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Archive for the ‘War’ Category

A Case of Moronitis

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 3, 2008


I downloaded a tool for Firefox, that will let me open all my “daily web sites” in one go. Very useful, especially for me, as I host several groups and discussions on the Internet – I can easily check if there’s been any traffic during the night.

This morning I went to Human Rights Network and found that all the Hosts were being attacked, accused of not respecting the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of UN Peacekeepers and treating the subject as a joke – a preposterous allegation of course, but there it is. Some people suffer from Moronitis.

Upset is the least I am right now. As a survivor of sexual abuse I take sexual abuse very seriously, and I have track record to prove it. I just don’t believe in re-victimizing by making the abuse or the solution to the abuse about the victims – the solution has to be sought at the source of the abuse – the abuser.

That kind of accusations, in fact any accusations always leave me feeling slightly confused, because I know what I think and believe, and it’s ALWAYS on the side of the victims.

This issue is connected to this entry: The Solution?

Posted in Human Rights, Rape, Sexual abuse, UN, War Crimes | Leave a Comment »

How DARE they!?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on May 27, 2008


UnPeace

Save the Children – UK News

World (tags: Children, Save the Children UK, UN Peacekeepers, Abuse, exploitation )
Despite recent political commitments by governments and international organisations to tackle this problem, the report exposes the chronic under-reporting of such abuse, which leaves many children around the world suffering in silence.

Aid Workers Sexually Abusing Children in War Zones and Disaster Areas

World (tags: sexual, sexually, abuse, abusing, aid, workers, children, child, welfare, war, disaster, sudan, ivory coast, save the children, organization, charity )

Many aid workers are sexually abusing children they have been sent to help, a leading charity claims today. One aid worker on the Ivory Coast told Save The Children: ‘Many agencies working here feel they are beyond reproach.’

Companion Articles:

BBC NEWS | Americas | UN troops face child abuse claims
BBC NEWS | Americas | UN to discuss child abuse claims
The U.N. Sex Scandal
UN to hold inquiry into Sudan child abuse – Telegraph

I read the above and I am speechless with anger – How dare they!? How dare they put on that Blue Beret and do THAT to children?

The UN represent all that is good, decent and hope inspiring in the world, and they dare defile this with their perverted, cruel, sadistic and inhumane practices…!

Those children…That Blue Beret stands for the help those kids have a right to expect from its bearers, and they have their trust crushed by vile desires and unbridled immorality. Those children, the weakest of the weak, the smallest of the small, with the inborn right to protection and support that the Blue Beret guarantees, are being abused and exploited – in MY name, in my father’s name, in the name of the world…of all the vile things humans can do, THAT is the vilest.

My father was a UN Peacekeeper and those vile humans desecrate his memory, his good heart and his willingness to serve humanity in that Blue Beret.

This is one of those instances when I believe a good Company Punishment would be just fine.

Let the perpetrators run a gauntlet among their peers, put them in jail and throw away the key. They are not only a disgrace to every decent soldier in the world, they are a disgrace to the entire human race. Break their sabers and exile them from humanity for the remainder of their lives.

May G-d have Mercy on their souls, because they are going to need it.

Posted in Child abuse, Rape, UN, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Memorial Day Lie 2

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on May 25, 2008


I post things like:

The Memorial Day Lie

and people call me America-hater. I think they over-dramatize. I think they have irrational knee-jerk reactions born out of a misguided patriotism that unfortunately for the world in general means that we cannot count on the American public to correctly understand the impact US Politics have on the world.

They don’t realize that as the US IS the largest political force on the International Arena, who is in power in the US is of concern to the entire world – free or otherwise. The will of the American People expressed through Elections has consequences throughout the entire world.

When the United States of North America violates Human Rights and International Laws through their Troops deployed out-side US proper this impacts not only the countries the US attacks and their citizens, but also the citizens in countries where Human Rights and International Laws are already being violated.

