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Monday, November 2, 2015

UN, ICRC Leadership name crimes; Call for humanity, diplomacy, nonviolence, law

Matters of Urgency: Leaders spoke to the press after speaking together “about [their] grave concerns over the brazen and brutal erosion of respect for international humanitarian law.”

U
nited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s press encounter with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer (Transcript)
Off-the-Cuff on 31 October 2015, Geneva, Switzerland [Excerpt by Carolyn Bennett]
Signed
June 26, 1945


CRIMES against Civilians

“… [D]eliberate targeting of civilians and civilian areas is a clear breach of international law.…. There is no military solution to the crisis – not in Syria or anywhere else.…

“Every day, civilians – ordinary women, men and children – are being deliberately or recklessly injured and killed, tortured and abducted. 

“Every hour, people in dire circumstances are being denied the medical care, food, water and shelter they need to survive.

Healthcare facilities have special protected status under international humanitarian law.

Yet the hospital attacked earlier this week in Saada, Yemen, was the 39th health centre to be hit since March. More children in Yemen may die from a lack of medicines and healthcare than from bullets and bombs. 


“The bombing of the Médecins Sans Frontières [Doctor without Borders] hospital earlier this month in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was yet another tragedy – a so-called surgical strike that instead destroyed a surgical ward.

“These violations have become so routine there is a risk people will think that the deliberate bombing of civilians, the targeting of humanitarian and healthcare workers, and attacks on schools, hospitals and places of worship are an inevitable result of conflict.”


CRIMES against healers, helpers, civilians, the sick and wounded
 

“We are deeply concerned about the disrespect of International Humanitarian Law; and in particular, the response from countries involved.…I have been urging them (the United States and other countries) to have thorough, independent, credible investigation.

“Whether this could be referred to independent, international inquiry—that is the prerogative of the Member States of the United Nations. I would support any such investigation—thorough and independent and credible investigation, so that there will be no such repetition of harming doctors and nurses and medical workers; and mostly patients and civilian populations.”

 
APPEALS

Not for Charity but HUMANITY, nonviolence

“We call on all those with influence to pressure all parties in conflict to treat civilians with humanity and to abide by the law. 

“This means political and diplomatic measures, and referrals to national and special investigative tribunals or courts.

“We urge an end to the use of heavy explosive weapons in densely populated urban areas, which overwhelmingly kill civilians.
 
Signed
June 26, 1945
… Protecting civilians in wartime is a cornerstone of the international system and the United Nations. 

“Indifference will only make our world less secure. The continued failure to act is a disgrace and a stain on the conscience of the world.…


“We call for respect for humanitarian access, so that people can reach the aid they need, and so that humanitarians can deliver that aid.”


 Not above but Under LAW

Today, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross are calling for an end to impunity, an end to the callous disregard for human life, and a re-commitment to international humanitarian law.…

 “International humanitarian law is being flouted on a global scale. The international community is failing to hold perpetrators to account.

Abiding by the law “… means political and diplomatic measures, and referrals to national and special investigative tribunals or courts.”

  
Source

Office of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Off-the-Cuff on October 31, 2015, Geneva, Switzerland: Transcript of the Secretary-General’s press encounter with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (includes Q&A), http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?cuff=1

 ____________________________________________


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Police violence in schools: cause or consequence?

CONSEQUENCE
Commentary by Carolyn Bennett

The news program Democracy Now shines light on some important issues in American life. 

Stories about police violence in schools and the interface of school and law enforcement are important considerations in the public interest.

But the latest incidents of clashes (think: USA in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, …) between American classroom students and police and a deluge of images and retellings, “gone viral on the Internet”—how often do we hear that phrase”—are dealing not with underlying causes but effect; fallout not preexisting conditions or situations, prior acts, neglect, and or a pattern of misplaced priorities and flawed values.

As someone who was a teacher for many years, at different levels of U.S. education (and having seriously studied teaching and learning, school in society, human development), I know that for a long time, there has been a breakdown in the character of discipline and respect in American schools, in relations between teacher and taught, between instructor and administrator, between parents and educators, professors and entrenched politicized power, between schools and society. 

Too many contemporary teachers, K-12 through higher education, fantasy themselves “friends” of students. They pander like politicians to no good effect.  

Students are not helped to “mature”, to develop in healthy ways. Often teachers and parents are not “mature.” Students are not taught how to behave: they are not learning discipline and respect nor are they given examples of these. They are not learning to develop their minds, to think, to expand ethically, civilly, intellectually.


