If you read only one article all week, make sure you check out the NY Times in-depth analysis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and its effects on soldiers returning to ordinary life after war. There have been 121 confirmed cases of homicide committed by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and almost all the cases are a direct result of the insane circumstances the veterans faced over seas. There were interviews conducted with a number of these veterans and the common themes seem to be the inability to readjust to civilian life and memories of something that happened during the war. While there are places these soldiers can go to get help it is like admitting a weakness, which most soldiers cannot bring themselves to do. Even when the manage to swallow their pride and seek help it seems as if the government goes out of their way to not diagnose PTSD until it’s too late and someone’s life has been taken. In one case, a man went on leave from Iraq to celebrate his son’s first birthday; while he was at home his entire unit was killed. Instead of getting him any kind of psychiatric help, he was sent home to fend for himself. When his wife told him that she wanted to end their marriage, he killed her and himself. As the war continues and more and more veterans are forced to readjust to normalcy while being haunted by their time in a war zone, this problem will continue to grow. After Vietnam, one third of the prison population consisted of veterans. There has been some talk in the right-wing blog world that this series of articles is not ‘supporting the troops’. I found that the article in no way puts blame on the actual soldiers for any of this happening. Instead, it examines the causes and what can be done to prevent more murders and suicides in the future. Whether one agrees with the war or not or thinks soldiers are hero’s or paid killers, it cannot be denied that this is a serious problem.
George W Bush has been continuing his hate mongering tour of the Middle East, stopping in Abu Dhabi yesterday in order to give a speech calling Iran a huge threat to world peace and the biggest state sponsor of terrorism. He is obviously either being modest or forgetting the United State’s role in the disruption of world peace and sponsorship of terrorism. I’m pretty sure that the people and governments of the Middle East are not as ignorant as the US population when it comes to believing the lies flying out of Bush’s mouth. I feel like the citizenry of our country is like Charlie Brown and our government is Lucy holding the football. After being told lie after lie, leading to mass amounts of death, destruction, and debt, people are starting to believe all the things being said about Iran. I’m sure Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a slightly insane tyrant of sorts, but he does not have the power that Bush says he has nor does he have any ability to hurt the United States. Sure, they may be helping certain groups in Iraq and Palestine, but isn’t our government doing the same thing? Didn’t our government give weapons and money to Saddam Hussein in order to fight a war against Iran? Why is everything done by the US – no matter how corrupt or controlling – perfectly fine, but anything done in retaliation or in someone else’s interests is labeled as terrorism? Most importantly, when will the population of our country catch up to the population of the rest of the world and open their eyes to this? How can we not throw up in our mouth a little bit when Bush – referring to Palestine and Hamas – says, “This new era is being built with the understanding that power is a trust that must be exercised with the consent of the governed”?
If you are not part of my email reminder list and would like to be, shoot me an email.