China, Sudan, North Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Burma and others can leisurely go about violating Human Rights and International Laws, because “if the US can, so can we…”

When the US refuses to ratify and comply with International Accords like the Kyoto Accord, because it might mean they cannot use fossil fuels as much as their economy would like, or that they would actually have to go after big business for their violations of Environmentally sound legislation, it gives less economically stable countries carte blanche on how to deal or not deal with f.i their part of global warming.

If you want to be the Biggest and the Best – as Americans so want to keep telling the world that the US is, then you have to live with the responsibility of being just that – and that means the rest of us have a right to criticize to our hearts content.

The question is – do I hate Americans? No I don’t. I never did. But just as I can criticize my own country of origin (Denmark) and the country I live in (Sweden) for its vices and failures on the national and international level without this in anyway being a sign of hatred, I can likewise criticize the United States of America.

Unfortunately for many Americans they live in a country that has a record of war of aggression that supercede every other nation in the world, a nation whose soldiers are known and feared all over the world for their war crimes, arrogance and violence against civilians. A country that not only condones torture, capital punishment and general humiliation of other nationalities out-side its borders, but actively practice those based on suspicion rather than proof and due judicial process (as if torture and humiliation can ever be acceptable methods of punishment!?). I do hold the American General Public responsible for the current state of affairs.

“But I am not a Republican, I didn’t vote for Bush in the last election…” True, but you didn’t vote for the Democratic Candidate with the biggest chance of throwing Bu$hco of the White House either, now did you? No, you didn’t, you voted for some independent to satisfy your own political self-interest, instead of thinking about what’s best for the US, and as the US is as it is, what is best for the entire world. So every soldier deployed out-side the US after the 2004 election is an American responsibility – regardless of political affiliation. Truly. If you did not vote for John Kerry in 2004, you are responsible.

The day after the election there should have been a Revolutionary Committee formed, so that Bu$hco could have been ousted. There should have been protests and demonstrations throughout the US, lead by the parties that “lost”. Demonstrations, riots and rallies – but were there? No. Why? Because most Americans are complacent and politically lazy.

Instead of eulogizing, immortalizing and canonizing American Soldiers this Memorial Day – spend some time practicing remorse and study up on how to get the civil courage to get a peaceful revolution going – a revolution to have the Constitution repealed and re-written to include a prohibition against sending US troops out-side the US without direct request from the International Community.

From On Memorial Day:

“current Memorial Days are not celebrations. We are grieving for the lost, lives lost for no good reason. Savagery and butchery with no ennobling purpose. The sacrifice of blood and treasure for the benefit of politicians, oil company executives and foreign oligarchs.

So despite the parades, picnics and baseball games, despite the unveiling of statues and monuments, despite the plaques freshly dedicated with the new names of “those who made the ultimate sacrifice”, I still feel that the only legitimate celebration of Memorial Day in 2008 is to find some posturing blow hard politician and kick him right in the nuts.”

Go ahead, mourn your dead – but also remember that it is your responsibility to make sure there are no more dead of any nationality anywhere.

Posted in Torture, US, US Elections, US Politics, Violence, War, War Crimes | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

The Memorial Day Lie

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on May 25, 2008


If you are reading this message, thank a soldier. Let us not forget that every right that you still have was paid for with a soldiers blood, sweat and tears.

None of the Human Rights that are in the Constitutional Laws of either the US or any other country has been paid for by soldiers.

That is the First Lie of misguided Patriotism. It is especially not true about a country like the US, which has not had foreign troops in-side its borders since 1776. (No, the attack on Pearl Harbor didn’t land any foreign troops in the US…) Any American Troops being immortalized during Memorial Day this year was in-side other countries when they died – more often than not as the invaders and the attackers, violators and criminals against International Laws. They weren’t protecting the US – they were attacking someone else.

Never has the US taken military action out-side the US without there being a monetary, political or ideological self-interest involved – not even in the two Great Wars (WWI and WWII). The US joined both only after US interests had been attacked.

Today, US Troops litter the globe like hungry locusts, eating, burning, violating and bragging their way through area after area, claiming they are defending American freedoms. That might be, but they are doing so at the expense of the people and countries they violate and demean with their presence.

