He's what looks to be a type (00:03:05) 69 bounding fragmentation mine. And what they've done here is I've I've stripped the outer casing away from it making it very sensitive. This could be a pressure device. It could also be tied to a stick. It could be initiated by Falling On The Ground maybe even someone treading on it because initiate this but from its General position in I think Village is probably found it and placed it on these rocks IE. They consider that safe area. And the going these this is a very lucky man. The device is a booby trap in place by Cambodian soldiers as part of a defensive Minefield when the soldiers pulled out. They left the minds behind the type. 69 is made in China. It's the size and shape of a soda can when triggered the mine leaps into the air bursting metal fragments in a deadly 360 degrees spray. Okay, what we'll do that is that cannot be moved. It's far too sensitive will place a charge adjacent to it. And that charge will initiate that I destroying both the TNT and the device there. Mike Rowe to send over the demining team cordoned off the area and pulls back to a safe distance the charge will blow the mine and it's shrapnel down into the rock. It is connected by a wire to a hand-cranked Detonator. So you here three long for so bast's and then three short whistle blasts. Once you hear the three shots of last press the button and crank as hard as you can. One landmine safely cleared in Cambodia at least four million more to go. The Provincial Hospital in MO Colbert, I a country town in northern Cambodia the sick lie on wooden beds. There are no mattresses and not much medicine. Most of the patients are mine victims and their injuries require a lot of blood and a long recovery. So human is here to care for her 15 year old daughter who stumbled on a mine near their Village (00:05:38) camel 890 like them and roll them now take it off the bone eaters. (00:05:45) Not metal. (00:05:48) I was sleeping that morning and my daughter went out together touch for the roof the exposing woke me up and I heard my child Cry for Help. I found her on the ground. So I lifted her and killed her to a military post. Her leg was blown off only the bone was left sticking out so they amputated her (00:06:10) leg. Across the ward 29 year-old Kyocera rests quietly on a thin Reed man, her legs were shredded by a mine Explosion her face splattered with shrapnel. (00:06:27) I went to the river to take a bath and on the way. I stopped and talked to a friend a man with a basket of Mines walked ahead and put the basket in the trail to tease me when I went down that trail. Am I explored he was carrying that Minds to plant in the field, but he used them to tease me because he knew I was headed to take a bath (00:06:54) Kyocera was pregnant when the accident happened the soldiers prank cost her the baby. This is root 5 a two-lane mud and Gravel Road that passes for a major interstate highway in Cambodia. The road is clogged with truck traffic religious processions livestock and people at night government soldiers lay mines across the road to enforce a curfew and to demand bribes Bandits and Khmer Rouge Rebels also mined the road driving past throngs of peasants. It's startling how often you spot a man in a wheelchair or a child on crutches. Cambodia is one of the most heavily mined places on Earth. A Minnesota woman named Susan Walker works with the relief organization handicap International which provides artificial limbs to disabled people in (00:07:57) Cambodia. We've just arrived in Tipo de commune which is one of the communes where we work both for the handicapped and general development schools health education Agriculture. (00:08:08) And is this a town that has a lot of landline (00:08:10) problems. It's a very heavily mined area because it's of strategic interest. There's a mountain right behind here and there's a lot of Khmer Rouge activity not so far from here. So it was heavily defended (00:08:22) as we talk curious villagers gather around if we wait long enough. We're sure to see land mine victims appear among them. This country of 10 million is the amputee capital of the world. (00:08:34) I remember a refugee in the camp saying you will know the Cambodian of the future for he will have one leg one out of two hundred and thirty six people in Cambodia as an amputee as Compared to 1 in 20 mm in the United States. (00:08:52) One of the village leaders pout, uh SEC explained that a shortage of food is Tipitina's biggest problems. The mines make it worse because they cut access to the fields. And the forest I didn't even pull that people do not clean. We worry about land mine every day. We know that the feel are mine, but because there's a shortage of food. We must go out into the field if we are lucky enough. We will make it back home. Cambodia's landmine crisis reflects both the advances and the profound limitations of modern technology in a country where an ox cart is still considered up-to-date farm equipment the crippled economy cannot hope to recover while the nation is still infected by Minds. Now in comparison to a cruise missile or a trident submarine landmines are primitive devices, but the modern Plastics