Israel’s Sonic Booms Terrifies Gaza Children

Leave a comment

Deafening Sound Considered Retaliation for Palestinian Attacks
By WILF DINNICK, Dec. 29, 2005

It’s Israel’s latest weapon: Without notice, an Israeli jet fighter flies low over the densely populated Gaza Strip, breaking the sound barrier.

The massive sonic boom often breaks windows, shakes entire apartment buildings and terrifies the people of Gaza.

Shaul Mofaz, Tzipi Livni, Ehud Olmert

Just about every night for the last five months, 10-year-old Basma Abid Adiam has had trouble sleeping.

Her father says during the day she often seems distant. Basma’s problems started when the Israeli air force began breaking the sound barrier almost nightly over her home.

On the fourth floor of her family’s apartment building, surrounded by her brothers and sisters, Basma said shyly, “We are afraid when we hear the boom. I wet my bed. During the day when we go to school, we are afraid and try to hide.”

An international activist waves to Palestinians after arriving to Gaza in an attempt to break an Israeli blockade August 23, 2008. Israel said on Saturday it would allow seafaring activists seeking to challenge its blockade on the Gaza Strip to enter the Hamas-controlled territory. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

Responding to Rocket Attacks Against Israelis

Since Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip last September, a small group of Palestinian militants has been using the northern Gaza area to launch homemade rockets at Israel.

The Palestinian authority has either been unable or unwilling to stop the attacks. The Israel army says it has to take action.

The almost nightly sonic booms are the Israeli air force’s attempt to turn the Palestinian population against the militants in Gaza and help stop the attacks.

Targeting innocent civilians violates the Geneva Conventions. Both Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups have asked the Israeli High Court to stop the air force from this practice.

Dr. Eyad Sarraj, a psychiatrist in Gaza, says it is the children who are harmed the most.

“For children under the age of 6, large noise means danger, a danger to life,” he said. “This is definitely a form of collective punishment, which under international law is prohibited and considered a war crime.”

An activist tosses roses into the sea as part of a memorial service in memory of 14 Palestinian fishermen killed since the Israeli siege of Gaza and 34 U.S. sailors killed by Israeli fire during an attack against the USS Liberty 41 years ago in the Cypriot port of Larnaca on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. About 40 activists from 16 countries will set sail aboard the boats from the Mediterranean island for the estimated 30-hour trip to the Palestinian territory. They say they will "non-violently" resist any attempts by Israeli authorities to arrest them. From AP Photo by PHILIPPOS CHRISTOU.

But Rannan Gissim, an adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, defends the tactic. “The inconvenience that it causes the Palestinian population cannot be measured against the question of life or death for Israelis on the other side.”

Advertisements

Report: 121 Veterans Linked to Killings

Leave a comment

January 13, 2008

Report: 121 Veterans Linked to Killings

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 9:08 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) — At least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have committed a killing or been charged in one in the United States after returning from combat, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The newspaper said it also logged 349 homicides involving all active-duty military personnel and new veterans in the six years since military action began in Afghanistan, and later Iraq. That represents an 89-percent increase over the previous six-year period, the newspaper said.

About three-quarters of those homicides involved Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, the newspaper said. The report did not illuminate the exact relationship between those cases and the 121 killings also mentioned in the report.

The newspaper said its research involved searching local news reports, examining police, court and military records and interviewing defendants, their lawyers and families, victims’ families and military and law enforcement officials.

Defense Department representatives did not immediately respond to a telephone message early Sunday. The Times said the military agency declined to comment, saying it could not reproduce the paper’s research.

A military spokesman, Lt. Col. Les Melnyk, questioned the report’s premise and research methods, the newspaper said. He said it aggregated crimes ranging from involuntary manslaughter to murder, and he suggested the apparent increase in homicides involving military personnel and veterans in the wartime period might reflect only ”an increase in awareness of military service by reporters since 9/11.”

Neither the Pentagon nor the federal Justice Department track such killings, generally prosecuted in state civilian courts, according to the Times.

The 121 killings ranged from shootings and stabbings to bathtub drownings and fatal car crashes resulting from drunken driving, the newspaper said. All but one of those implicated was male.

About a third of the victims were girlfriends or relatives, including a 2-year-old girl slain by her 20-year-old father while he was recovering from wounds sustained in Iraq.

A quarter of the victims were military personnel. One was stabbed and set afire by fellow soldiers a day after they all returned from Iraq.

If this is what they are doing to their own families and in their own country, what are they doing over in Iraq and Afghanistan? Both foreign countries in which they are sent to kill.

What atrocities are they committing over there and we have not even heard about? I fear knowing the depth and extent of this sickness.

And of course the US Army does not collect these types of statistics, because they are “statistical anomalies” that do not serve their interests. Just as they do not collect statistics on the number of Iraqis or Afghans killed by their occupation.

The Russian army has similar problems with its veterans returning from Chechnya, in what has been called the Chechen Syndrome. This an excerpt from an article in Time that reports on this Syndrome;

Since the Chechen conflict began nine years ago, similar cases have been reported all across Russia: depressed young vets return embittered and traumatized to their home towns and begin lashing out at those around them. Russian psychiatrists, law-enforcement officials and journalists have started calling the condition Chechen syndrome (CS), drawing a parallel with the post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by American soldiers who served in Vietnam and Soviet soldiers who fought in Afghanistan.

The symptoms are identical — chronic fatigue, nightmares, attention problems, anxiety, aggression and denial — but some see Chechen syndrome as worse because Chechnya vets fought a war inside their own country. “At least 70% of [the estimated 1.5 million] Chechnya vets suffer CS,” says Yuri Alexandrovsky, deputy director of the Serbsky National Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry in Moscow. “Some readjust. Many don’t. All need help.” (Sunday, Sep. 28, 2003 By YURI ZARAKHOVICH | MOSCOW | Time Magazine)

The war in Chechnya is another example of another war started on false premises. The FSB was heavily implicated in blowing up its own buildings as a pretext to start a war in Chechnya.

Does the plot sound similar? A government blowing up its own buildings and blaming others to justify starting a war against a population they have been demonizing in the media?

Invade a foreign country and you get a boost to your poll ratings (for a while until people figure out the truth) as a bonus.

Maybe the underlying cause of this psychosis is the unjust nature of all these wars?

A troubled soul is hard to numb…