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Some Veterans Figure It Out

I seems like every week we creep closer and closer to yet another “war”…..I will admit that I am an anti-war person or as I was called back in the day a ‘peace-nik”…..when I returned from Vietnam I started down my path to try and get people to see that wars are not always what they are told…..that there were nefarious reasons for war…..and it had little to do with “God and country”….

I read this piece in the LA Progressive and thought that it was something that everyone should read….

Source: Some Veterans Figure It Out

My two tours of duty in Vietnam helped me to become an activist….war changes people sometimes for the better…..only someone that faced death in a war zone will understand what I am saying….it is not something that can be explained to someone who was not there….when I was sent to talk with a therapist I would ask one question…..”were you there”? If the answer was no then I would walk out…..opinions are like assholes….everybody has one but if you have no first hand knowledge then your opinion carries NO weight.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox…..any comments?

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Croatian Knowhow Vital Role In Saving Venice

Steel barriers/floodgates ready for shipment from Croatia to Venice Italy Photo: Brodosplit

Steel barriers/floodgates
ready for shipment from
Croatia to Venice Italy
Photo: Brodosplit

Italian city of Venice is under serious threat due to the rise in sea level and sinking of land at an alarming rate. The MOSE project will protect the Venetian Lagoon from being submerged by the Adriatic Sea and protect the famous city of Venice and the neighbouring areas from flooding. MOSE, the Italian word for Moses, is an acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, which means Experimental Electromechanical Module. The name aptly alludes to the story of Moses parting the Red Sea.

Steel Floodgates to save Venice Italy Photo: adapted

Steel Floodgates to save
Venice Italy
Photo: adapted

After being successful at its tender to undertake the building of steel barriers/gates that are an important part of the very complex MOSE project, Brodosplit from the city of Split (Split Shipbuilding company) is well on the target and course to complete the building of 41 steel barriers worth 50 million Euro, reports the daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija. 2 barriers have been completed and are ready for delivery while 19 are in various stages of completion.
The buyer requests high precision in the making of the steel gates and long-term anticorrosion protection. Very limited tolerances, the highest quality class and the amount of accompanying documentation make this Project much more demanding in technical-technological sense than what shipbuilding is. Brodosplit will deliver gates with dimensions 27-30 x 20 meters, 4.5-5 meters height and with weight of 300 tons.

Brodosplit Croatia Split Shipbuilding Company Yard

Brodosplit Croatia
Split Shipbuilding Company Yard

Project is an integrated protection system consisting of a number of mobile gates that are capable of closing off Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea when the tide exceeds established level (110 cm) up to maximal three meters. These are mouths of Treporti, Malamocco, Chioggia and San Nicolo. For construction of steel gates for sea Mouth of San Nicolo, the tender is currently open and Brodosplit submitted its proposal.

A set-up of 78 gates designed as special reservoirs filled with air or water, is foreseen. They will lay at sea bottom when filled with water, and rise towards the surface to close the Lagoon entrances when filled with air. After air is released, they will get filled with water again and lie at the sea bottom. During these several hours, Venetian Lagoon would be closed and ships could not enter it freely.

Steel barrier for Venice, Italy Ready at Brodosplit Croatia Photo: brodosplit

Steel barrier for Venice, Italy
Ready at Brodosplit Croatia
Photo: brodosplit

Brodosplit is extremely proud of this Project, just as whole Croatia, because it will remain forever registered on the list of countries that participated in one of the biggest construction projects in Italian history with overall value of more than 7 billion euro and thus contributed to saving Venice from big problems caused by tide.

This project proves that Brodosplit is capable to build not only ships, but very complex and demanding steel constructions and that it can compete with majority of world shipyards with its knowledge and experience,” states on the Brodosplit/ Split Shipbuilding Co, website.

Landsat image Venice

Landsat image Venice

Landsat image Venice depicting MOSE project

Landsat image Venice
depicting MOSE project

The natural-colour Landsat images above show some of the MOSE engineering efforts that are visible above the water line near the Lido Inlet. The top image was acquired on June 20, 2000, by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper+ on Landsat 7. The second image, from the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8, was collected on September 4, 2013. In 2013, a curved breakwater stands just south of the inlet’s south jetty. On the lagoon side of the Lido Inlet, a new manmade island appears; it houses the buildings and plants that operate the gates, which are underwater in two arrays on either side of the island. On the north side of the inlet, a manmade harbour for small vessels includes a small lock system that allows boats to pass from the lagoon to the sea when the gates are raised.

