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Suicides on the Rise in Iraq

KickIT

TRIBE Member
Pentagon: Suicides of U.S. Troops Rising in Iraq
Wed January 14, 2004 11:38 AM ET

By Charles Aldinger
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At least 21 U.S. troops have committed suicide in Iraq, a growing toll that represents one in seven of American "non-hostile" deaths since the war began last March, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

The Defense Department's top health official said the military plan to deal with "battle stress" in Iraq more aggressively than in past conflicts such as the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War.

"Fighting this kind of war is clearly going to be stressful for some people," Assistant Defense Secretary for Health Affairs Dr. William Winkenwerder told reporters in an interview.

"There have been about 21 confirmed suicides during the past year associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom," Winkenwerder said, adding that 18 were Army troops and three others were in the Navy and Marine Corps.

The suicide toll is probably higher than 21, he added, because some "pending" non-hostile death cases are still being investigated.

A total of 496 U.S. troops have been killed since the war began last March, 343 of them in combat and 153 in non-hostile incidents ranging from accidents to suicide, the Pentagon said.

The 21 suicides so far represent nearly 14 percent of non-hostile deaths, an increase over the proportion of 11 percent as of three months ago when the suicide number totaled 13.

Winkenwerder said in response to questions that the armed services, including the Army, were moving aggressively to deal with stress management in Iraq and among troops returning home. More than 300 troops had been evacuated from Iraq for stress-related problems, a low figure compared with past wars.

On another subject, Winkenwerder said emergency military medical teams stationed in Iraq, combined with new body armor and other protective devices, had resulted in a sharply lower death rate among wounded soldiers compared to past wars.

In addition to the death toll, more than 2,400 troops have been wounded in Iraq since the war began.

"Clearly the body armor helps" in saving lives, Winkenwerder said. But he stressed that emergency medical teams were a key factor in preventing death from blood loss in the "golden hour" after a soldier was wounded.
No matter what you think about the war, you really gotta feel for the grunts over there, most of which are called up reserves torn away from their lives to fight for this shitty cause.

*c*
 

Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by KickIT
No matter what you think about the war, you really gotta feel for the grunts over there, most of which are called up reserves torn away from their lives to fight for this shitty cause.

*c*
No. I don't feel sorry for them. They volunteered, and they are getting paid. They knew the deal signing up.

I considered joining the military because, in my field, I'd be an officer with $$. I realized that the military would own my ass for 7 years, and that I'd likely be a pawn for some old bastard with saggy balls in his ploy to be re-elected.

If anything, the 'misery' they are feeling is fantastic lesson to the other weekend warriors in the US. Call it shaudenfraude (sp?), I suppose.
 

KickIT

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Suicides on the Rise in Iraq

Originally posted by Littlest Hobo
If anything, the 'misery' they are feeling is fantastic lesson to the other weekend warriors in the US. Call it shaudenfraude (sp?), I suppose.
Most of those others are just young kids most likely very poor with no real opportunities other than working at Walmart. Most kids join the reserves because it promises them a college education. Not to say they didn't know what they were signing up for. But to be on active duty for a year in Iraq, must have some serious psychological impacts on these kids.

*c*
 

Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: Suicides on the Rise in Iraq

Originally posted by KickIT
Most of those others are just young kids most likely very poor with no real opportunities other than working at Walmart. Most kids join the reserves because it promises them a college education. Not to say they didn't know what they were signing up for. But to be on active duty for a year in Iraq, must have some serious psychological impacts on these kids.

*c*
I agree with everything you say. But I don't feel sorry for them. They can always become concientious objectors. Or they can go AWOL, thus making them prime Presidental material.
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: Re: Suicides on the Rise in Iraq

Originally posted by Littlest Hobo
I agree with everything you say. But I don't feel sorry for them. They can always become concientious objectors. Or they can go AWOL, thus making them prime Presidental material.
To feel sorry someone is usually an emotion associated with feeling empathy for an innocent person (or group of people) who have been forced into a compromising position.

For example, one would generally feel sorry for innocent people who are found guilty of crimes, or for innocent victims of war, etc.

People who are unable to feel sorry for others (lacking empathy) have sociopathic tendencies by definition (I think so, anyway).

Soooo, in the United States we have a situation where one of two things are motivating young men and women to join military service:

1. poverty. There are many studies validating this. You have no chance to honour your family or be successful in any other way but to join the military.

2. media manipulation (propaganda). This is all part of the patriotism bullshit that makes Americans so ignorant about what it's like to be on the receiving end of their government's foreign policy.

3. stupidity. You're dumb. So you're the perfect grunt, cuz you like to take direction, and be bitched around like the dumb puppy that you are. ;)


Anyway, I feel sorry for these kids because they're growing up in an environment where they've been compromised, either by genetics, by their government, or by poverty. Any way you look at it, I feel some empathy for their position.
 

derek

TRIBE Member
grunts in the military are pawns, and treated as such. they are asked to do things the conscience may not agree with which in turn places stress (added to the stress of being away from family in a hostile environment) on the system. some will not be able to cope with it, or believe killing themselves is the only way of coping.

they deserve empathy because they are brainwashed (positive / negative reinforcement), repeatedly lied too, and can not see the bigger picture of what's going on. once they arrive on the scene (battlefield) they realise some of the lies, begin to understand the intelligence they receive is everything but intelligent, and may start to see the bigger picture which is hard to deal with.

i can't blame eache individual solider (granted some of them are knobs, like the ass that shot the tiger) for a desicion that is beyond their scope. remember they've been brainwashed to believe that there are no other options, and stiff penalties await them for insubordination.

peace,

derek
 
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