and Powerful long-lasting explosives, which make anti-personnel mines. So cheap and so durable are indeed high-tech only in a technologically advanced world can such a simple small and devastating weapon be so cheap to produce and so widely available. A plague of plastic soldiers a report from Minnesota public radio's Stephen Smith to begin our conversation with Jody Williams co-founder of the international campaign to ban landmines and co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work fighting land mines as Williams. It's a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for coming on. Midday. (00:10:33) Thanks for inviting me. (00:10:35) We'll take your calls at 6'5 12276 thousand 6512276 thousand if you have comments or questions for Miss Williams or toll-free 1-800-221-9460 2828. I wanted to start with talking a little bit about the 1997 out of whack invention to ban landmines. It's been signed by about a hundred and thirty County a countries. It's ratified by almost 60 (00:11:05) 64 64. Now the (00:11:07) United States is one of the notable exceptions though, and we refused to sign it saying that we still need to use land mines. In fact no major Producing country is actually signed this treaty. That's now we should (00:11:21) fudge on that one how it's inaccurate actually some of the major producers former major producers of the world have signed countries like Italy which was one of the worst producers and exporters in the world has signed countries like Belgium, which was a big exporter signed the Czech Republic so many of the countries that have produced have actually signed. How long ago did they sign on probably right on the two days at the treaty open for Signature you probably recall that Canada challenge the world at the end of 1996 to negotiate a treaty Banning this weapon in one year and to return to Ottawa at the end of 1997 and signed the treaty 121 countries showed up in two days to sign the treaty on the I think it was a 3rd and 4th of December 1997. And as you rightly pointed out, we now have 133 signatories 64 of whom Already ratified the treaty so it becomes law in March (00:12:19) 1st. What do you make of the United States refusal to ratify this until 2006 we (00:12:24) say they say 2006 but they have an interesting caveat if if they find an alternative to the weapon, there's a little problem with that as well because the US has already budgeted 50 million dollars for new mind systems that include anti-personnel landmines. It's a little contradictory to be budgeting 50 million. Now, if you're planning to sign this treaty in the year 2006, I firmly believe that the issue for the United States is not the lowly anti-personnel landmine the issue for the United States pentagon is the precedent the Pentagon the military is not excited by the thought that Civil Society can have a say in which weapon should or should not be used. You know, the military's never met a weapon it didn't like and Always resist giving up a (00:13:17) weapon but haven't we in the past to take the side of the military? Haven't we in the past decided on you know, the points of the Geneva conventions so fair treatment of prisoners of war or not using mustard gas any number of things (00:13:32) in 1925 when chemical weapons were first banned the use thereof the United States military argued against joining that treaty the military argued that it was a useful weapon (00:13:44) one of the places that we the United States use landmines is the DMZ between North and South Korea and United States says we need to mine that territory and it's right. It's not a place where there are civilians walking around. It seems like you could justify that particular use more than many of the other uses (00:14:04) absolutely not the anti-personnel landmine has been deemed by the overwhelming majority of the world's Community to be an illegal weapon. That means it's illegal in Egypt. It's a Go in Russia. It's illegal in the DMZ. The United States argued forcefully during the three weeks of negotiations of this treaty in September in Oslo last year for an exception because of its unique problems in the world policing the world and the world isn't exactly excited to have the u.s. Unilaterally policing but that's another issue. They argued because of its unique position because of the uniqueness of the north South Korea hold over from the Cold War period they needed AP Minds. I was just in the Middle East literally I got back late Tuesday night so I could come here. I heard the exact same argument in Beirut Lebanon. I heard the exact same argument in Cairo Egypt where unique situation here. We need anti-personnel landmines any country in the world could make that argument not any but many I stood in the DMZ. Anti-personnel landmines are not a deterrent part of the argument is if the US and the South Korean forces were to give up anti-personnel landmines. Suddenly the north would invade emboldened by the fact that they were not going to be stopped by anti-personnel landmines. No soldier in his or her right mind calls an AP mind a deterrent additionally, they're expecting mechanized Blitzkrieg Warfare if they were to pour over the you know, DMZ to attack the South and anti-personnel landmine is like a mosquito bite on an elephant in mechanized Warfare. It's irrelevant. So it's a specious argument to disguise the fact that they just don't want us telling them what weapons they can and cannot use. (00:16:04) It's about 22 minutes past eleven o'clock Our Guest is Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Jody Williams co-founder of the international campaign to ban landmines and you could call us with your questions and comments 6. One two two seven six thousand in the Twin Cities 6512276 thousand or 1-800 to for to 2828. Let's go to Dave in st. Paul. Hi Dave. Thank you for calling thank you as well as on our actually to talk to you. I guess I do have a actually rather torn about this. I'm going to preface my remarks by saying that I'm not a right-wing crazy. Well, no, I know (00:16:38) that's a nice breakfast. (00:16:40) I think it's I think it's important because I do know something about the military and one of the problems the United States has is that it unlike a lot of the countries that do deploy and a personal and mines actually has the technical means to go out and detect them and either retrieve them if they're stable enough to be transported or if they're not to destroy them in place and the cambodians as we're focused in that piece before the discussion do not have those means and they simply left them there when the United States leaves a battlefield it not only can. Hands up. It's only a minds. But as it moves through an area it cleans up its adversaries landmines can't hear you shaking your head on there Joey. Wait. No, I'm sorry. But but you know, I'm in the Army. I know what combat engineers do and that is the doctrine and if we don't get all of them, that's unfortunate. We should we should we should and I have to say I agree with your goal. I actually do agree with your goal and to that extent. I want to say I'm glad that you're doing the work that you do, but I think that part of the reason that we take a lot of abuse is because people want to talk about one side of the problem, but we start getting into jargon like if I were to use the term when we deploy mines in a given theater of operations everybody shuts off and we don't want to talk about we want don't want to talk in both. We don't have to talk in both worlds. And the problem the US Army has the US Marine Corps and the the government in general is that I don't think it's just a matter of you know, not of being resentful of other people. Telling them what they can and can't do you know the other people that are telling them what they can and can't do don't have to walk around with a rifle on the DMZ. They don't have to sit and as they did up until about nineteen eighty nine and an armored personnel carrier on the in the Fulda Gap in the inner German border. I mean, they don't have to do this (00:18:36) tonight respond a little bit sitting in a anti-personnel. It's sitting in an armored carrier you that's you don't anti-personnel landmines have no impact one way or the other on your safety in that carrier the DMZ I stood on the DMZ when I was given a briefing by the South Korean forces. They did not argue forcefully about the need for the anti-personnel landmine to deter the north what they talk to me about was the fact that there was a radio station right on the border broadcasting propaganda into the South. They said there's artillery in the North Hit soul. I asked them logically. How does an anti-personnel landmine stop a radio broadcast? They couldn't answer. I asked them logically. How does an anti-personnel landmine stop an artillery barrage on Soul. They couldn't answer. I respectfully disagree with you about the United States cleaning up the mess when it leaves a battle Zone. It did not do that in Indochina. They are still cleaning up Laos Cambodia and Vietnam from u.s. Involvement in that war. Additionally the u.s. Is poised to pull out of the Panama Canal Zone, right because of the Panama treaty. It is leaving Munitions in the ground despite its treaty obligation now, I think my country is fabulous, but it does not always do the right thing. Unfortunately and additionally the weapon I mean the demining equipment used by the United States is the same that's being used in Cambodia Egypt all around the world. It's handheld. It's the same method everywhere. We do not have a silver bullet for mine clearance any more than anyone else in the world (00:20:19) where elsewhere else are we using you've mentioned Panama and the DMZ in between North and South Korea. (00:20:25) Well, we're removing Minds from around Guantanamo and Cuba. Those are the only places that I'm aware of at the moment, but we are not cleaning up the mess. (00:20:33) What about production? I'm at where we using them. Yeah, not just where we clean them up. Okay, what about production United States production of (00:20:39) landmines? Well organization called Human Rights Watch did a report on producers in the United States it discovered 49 Country Companies. I think 47 or 49. I can't quite remember that produce either the mines themselves or components before exposing them and beginning a campaign of stigmatization of The Producers here Human Rights Watch sent a letter to all the CEOs of these companies inviting them to join the global movement to end this scourge. 