Despite sundry flimsy efforts to halt them, suicides of veterans broken by their service in our unconscionable wars continue at the staggering rate of 22 a day, or one almost every hour. The Veteran Vision Project seeks both to help them heal and spread awareness about the challenges they face once home through a stunning double photo series - one as soldier, one as civilian - aimed at revealing "their truest selves."
This looks like a good program. The Government doesn't do diddly squat except throw the minimum money they can get away with.
* And create, or spread, ever more wars, so the MICC can get bigger dividends.
* The people that create these wars don't have any bad memories, no PTSD. The closest they get to that is a slightly smaller dividend check once in a while. So, they widen a war to make up for it.
When the hell will it be realized that warfare is idiocy and should not be tolerated?
Perfectly sane people are trained to be killers. This is induced insanity. The military suicide rate should therefore not be surprising.
And now women are applying for the right to participate in ground combat and to serve on submarines. The MSM treats this as an advance for women's liberation. Can there be anything more asinine?
In a civilized, educated, industrialized world, warfare should be off the table, but because certain groups in certain countries profit by warfare, and use it to promote and extend their economic system, warfare continues.
It is never the people that want warfare, it is always the ruling classes. When they decide to initiate a war they first prime their populations with lies about the evil nature of their chosen enemy, then they put their propaganda machines into crisis mode to scare, pacify and motivate their people to cheer the war.
There are countries that would gladly eliminate their military and warfare - and some small ones have done so.
There are major countries that would like to disarm and spend their treasure bettering the lives of their people, but they know that if they do disarm they will be attacked, so they are forced to maintain a military.
If military suicides are to end, warfare must end.
A world referendum would certainly show that this is the will of the people.
As the mind evolves, positive behavioral traits are reinforced at the synapse.
We then immerse that finely tuned child brain into the horror of our wars.
The physiology of the brain cannot stand up to our ever increasing butchery.
It Breaks and the results are socially manifest if you are not in denial.
Where are the demands for changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice that would allow "sane" people to refuse to participate in war crimes without the threat of prison and having their lives destroyed?
Where are the demands for improvements in the training of soldiers to make them better equipped to return to civilian life after just a few months of service, usually under much less brutal circumstances than those experienced in other wars?
Where are the mass protests by active military, or at least their families? If they "can't because of the possible consequences," where are the demands to give them the right to protest?
Where are the anti-recruitment campaigns by active or former military to spare other people this outcome, and to counter recruitment lies and propaganda?
Are groups like Wounded Warrior Project criticizing the wars, or just bemoaning the fact that some Americans were killed, injured, or suffer from PTSD?
I've read and listened to many accounts--sometimes in "progressive" forums--of veterans suffering from PTSD, and it's rare to hear any criticism of the war itself or the military; most often they express feelings of trauma caused by encountering hostility and resistance from the people in the countries they've invaded. There is very little criticism of the system that forced them into service, of the economic system that forced them into the military in the first place, or of their peers who continue to praise the military and all its missions. What is missing is remorse or regret or empathy for the many hundreds of thousands more victims in Iraq who even these vets still leave out of the equation.
Most vets will also tell you that they have little love for anti-war protestors; rather than feeling that they are trying to protect them, they feel that protests are a condemnation of the military in which they have chosen to serve.
I realize that some people on CD pride themselves on having no TV and no awareness of popular culture, so allow me to point out that not only is there little to no anti-war sentiment in the culture at large (in America, at least), but the military is being used more than ever as a marketing gimmick in everything from sporting events from car commercials. It is, if anything, more celebrated and more integrated into the culture than ever.
I would also absolutely disagree with your claim that "the people" don't want warfare. Unless you believe that the mission of the military is a humanitarian one, you have to concede that people who "support the troops" are implicitly supporting the mission of the military. The image of the military presented to us is not one of peaceful non-intervention, but of shameless intervention and the glorification of weaponry and "duty," which spares anyone involved from the burden of conscience.
I don't disagree with your view, only with your depiction of the culture and America's attitude toward war and warriors.
If the country is at peace, not preparing for war, and the propaganda machine is at rest, I think even USans would say that war is abominable.
But once the propaganda machine is cranked up (as it has been to varying degrees since shortly after WWII) USans fall into line and start waving their flags.
Also, so much of the US economy is involved in war production that the jobs of many depend upon increasing spending for warfare.
So to most, putting bread on the table far out-ways adopting an anti-war philosophy in importance.
It's the very efficient propaganda machine, and the incessant war production that are responsible for the bellicose attitude of many USans, which you rightly point out.
I think the Stupor Bowl, and the media coverage of sports generally, are a form of psychological manipulation of the population.
One of the oligarchy's prime concerns is control of the opinions of the population.
They are trying to instill a favorable opinion of warfare and of capitalism, both of which require a favorable opinion of competition.
The viewing of sports encourages a favorable opinion of competition. So do the viewing of crime, violence, car crashes and explosions. That's why the MSM shoves these items down our throats.