Since the beginning of MOSE construction, five million cubic meters of sediment have been excavated from areas adjacent to the lagoon’s three inlets. The $8.8 billion dollar project has encountered some scientific, environmental, and political objections about disrupting the natural water exchange between the lagoon and Adriatic.
The Lido Inlet gates were successfully tested on October 12, 2013, and operators aim to have the MOSE system fully functional by 2016. Certainly, all indications are that Croatia’s Split Shipbuilding Company “Brodosplit” is keeping its role in the project to save Venice up-to-date and on time, having signed the contract to construct the steel floodgates with the Italian company Costruzioni Mose Arsenale, COMAR, in January 2015.
After international tender, Consortium Venezia Nuova decided that Brodosplit was the best tenderer among the strong competition and it was officially selected as builder of steel gates for the two mouths. Total project that will be executed by Brodosplit includes over 12,000t of built-in steel.

Under threat of sea level rise, endangered architecture and numerous floods at Piazza San Marco and surrounding streets, Venice could become the dying relic. However, with Brodosplit in action there is a realistic and definite chance that this gem of culture in the Adriatic would be preserved for the centuries to come, “ Tomislav Debeljak, Brodosplit Chief Executive Officer, pointed out.
Well done, Brodosplit!

Korcula Croatia House where Marco Polo Was Born

Korcula Croatia
House where Marco Polo Was Born

Croatia’s participation in saving Venice also has historically-emotional significance as several parts of the Dalmatian coast had once and for number of decades been taken over by the Republic of Venice (696 – 1797) where on the Island of Korcula, in 1254, Marco Polo was born to parents who were Venetian merchants living in the old town of Korcula for several of Marco’s early childhood years. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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Pride in being a terrorist

My words could be confusing, but I will try to tell the story behind…

I actually read haaretz and ynet when I want to know about accurate happenings. Palestinian media actually takes its sources from them, and somehow it’s a bonanza in the Palestinian media. It feels like being trapped in a traffic jam not knowing what caused it’s jam and speculations and rumors are the only feedback you receive… but the Israeli media is an outcome of a Zionist fostered engine that no matter what the approach they use is, remain energized by the system that feeds it.

So I read about us in the Israeli media, and usually I am more conscious when I read ynet knowing its less leftist approach than haaretz. So I would be prepared. But haaretz always surprises me in times of conflicts like this one. No matter what the story is, inside the Israeli media the Palestinian is the terrorist. It feels like an organized gang that called it terrorists in front of the soldiers that defend the country.

It is a soldier versus a settler.

Luckily they make a distinguish. In an article in ynet yesterday. It was a teenager girl who was underage and a terrorist who stabbed some people among them was a Palestinian.

It sounds like we are called Palestinians until we become terrorists.

I identified so much with this word in the last two months and I feel like walking with a band saying “ terrorist”. I seriously feel like walking and saying; hello there I am a terrorist.

As if being a Palestinian and being a terrorist is the same.

So somehow, I am becoming fond of the word. I am Palestinian until I become a terrorist. And it is so easy to become one.

I promise I wont do it intentionally … I am too much of an idealistic, pacifist, and non violent deep within me. But accidents can happen.

It happens to me each time I am driving my car through Israeli streets. Which is practically crosses all my paths. Each time I stop at a traffic light. Each time I am less careful. Each time I see a passerby or someone stopping at a bus stop. I think what if anything happened now and an accident took place…

I will be in an instant a terrorist …

My mind quickly carries me within an imagination of a scene of my Israeli friends who would say, we were friends of the terrorist. They will still say good words about me, but I will be the terrorist.

Terrorist sounds like a new synonym to a martyr in our vocabulary … and actually worse… a synonym with being a Palestinian.

I am receiving it with pride. ( I have to admit that I am even worried in posting this .. i don’t want to become a terrorist prisoner after all )

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A generation of Stabbers

Two months in this bloody shed of knives and bullets, it is only getting worse. Everyone failed to analyze the situation building on the assessments of the hundreds if not thousands of reports and need assessments that have been injected in the lives of this nation for the last two decades in different projects types and sizes.

What everyone failed to realize, that all what was done was performed and applied successfully on a generation of Oslo consumers not Oslo generation.

My generation, that’s of the first intifada that seriously and genuinely believed it ignited the first flash in the liberation movement after years of denial and marginalization to the cause. Is the same generation that accepted Oslo as compensation to the lost dream and the disappointment of the consequence of a real strive for liberation that really accompanied those years? People, who spent years and decades in prisons for their plight, found themselves not just heroes but on top of decision making positions and those years of sacrifice were compensated with high positions and fixed salaries. Families who lost a son, a husband, a brother, a father, secured a lifetime positions and salaries in leading positions and benefits. Many kept the pain of the loss in their hearts and minds and refused the compensation, and many became the strong shield of the new leaders of the Palestinian nation. At the beginning, former prisoners, former fighters, former, refugees, …where welcomed and embraced with great passion and full convincing that they deserved a payback. There was no suspicion that the nation, the cause will be a second demand or priority. Somewhere the gap increased between the people, and the new reality that was formed after Oslo. The new form of leadership that comprised of former exiled, prisoners, and fighters. The naivety of this people is the key component to its continuous miseries.