19 companies voluntarily renounced production. They will not produce again notably companies like Motorola, for example, unfortunately, Alliant techsystems here in the Twin Cities area refuses steadfastly to renounce production. In fact, it has new contracts with the Pentagon for production of the mines. I was mentioning before 50 million dollars worth of Minds when we say we're going to be signing this treaty in 2006. So the Alliant unfortunately does not want to be part of the you know tide of humanity that recognizes this as an illegal weapon. (00:21:53) The business would go to a different company in the US then (00:21:55) wouldn't it could but as I said, we had 19 of already renowned stand Alliant has been and continues to be the major producer. So if you got them to stop it would not be insignificant. (00:22:08) Let's take another call before we get news headlines got Brad on the line from Burnsville. Brad welcome to the show. Yeah, my first basically was a question of first is the Claymore Mine considered one of these band (00:22:19) Minds the claim or if it is used in command detonation mode is not considered to be an anti-personnel landmine and not covered by the treaty. (00:22:29) What is a claim or eclaim or as a command detonated mind? Basically, it's a command detonated means what that means. I have to set it off (00:22:35) like shooting a gun you have to pull the trigger the figurative trigger of the claim or if you trip wire set the mind though, then it is an indiscriminate weapon because you no longer have control and then it's illegal. How can we ask about that? (00:22:48) Well, I'm in the Infantry and that's what I was I was mainly concerned about the claim or mind when like if you're in a defensive position and you're being overrun Claymore, Mine can actually save your life, I (00:23:00) mean, but it can also not the claim where but anti-personnel mines in general can also inflict a lot of casualties on your own forces. You do know that 33 percent of all of our casualties in Vietnam were to anti No land mines and eighty or ninety percent of those were mines that were stolen from our own troops and (00:23:19) warehouses. Well, I've also come across mines that were made by local civilian. (00:23:24) Yes. That's not a that's that does happen. I agree but in general the you know, the contamination around the world and the stockpiled lines have been mass-produced just like lipstick or beer. It's that's what we've shut down in a large portion of the world is the mass production of anti-personnel landmines just like any other commodity that's why they have proliferated and contaminated so much of the planet (00:23:49) My main concern is that they don't blend the Claymore. Thank you very much. Okay. Thank you very much for calling up Brad. It's 11:30. You're listening to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. The spring season of A Prairie Home Companion is on the way, and if you're a Minnesota Public Radio member you get first dibs on tickets starting Monday at noon tickets. Go on sale to members only for series of live broadcasts at the Fitzgerald theater before they go on sale to the general public to order yours and get your member discount. Call Ticketmasters special Prairie Home line at 6126730404. You can also stop by the Fitzgerald box office and get in line. It's 11:31. You're listening to midday. The phone numbers to talk with 1997. Nobel Peace Prize co-winner. Jody Williams is our sorry, six five one two, two seven six thousand in the Twin Cities 6512276 thousand or one eight hundred two four to Twenty Eight. Twenty eight one eight hundred two, four two 2828. We're talking about land mines and we'll resume our conversation after we get news headlines from Minnesota public radio's William Wilcox and William. Thanks John Yugoslavia as president showing no signs of backing down top us Envoy left. The Kosovo talks in France and traveled to Belgrade to make a last-minute appeal to Slobodan milosevic to accept a peace deal but matosevic refused to meet with the envoy with a Saturday deadline making the possibility of NATO air strikes more prominent. The White House is warning the serbs that there is little time left to reach a peace deal on Kosovo. A spokesman says the serbs walk away from the talks without an agreement. They will face very real consequences. The pope is making an appeal on behalf of a Gusto Pinochet. The Vatican says it asked the British government to let the former dictator return home to Chile Pinochet is fighting extradition to Spain which wants to try him on terror and torture charges a meeting at the White House today will fuel the speculation about a Hillary Clinton for Senate campaign. The first lady is meeting with Daniel Patrick Moynihan to talk about the New York seat. He will vacate and whether she wants to make a bid for it Lakeville teenager says Governor Jesse Ventura should change his mind and support a new seat belt law 13 year old John Peterson said at the Capitol today a seatbelt saved him from Serious