Sunday, April 07, 2013

Wars' residues

Meeting security
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Sal Somoza, Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Farah, pulls security outside the Farah provincial governor's compound in Farah City, Feb. 5. U.S. Navy photo by HMC Josh Ives

The people in power who start wars don't seem to much attend to this, but for people caught up in the violence they initiate, wars are never "over." If they are still around when the fighting dies down, nonetheless, their lives and their world are changed forever. Here are a few items I've noticed recently that highlight this:
  • PTSD symptoms may NEVER subside.

    Mr. Perna was 80 when he finally made his way to the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, where he began therapy with Dr. Cook and joined other World War II and Korean War veterans in a Thursday afternoon support group. “We began to understand what was happening to us,” he told me. “In your home by yourself, you figure this is just you. You don’t know other guys are going through the same thing.”

    New Old Age, March 15, 2013

  • Invaders may depart, but enmities linger.The U.S. will (more or less?) get itself out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. But there remain the Afghans …

    Mr. Balegh dismissed American concerns that released prisoners would return to the war. “We Afghans are the ones who face the most danger from these people who are released, not the Americans,” he said.

    New York Times, March 26, 2013

    Novel notion that, attending to the people who live there.
  • The majority of the men still held at the United States prison at Guantanamo have been "cleared for release" -- 86 out of 166. More detainees have died without charges in the camp (9) than have been convicted of a crime (7). Now, according to lawyers who represent some of them, some 130 are on a hunger strike against mistreatment by Army guards and their indefinite, endless detention. On Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay spoke about the camp:

    “… this systemic abuse of individuals’ human rights continues year after year,” she said. “We must be clear about this: the United States is in clear breach not just of its own commitments but also of international laws and standards that it is obliged to uphold. When other countries breach these standards, the US – quite rightly – strongly criticizes them for it.”

    “As a first step,” Pillay said, “those who have been cleared for release must be released. This is the most flagrant breach of individual rights, contravening the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. …

    Office of the High Commissioner, April 5, 2013

    Guess the Guantanamo prisoners are just the unwanted residue of the misbegotten "War on Terror" indulged in by a terrified nation.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

I wish I were surprised at this. As it is, I am deeply saddened.

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