Underlying causes, preconditions first factors


Teachers are not well-trained as educators, neither are administrators; the latter often fail to support teachers, fail to support good teaching and learning. Awards or diplomas in grade school do not encourage development of good character traits or good teaching and learning, though they might support the opposite—lying, cheating and stealing.


Many “teachers” and administrators are not educators at all. They are business people or technicians from, as some are fond of saying, the “real world,” some private sector. A teacher has to be inclined toward lifelong learning but today’s classroom personnel, schooled “in the real world,” know it all. Children and students in classrooms K through college subjected to contractors and entrepreneurs crunching numbers, competing with other numbers crunchers, making up awards, lauding themselves as “award-winners, and taking home the profits. Education is not meant to be profit-taking.

This is not education. There has been a drastic change in the model, in what constitutes “education” – as the “leading out,” “emerging,” “evolving,” a journey. What we have are underlying, crippling causes, prior conditions, we refuse to address.


Law Enforcement an Effect of Breakdown

Because their mission and motives (as with business’s profit motive) is totally different and incompatible with human development and schooling, law enforcement personnel have no business being employed in educational institutions, elementary and secondary or higher education – private, public or parochial. An educator would know this.

The placement of police—people who deal with criminal behavior and criminals, allegations of crimes and collection of case evidence—in schools is a consequence of a prior condition resting with school boards’ (uninformed or ill-informed by school teachers) and municipalities’ flawed decisions, pandering politics, and irresponsibility.

Another factor in a complexity of failures is training. In the broader sense beyond schools, whether on streets or anywhere else, police officers and those ranked above them are poorly trained and poorly supervised; the upper levels of law enforcement, as is true of municipal officials, are often politicized. At all levels there is a sense of inattention, carelessness, the unattended, and out of control, the relinquishing of responsibilities. And instead of fixing underlying problems, each sector engages in blaming one or another individual or sector.

T
he overarching condition that contributes to America’s problems, the quality of its human relationships, individual human failures—in schools and elsewhere—is round-the-clock violence, support of violence, priorities of destruction (in opposition to civility and dialogue, care, construction, cooperation, uplift, peace, nonviolence) perpetrated by mass media content, commercial interests promoting consumerism, and corrupt government officials.

Corrupt government leadership has effectively destroyed the proper role of government of, by and for the people – in the interest of the common good. In positions of power are corruptible people proposing and perpetrating warped priorities – against the public interest.  If “just” law enforcement existed in America, these people would be brought up on charges for burglarizing the public trust.

In Democracy Now’s headlines today, along with stories of police violence in U.S. schools is the shameful example of corruption-fed chronic waste that destroys America, its people and society. It also destroys large portions of the rest of the world. Though many would like to, we cannot realistically separate decisions in U.S. domestic affairs (neglect of individual and public health, education, welfare, work, human needs and relations, physical and natural infrastructural needs, neglect of cities, states and municipalities) from decisions in U.S. foreign affairs (endlessly arming and bombing the world’s peoples, funding manufacture and trade in lethal weaponry, creating enemies to arm and bomb, in a endless cycle of violence and destruction).

T
oday’s headline reports an endless bleeding of billions for bombs: “The Pentagon (U.S. War Department) has awarded Northrop Grumman,” world leader in weapons of mass destruction, a contract likely to rise to nearly 100 BILLION. “More than $20 billion…,” the article says, and before all is said and done, the total outlay could “be valued at $80 billion and yield 100 new bombers.”

This outrageous wastefulness in a country where an estimated 1,750,000 people are homeless; 12, 000,000 children languish below the poverty level.

One report ranks the United States second in ignorance and its quality of education inferior to many countries Americans disparage as “second world.” The United States of America moves progressively backward. A study assessing the education systems of 50 countries ranked the United States seventeenth; a year earlier another report ranked the U.SA fourteenth.

Of course no one has to read global reports to deduce with a fair amount of certainty that belligerence and inherent corruption of U.S. leaders correlates directly with the backwardness of America’s people; and that care and substantive curricular content in rigorous subjects well taught in schools advances educational equality among students. No petty rewards, cellular phones or coercion required.