injury when he was in a car accident with his father dfl Senator, Leo Foley is sponsoring a bill that would allow police to pull drivers over for not wearing seatbelts currently drivers can only be cited for not wearing belts if they are first stopped on a separate offense East Grand Forks neighborhoods destroyed by the flood of 1997 may become a state park mayor linseed house as the park would be in a large Green Way being Up along the Red River strauss's Minnesota Department Department of Natural Resources officials would like to build an interpretive Nature Center and trail system along the river partly to mostly cloudy skies over Minnesota today some light snow along the North Shore and near The Dakotas highs in the 20s for the Twin Cities partly cloudy. Hi, Ron 27 and John, that's the latest from The Newsroom. Thanks very much William. Wilcoxon, Minnesota public radio's Main Street radio coverage of rural issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening rural communities through the community leadership program. I'm John Ray be in for Gary eichten and our guests in this hour of midday is the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Jody Williams co-founder of the international campaign to ban landmines, and we're talking with her about the fight to ban landmines continuing our conversation. Our phone numbers are 6 512276 thousand in the Twin Cities or 1-800 to for to 2828. Let's go back to the phones. John is on the line from Oakdale and John. Thank you for Yeah, I wonder if your guests could name some of the countries that along with the United States oppose this treaty. It's my understanding that there's some of the same countries that opposed the Banning of children that is kids under the age of 18 in the military and I take it that you think we should the United States should sign on to the treaty. Yeah, I think most of the countries in the world the more civilized again. I think the countries that oppose us are countries like Iraq and North Korea and you know, Libya, yeah United State, (00:28:06) Well, that's a good question John. Thank you. I do need to point out that the United States is not supporting the global campaign to stop the use of child soldiers either. It's a in opposition to that along with the United States not signing the treaty in this hemisphere. For example, every single country in the Western Hemisphere, except the United States and Cuba everybody in NATO except the United States and Turkey and other great defender of Human Rights. You're right Iraq, Iran North and South Korea South Korea because of the United States, so there are a lot of holdouts, but we do have a hundred thirty three and I'm of the firm belief sooner or later. We'll get them all. (00:28:51) If you look at just for instance, Lebanon and Israel, they won't sign on right but don't they use landmines in their own countries? Isn't there isn't there some I don't want to say value but at least you know, they're not doing a not in my backyard deal on that. We don't have land mines in use in the United States. Canada doesn't in canva. (00:29:14) I was just in Beirut as a matter of fact and according to the Lebanese Army which co-sponsored the conference I was at which is an unusual for us. The Lebanese Army does not use land mines according to them. The only place landmines are used as in the occupied cells by Israel. I was interested and heartened to see the ability to carry on a somewhat rational dialogue with the Lebanese military. I thought that they would be completely intransigent. They do try to link everything to a UN resolution. Should number 425 calling for the immediate withdrawal of Israel from the South but we were able to get them to recognize that anti-personnel landmines if Lebanon gives them up. For example, if it were to sign the treaty it would make Lebanon look good in the eyes of the world and would increase pressure on Israel for standing outside. And if they don't or do sign the treaty is not going to have any impact whatsoever on resolution 425 Israel is going to remove itself from the south for a whole range of other reasons, which have nothing to do with anti-personnel landmines. So there was some positive movement there one other point, which is in your question. Nobody in their right mind would not recognize that in certain cases. There is some utility to the anti-personnel landmine. Of course, there is The issue is that the long-term costs outweigh the minimum short-term (00:30:49) benefit the cost three dollars a piece and to get rid of them cost something like $1,000. Well, (00:30:54) that's that's more than that. It's a high figure. It's less than that. Probably it's probably several hundred dollars if you destroy them in stock pile before they ever get in the ground. It's a dollar so we're well, (00:31:04) that's no that's a great think that's a moot point for the military. No, no, no, (00:31:08) no wonderful to use them and movement. It's a big point, right? For example. Ukraine is a country which is stood outside the treaty so far, but because of very close dialogue between the Canadian military political people Ukrainian government and Military. It looks like they're