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500 Words on Roof Knocking

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Message Michael Galli

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It takes nearly five hundred feet of black granite to accommodate the fifty-eight thousand names on the Vietnam War Memorial. Were one inclined to build a like memorial for the civilian dead in Iraq since the U.S. invasion, the granite wall would stretch one thousand five hundred feet.1

The latest victim whose named would need to be chiseled in stone belongs to a mother from Mosul, killed in front of Air Force Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten who witnessed a U.S. missile obliterate the home she was in. Gersten says the woman's death was "difficult to watch," but that the procedure which led to it, a tactic learned from observing the Israelis wage war on Palestinians in Gaza, may be used again despite the fact that it has been condemned by the United Nations.2,3

The procedure is known as "roof knocking" and is carried out by exploding a bomb over the top of an identified target to warn civilians of the dwelling's imminent demise. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth ten thousand. Please click on the embedded link to watch a "roof knocking" incident that took place in Gaza in 2014. As you experience this event, imagine that you and your family live in the apartment building experiencing the "knock." How do you know if your building was "knocked" or the one next to you? As a father or mother, you have five minutes to make a decision that will determine whether your children live or die.

Roof Knock Video 4 www.youtube.com/watch?v=69icTMgIjlw

Major Gersten stated that "We've certainly watched and observed" the Israelis conduct roof knocking. If he was watching the Gaza Strip between July 8 and August 26 in 2014, he would have seen nearly 500 children slaughtered.5

Major Gersten's roof knock in Mosul involved exploding a Hellfire missile over a building suspected of "housing a member of the Islamic State and about $150 million in funds for the extremist group." The Hellfire missile, a staple of the United States' drone arsenal, is designed to kill in three ways. The concussion from the blast causes massive internal bleeding; the bomb's "fragment sleeve," excoriated metal that encases the warhead, produces hundreds of razor like projectiles that slice, pierce, and decapitate; and the "incendiary pellets" embed and ignite flesh and bone.6,7,8 Of course, these effects destroy the inanimate as well.

Gersten explained that the knock was deemed the best way to spare "a female and her children" who were known to be in the building. He goes on to explain that "We did see the woman and child leave," but she "ran back into the building" becoming a victim of the "congested environment we fight in."

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Michael Galli is the Dean of Students at Rivendell Academy, a small 7-12 interstate public school on the New Hampshire / Vermont border, where he teaches classes on media and U.S. foreign policy.

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