Unconscionable harm far into future: UK, U.S., Israel’s Middle East wars

Carolyn Ph.D.
Posted November 22, 2012 from United States
Gaza chidren in war zone
Gaza chidren in war zone
Gaza chidren in war zone (1/4)

Human costs of Foreign Relations Violence Paradigm Editing and brief comment by Carolyn Bennett

A pattern of deliberate harm. If these are not war crimes, I don’t know what are crimes of war. With an “international community” that is corrupt and otherwise lacking in credibility, who will call war criminals to account? There must be a reckoning under the rule of law. If not, we will continue a descent, this headlong fall into utter lawlessness.

November 19, 2012 In Gaza (Israel 2008-2009; 2012 – and continuously occupied pre- and post-2008) Israeli “Operation Pillar of Defense”: more risks for civilians, new weapons cause deformations in newborn babies

The Israeli military operations in Gaza have not only immediate effect but also a long-term effects:

the use of weapons containing phosphorus and uranium, as well as other toxic metals, leave contaminating elements in the ground for many years.

Since 2006 and even more after the operation Cast Lead (2008-2009), these contaminants have triggered an increase in birth defects and late miscarriages.

As experts are studying these phenomena in order to estimate the extent of the problem, the new Israeli military aggression is expected to accelerate and worsen the phenomenon.

The warning comes from the New Weapons Research Group, a committee of independent scientists based in Italy who along with a Gazawi team of professionals are studying the mid and long-term effects of the use of unconventional weapons on the reproductive health of the residents of Gaza and other areas.

University of Genoa geneticist Paola Manduca says: "Civilian casualties are not only those caused immediately by the bombings but also by the contaminants left by the conflict in the ground. These victims, unfortunately, seem even more numerous. We do not know how long those effects will last and whether they will affect only one generation.

“A study published by the group in May showed a “strong correlation between congenital malformations and the parents’ exposure to white phosphorus”.

This five-month study based on clinical data, reproductive, demographic, environmental and family history of more than four thousand newborns in the major maternity ward in the Gaza strip, Al Shifa Hospital, found:

27 percent of parents of children with major structural congenital defects had been exposed to the attacks, compared to 1.7 percent of parents of healthy children.

“In March 2010, the same group published another report showing that one year after the operation Cast Lead there were traces of toxic metals in the hair of children living in Gaza. The same metals were found in areas surrounding the craters left by bombs launched in the area in 2006 and in 2009.”

Manduca said, “‘The new military operation, Pillar of Defense, worsens the situation with unpredictable consequences on the long-term reproductive and general health of children. [This attack] has to be considered an aggression on a large scale, directed primarily against the civilian population, above all against the children of today and of tomorrow, which reminds us of the darkest days in the history of the twentieth century.’”

In Iraq (U.S. UK March 20, 2003-officially ended 2011, still occupied) Horrors of war: shocking rise in birth defects in Iraqi children

A report titled “Metal Contamination and the Epidemic of Congenital Birth Defects in Iraqi Cities” documents 56 families in Fallujah, roughly 40 miles west of Baghdad; and examines births in the southern Iraqi city of Basrah.

The study concludes that U.S. and UK ammunition is responsible for high rates of miscarriages, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiraling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs.

First invaded by U.S. Marines in the spring of 2004 and again 7 months later and where some of the heaviest artillery in the U.S. arsenal was deployed (including phosphorus shells), Fallujah was at the epicenter of these various health risks.

Sources and notes

“Gaza, new weapons cause deformations in newborn babies— More risks for civilians as operation Pillar of Defence expands,” New Weapons Committee, Press Release, November 19, 2012, www.newweapons.org

“Horrors of war: U.S., UK munitions ‘cause birth defects in Iraq’,” October 14, 2012, http://rt.com/news/birth-defects-iraq-report-385/

LEADERS OF THE MIDDLE EAST: Portraits of Authoritarianism (Pierre Tristam-Ask dot com and Wikipedia notes)

“From Pakistan to Northwest Africa, and with a few exceptions along the way (in Lebanon, in Israel), people of the Middle East are ruled by three varieties of leaders, all of them men:

Authoritarian men (in most countries);

Men creeping toward the standard authoritarian model of Middle East rule (Iraq); or

Men with more proclivities for corruption than authority (Pakistan, Afghanistan). And with rare and at times questionable exceptions, none of the leaders enjoy the legitimacy of having been chosen by their people.