going to sign I was in Ukraine last year meeting with the military and the government. Why do I mention this because they have a stockpile of 10 .1 million land mines. Now if they sign They will receive Aid to destroy those 10 .1 million Minds before they ever get in the ground. That's 10 .1 million landmines. It won't be causing new victims won't cost a lot more money to remove from the ground. So we're calling it preventative mine action, you know blow them up before they ever contribute to the mess Jackie from Edina. Welcome to the (00:31:58) show. Thank you for taking my call. I'm really happy to be able to talk to you when I think you probably know there's a group of dedicated people here in the Twin Cities who weekly go to Lyon tech and and voice their opinion, but I had an interesting commentary to make about the DMZ and Korea of the Senate public radio while back and they were seeing due to all the rain and floods in Korea that this has changed the areas with the land mines are in if they had become a threat because they started to move with the excessive moisture. So this kind of brings home the point that even though you think you may know where your land mines are no due to weather and years in the ground, you know, their whereabouts changes. This is just a further argument, you know, when we feel that we need these landmines in the DMZ that they could pose a threat to both sides. (00:32:45) That's very good point Jackie. And by the way, I'm very aware of your protests at Alliant. I work very closely with Susan Walker obviously who is now one of the coordinators of the campaign. I was just in Nicaragua as a matter of fact hurricane Mitch. I went on invitation of the organization of American states which helps these countries with mine clearance in our Hemisphere and many of the minds as you rightly point out as in the DMZ have moved because of the hurricane and this happens all over the world. I was also as I said a few minutes ago in Egypt, there are millions of Minds in the western Desert from World War II when in the Sinai and Eastern Desert from the wars with Israel and its you know, sandy desert and many of those mines get blown around in windstorms and or they get covered by increasing amounts of sand so that they become very very difficult to find so your point is Take an even though you might think you know where the mines are. They are affected very much by the environment and make it even more difficult to find them and get rid of them. If we could (00:33:53) go back to the manufacturing point for just a moment. What kind of an impetus do you think the fact that what kind of an impetus is it that in the United States decision to not sign on to the treaty. I mean, they getting pressure from manufacturers in the United States to not sign this (00:34:10) treaty. No actually in relative terms mine production is a small ticket item, you know, the in the multi-billion dollar Global arms industry landmines are at really quite irrelevant. So (00:34:24) we're clear of that mode of at least (00:34:26) right? Nope. This I believe is really a military precedent question and I'm not just talking, you know out of my hat in 1994, Senator Patrick Leahy who has been one of the champions of the landmine issue in the Senate tried to pass. Another law stopping the use of the weapon for one year and when he introduced that legislation, we got a letter we being the movement and Senator Leahy from then Secretary of the army General Gordon Sullivan and Sullivan clearly stated, which I was rather surprised that he was so blatant to the senator that he did not want to see any more movement on Banning the anti-personnel landmine because it put other us Weapons Systems at risk due to humanitarian concerns said it blatantly clearly you can get a copy of the letter now that is a clear statement that they are worried that this sets a precedent by which Civil Society can force them to actually adhere to the laws of war. The laws of war are clear that if you Manet Aryan costs outweigh the Find the utility of a weapon. It should be banned. I find it really horrifying from the army of the most powerful military of the world does not want to be bound by the laws of war when we you know, call ourselves the world's policeman and we are unique and it's very important that we set the model, you know for the world in terms of democracy and upright military and yet our military does not want to be bound by the laws of war as a US citizen. I'm sorry. I find that (00:36:16) horrifying. Let's take another call. We've got Steve on the line from Northfield. Hi Steve. Hi as I understand it the deal breaker for the u.s. Signing signing the landmine bind Iron Band and I get my source of information is Jane's defense. It was fast cam they wanted fast cam which artillery or aircraft deployed Mine Fields which timing that will blow up after a half hour an hour three hours six hours or whatever and they wanted to use these to secure flanks and stuff. And as I understand it from my source, the the kind of first world nations of the world had no problem in in allowing this to be an exception, but the third world nations of the world who could not afford