U.N. Establishes 'Do-Not-Bomb' List

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by Gene Callahan and Bob Murphy by Gene Callahan

October 10, 2003, New York City – Responding to growing public resentment over aggressive military campaigns, the United Nations today announced the release of a global "do-not-bomb list." A new UN resolution makes it a crime to drop bombs on the territory of any government or group that has put its name on the do-not-bomb registry.

"The International Do-Not-Bomb Registry is fully up and running," said Timothy Yuslis, chairman of the United Nations Aerial Warfare Commission. He called the move a "major victory for humans."

Meanwhile, military groups, soon to face fines of up to $11,000 per kiloton for violating the rules, vowed to heed the wishes of potential bombees while considering legal options that might overturn the system.

Many humans applauded the new list. As Fazool Yansouri, a strong supporter of the measure, put it: "There’s really nothing more annoying than getting home from a hard day at work, sitting down to eat with your family, and then all of a sudden your meal is interrupted by a cluster bomb crashing into the kitchen, sending body parts flying hither and thither."

However, the UN list is not without its detractors. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, said he thinks an international do-not-bomb list run by the UN is a "big, fat waste of time." Putin told reporters: "True, getting bombed is an inconvenience. But do we ask Big Brother to solve every inconvenience in our lives?"

"Dinner time!" an exasperated Putin declared. "I’m always hearing about people being unhappy about being interrupted at dinner time. If those Chechens don’t want to be interrupted at dinner time, they should eat in a bomb shelter."

Various other bombers argued that the UN has no business meddling in their affairs and that denying them the right to strike at whom they want, when they want, is just a darned nuisance.

"This is an unfair violation of the rights of belligerent nations to freely conduct their own foreign policy," said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "The UN charter doesn’t give it authority to regulate this type of activity. Israel will not be deterred from protecting its citizens and will strike its enemies in every place and in every way it damned well pleases."

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was equally unhappy. "This measure is a cheap appeal to the emotions," he complained. "And it won’t stop bombing. It only applies to those militaries that initiate aggression. People don’t read between the fine lines, but if you actually look at this thing, you’ll see that even countries on the so-called do-not-bomb list aren’t exempt from governments acting to protect their nation against terrorist attacks, which includes future terrorist attacks that the bombing government is vaguely suspicious just might be coming one day."

Dr. Theodore Gitt, a game theorist at the RAND Corporation, echoed Rumsfeld’s concerns. "The measure is a paper tiger, devoid of any real teeth. In any event, this popular outrage is silly," Gitt said. "If you’re sooo bothered by people bombing your country, all you have to do is surrender to them."

Gitt continued: "These countries, they claim they don’t want to be bothered by bombers. However, it just isn’t borne out by the statistics. If it were true, they would ignore the bombing, but I’ve found that over 98% of all countries alter their foreign policy in response to a serious bombing campaign."

In addition to the sovereignty issues, the bombing industry has said the do-not-bomb list could prove economically devastating to an industry that generates some $211 billion in sales for companies making everything from bombsights to air-raid shelters. The industry contends the new rules could result in the loss of millions of bombing-related jobs.

Echoing the above analysis, Irving Phutstompir, a marketing consultant, stated: "We can gripe about the victims of bombing all day long," he said. "But when we come down to it, the reason people keep bombing is that bombing pays."

Dr. James Puffendingle, a sociology professor at Harvard, indicated that the widespread distrust and hatred of bombers was quite fascinating in its own right: "There’s this image people have of the bomber with ulterior motives: ‘Oh, he says he doesn’t want my sovereignty, that his bombing will involve no lasting obligation on my part, but I don’t believe him for a second.’ But as justified as perhaps many of these negative stereotypes are, I think we need to remember that there are real human beings on the other end of that bombsight, releasing those bombs. And those people need to earn a living too."

While potential bombees are waiting out the uncertainty of the battle over the legal status of the UN list, the Aerial Warfare Commission recommends that if you are on the receiving end of an unwanted bombing, you should send complaints to the bombing government in question via their web site, e-mail, or regular post. The Commission also suggested the following tips for dealing with bombers:

  • When on the receiving end of a bombing run, interrupt the bombers with a burst of anti-aircraft fire. Then, by radio, inform them "we will be right back," but instead desert the area.
  • When you are about to receive a computer-driven bombing raid, try to determine if the computers in question are running WindowsTM. If so, send them e-mail with the SoBig.F virus, and watch those bombs drop on some other country instead!
  • Or, simply inform the bombers, "No, thanks, we’re not interested. Don’t ever come to bomb us again, and take us off of your strategic targets list."

October 13, 2003

Gene Callahan [send him mail], the author of Economics for Real People, is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a contributing columnist to LewRockwell.com.

Bob Murphy [send him mail] has a PhD in economics from New York University, and see his personal website at BobMurphy.net.

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