29 July 2006

The war victims

The news of the past weeks is extra depressing. Not bad enough that we have wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that are going badly, now we add to it poor old Lebanon and of course Gaza.
Gaza, they never get any peace there at all. Those people who live there are in the worst possible place on earth I think. They have their entire lives controlled by outsiders. The children, who have committed no crime other than be born to parents who live there suffer the most. Kids always do suffer the most during hard times. War, the "great depression" and natural disasters. Or in the case of Gaza, living in the worlds' largest open air prison. If they go outside to play they may get shot by a sniper for going too close to the border. Chase a soccer ball, get shot by a sniper. Go looking for scrap metal to pick up, get blown up by stay, unexploded bombs. If the are very "fortunate"(?) they may even pick up the unexploded contents of cluster bombs. Of course they have the chance of any day or time of day, seeing their parents or siblings get killed by the Israeli "protectors" ( not supposed to call them jailers, not polite to do so,even "liberal" Democrats refuse to use that term).
Children, YES even Palestinian children, deserve much, much better than that. So do the children of Lebanon. They live in a small country with a rather weak government. Their government is unable to "disarm" Hezbollah. The "wonderful" Israelis, "protectors" of the Middle East, want Hezbollah disarmed. The Lebanese government cannot do this at this time. Solution, the "wonderful" Israeli Army invades Lebanon to "disarm" Hezbollah. Now more children are dying, seeing their family members die. They are getting huge doses of PTSD.
As a former Marine, who did a tour in Viet Nam as a 20 year old who was trained for combat, my life after war has been a battle with this "disorder". No big deal, many others have lived through it as well, I am in no way special, nor do I claim any special status. Just pointing out that PTSD affects ALL who are involved in the war personally. The bystanders who get caught in the war through no active participation. The farmer, the teacher, the clergy, the children.
In Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, and now Lebanon, way too many children are being caught up in war. Children should not ever have to see the things they cannot avoid seeing in those and other war zones today. We have some idea of the effects of PTSD on adults who have been to war, the troops have been studied more than others who have been in a war. I admit the studies may not be very adequate, but at least there are some that have been done on this.
Have there ever been any studies done on the effect of PTSD on the children of wars? Have the Vietnamese children from that war ever been studied to see how this has affected them? Probably not. Will there be any done on the children of Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Lebanon, etc? Probably not. It would cost too much. They are "just Arabs" or some other bullshit, throw away reply to my question.
These children deserve better than that. ALL children deserve better. How would you feel if they were your children?
Just my depressed 2 cents for today.