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Sunday, August 23, 2015


 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.

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.”

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]

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
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

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.



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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