Pertinent links

“U.S. ranked 17th in an assessment of the education systems of 50 countries—behind several Scandinavian and Asian nations, which claimed the top spots” http://www.ibtimes.com/us-17th-global-education-ranking-finland-south-korea-claim-top-spots-901538


“The U.S. ranks 14th in education: According to Pearson, the United States has a “cognitive skills and educational attainment” score of 0.39, which makes the United States rank fourteenth out of forty countries ranked in that category” https://rankingamerica.wordpress.com/category/education/

“Are the world’s schools making inequality worse?” William Schmidt, Michigan State University, September 30, 2015, http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/are-worlds-schools-making-inequality.html

“Northrop Grumman Wins $20 Billion Contract to Build Bombers,” http://www.democracynow.org/2015/10/28/headlines


_______________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

“Equality Movement” or “Black Lives” Pageantry and Pandering Politics

Significant struggle, Substantive movements must triumph over self
Editing, commentary by Carolyn Bennett

The thoughts of Patrick Martin and Lawrence Lessig interest me. Martin published an article this week at World Socialist Web Site. Lessig spoke in interview this week on Democracy Now but has also spoken and written in other sources including his website. These writers articulate essential truths that are intentionally or unintentionally omitted in varieties of mass media, independent and corporate.
I


dentity/ Race/Self-centered Politics and Politicians domain of the Deliberately Mentally Impaired
“Black Lives Matter”: “pseudo-radical phrase-mak[ers]”

A “Black Lifer” addresses one of the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential campaigners as someone

“I’ve looked up to … since I was like a baby.” [How do you spell “sycophant”, a base or servile attentive flatterer, self-seeker, slavishly currying favor with the [queen]—a flunky, gopher, lackey, slave, stooge, etc.? (Merriam Webster defines)]
The speaker further states, as if it were true but is patently untrue about the candidate and doubtful about the speaker, “I’m an ardent feminist”.

Looking through a clearer set of lens Patrick Martin describes this Democratic Party candidate more honestly as

A ‘leading representative of the American imperialist bourgeoisie…, a highly experienced political operative of the most ruthless ruling class on the planet, the American financial aristocracy …; an experienced ruling class politician [who is] able to easily twist Black Lives Matter activists around her finger [as] the political outlook … lends itself quite readily to this exercise in twisting.’

The pageantry in duplicity, the deliberate exercise in stupidity is not about “equality” or “inequality”—is surely not a struggle for the former or against the latter. It is about “me” politics.  
D


angerously Narrow Identity Politics


Patrick Martin writes that activists in the recent encounter with Hillary Rodham Clinton presented issues “entirely within the framework of race and identity politics, which has been the semi-official program of the Democratic Party since the mid-1970s” [Of course the “Democratic” Dixiecrats of the 1940s were out and proud, far less the dissemblers in their rabidly regressive politics].

Martin observed that nothing in the comments of the activists “suggested the slightest opposition to the capitalist system or the class exploitation of working people” of any kind or kin—“black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or immigrant.”


This callous collusion of Clinton and “Black Lifers” manages to reduce, pervert, debase the social structure of the United States [into] entirely black-white terms, painting white workers as inherently racist”—and embodies or effects another arm of the oppressive, oligarchic cabal. The characters, activists and Clinton, feed on each other in a ridiculous and selfish play for their own aims—not the needs of society as a whole. When was it said that “We hold these truths to be self evident” that all are created equal?

“Black Lifers,” Martin writes, “represent a section of the privileged middle class, seeking greater access to positions of influence and a share in the spoils of American capitalism” and they are “happy to play the role set out for them by Clinton.”

But the justifiable anger and grievances in the United States and elsewhere “over ever-rising economic inequality, unemployment and poverty as well as racism by police directed at African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities” is not part of their agenda. Their goal is self. They speak, Martin correctly asserts,

‘on behalf of a section of the middle class, wedded to race politics, that is looking for more perks and positions, particularly within or through the intercession of the Democratic Party.’
Raise the Level of Debate to Equality of the Citizen 


A real concern for equality and its importance in the larger society goes beyond itself, beyond self, beyond politicians and political parties and definitely beyond identity politics and race preachers and professionals.

Lawrence Lessig speaks to a more fundamental and imperative movement, a way of thinking that is decisively different from the pageantry makers and panderers.


“This is about achieving the fundamental equality of our democracy,” he says. “If we raise the level of the debate” to “talking about the commitment of a representative democracy—as Madison said: … ‘…where the rich would have no more power than the poor in this democracy’—we could build the political movement we have to build to win.”