Gaza: Government City (from 1994); Head of Municipality: Rafiq Tawfiq al-Makki Gaza Strip: The Gaza Governorate governed by Mohammed Qadoura: one of 16 Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority located in the north central Gaza Strip which is administered by the Palestinian National Authority aside from its border with Israel, airspace and maritime territory. All of its seats were won by Hamas members in the 2006 parliamentary elections. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the district's population was 505,700 in 2006; the governorate consists of one city, three towns and a number of refugee camps.

Palestine: Khaled Mashaal, Plaestinian Political Leader of Hamas Since the assassination of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi in 2004, Khaled Mashal, also transcribed Khaled Mashaal, Khaled Meshaal and Khalid Mish’al has been the main leader of the Palestinian organization Hamas. In addition, Mashal heads the Syrian branch of the political bureau of Hamas.

Palestine - Palestinian National Authority: Government Semi-presidential (elections not held since 2006) President Mahmoud Abbas; Prime Minister Salam Fayyad

Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Jordan: Government Constitutional monarchy: King Abdullah II; Prime Minister Fayez al- Tarawneh

Syria: Government: Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic: President Bashar al-Assad; Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi

Lebanon: President Michel Suleiman

Iran: Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader; Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Iraq: Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki Turkey: Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Kuwait: Government: Unitary, hereditary and constitutional monarchy: Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah; Prime Minister Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah

Pakistan: President Asif Ali Zardari Afghanistan: President Hamid Karzai

Qatar: Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani United Arab Emirates (UAE): Government Federation of seven emirates with one advisory body (Federal National Council): President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Vice President and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Saudi Arabia: Absolute monarchy: The government of Saudi Arabia is led by the monarch, King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz, who acceded to the throne in 2005. No political parties or national elections are permitted. Bahrain: Constitutional monarchy: King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa

Yemen: President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Egypt: President Hosni Mubarak (UPDATE: Government Semi-presidential republic: President Mohamed Morsi; Vice President Mahmoud Mekki; Prime Minister Hesham Qandil)

Morocco King Mohammed VI

Libya: Muammar al Qaddafi (UPDATE: Government Provisional parliamentary republic; President Mohamed el-Magariaf; Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib; Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Abushagur)

Tunisia: President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (UPDATE: Government Unitary semi-presidential republic: President Moncef Marzouki; Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali)

Somalia: Government Federal parliamentary republic: President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud; Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali

http://middleeast.about.com/od/middleeast101/ig/Mideast-leaders-in-Photos/; Middle East, South Central Asia, East Africa, http://en.wikipedia.org/

MIDDLE EAST COUNTRIES Background: Middle East (Near East) Countries

The Middle or Near East consists of the lands around the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. These lands extend from Morocco to the Arabian Peninsula and Iran, and by some interpretations beyond. Some of the first modern Western geographers and historians who tended to divide the Orient into three regions gave the region the name “Near East.”

In their three-region designations: Near East applied to the region nearest Europe, extending from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf; the Middle East, extending from the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia; and the Far East, encompassing the regions facing the Pacific Ocean.

The change in usage from “Near” to “Middle” East began evolving before World War II and extended through that war. The British military command in Egypt coined the term

The change in usage from “Near” to “Middle” East began evolving before World War II and extended through that war. The British military command in Egypt coined the term “Middle East” and, so defined, its states or territories included: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon;Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Jordan;Egypt, The Sudan, Libya; andVarious states of Arabia proper (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial States, orTrucial Oman [now United Arab Emirates]

Subsequent events have tended, in loose usage, to enlarge the number of lands included in the definition. Among these are:

Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, three North African countries “closely connected in sentiment and foreign policy with the Arab states”;

Afghanistan and Pakistan, because geography and geopolitics connect these with affairs of the Middle East;

Greece occasionally is included in the compass of the Middle East because the Middle Eastern (then Near Eastern) question in its modern form first became apparent when the Greeks in1821 rebelled to assert their independence from the Ottoman Empire. Turkey and Greece, together with the predominantly Arabic-speaking lands around the eastern end of the Mediterranean, were also formerly known as the Levant.