such technology I said No Deal and the United States as we're not (00:37:19) signing. Well Steve, you're actually partially correct. Let me just make (00:37:23) sure we're clear on our terms here. So if a scam mine is one that has a fuse or it has a from the time that you deploy it to, you know time certain, whatever how long can you set them and as a timer 30 minutes or your day or they'll explode at some point Somers Point, they won't be sitting around for years afterwards, like other - okay and your responsibility of (00:37:42) the United States during the three weeks of negotiations in Oslo. These were the three weeks in September of 97 when the treaty was negotiated the u.s. Lobbied hard for an exception for these mines as you point out, but the United States was not the only country in the world that had them many of the European allies were also developing these quote-unquote high-tech landmines and yet these countries recognized that as long as those mines are alive. They are also indiscriminate they recognized that they had to be given Up because they did not contribute to the establishment of a new Norm new Norm being the new international law saying that these weapons were illegal. So they refused and it was not just the South it was our European allies. It was this hemisphere telling the United States that the exceptions that it was seeking for itself in terms of South Korea in terms of these high-tech Minds in terms of trying to make the treaty not become law for 10 years when we're addressing this issue because it's a global humanitarian crisis were not acceptable to the global Community the world did not by the United States argument that you can have a high-tech solution plain and simple and it was a unanimous decision on the part of the people in (00:39:07) Oslo. It's 14 minutes before noon. You're listening to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm John Ray be in for Gary eichten coming up in the next hour of midday the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO General Wesley Clark King giving us the history and the future of Kosovo, which is heating up right now and Bosnia Europe Russia and the role of NATO in the post-cold war world and speech from General Wesley Clark coming up on the next hour of. Midday. There's room for you on the phone lines to talk with Jo Dee Williams, though. Here are the numbers six five one two, two seven six thousand in the Twin Cities 6512276 thousand or 1-800 to four to Twenty Eight. Twenty eight one eight hundred two four two 28 28 Our Guest is Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner co-founder of the international campaign to ban landmines. She's in town to speak at Augsburg College tonight at the annual Peace Prize Forum. Let's go next to Jeff on the line from st. Paul. Hi Jeff. I miss Williams. Thanks for taking my call. I'm wondering if the United States is so entrenched in this high-tech solution idea. What are the conditions that will change from 96 to the Year 2006 that would then make it, you know for their from their perspective from The Intercept perspective worthwhile to sign the treaty (00:40:29) quite frankly. I believe that the Pentagon is banking on not signing the treaty if there was serious commitment on the part of the military and the political side of our government to sign the treaty. They would not be investing in new mind systems which include anti-personnel landmines. I mentioned there's already 50 million dollars budgeted. For these systems which include they're called mixed mind systems. They include anti-tank and anti-personnel landmines the future plans for production include 200 million dollars worth of these mines and the bulk of the contracts would go to Alliant techsystems. Now, if our military were really trying to find Alternatives so that they can countenance signing this treaty that would not be investing, you know, millions of dollars in mines that would then be outlawed by the treaty and they would have to pay to destroy so I do not believe that the military is inclined to sign. It's going to take a political decision by the political side of our government to ban this weapon as has happened in the majority of the countries of the world where they've signed the treaty so political side saying to the military, I understand your argument. I understand the utility. However, the world has said this An illegal weapon and we're going to sign it. We need to Lobby our government to sign this treaty (00:41:58) Jack from st. Paul. Welcome to the show. Yes. Thank you in the way. I see it. America doesn't have any business asking for an exception to this unless and until they can prove to me that they're exceptional in their own commitment to human rights as they say they are as we say we are but really really are and don't make human rights always number three behind politics. And of course behind money. My question is as a local resident. I'm ashamed to say that this is the first time I've heard a lion Tech described as one of the manufacturers things. This just hasn't come on my radar screen yet. I'm disabled and homebound. Is there anything but I have access to a computer. Is there anything? Via email