What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 31, 2008

More Iraq Casualties

In addition to the all the American troop casualties in Iraq (at this point the numbers are about 3,900 dead and 29,000 injured. So far.), there's another set of casualties in dubya's bloody war.

From today's Washington Post:

Suicides among active-duty soldiers in 2007 reached their highest level since the Army began keeping such records in 1980, according to a draft internal study obtained by The Washington Post. Last year, 121 soldiers took their own lives, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006.

At the same time, the number of attempted suicides or self-inflicted injuries in the Army has jumped sixfold since the Iraq war began. Last year, about 2,100 soldiers injured themselves or attempted suicide, compared with about 350 in 2002, according to the U.S. Army Medical Command Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

More details:

The Army was unprepared for the high number of suicides and cases of post-traumatic stress disorder among its troops, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have continued far longer than anticipated. Many Army posts still do not offer enough individual counseling and some soldiers suffering psychological problems complain that they are stigmatized by commanders. Over the past year, four high-level commissions have recommended reforms and Congress has given the military hundreds of millions of dollars to improve its mental health care, but critics charge that significant progress has not been made.

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have placed severe stress on the Army, caused in part by repeated and lengthened deployments. Historically, suicide rates tend to decrease when soldiers are in conflicts overseas, but that trend has reversed in recent years. From a suicide rate of 9.8 per 100,000 active-duty soldiers in 2001 -- the lowest rate on record -- the Army reached an all-time high of 17.5 suicides per 100,000 active-duty soldiers in 2006.

Let's not forget that there was no post-war planning done in the run up to war - that it was all supposed to be over quickly. No one expected repeated and lengthened deployments. Or did they? From the Washington Post in 2005:
A briefing paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers eight months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq concluded that the U.S. military was not preparing adequately for what the British memo predicted would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occupation of that country.
One more stain on dubya's legacy. Thanks to his war, more troops have been killing themselves.

Here's some artwork.

But I can hear the quivering voices cry out from the right-wing wilderness calling on me to something good about dubya's illegal war regarding these rising suicide rates.

Ok, I'll try.

So far there haven't been ANY suicides in the Air Force. So let's just ignore the Army suicides and the Navy suicides and the Marine Corps suicides and just focus on the good news here: No Air Force suicides. Woo-hoo! Yea, Bush kicks ass!


xranger said...

yada yada yada; blah blah blah.

Fascinating political race, on both parties, and you choose to blog this?

Fillippelli the Cook said...

Funny, I don't see the political race as fascinating in the least. Tell me how listening to McCain and Romney argue over who is "more conservative," or whether Obama "snubbed" HRC is allegedly fascinating? It's sad, and mostly it just shows how quickly so-called adults at the highest levels of power can become 8-year-old children arguing on the playground.

There are huge issues - like soldiers continuing to die in Iraq, and, terribly, at home - that are totally swept under the rug because of the coverage of the dog race for the next president who, in all likelihood, will not have the courage to make the big changes that need to be made, on health care, on the economy, on Iraq, you name it.

So, 2PJs, keep it coming (although I would argue the posts on poll results could be kept to a minimum), 'cause many of us would prefer not to be distracted by the latest gossip about a given candidate's latest attack ads or who's father's sister's cousin engaged in a shady land deal.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Two conservatives running against each other for the Dems, three conservatives on the Rep side -- no wonder X finds this race faskinatin'. His side wins in Nov regardless.

More war, more interest for our kids to pay, more government in your bedroom, more corporate welfare, more eradication of the middle class.

AND more military suicides.

John K wins!

Good choice of topics, D & M. Keep up the good work.

Fillippelli the Cook said...

John K always wins. I'd have it no other way.

xranger said...

You call Obama conservative? Wowser!

Barack is the most liberal candidate in years, and one of the most intriguing (SP?) The mere fact that one major party will field either a black man or woman as their national candidate is historic, and long overdue.

