Friday, June 10, 2005

No Wishy-Washy On This

From the AP and NTodd

JERUSALEM - Israel is considering using an unusual new weapon against Jewish settlers who resist this summer's
Gaza Strip evacuation — a device that emits penetrating bursts of sound that leaves targets reeling with dizziness and nausea.

Security forces could employ the weapon to overcome resistance without resorting to force, their paramount aim. But experts warn that the effects of prolonged exposure are unknown.

The army employed the new device, which it dubbed "The Scream," at a recent violent demonstration by Palestinians and Jewish sympathizers against Israel's West Bank separation barrier.

Protesters covered their ears and grabbed their heads, overcome by dizziness and nausea, after the vehicle-mounted device began sending out bursts of audible, but not loud, sound at intervals of about 10 seconds. An Associated Press photographer at the scene said that even after he covered his ears, he continued to hear the sound ringing in his head.

NTodd is on the fence about whether a device like this can be considered violent, irrespective of the lethalness. I submit that anything used to make innocent people do things against their will is force. Anything that allows the police, government or military to prevent peaceful protest and assembly by force is supression and wrong. Just because this is non-lethal just makes it possible to go all wishy-washy in opposing it. This is one of those black and white things. It's the same argument about how much pain can you inflict on someone before it becomes torture. The reality is that even suggesting that you will inflict pain on someone in your custody is torture. The end never justifies the means.

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