Yes, each soldier has a mother/father, a wife/husband a daughter/son – and they grieve when that soldier dies away from home playing at war and chauvinism in foreign lands – I acknowledge that. However I also ask those parents, spouses and children to dare to hold the Government, who sent them out to pillage the world in their name, responsible for those crimes against humanity, and use this Memorial Day to protest and to refuse to celebrate US violations of other peoples rights in the name of the American Constitution.

These people have the US soldiers to thank for nothing – and ultimately – is what you saw in those videos the price YOU want to pay for your freedom – regardless of whether it is being threatened or not?

Posted in US, US Politics, War, War Crimes | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

The US-ual disregard for human life

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on April 23, 2008


USVeteran

(CBS) The Department of Veterans Affairs came under fire again Monday, this time in California federal court where its facing a national lawsuit by veterans rights groups accusing the agency of not doing enough to stem a looming mental health crisis among veterans. As part of the lawsuit, internal emails raise questions as to whether top officials deliberately deceived the American public about the number of veterans attempting and committing suicide.

CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.

In San Francisco federal court Monday, attorneys for veterans’ rights groups accused the VA of nothing less than a cover-up – deliberately concealing the real risk of suicide among veterans. “The system is in crisis and unfortunately the VA is in denial,” said Veterans Rights Attorney Gordon Erspamer. The charges were backed by internal e-mails written by Dr. Ira Katz, the VA’s head of Mental Health.

In the past, Katz has repeatedly insisted while the risk of suicide among veterans is serious, it’s not outside the norm. “There is no epidemic in suicide in VA,” Katz told Keteyian in November. But in this e-mail to his top media advisor, written two months ago, Katz appears to be saying something very different, stating: “Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our metical facilities.” Katz’s e-mail was written shortly after the VA provided CBS News data showing there were only 790 attempted suicides in all 2007 – a fraction of Katz’s estimate.

“This 12,000 attempted suicides per year shows clearly, without a doubt, that there is an epidemic of suicide among veterans,” said Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense. And it appears that Katz went out of his way to conceal these numbers. First, he titled his e-mail: “Not for the CBS News Interview Request.” He opened it with “Shh!” – as in keep it quiet – before ending with “Is this something we should (carefully) address … before someone stumbles on it?” Today we showed the e-mail to Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., who chairs the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. “This is disgraceful. This is a crime against our nation, our nation’s veterans,” Filner told CBS News. “They do not want to come to grips with the reality, with the truth.” And that’s not all.

Last November when CBS News exposed an epidemic of more than 6,200 suicides in 2005 among those who had served in the military, Katz attacked our report. “Their number is not, in fact, an accurate reflection of the rate,” he said last November. But it turns out they were, as Katz admitted in this e-mail, just three days later. He wrote: there “are about 18 suicides per day among America’s 25 million veterans.” That works out to about 6,570 per year, which Katz admits in the same e-mail, “is supported by the CBS numbers.” In an e-mail late Monday to CBS News, Katz wrote that the reason the numbers were not released was due to questions about the consistency and reliability of the findings – and that there was no public cover-up involved.

This really does not need any comment – it stands on it’s own – as an example of the usual US disregard for human life in general and US lives in particular.

If nothing else it’s a nice way to save money – dead people don’t need pensions and health care…

Follow up: VA Struggles With Vets’ Mental Health.
How we got the numbers behind the story.
VA Doctor on Veteran Suicides.
FYI: Suicide Risk Resources and Warning Signs.

Posted in Suicide, US, War | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

My Lai, Abu Ghraib – the devaluation of Human Life

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 16, 2008


Seymour Hersh, the journalist who exposed the massacre, said he sees parallels between My Lai and a more recent story that he has he reported on, the 2005 images of torture from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. But he says the public furor unleashed by My Lai was far greater.

My Lay Massacre, Detail

“It’s stunning how much impact My Lai had and how little impact Abu Ghraib had,” Hersh said by telephone from Washington. “We’ll have to leave it to historians to figure out why.”

