[I posted the following report on the suffering of Palestinian children yesterday — not as a critique of Israel whose children also suffer, but as a template of what adults are doing to children these days — all too frequently as the outcome of ideological trash or to maintain face when they have messed up by launching wars and attacks on high or from below on innocent people caught in the crossfire. The present Middle Eastern wars strike me (as a child of WW2) as nothing short of obscene.

When I was eight my nightly children’s radio program was interrupted by the announcement that Japan had pulled a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Shortly thereafter we were also at war with the other two major Axis powers — Japan, and Italy. It was clear that with the loss of the core of our Pacific fleet we were at risk on our west coast and the oil slicks on our east coast beaches were chilling reminders that our supply ships were being sunk in massive numbers and almost at will by the German submarine wolf packs. As an eight-year-old I became an expert on identifying planes — friends or foes — as our front yard on the foothills of Avon Mountain in Connecticut had been converted to an aircraft warning station. I assembled the black cardboard model planes that were supplied to teach us what planes were what. I could identify ours shortly by the sound alone. And I routinely trained in nervous adult teams that arrived every 2 hours, 24/7, on the specifics of phoning in reports to Washington (“One, Bi, High ….”). One late night team woke me up screaming in a nightmare, hanging out my second floor bedroom window.

In short we were fighting a real war and children were being killed en masse — eventually by us in the horrendous bombings of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. That was a real war for the survival of our way of life and independence from enemy attacks and invasion.

In comparison the Bush “war on terror” looks to be a fraud. Any nation that challenges neocon authority is labeled a “terrorist.” Needless to say rockets raining down from on high constitute terror as well — lest we forget “Shock and Awe” and Fallujah or the covert abuses of persons at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. During WW2 we were fighting to end such abuses as torture and indiscriminate killing of innocents. How many of these have the Bush war killed? Unlike Viet Nam when we were deluged with body counts (mainly exaggerated), civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to be top secret material — and for obvious reasons. Every innocent killed or maimed over there constitutes a war crime.

Bush unfortunately did not experience the real wars that we as children did — WW2 and possibly the Korean War. Viet Nam looks to have been the first of our slogan wars — all those ‘dominoes’ set to tumble unless we slaughtered several million Vietnamese and sacrificed 58,000 Americans dead and G-d knows how many damaged for life by post traumatic stress.

If there are any real Christians out there, remember Jesus’ admonitions:

Mark 10:14 Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Mt 18:6 But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Mt 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Mt 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Mk 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Lu 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Let those adults who call themselves Christians, then, get it straight. Jesus was not recommending MAKING LITTLE CHILDREN SUFFER. Remember the children — particularly at this time when Jesus was suffering the most horrible of Roman punishments reserved for terrorists (zealots) and rebellious slaves! Ed Kent]



Misery of Palestinian children
Amna Ghaben was wounded and lost her 8-year old sister when an Israeli
missile hit her home

Children throughout the West Bank and Gaza have observed Palestinian
Children’s Day, which aims to highlight the plight of children living
under Israeli occupation.

To mark the day, the Palestinian Network for Children’s Rights issued
new figures on Thursday showing how the Israeli occupation has damaged
the lives of thousands of children.

“In 2007, the Israeli army continues to deploy the same violent policy
towards Palestinian children with eight children being killed so far
this year,” a press release from the group said on Thursday.

“This brings the total number of children killed since the beginning of
the second intifada in September 2000, by the Israeli army and illegal
Israeli settlers, to 860.”

Additionally, 5,200 Palestinian children have been arrested by the
Israeli army and about 400 are still being held in Israeli prisons and
interrogation centres, the statement said.

Palestinian children also suffer unusually levels of stress and mental
problems – largely as a result of living in a state of near-constant

A child’s story

Typical of many Palestinian children is Amna Ghaben. Ten years old, her
name in Arabic means to be safe and secure but she has enjoyed little of

A year ago an Israeli rocket landed on her family’s house in Gaza. Her
eight-year-old sister, Hadeil, was killed and 11 other family members
were injured in the attack.

Ismail Ahmad, Amna’s psychiatrist, says drawings can illustrate
children’s personalities

Amna suffered shrapnel wounds all over her body. But although the
physical injuries have now healed, she remains mentally traumatised.

“During shelling, I’m with them and their father hugs them too, but they
keep telling us this house could be destroyed on our heads,” her mother

Dr Ismail Ahmad, a psychiatrist, has been working with Amna since the
attack, analysing her drawings.

He says her drawings are a window into how Amna has dealt with the tragedy.

“The smile is gone from Amna’s face, her academic level went down, and
she feels insecure in her house,” Ahmad said.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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