RFK Jr. Blasts Biden for Approving Deadly ‘War Crimes’ Weapon for Ukraine
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has slammed President Joe Biden for approving the transfer of cluster munitions in Ukraine as the administration continues to ratchet up its support for the war effort in the country.
In a reversal of a previous commitment to withholding such weapons, the Biden administration last week confirmed that the Pentagon will dispatch M864 155mm artillery shells, commonly referred to as Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions.
DPICMs are designed to disperse smaller explosive devices, targeting both personnel and vehicles within a given area. Their use has long been considered controversial due to the potential danger posed by unexploded submunitions, which could continue to harm civilians years after a conflict has ended.
Kennedy, who is Biden’s highest polling rival for the Democratic nomination, pointed out that they are so deadly that over 100 countries have signed an international treaty against using them. Human Rights Watch’s website confirmed these numbers, stating that 120 nations signed the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibited the use of these devices, and urged countries not to use these weapons.
“Cluster bombs are munitions so horrific for civilians that more than a hundred nations have signed an international treaty banning them,” he wrote on Twitter. “Now the Biden administration is preparing to send them to Ukraine.”
“These munitions scatter bomblets across the landscape,” he wrote in a follow-up post. “Many fail to explode — until children pick them up later. They have caused thousands of injuries and deaths to civilians.”
Kennedy is not the only Democrat to criticize Biden over the move. Rep. Barbara Lee of California has similarly argued that it will damage America’s “moral leadership” on the world stage, The Guardian reported.
“We know what takes place in terms of cluster bombs being very dangerous to civilians,” Lee said. “They don’t always immediately explode. Children can step on them. That’s a line we should not cross.”
Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki previously told a media briefing last year that using such weapons was “potentially a war crime.”
Biden has defended the decision, admitting that although he was initially reluctant, the severity of the situation in Ukraine had forced him to act, CNN reported.
“It was a very difficult decision on my part,” he said in an interview with CNN. “And by the way, I discussed this with our allies, I discussed this with our friends up on the Hill. The Ukrainians are running out of ammunition.”