What the oligarchy fears most is the development in the population of a favorable opinion of cooperation (the obverse of competition), because cooperation is the essence of peace and of socialism.
Sports, and assorted mayhem, get the favorable treatment that they do in the media because they tend to develop in the population opinions that our rulers consider favorable.
The media also likes to disseminate depressing tales, but that's another story.
Well said! Thank you. As for women in the military pushing to go into combat, I agree that it is absurd. All manner of Harpies are unleashed as a result with the women bearing the brunt of the onslaught. If women want to be in combat, then create all-women cadres so the incidence of sexual assault by male counterparts is curtailed (cannot project if such incidents would prevail among all-women groups in war zones). Since the Korean War, the post-war medical/psychological care for returning veterans has dramatically declined and the result is "one suicide every hour by veterans." How tragic not only for them but their families and friends as well. My brother is a wounded, decorated Vietnam vet (medic who served two tours) and he just recently revealed to me that he had to sign a document vowing that when he got out of the Army, he would NOT TALK ABOUT or REVEAL WHAT HAPPENED IN VIETNAM, which is still a practice to this day. What a mind-f- - k that is!
"Working with several veteran friends/advisers, he backpacks around the country to find veterans and then spends time talking with them, sometimes painfully, at their kitchen tables."
Wow, what a kind and noble enterprise. Just to consider it makes me hold these poor, wrecked veterans (who to me are "kids") in kindlier regard.
Good points, S. There is also the interesting societal construct that seems to state that if women want to be considered equal to men, they have to start acting and looking like men. Why any sane human being would enlist and ask for a combat role is beyond me.
I applaud the Veteran Vision Project for attempting to put a human and very real face to the casualties of war.
That said, I am not certain that some folks here understand some of the "reasons" behind war. I don't agree with it, so don't project anger at ME for pointing out one of the more obvious reasons that the government hides these statistics, does nothing to assist these soldiers--and in fact, pretty much does everything it can to ensure that these suicide rates continue to rise.
War is a population control method. There is a reason that men of a certain age only are recruited to fight and die. There is a reason for using weapons that poison an enemy's land, air and water. There is a reason that the "combatants" of an opposing army are only young men.
"Tertullian, an early Christian author (ca. AD 160-220), was one of the first to describe famine and war as factors that can prevent overpopulation. He wrote: "The strongest witness is the vast population of the earth to which we are a burden and she scarcely can provide for our needs; as our demands grow greater, our complaints against Nature's inadequacy are heard by all. The scourges of pestilence, famine, wars and earthquakes have come to be regarded as a blessing to overcrowded nations, since they serve to prune away the luxuriant growth of the human race."
It is a very old tactic. In the Viet Nam, Korea, WWII and WWI eras, body counts were shoved aside by a Hyper Patriotic populace. Now, in this age of information and flagging nationalism---we aren't allowed to see coffins and body bags, we aren't allowed to see the pictorials of the walking wounded---and we certainly aren't encouraged to acknowledge the rate of suicides. How many perished in these previous conflicts? Millions? Hundreds of millions? We kill now by drone and remote control. Our casualties are kept to a minimum, for fear of real backlash against the government.
Yet, the casualties must be had. This is one of the reasons for war. If it's obvious and blatant---bombings and missions and skirmishes---that was for a time when instant communication didn't exist. No one could SEE the horror of war. The populace now would not tolerate being forced to SEE their loved ones blown to smithereens---and demand that soldiers have every protection from death. Not really conducive to reducing the population numbers. War isn't made in order to protect soldiers.
There will be no real help for these men and women, just as there is no help for the millions poisoned, bombed and tortured in all of the countries we've decided are our "enemy". War reduces population and the ability to reproduce by the surviving members---if they can't be killed outright, then quietly is fine too. A casualty is a casualty.
Thank you so much for these words you have written! The feelings of anti-war people have been drowned out by the military industrial complex and the men and women who serve in the military are thrown away like so much used Kleenex, yet the politicians keep pushing for more blood and guts! The only hope I see is that people like you have the courage of their convictions and try to educate others around them to invest in peace and repudiate the war mongers! Peace and solidarity!
A very important question that I hope some sociologist is studying is a comparison of PTSD rates between the US (i.e. aggressor) soldiers and those resisting the aggression. Did or do NLF and N. Vietnam fighters get PTSD and experience anguish to the point of suicide like US Vietnam vets did? What about Nicaraguan soldiers resisting the CIA contras? Palestinian of Hezbollah fighters resisting the Zionists? Iraqi resistance fighters resisting the US invaders?
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Treasure Life & Semper Fidelis,
That's very kind of you to say. Thanks dacat.
Peace and best wishes.
Yes, they do suffer from PTSD. However, I can speak of Asian societies which are structured differently with a much stronger base in the family and cohesion of relationship from American society which doesn't actually support families or care for its people.