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The Christian Science Monitor, January 4, 2001 | Go to article overview

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War always raises difficult ethical dilemmas. One story, and an item on depleted uranium below, pose this question: What moral responsibility rests with the military to clean up left-over ordnance after the shooting stops?

More US bombs (by weight) were dropped in Laos during the Vietnam War than in Europe during World War II. But 30 percent didn't explode. Today, 28 years later, Laotians are still dealing with the mess

Women in combat raises another set of ethical issues. Does gender equity extend to the right to fight and die on the front lines? In more and more countries, the answer is yes (page 1).

David Clark Scott World editor

REPORTERS ON THE JOB..

A BANG-UP SOUVENIR: Simon Ingram decided a perfect souvenir from the most bombed country on earth was a little bomb of his own. So when de-mining technicians in Laos offered him a cluster-bomb paperweight, he didn't say no. "First, the tennis-ball size steel canister had its (still-live) fuse removed," Simon says. "Then the traces of high explosive inside were burned off. With a spot of polish, and the addition of an authentic yellow plastic tail fin, my souvenir was ready for the trip home."

But Simon hadn't counted on the eagle-eyed security officers at Vientiane airport. Their X-ray machine instantly picked out the little "bombee" (local parlance) tucked into his suitcase, and he was sternly summoned aside. …

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