I strongly believe that there is a consensus today among the Palestinians that the outcome of Oslo that can only be defined by corruption, hostility, inequity and of course a complete loss of territorial landscape is not coincidently related to the very leadership that took charge from exile.

It is also not a coincident that the years of prisons or months or days were compensated for those who stayed.

From one side this is understandable and legitimate, from another side; the result is understandable and illegitimate.

In-between there is a generation that was produced. Those, the outcomes of disappointed people who finally realized that Oslo was never intended for the welfare of the Palestinians, and whether those involved in forming it from the Palestinian side are absolute naivetés or collaborators it doesn’t matter anymore. This new generation of the real people of the first intifada that included all the population form all cities and villages. That generation of a nation that mobilized it within itself in a real courageous heroic act couldn’t but produce a generation with the genes of pride and anxiousness to freedom. Even if we the parents were corrupt with the new system that mobilized our consuming side. This generation managed to wire itself within those tubes that we locked inside us.

It is no wonder that a Palestinian who lived all his life on this land, in a city, a village or refugee camp, is different than the Palestinian who grew up in exile and turned on the boats that roamed in the sea of the desert within a moving sand. The sense of illusion and delusion of a history of struggle that was implemented on the ground, and that of history of exile, which sea was nothing but a mirage in a desert.

The unexpected numbers of young girls and boys, young men and women, taking a knife and roaring fiercely in the face of an occupier is a striking scene that everyone is refusing to see for what it is.

It is the only normal sign of a nation that is still breathing life.

It is a scream against inequity. A scream against corruption.

It is a refusal to life of oppression. It is a refusal to a life of a loss of a cause.

It is a consensus on the failure of a pretentious peace. It is a consensus on the failure of a pretentious state.

The reaction on the street, mixed with sadness and fulfillment.

Loss and victory.

Despair and hope.

The complexity of the Palestinian life is being responded to by a Palestinian child … who maybe have been fed with dreams of liberation and a homeland on the couches of the closed living rooms, of a father who remembers throwing a stone and a mother who remembers filling a barrel with stones and covering it with a sheet pretending to pass by an Israeli checkpoint. A child who grew up on PlayStation and video games, with notions of good and evil. Warriors and defeaters. Movies of tom cruise and Angelina Jolie, where regardless to the means you use, the violence, the crimes you implement, the number of people you kill. Nothing counts in the name of justice. Of good winning evil.

It is as much as the Israeli, the American, see tom cruise and Angelina in their soldiers. These children decided to make their own stories of heroic stories.

These children are an outcome of a security system that wasn’t created to protect them. An authority that wasn’t formed to serve them. An apartheid regime that has been mobilizing since its creation to exclude, secludes, separate and kill.

These children have been witnessing the deaths of their friends, colleagues and neighbors.

These children have lost fathers, brothers, and mothers and loved ones.

These children have been used as shields by occupation soldiers and as numbers for bigger compensations by the Palestinian leadership.

These children have been walking to schools for al what they know in their young lives through a checkpoint, or by jumping over a wall, or running through a field to avoid a settler that may shoot or lynch, or a soldier who may abuse and oppress.

These children have been witnessing homes being demolished and families being displaced.

These children have been witnessing inequity and expulsion.

These children have been witnessing prison becoming an unavoidable destination in the path of occupation. For a wrong move, or an unintended statement.

These children have been suffocated with burdens of an aspiration to a freedom. Like an inheritance, or a will … they very much aspire to achieve.

These children have been carried away with the disappointment, with despair, with rage that turned them into ninja fighters in their heads filled with despair and…

by carrying a kitchen knife, or a paper scissor, or a broken wooden ruler….

have become a new generation of stabbers…

A generation of children leaving behind bereaving mothers and fathers … whose lives will always be damned in an eternal sorrow and despair … a bereaved nation that will always think of them and remember it’s weakness, it’s inability, it’s humiliation that a child in the age of roses has to bleed for a nation of despair.

These children are not sacrificing their lives for the liberty of a nation. They are washing the subservience of a generation that brought them to life, and their bodies will always be a reminder of a leadership that fed itself and the people with servility and pretentious lies of a nation that can live peacefully with freedom.

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