Wrapping up the Fortune Brainstorm Conference, Paul Wolfowitz took the stage (well occupied it). After fending off questions from the moderators they turned to the audience. To my amazement I got picked to ask the first question - I didn’t ask about Iraq, the election, oil or the war PR machine but asked why the administration and his in particular his office pulled out of the signing of the treaty to ban landmines (signed by 140 countries). You could clearly see he was aggitated and tried to use the PR version answer skirting the issue when pressed he said 'it’s not exactly like Cambodia… …we need to use them against the Koreans and others to protect our troops" thereby admitting that we are using them actively in the field. - who knows where else we are using them?
Most people at the conference pretty much said he made a real slip up admitting that little gem.
For those who don’t know every 15 minutes a de-miner or innocent bystander is killed or maimed due to a landmine – around 15-20,000 victims a year. And on February 27, the United States administration went back on its promise and quietly pulled out of signing the 1997 treaty to ban landmines. In doing so, the U.S. joined many of the nations it condemns for weapons productions.
The cost of removing 0.5% of all the landmines currently in Angola is more expensive than it would be to equip and build enough mobile clinics to provide care for every single person in the country.