or or that sort of thing that I can do to bring pressure. And where would you suggest the best pressure points are to (00:43:01) apply? Well, there is a u.s. Campaign to ban landmines you could get in touch with the people who are involved in the Grassroots organizing which is Physicians for human rights. I think that their email address if I remember correctly is PHR USA at pH r dot org, I think but you there they're located in Boston and I'm sure you can serve your web and find their their email address if I'm incorrect, but they are organizing Grassroots activities again to put renewed pressure on the United States. I have been advocating that people should write to the Pentagon, you know, normally we send lobbying letters to the president to our Senators and congresspeople, which I think is a good thing to do. But I also think that the military is isolated Too Much from the feelings of the public and I would suggest that you write to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and asked him to defend it, you know, where the most powerful military in the world and we can't give up this weapon when all of our NATO allies can accept turkey a violator of Human Rights. It just isn't consistent. That would be interesting to see how they respond to the American public if they were directly (00:44:19) asked. Why do you think the stands a chance though of working at all of pressure campaign like this (00:44:24) because the United States despite its problems about human rights. I agree with Jack that they, you know, bring out human the banner of human rights when it's suitable to them and when it isn't they kind of put it back in the closet until they need it again, they Bono we've (00:44:43) said and there there are people on both sides of the issue say that in China for instance is human rights will be improved if we can strengthen. In the trade ties, you can make arguments on (00:44:54) both sides. Then sure you can the United States argued for a decade that by training the Salvadoran military. They were increasing human rights compliance. I worked for 11 years trying to stop us intervention in Central America. It was one of our wonderfully trained battalions that went into the Jesuit university in San Salvador and killed six Jesuit priests. So the u.s. Involvement in bettering human rights by engagement is questionable at best. We're seeing the same thing happening in Colombia Colombian guerrillas are controlling like half of the territory now of the country because the because of the inequities which is usually the root of social unrest but the military is corrupt military's lazy the military violates human rights and the u.s. Is trying to train them to do better. Given our record in Central America. I'm a little confused about how our engagement with them increases their understanding of Human Rights. (00:46:00) Just a couple of minutes left to talk with Jo Dee Williams Susu yes. Hi. Thanks for Cody. It's really an honor to speak with a Nobel Laureate. I wanted to ask you about the reputation of the United States abroad when I went to the Beijing Women's Conference in 1995. I was it I got the impression that we were a bully nation and that might makes right and they we were not loved and respected the way the news media portrays our reputation at home. (00:46:32) I think that there is a love-hate relationship with the United States. I think in this post-cold war period many countries do look to the United States for leadership and they economic turmoil turmoil of late. They look to the United States for Ship at the same time they do not want it to be unilateral unrestrained leadership and intervention. I agree with you that us hubris does cloud the u.s. Involvement in many regions and makes the USC mbale. I think that you hit the nail on the head. So to speak the u.s. Thinks it is always right. It thinks that it's more just more benevolent than other governments and other systems and it is the 6,000 pound gorilla and that causes a lot of resentment around the world (00:47:28) Jody Williams. Thank you for your time today on midday. (00:47:31) Thank you (00:47:32) 1997 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Jody Williams co-founder of the international campaign to ban landmines and she's in town to speak tonight at the annual Peace Prize Forum at Augsburg College in Minneapolis tickets are available at the door tonight. She's speaking at six. 45 should be at the Sai Melby gym at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. And in case you tuned in late or you'd like to tell a friend about today's midday will be rebroadcasting this our midday tonight at nine o'clock on Minnesota Public Radio. (00:48:10) Wednesday the weather was called the phones were hot. We were tied to the phones like sales to a sailboat. It's Minnesota public radio's annual spring pledge drive and we need your help volunteer to answer phones beginning February 24th at our Saint Paul headquarters free parking will be provided and oh, yeah fun call six five. One two nine zero twelve twelve any time with the (00:48:31) facts just the facts. Thanks. It's 5 minutes before noon time for the Riders Almanac with Garrison Keillor.