The fact that Slick Willy (first black prez, doncha know) has divided the Dem party by race and gender is too much to believe, and I cannot imagine his strategy there.

The fact the McCain, conservative only in foreign policy, now (for now) claims the mantle of conservative and, potentially, the Rep party establishment, was unthinkable a few weeks ago.

The fact that the next prez will have a complete housekeeping of the executive branch, is intriguing:

1. Will prez Obama lead the economy into a keynisan style, jettisoning the Reagan Revolution and supply side economics?

2. Will prez Obama or Clinton(s) be able to pull all troops out of Iraq in their stated 60 days, or will they be talked out of it by the generals?

3. Will prez McCain sink the economy (something he's never really cared to think about), and will he have a short honeymoon? Will he increase troop levels, or expand the war?

Yeah, nothing new about this race.

Too damn boring...

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Nice try, X. No cigar.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Bush does kick ass!

turtlejo said...

The Air Force killers are not effected because they witness no blood. "Bravery From Being Out of Range" Listen to our modern profit,Rodger Waters, Pink Floyd genius, whose album, "Amused to Death" was squelched by the Reagan's. Listen and learn. Turtlejo

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the media’s lack of questions to the presidential candidates about global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be a bigger issue.

Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw an article describing each candidate’s stance on global warming and climate change on earthlab.com http://www.earthlab.com/articles/PresidentialCandidates.aspx . So obviously they care about it. Is it the Medias fault for not asking the right questions or is it the candidates’ fault for not highlighting the right platforms? Does anyone know of other websites or articles that touch on this subject and candidates’ views? This is the biggest problem of the century and for generations to come…you would think the next president of the United States would be more vocal about it.

C.H. said...

Wow...what a day

Rebel miltia are advancing on the capital of Chad, Kenya and Somalia are burning, the UN mission in Darfur is falling apart, and suicide bombers continue to slaughter people in Afghanistan...including six inside of a mosque today.

...and all the left can do is rant and rave about all things negative in Iraq, in a desperate attempt to secure failure over there.

By the way, global warming is a religion, a cult even (kind of like the Ron Paul movement). It's kind of hard for the presidential candidates to talk about a warming world while temperatures freeze across the country and unprecented snowfall slams central asia and China.

(by the way, climate change is one of the very few issues I lean towards the conservative on, so I'm hoping Shitrock won't accuse me of being a republican again)

Schmuck Shitrock said...

I'm really sorry you consider it an accusation, C.H., but when it quacks, swims, eats bugs, has webbed feet and a bill, and lays eggs, it's probably a Republican.

I'm even sorrier to hear that you are among the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay fringies that have a problem with what 90+% of the scientists tell us. That makes you a part of the problem.

I'll bet you don't have any kids, do you?

Infinonymous said...

There is no need for the left to advance any effort, desperate or otherwise, to secure failure with respect to the misguided invasion and botched occupation of Iraq.

The right already has made it inevitable.

And costly (except for a few government contractors), and lethal, and counterproductive, and immoral. Plus unnecessary.

But mostly inevitable.

C.H. said...

I'm guessing I'm too liberal to be a republican. The party probably wouldn't even accept me.

But you could always ask John K. if I'd make a good republican. I'm guessing I wouldn't, but who knows?

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Yah too bad we are winning the war. We killed and I say killed that 3rd in command of Al Queda and all you focus on are US casualties. You lefties are hanging on by your fingernails. You are so invested in defeat that you cannot even see success. Too bad for you.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

It must be tough to be the AQ Number Three. This is about the tenth time he's been killed. That must get tiresome. Shouldn't we be concentrating on the guy with the money? The guy in charge? Of course, we're not concerned about OBL, just his subordinates.

As for winning the war, you bet we are. Have been for five years now, and likely will be winning it for the next 30-40 years. So why do you guys keep killing American soldiers? And why is Bush now talking about RAISING the number of troops over there by the end of the year?