Historically the countries along the eastern Mediterranean shores were called the Levant. Common use of the term is associated with Venetian and other trading ventures and the establishment of commerce with cities such as Tyre and Sidon as a result of the Crusades. It was applied to the coastlands of Asia Minor and Syria, sometimes extending from Greece to Egypt. It was also used for Anatolia and as a synonym for the Middle or Near East. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the term “High Levant” referred to the Far East. The name “Levant States” was given to the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon after World War I, and the term is sometimes still used for those two countries, which became independent in 1946. (“Levant” is from the French “lever,” “to rise,” as in sunrise, meaning the east.)

Use of the term “Middle East” remains unsettled, and some agencies (notably the United States State Department and certain bodies of the United Nations) still employ the term “Near East.” Encyclopædia Britannica Deluxe Edition, s.v. “Middle East.”

Also in No Land an Island No People Apart by Bennett

Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

Posted by Bennett's Study at 5:31 PM Labels: Human costs of wars, Middle East leaders, Middle East region, Middle East wars, New Weapons Committee, No land an island no people apart, U.S. UK Israeli aggression in Middle East, war and birth defects

Comments 4

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Sarah Whitten-Grigsby
Dec 06, 2012
Dec 06, 2012

Dear Bennett,

Thank you for this extensive information. I'll comment on the first section of your report. Indeed, perhaps the saddest face of all of this is, indeed, the children, who are subjected to injustice before they are even born, not to mention after. The photo of the children in the Gaza war zone is heartbreaking, and one hopes that your voice will inspire others to speak up and rise up! Children are, after all, the future. Your information about chemical warfare is, of course, all the more timely as the Syrians are now facing just that possibility from their own president, as you probably know. It is an astonishing thought that some of us come into the world and spend our lives causing terrible harm, rather than leaving a legacy of empathy, tenderness and love.

So, Bennett, keep writing and keep speaking out, because in doing so you are adding your voice for a better future.

With Respect,


Carolyn Ph.D.
Dec 07, 2012
Dec 07, 2012

"Adding voice for a better future" what a tall order, eh?

Inordinate power vested in the few use it recklessly, carelessly and relinquish it slowly.

I believe together we must demand the relinquishing of inordinate power and that there is an effectively operational 193-nation United Nations. The five-permanent-member body, the UN Security Council, is the manifestation of the inherent corruption, the harm of inordinate power. More actions of the full UN General Assembly (under courageous leadership) as the recent vote for Palestine observer statehood status should be taken on other resolutions such as on arms control, nuclear weapons and chemical weapons bans, ending extra-judicial assassinations, drone killings as well as readdressing, ensuring teeth to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Irresponsible powerful western nations cannot expect nations of the Persia and the Middle East to lay down their lethal arms (weapons of mass destruction) while under perpetual threat from powerful nations' wars of impunity, their being armed to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction.

Yes, I feel passionate about this; but I do not delude myself in a belief that my words will help form a “better future.” Thanks for your response, Sarah.

Pushpa Achanta
Dec 09, 2012
Dec 09, 2012

Dear Dr. Bennett,

Your piece is essential and powerful. War is always because of interfering, inhuman, megalomaniacs.

Hope you continue inspiring and informing people with your insightful words.

Warmth, Pushpa

Carolyn Ph.D.
Dec 12, 2012
Dec 12, 2012

Hello, Pushpa:

You say it far better, far more concisely that I: "War is always because of interfering, inhuman, megalomaniacs."

Guess the (good) women of the world will have to do the hard work: uproot underlying causes, vote out or retire those “interfering, inhuman, megalomaniacs," and END ALL WARs.

More than just a dream.