Thursday, November 12, 2009

U.S. Army - Post-Traumatic Stress Increasing

The Fort Hood shooting, dealt with by Riz Khan and his guests ("Riz Khan Show") on Al-Jazeera, English edition, on November 12 :
Both guests, Ahmed Rehab (left), an activist of the American Muslim Community, and Dahr Jamail (right), a known journalist and author, expressed their opinion that the Ft. Hood shooting had been a singular incident and should not necessarily be linked to the Muslimic belief of Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychatrist who killed and wounded many of his comrades in that shooting on the biggest military base inside the U.S.A.. Instead, the behaviour of Maj. Hasan might be "deeper rooted" and should rather be seen as the expression of a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sooner or later to show effect within the 1.5 million U.S. troops on active duty.

That post-traumatic stress disorder has been observed with 11% of all Afghanistan veterans and 20% of all Iraq veterans. While 188.000 troops are currently serving in both countries and more than 750.000 U.S. service members have been deployed at least twice, this should not come unexpectedly. An increasing suicide rate among U.S. soldiers since 2004 obviously underlines that development. Even military leaders like General George Casey, U.S. army chief of staff, are clearly aware of that fact.
[All data were presented by CNN on November 8, the day of the incident, in the frame of an interview with Gen. Casey.]

Now President Obama, decided to increase troops in Afghanistan, said that war time killings of soldiers on home soil are "incomprehensible".

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

KOREA - Naval Skirmish between North and South

North Korean Navy

Today, at 11:28 local time, two naval ships from North and South Korea
began shooting at each other. The North Korean ship is reporting "heavy
losses" while the South Korean vessel seems to have no casualties at all.
[Chinese source]

The last incident of that kind took place some years ago.

This comes while Obama is decided to send a high-ranking diplomat to
North Korea for direct talks on the nuclear issue. [Washington Post]

UPDATE on November 11/14:
There were three North Korean vessels and six South Korean warships on the scene. Two South Korean "patrol ships" (1.200 tons) and four "speed boats" (150 tons), all equipped with automatic cannons, were thus opposing three North Korean "garrison ships" (80, 130, 420 tons), all equipped with manual weapons. During the incident, it was the 130 tons North Korean garrison ship (Chinese "Shanghai class") that finally caught fire. Some days later, the North Korean side stated its firm will to resort to "severe measures" in order to protect its frontier aereas, and South Korea would have to pay a "high price" for that recent attack. [Source: People's Daily, Chinese online edition]