Foreign Policy Blogs

Bombies (2001)



Photo Credit: Mundo Exchange, Volunteer and Intern Photos. Flickr

During the Vietnam War, the United States dropped as many as 2 million tons of cluster bombs on Laos.

It was called a secret air war but was, of course, no secret to the Laotians.

Thousands of people have been killed and wounded by the bombs, which continue to litter the countryside.

What director Jack Silberman has done is to shed light on a topic about which many would like to forget.

The question arises: Why would the United States drop such bombs without regard for their presence long after the war was over?

The documentary offers poignant interviews with peasants and farmers who continue to find cluster bombs on their property.

The discussion about the ethics of using cluster bombs is similar to the one about using land mines. At least with land mines, in most cases, there are maps which can be used to aid in their removal.

Cluster bombs, however, find their way into rice fields and bamboo trunks where they lie in wait for someone to set them off.

They are still part of the United States’ arsenal and were used in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

The use of cluster bombs is still controversial.

Bombies (2001)Former United States President Jimmy Carter had this to say: “The United States’ insistence on the use of cluster bombs, designed to kill or maim humans, is condemned almost universally and brings discredit on our nation. Even for the world’s only superpower, the ends don’t always justify the means.”

Bombies is available to rent.

Murphy can be reached at: [email protected]



Sean Patrick Murphy

Sean Patrick Murphy is a graduate of Bennington College, where he majored in politics and Latin American literature. He has worked for Current History magazine, Physicians for Human Rights, and Citizens for Global Solutions (formerly the World Federalist Association). He lives outside Philadelphia.

Areas of Focus:
Cinematography; Independent Films; Documentary;