This is the fight to be waged, he says, “and it has to be a fight “in the court of public opinion where, if the public is reminded of this COMMITMENT OF EQUALITY in our democracy, they could see how we could get a democracy that could work again; and if we did, these problems” such as “climate change or the debt or student debt or Wall Street or gun control—all of these problems would be problems we could actually solve.”
 
We need an actual “responsive democracy, he says, in which “inequality, corrupted inequality, has been removed.” Moreover, we would have a world in which no one has “to stand and say ‘Black Lives matter’ because we would have equality in the system” such that “that statement would be crazy even to imagine the necessity of uttering.…” He concludes,

We’ve got to stop with the fantasy politics and address the reality that we [must] fix our democracy if we’re going to have a democracy that works.


T
he problem with selfishness—whether among politicians or activists, industrialists, sycophants or propagandists—is that it burns the forest. It leaves so much out that is essential for human development, society’s progress. To maintain the status quo in its favor, selfishness does what is unthinkable to a sane person; and in so doing, it fuels regress; never progress. Sustained long enough in the character, human beings become desensitized to all other in creation except self. Like an addict of one kind or another, they reduce the larger context to worthlessness; they annihilate all around them, including themselves, in order to achieve and maintain a zombie-like, anesthetized oblivion.

A conscious nation remembers and reaffirms:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all … are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted …, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to [achieve] their Safety and Happiness.

“Prudence … dictate(s) that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes …. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” [In Congress, July 4, 1776, the Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America]


Sources and notes

“Hillary Clinton and Black Lives Matter: A revealing confrontation”  by Patrick Martin , August 22, 2015, http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/22/clin-a22.html

“We Need to Fix Our Democracy: Lawrence Lessig Weighs Presidential Run to Rid Money from Politics,” August 24, 2015 Democracy Now Lawrence Lessig interview, http://www.democracynow.org/2015/8/24/we_need_to_fix_our_democracy

LESSIG author of: “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It”

CITIZEN EQAULITY ACT 2017 Lessig, https://lessigforpresident.com/the-act/
Lessig’s website: https://lessigforpresident.com/meet-lessig/

Entered this week on my Facebook page

HEAR! HEAR! ● Lawrence Lessig: “The CITIZEN EQUALITY ACT of 2017: The Citizen Equality Act is presented here as a template for three fundamental reforms that must happen if we are to have equal citizens. We are presenting this package now, pointing to the proposed legislative source for each element. If the campaign is launched after Labor Day, then in the fall, we will crowdsource a process to complete the details of this reform, and turn it into proposed legislation by January 1. At this point, you should read the act as embracing at a minimum the reforms included within the source for each element: EQUAL RIGHT TO VOTE: We must have a system that guarantees a meaningfully equal freedom to vote. To achieve that, we must at a minimum enact the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 and the Voter Empowerment Act of 2015. We should as well add automatic registration, and shift Election Day to a National Holiday.● EQUAL REPRESENTATION: Equal citizens must have equal representation in Congress. That means, districts must be drawn, and election systems structured, so as to give each citizen as close to equal political influence as possible. FairVote has offered the most comprehensive solution to achieve this equality. At a minimum, the Citizen Equality Act would incorporate their proposed “Ranked Choice Voting Act,” which ends political gerrymandering and creates multi-member districts with ranked choice voting for Congress. ● CITIZEN FUNDED ELECTIONS: A core corruption of our political system is the concentration of funders of political campaigns. That concentration creates extraordinary inequality. The Citizen Equality Act would end that inequality, at a minimum by adopting a campaign funding proposal that is a hybrid between John Sarbanes’ Government by the People Act, and Represent. US’s “American Anti-Corruption Act.” That hybrid would give every voter a voucher to contribute to fund congressional and presidential campaigns; it would provide matching funds for small-dollar contributions to congressional and presidential campaigns. And it would add effective new limits to restrict the revolving door between government service and work as a lobbyist.” Lawrence Lessig, https://lessigforpresident.com/the-act/



______________________________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora
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Sunday, August 23, 2015

TRAUMATIZED —USA-in-Iraq to USA’s Gulf Coast CHILDREN

 War, criminal neglect, failure to CARE
Editing, excerpting, brief comment by 
Carolyn Bennett

Katrina 10 years on

REMEMBERING August 2005 HURRICANE KATRINA: levee system fails in the worst civil engineering disaster in U.S. history, causing hundreds of deaths in the city of New Orleans, more than a thousand total deaths, more thousands of displaced people from the Gulf region; and children were traumatized as if caught in WAR
 
Atlantic article by Katy Reckdahl “Lost Children of Katrina a decade after the hurricane…” April 2, 2015

“Traumatized children ‘tend to stall out.’” Research on trauma “shows that many traumatized children experience ‘cognitive bumps’ well into adulthood,” says New Orleans-based education researcher Lisa Celeste Green-Derry.”