Abu Ghraib Torture, Detail
I really don’t think it’s mystery why My Lai or Abu Ghraib happened, or why My Lai caused so much more out-rage than Abu Ghraib.
One thing is the fact that respect for Human Rights and Human Life has eroded significantly in 40 years, especially in the last two, three decades in which individuality and selfishness has been preached through-out the Land. Another is the Political Rhetoric around the two wars in which those two “incidents” took place. The Vietnam War was extremely unpopular due to the fact that soldiers were drafted into it, and had no choice, another is the timing – the Vietnam War took place in a time when there was an up-surge in emotional and philosophical “revolution” in which is was accepted and even encouraged to be anti-Government in general. The political rhetoric of the Cold War and Anti-Communism wasn’t based in real events inside US Borders.
Furthermore, the difference in who were the victims. In the My Lai Massacre, it was clear that the victims were innocent civilians, women and children. In the Abu Ghraib incident, the victims were grown men, who were thought to be “terrorists”. The term Terrorist is a very loose denotation, with very specific connotations, especially among the American public. “Terrorist” has become synonymous with blurry pictures of those thought to have carried out the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. Couple this with the strong but rather vague rhetoric of the American Government and it’s quite obvious why Abu Ghraib has had very little impact on American society.
Add to the above the idea of Justification. My Lai had no real justifications because the Vietnam War was a “Lost War”. However the very nature of the war in Iraq carries with it all sorts of justifications, fabricated mind you, but nevertheless justifications. Everything from pure retaliation for 9/11 2001 to the very vague idea of “defending the American Way and Freedom”. The “War on Terror” of which the war in Iraq is a part has not yet been conceded as lost, though I have no doubts it will be.
What is significant for both the My Lai Massacre and the Abu Ghraib Atrocities is that they were carried out with the disregard, disrespect and indifference for human rights and human life that seem to be part and parcel of the values imparted on American Soldiers during their training. A disregard, disrespect and indifference for human rights and human life, that is best expressed in the words of an American soldier: “They don’t think and feel like we do…”
SoB

Posted in War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wear Orange

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 8, 2008


In solidarity with the Prisoners in Guantanamo Bay this Blog has changed it’s color to ORANGE.

No Torture

Posted in Torture | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Waterboarding a “needed” practice…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 8, 2008


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush said Saturday he vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as water-boarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks.
Waterboarding Step One
Have a look at this series of pictures – they are real. The American soldier dressed in the Orange Coverall is about to undergo a practice that George W. Bush calls a practice “that have a proven track record of keeping America safe”.
Waterboarding Step Two
It has been out-lawed by the military, but according to George W. Bush it’s to be practiced by the CIA, as “one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror…”
Waterboarding Step Three
Note that this practice may not be used on US Citizens. Not even if they are suspected of being terrorists. But then non-US citizens are not human, so why bother respecting their rights not to be “subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” UDHR Article 5.
Waterboarding Step Four
This guy, Joe Tougas, US Navy veteran, isn’t faking – it’s all real.
Waterboarding Step Five
It takes quite a while for him to recover.
Waterboarding Step Six
Then imagine that had he been “a suspected terrorist”…knowing that the moment he is sitting up it will all start over again. Death by drowning, is what it is meant to feel like. And it does.
Waterboarding Step Seven
This practice, George W. Bush claims is needed in his self-declared war on terror. The thing is, it is exclusively used on the prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay facility. How long have those prisoners been isolated from the out-side? SIX YEARS. Which means that any intelligence any of them might be able to divulge is hopelessly out-dated. Of absolutely no use…you draw the conclusion of that.
One thing’s for sure – Joe Tougas is one hell of a soldier and well worth a standing ovation.

All photos are Copyright isa e used with permission

Posted in Torture, US | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“To Tase and Terrorize”

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 18, 2007


By MURRAY EVANS, Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago OKLAHOMA CITY – A woman confronted by police outside a homeless shelter is the latest example of someone who died after being shocked with a Taser, an electric stun gun designed to help officers subdue violent suspects without nightsticks or guns.
“It‘s a legitimate law-enforcement tool,” said Florida State University criminology professor George Kirkham, a former police officer. “But it‘s supposed to be used as a defensive weapon. The problem we‘re seeing around the country is it‘s being used abusively.”


