McCartney Calls For Ban on Cluster Bombs

By | April 21, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Paul McCartney is calling for a ban on cluster bombs because of the harm they cause to civilians.

“It would be great to outlaw these cowardly weapons,” the former Beatle told British Broadcasting Corp. radio on Monday. “What happens after the war finishes is that it’s the civilians – mainly women and children – who get blown up.”

Cluster munitions dropped by U.S. and British aircraft in Iraq contain hundreds of small “bomblets” which sometimes fail to explode until years later. Anti-landmine campaigners – including McCartney’s wife, Heather Mills – say children are particularly at risk because they can mistake the bomblets for toys.

McCartney’s call for the ban came as he and other stars released an album to raise money for Iraqi children affected by the war.

David Bowie, George Michael, Moby and former pop star Cat Stevens were among the other artists performing on the album “Hope,” which was released Monday.

Stevens, a convert to Islam who now uses the name Yusuf Islam, recorded his first song in 25 years to help the charity War Child, which helps children in war torn countries. He re-recorded his 1971 hit “Peace Train.”

All the artists recorded their tracks free of charge and London Records is distributing the disc without taking a profit.

“Whatever the politics, whatever the rights and wrongs of war, children are always the innocent victims, so I am delighted to be able to make this small contribution,” the 60-year-old McCartney said of his track, a live recording of his song “Calico Skies.”

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