“…Children from more fragile families are more likely to be traumatized and to recover more slowly”, says  Lori Peek, Colorado State University sociologist and co-director of the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis.

R
esearch collaborators Alice Fothergill and Lori Peek studied 650 displaced New Orleans-area children and “found that poorer children were more likely to be exposed to Katrina’s floodwaters” and that these children then experienced “challenges concentrating in schools, higher anxiety levels, and more behavioral problems.”


Lisa Celeste Green-Derry is reported saying, “Many of the Americans who today lack both jobs and diplomas may have been Katrina-era adolescents who often suffered such high levels of trauma and instability that learning became nearly impossible. It was ‘like throwing seeds at cement.’”
 
Green-Derry is a native of New Orleans and has studied how teacher preparation meets the academic needs of students traumatized by a natural disaster and she notes the obvious, that “‘systems’” are essential “to uplifting traumatized students.”


However, New Orleans' young people 10 years ago “came home to layers of faltering systems: flood-damaged blocks, a school district in flux, and homes with limited adult supervision as parents worked, rebuilt damaged houses, or struggled with their own trauma.”  In the academic year 2006-2007, young people, still traumatized, were returning to schools in New Orleans with “unseasoned and overtaxed teachers” in state-run recovery schools and the results, in the view of experienced educators, were not unexpected.

Who is taking care of the potentially enormous damage being done to a generation of children?” [University of Sulaymaniya psychology professor Sherif Karachatani]

Iraq more than 12 years on

Foreign Wars on Iraq: Mesopotamian campaign (1914–1918); Anglo-Iraqi War (1941); Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988); Gulf War (1990–1991); Iraqi no-fly zones conflict (1991–2003); Iraq War (March 20, 2003-December 18, 2011; Iraqi insurgency (2011–2013); Iraq War (2014–present) American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present)

In 2006, the peace advocate and prominent Iraqi psychologist Dr. Harith Hassan expressed his fears about the trauma of war being sustained by Iraq’s young.

“For more than three decades,” he is reported saying, “…young Iraqis have been forced to learn how to kill. We must now learn instead about dialogue and compromise. Otherwise, we will continue to produce psychopathic personalities for whom violence is simply a means of negotiating daily life.”
 
Citing a psychological study of Iraqi children, the 2007 Guardian article reports Iraqi children “seriously suffering psychologically, with all the insecurity—especially with the fear of kidnapping and explosions”. And in some cases these children are “suffering extreme stress.”

University of Sulaymaniya psychology professor Sherif Karachatani said,

‘Every day another innocent child is orphaned or sees terrible things children should never see.’

Mirroring the state of New Orleans (and of U.S. returning military personnel), Dr Karachatani says of Iraq, “The country’s overstretched hospitals cannot cope with psychological trauma, many of the best doctors have either fled the country or been killed; and compounding the problems is “the stigma” attached to psychological and psychiatric care. Relatives and others do not “bring their children in for treatment” because they fear being “labeled as mad.”

The Guardian article was pegged to an Association of Iraqi Psychologists (API) study published in that period finding that “violence had affected millions of Iraqi children, raising serious concerns for future generations.” The researchers called on the international community “to help establish child psychology units and mental health programs.”

D
r. Harith Hassan’s words are instructive not only to the young but to the old, to the citizen of in any land, any office, position, or work:

‘We must learn … about dialogue and compromise. Otherwise, we will continue to produce psychopathic personalities for whom violence is simply a means of negotiating daily life.’



