Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Unused Grad Rocket Feeling Left Out, Inadequate

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Gaza City, Gaza Strip (Reuters) – GL-5678832, a Chinese- made Grad missile, is the only unit in its lot of 32 missiles to remain unused, and is questioning its self-worth.

“I don’t know what they think is wrong with me,” it said. “I passed Quality Control. I’ve been properly assembled. Somebody even scrawled a boastful, demeaning message to Israelis on my fuselage. I was all set to be loaded into a 122 mm 9P132/BM-21-P launch tube and sent hurtling over the border, but – nothing.”

GL-5678832 was stored with its lot-mates in an underground bunker in the city of Khan Younis, only to be moved last Thursday to a location closer to the border in anticipation of launching. The Hamas crew managed to fire all the other missiles in the lot, but on Saturday the Israel Air Force struck the building in which the rocket was waiting, causing it to collapse. The falling debris buried the building’s cellar, blocking access to the rocket. A separate, simultaneous strike killed three members of the five-man launch crew and seriously injured the other two.

“I still have these visions, these dreams, you know?” continued the missile. “My whole purpose is to terrorize, and maybe inflict some lethal bodily harm along the way. Is it too much to ask that I embed some flaming shrapnel in the torso of some Israeli kid? I mean, I know even some of my buddies didn’t make it all the way – GL-5678844 had a damaged tail fin and fell on a house a couple of miles away, killing a bunch of Palestinian children – but at least they got to try, you hear what I’m saying?”

GL-5678832’s situation is hardly unique, says Tera Risst, an expert on guerrilla movements and asymmetrical warfare. “There are literally thousands of unused rockets strewn about the Gaza Strip. Some were damaged in Israeli strikes. Some were mishandled and couldn’t be fired. Some haven’t been completely unpacked and assembled yet. And some, the fighters simply didn’t get a chance to use.”

“It can be a source of real self-doubt for a rocket to get so close to fulfilling its purpose and then, through no fault of its own, come up short – literally and figuratively,” she continued. “It’s crucial that these projectiles get the emotional support they need, or the Gaza Strip is going to have a crisis on its hands.”

The risks of leaving the emotional turmoil untreated, explained Risst, include depression, suicidal thoughts and unstable behavior. For any individual rocket the situation is risky enough, but if any of the unused missiles spend prolonged periods of time in one another’s company, the effects are compounded. “These units desperately need someone to sit down with them and explain that nothing here is their fault, that there are forces much larger influencing events – and above all, to just give them a listening ear,” she stressed.

Such help is unlikely to be available anytime soon, warned Bura Kratt, a social worker with the nonexistent Gaza City Municipal Welfare Office. Hamas resources, already challenged by the logistical obstacles thrown up by all the recent destruction, are likely to focus primarily on replenishing stockpiles of rockets, and not on maintenance of the older units.

Foreign donors are also unlikely to provide funding or personnel for the necessary counseling. The European Union generally reserves its funding for infrastructure, education and peacemaking initiatives, while Muslim countries such as Iran favor training humans to use more and different varieties of weapons, then providing them. GL-5678832 will have to muddle through on its own.

At press time, social workers were spreading throughout Israel’s south to help residents cope with the aftereffects of the Palestinian rocket fire. No plans have been announced to counsel the unused projectiles in the antimissile Iron Dome system, which brutally shot down hundreds of innocent Grad rockets.

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Written by Thag

November 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

One Response

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  1. I know the feeling. It’s so frustrating you could just explode.


    November 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

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