And what about Iraqis? Were they whiny bitches when we killed them?
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* Army suicide rate nearly double U.S. national rate
* Many suicides among soldiers who never fought abroad
* U.S. military not near tipping point, top officer says (Adds Mullen comments, background)
Suicides in the U.S. Army will hit a new high this year, a top general said on Tuesday in a disclosure likely to increase concerns about stress on U.S. forces ahead of an expected buildup in Afghanistan.
The findings, released as President Barack Obama inches toward a decision to send up to 40,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, show the number of active-duty suicides so far in 2009 has already matched last year’s record of 140 deaths.
“We are almost certainly going to end the year higher than last year,” General Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s vice chief of staff, told a Pentagon briefing.
“This is horrible, and I do not want to downplay the significance of these numbers in any way.”
Another 71 soldiers committed suicide after being taken off active duty in 2009 — nearly 25 percent more than the end-year total for 2008. Some had returned home only weeks before taking their own lives.
The figures applied only to the U.S. Army. Data from other branches of the armed services was not immediately available.
Chiarelli cautioned against generalizing about the causes of the suicides, or assuming links to combat stress on forces stretched thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He said the causes were still unclear and noted that roughly a third of the soldiers who took their own lives had never been deployed abroad.
The Army recently revealed that about one in five lower rank soldiers suffered mental health problems like depression.
Some of us have posted previously on the hypocrisy and short-sightedness of our Government’s backing of Afghan power brokers. Many of these men have demonstrably questionable characteristics. Although not the worst, one common character flaw possessed by many of these U.S. Government-backed agents are ties to the Afghan drug trade.
A lot of the articles that I read trigger memories of vaguely remembered things at unexpected times. This is one of those memories that popped into my mind today:
This is an ad created by the Office on National Drug Control Policy and shown during the Super Bowl in 2002. Its message being that Americans buying drugs fund terrorism.
Knowing what we now know about the U.S. policy of supporting men with proven ties to the drug trade, does that mean that the official U.S. policy is to fund the terrorists that they claim to be fighting by supporting the drug lords that sustain the drug war that they also claim to be fighting?
That is certainly one way to sustain The Great War®…
On September 11, 2001, my office building, the World Trade Center, was attacked by al Qaeda, a murder cult of Saudi Arabians, funded by Saudi Arabians. And so, in response to the Saudis’ attack, America invaded … Afghanistan. Like, HUH?
And here we go again. New York Times headline last Friday: “Pakistani Army, In Its Campaign In Taliban Stronghold, Finds A Hint Of 9/11.”
Google it and you’ll find the Times report repeated and amplified 5,785 times more.
Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11.
Your eyelids are getting heavy. Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11.
It’s the latest hit from the same crew that brought you Saddam = 9/11 and its twin chant, Saddam = WMD, Dick Cheney’s chimerical tropes which the New York Times’ Judith Miller happily channeled to the paper’s front page.
And they’re at it again.
Every war begins with a lie. In addition to Saddam = WMD, I’m old enough to remember the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing the war in Vietnam, based on a fictional Vietnamese gunboat attack on our Navy. (White House recordings have Lyndon Johnson gloating privately, “Hell, those damn stupid [US] sailors were just shooting at flying fish.”)
In the Glorious War against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the lie is thus: al Qaeda is “based” in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. If we don’t fight the wily Taliban, as the British once fought the wily Pathan, al Qaeda will attack America again from Talibanistan.
The latest Taliban=9/11 fantasy is a yarn spun wildly outward from the finding of a passport of an al Qaeda flunky who worked with suicide pilot Mohammed Atta in the same mountain area where, years later, a Taliban group operated. It’s a stretch, but when you want to sell a war, it will do.
But selling the re-invasion of Afghanistan requires a repetition of Lie #1: that the original attack on the World Trade towers and the Pentagon were planned from Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s mountains with the connivance of the Taliban.
It’s not true, of course. The September 11 attack was neither organized nor directed from Afghanistan by the Taliban. In fact, as our BBC Report found, it was clear that the attack on my friends and co-workers was planned and carried out by al Qaeda operations in Falls Church, Virginia; Paris, France; Sarasota, Florida; Hamburg, Germany;— and, I repeat, funded and manned from Saudi Arabia. Neither the Sunshine State nor the Aryan namesake of the original beef patty sandwich were, nor are they now, convenient targets for a revenge attack by the 101st Airborne. …
I know alvy posted something about this in one of the threads, and perhaps this would be a better reply there, but I couldn’t find it. It’s not that I’m too lazy to look, it’s that my nazi overlords are stepping up their efforts to live up to “the beatings will increase until morale improves”, so I just haven’t had the time I need to keep up with not only politics but my beloved board.
Be that as it may…
Who the fuck is in charge of our government? Seriously.
We’re funding drug lords in Afghanistan AND sending over DEA agents to fight (to die fighting) drug wars?
Surreal is the only word left to describe life in America.
Has anyone been following this?
KABUL, Afghanistan — Abdullah Abdullah, the chief rival to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said Wednesday he was preparing for a runoff to decide the disputed election here. But he left open the possibility that he might join a coalition with Mr. Karzai that would make a new round of voting unnecessary.
most many some of you, I initially supported the US intervention in / invasion of Afghanistan. I was (and still am) outraged that the GOP, and way too many Democrats as well as a significant portion of the American people, looked the other way while Bush Cheney pulled necessary resources out of Afghanistan to launch an illegal war of aggression in Iraq. (And as upset as some of you are about the Bush torture years, I’m still angrier that “we” committed the war crime of collective punishment in Fallujah and the news media looked the other way. The Bush Cheney years were a nightmare by nearly any measure, so perhaps it’s just a matter of picking your own poison.)
Well, we’ve been in Afghanistan too long, already. (Good read at the link.)
Come Februrary of 2010, we’ll have been fighting in Afghanistan longer than we fought the American revolutionary war (April, 1775 to September, 1783 = 100 months).
While it’s no surprise, this corrupt election in that corrupt country is going to be yet another excuse to stay in Afghanistan longer. We’ve learned nothing from Viet Nam.
Is it legitimate, yet, to wonder how much longer this country will survive as “the world’s only hyperpower”? We can’t sustain the “WWII level” spending on the military (and we STILL haven’t paid our debt from WWII) forever.
Is it legitimate, yet, to wonder how much longer this country will survive?
“ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The United States has long suspected that much of the billions of dollars it has sent Pakistan to battle militants has been diverted to the domestic economy and other causes, such as fighting India.
Now the scope and longevity of the misuse is becoming clear: Between 2002 and 2008, while al-Qaida regrouped, only $500 million of the $6.6 billion in American aid actually made it to the Pakistani military, two army generals tell The Associated Press…”
Don’t doubt that a lot of the money went to the Taliban and allied forces. They were virtually created by Pakistan.