Sources and Notes

The Atlantic, April 2, 2015

“The Lost Children of Katrina— A decade after the hurricane, New Orleans' community grapples with the effects of missed schooling and mass displacement,” Katy Reckdahl, April 2, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/04/the-lost-children-of-katrina/389345/

 Counter Spin, April 21, 2015

Katrina: 10 Years of Media Neglect,” CounterSpin, April 21, 2015, http://fair.org/home/katrina-10-years-of-media-neglect/

Children of war: the generation traumatised by violence in Iraq—Growing up in a war zone takes its toll as young play games of murder and mayhem,” , Michael Howard in Baghdad [cited API’s Marwan Abdullah in UN-funded news agency IRIN],  February 6, 2007, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/feb/06/iraq.topstories3

Al-Harith Hassan

Dr. Al-Harith Hassan, Zoom Info Profile last updated on June 24, 2005, contains information
Dr. Hassan [was] the Dean of the Psychological Center at the University of Baghdad, Iraq, and head of two NGOs: Health and Safety, and the Iraqi Parapsychology Society.
He also taught psychiatry and cognitive psychology and comparative religions at Babel College of Philosophy and Theology in Baghdad. At Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisburg, Virginia, he took part in a summer Peace-building Institute in Religion and Peace-Building and Conflict Transformation.

Barcelona Transcript, www.globalinterfaithed.org, 24 June 2005 [cached]
http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Al-Harith-Hassan/1236018061

Hassan, Alharith Abdulhameed (1951-2006):  “Iraqi peace advocate with ties to EMU killed,” Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: February 7, 2007, p. 5: Birth date: 1951, https://mla.bethelks.edu/mediawiki/index.php/Hassan,_Alharith_Abdulhameed_(1951-2006)
Iraqi Peace Worker Killed—HARRISONBURG, Va. –Iraqi-Muslim advocate for peace and reconciliation, who received support from Christian organizations for his work in trauma-healing, has been killed. Dr. Al- Harith Abdulhameed Hassan, 56-year-old professor of psychiatry at the University of Baghdad, was shot while traveling to work on December 6, 2006, according to an e-mail sent in mid-January by his bereaved widow, Maysa Hussam Jaber, to friends at Eastern Mennonite University.
Both Alharith and Maysa attended trainings under EMU¹s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) in Harrisonburg, Va., in the summer of 2004. They were selected and sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee, with additional support from Church World Service. http://warisacrime.org/node/17720

Dr. Sherif Karachatani, Psychology Professor, University of Sulaymaniya, http://univsul.edu.iq
http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Sherif-Karachatani/1170945050
The University of Sulaimani is a public university located in the city of Sulaymaniyah in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Sulaymaniyah

Hurricane Katrina

Part of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season: the 11th-named storm and 5th hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season; its surge protection failures in New Orleans considered the worst civil engineering disaster in U.S. history

Fatalities confirmed: 1,833

Physical damage cost $108 billion (2005 USD), costliest on record

Areas affected: Bahamas, South Florida, Cuba, Louisiana (especially Greater New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle, most of eastern North America

In New Orleans, Louisiana, the levee system failed causing the area’s “most significant number of deaths.” Eighty percent of the city and large tracts of neighboring parishes became flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks.

Coastal areas sustained enormous property damage: Mississippi beachfront towns were more than 90 percent flooded; boats and casino barges rammed buildings, pushing cars and houses inland, water reaching 6–12 miles (10–19 km) from the beach.

August 23 began the storm originating over the Bahamas; early the following day, a new depression intensified into Tropical Storm Katrina; the cyclone headed generally westward toward Florida and strengthened into a hurricane two hours before making landfall Hallandale Beach (Broward County, Florida) and Aventura (Miami-Dade County) on August 25; very briefly weakening to a tropical storm, Katrina then emerged into the Gulf of Mexico on August 26 and began to rapidly deepen, strengthening to a Category 5 hurricane over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and weakened before, on August 29, making a second landfall as a Category 3 hurricane in southeast Louisiana. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina

WAR ON IRAQ’S PEOPLE
Brief Chronology of Foreign Wars on Iraq:

Mesopotamian campaign (1914–1918)
Anglo-Iraqi War (1941)
Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988)
Gulf War (1990–1991)
Iraqi no-fly zones conflict (1991–2003)
Iraq War (March 20, 2003-December 18, 2011
Iraqi insurgency (2011–2013)
Iraq War (2014–present) American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present)

Iraq War within the past 12 years: wide-scale conflict starting in 2003 encompassing a U.S. military-led campaign by a multinational force, and subsequent Iraqi insurgency and civil war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_War_(2014%E2%80%93present)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_War_(disambiguation)


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A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora
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