Til Death Do Us Part

April 14, 2008

Decider George’s illegal and immoral war has an even uglier underbelly:

April 10 (Bloomberg) — Current and former military personnel accounted for about 20 percent of U.S. suicides in 2005, according to a government study.
About 1,821 current or former soldiers committed suicide in 16 states in 2005, the most recent year of available data, according to the report published today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost half were diagnosed with depression and a third left suicide notes.
A rise in suicides among soldiers serving in the military has alarmed Pentagon planners and members of Congress as the war in Iraq enters its sixth year.
An Army report produced last year found the rate of suicides among soldiers deployed in Iraq from 2003 to 2006 was almost 40 percent higher than the military’s average suicide rate. An update of the Army’s Mental Health Advisory Team report released in March found suicide rates for soldiers in 2007 remained “above normal Army rates.”
“The frequency and the length of deployments are stretching people to the limit and they can’t tolerate it,” Charles Figley, a psychologist who directs the Traumatology Institute at Florida State University, said in a telephone interview today. “They’re taking risks, taking alcohol and taking their own lives because they want to extinguish their pain.”
While 38 percent of the soldiers who took their own lives had a diagnosed mental health condition, only 27 percent were receiving mental health care, according to the CDC report.

Each year 30,000 Americans commit suicide, according to the CDC. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 25 to 34, after accidental injury, according to today’s report, the first from an electronic tracking system meant to help researchers better understand and prevent violent death. The U.S. plans to expand the system to all states, the CDC said.
Bloomberg.com, (4/10/08)

Young men and women in the US are not stupid. They can see the mortor-round writing on the walls of the crypt:

The military services face the toughest recruiting environment in a generation, as the most recent data shows interest in military service at its lowest level in more than 25 years.
Internal Defense Department surveys tracking the opinions of potential recruits — mostly young men ages 16 to 21 — show the inclination toward military service has fallen dramatically since the end of the Cold War, with an exceptionally rapid nose dive since 2004.
A long-term downward trend reversed briefly after Sept. 11, 2001, up until the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But that bump has disappeared, as young men are less drawn to serve in uniform than at any time since the earliest days of the volunteer force a generation ago.
Surveys also show a precipitous decline in interest among black youths, who for years comprised one of the demographic groups most receptive to military service. The 2007 survey marked the first time in decades that young black men were less interested in service than young white men, Defense Department data show.
marinecorpstimes.com/news, (4/12/08)

And from the slaughter of the flesh to the death of the financial:

The Cost of War
– More than $508 billion so far, according to the National Priorities Project.
– $1.3 trillion for total economic costs of Iraq war from 2002 to 2008, including interest costs of borrowing funds, lost investment, long-term veterans’ health care and oil market disruptions, according to a November 2007 report from Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.
Original Estimates
– $100 billion to $200 billion, estimated in September 2002 by then-White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey. The White House openly contradicted him, saying that figure was far too high.
– $50 to 60 billion, estimated in late 2002 by then-White House budget director Mitch Daniels.
– $100 billion and three years to get “the country up and running again,” projected in 2003 by L. Paul Bremer, then-chief of the U.S. occupation government in Iraq.
Long-range estimates
– Beyond 2008, between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion — or more — by 2017 for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including long-term U.S. military occupation — and estimate Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard University public finance expert Linda Bilmes.
– A cumulative cost of $1.2 trillion to $1.7 trillion for Iraq and Afghanistan wars by 2017, with Iraq generally accounting for three-quarters of the costs, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Associated Press, (4/9/08)

And the “surge” is working, folks.
If you believe that, we’ve a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, cheap.

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