Dictator Watch is firmly opposed to the use of landmines. However, we would be dishonest not to note that in our visits to Lay Po camp we benefited from their use, since its location was protected by mine fields.

We are also, of course, opposed to war. But, we recognize that some wars, those against aggression, in other words, in self-defense, must be fought. For such wars we believe the only ethical approach is that they be fought without the use of torture or the involvement of noncombatants. Landmines contravene the latter, since local residents - villagers, farmers, etc. - can trigger the mines, including long after the cessation of conflict.

The question is: how can you criticize a group which uses mines, which group is fighting against oppression from a numerically superior and far better-armed foe; and, which use has support among the group’s general, non-uniformed population?