Don’t try and seek out the police to help or get help if you are homeless – they will tase you – just to make a point. Really what the point is, is unclear, but it seems tasing has become the new spectator sport among Oklahoma Law Enforcement Officers.Why am I not surprised?”To Tase and Terrorize…”

Posted in Abuse, Torture, Violence | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Mental Hygiene – A Men’s Issue?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 27, 2007


Are men really less emotional than women?

Over the past decade or so the effects of emotional expression on health, and the differences between men and women in this regard, have become more widely understood. An increasing body of research shows the importance of emotional expression on emotional well-being and, while the exact mechanism between emotional expression and health is not entirely clear, the link appears to exist. Men are traditionally thought of as being less emotional than women but the evidence points more towards a situation where men tend to show emotions that are bad for them and the people around them. Here is a quick overview of some of the research findings about men, their emotional expressions and their health. More…


Big boys don’t cry. That is the first basic rule a boy is taught about being a man. I remember when my wife’s nephew, 5 y/o at that time fell and hurt himself. I rushed over to check that he was safe, and to comfort him. I could see in his face that he was both scared and in pain – yet he desperately sucked his lower lip to keep from crying. This was not something he had been taught at home, where boys and girls were taught that they are humans, people, not a gender. This was something he had learned in kindergarten – big boys don’t cry. All I could do was accept that he chose to be “a big boy” and tell him that crying is alright. Somewhere in his little soul he had already internalized the emotional abuse Society had subjected him to. Men are taught that emotional expression is unmanly. Unless it’s about sports or war.

Crying soldier

How are men supposed to handle emotions, if emotions are unmanly? Mental Hygiene is a necessity, without it you literally go mad. I think that is what happens to men in war. They are supposed to be these big, strong soldiers, yet they must constantly fear for their lives. A fear they cannot release, because it’s “unmanly”. It is no wonder that so many Veterans return home mentally shattered, they have seen and felt too much and have had no natural release for the emotions they have bottled up during the time of stress a war is.

While “Medical News Today” reports that there are few or no differences between the genders in terms of how male and female soldiers are effected by exposure to a war-zone, it is my guess that females are slightly better trained in dealing with those effects, as they are socialized differently than men.
However Donna L. Washington, MD, MPH Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says that

Research on women veterans poses a number of methodological challenges. Cross-sectional studies of veterans generally have small sample sizes of women or often are not designed to include detailed gender-related measures and therefore may lack the statistical power to detect gender differences. This may contribute to an erroneous assessment that access barriers and other factors affecting VA healthcare use for women veterans do not differ significantly from that of male veterans.”

Not that it matters. My point is that men are generally less educated in Self-Administered Mental Hygiene, apart from group-socializing, brawling and sports.

Mental Hygiene, in my opinion is made up of two elements: expression of feelings and techniques for recovering emotional balance. As it says in the initial article – men are more likely to brood on negative emotions, and brooding for a while is good – thinking things through, sort thing, but if it stops there, the risk that bits and pieces are never resolved, either because they are too painful or because they seem insignificant, is great.

This in turn may more often than not lead to the use of substances for relief (another way for men to deal with stress and emotions…), something that delays any attempts to take care of the issue behind the need for relief.

Men do not have the same social network structures women do – mens’ networks tend to focus more on activity than on peer-to-peer communication on an emotional level which means that while they very well get rid of physical stress through “goofing” and playing, they have few out-lets for emotional stress, other than those that are seen as traditionally male: Aggression and Joy. So what do you do, as a man, when there is nothing to be happy about? You either brawl or you bottle it up.

mental.jpg

Boys need to be seen as human beings, not as boys, so as they grow up, they can learn healthy expressions of feelings along the entire human emotional spectrum. Men need to learn to see themselves as human first, and men second, and validate that which is human, rather than “manly”.

Gender polarization has to go. It is doing no-one any good. Really. While women have made significant headway in traditionally male sectors of society, men have not done the same in traditionally female sectors of society. Whether we like it or not, in the end it will come back to bite both men and women in the @$$, in the form of increased substance abuse, violence and depression.

Posted in Men, War | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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