Sat Feb 2, 2013 7:3PM GMT
By Zaher Mahruqi
They get brainwashed to believe that whenever they are sent abroad to fight a war they are in fact doing something of transcendent nature; that they are getting involved in something far bigger than themselves; that they are participating in something almost holly; that they are fighting to rescue humanity.”
I have always been aware that suicide among American soldiers on duty and among veterans was the highest in the world but an article on Presstv website brought to my attention the fact that American soldiers commit suicide in an astounding rate; “recent studies have indicated that those who fought in recent US wars overseas are 30 percent to 200 percent more likely to commit suicide than their non-veteran peers”.
There has been an overall increase of self killing among veterans by 20% since 2007. According to Newser.com “the suicide rate among veterans is three times the national figure, and advocates say action is needed”. Ironically, among soldiers on duty the deaths by suicide are more than those in combat.
That makes the life losses suffered by the American military as a direct result of recent wars far higher than previously thought and easily surpasses the deaths of known combat enemies such al-Qaeda and Taliban. The numbers are so shockingly high that one wonders what could be the reasons!
According to psychologists and others who have been studying the phenomenon, the most agreed upon factor is post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is some truth in that but for reasons to be discussed later, in my view, limiting it wholly or even majorly to PTSD is not telling the full story.
The young men and women recruited by a country which has been stepping out of one war into another and in many instances had been involved in multiple conflicts simultaneously, are often impressionable and believe almost everything told to them and that is the root of the problem.
Some soldiers do get into the army as a matter of choice but the majorities are drafted for reasons ranging from economic benefits to other more disturbing motives. The American army is a master of recruiting and has many tools to do so; not the least is Hollywood and large television networks and hundreds of government supported websites. Through these propaganda machines, young people are being made to believe in fantasies.
They get brainwashed to believe that whenever they are sent abroad to fight a war they are in fact doing something of transcendent nature; that they are getting involved in something far bigger than themselves; that they are participating in something almost holly; that they are fighting to rescue humanity.
They are told and retold that the US is in a crusade to save the world from evil and to spread its great values through enforcing “democracy” around the world. In short, they are made to believe that whoever they are going to be fighting against is evil and they are the heroes who would rid the world of that menace.
So to war they go. Then later when they are too deeply involved, they come to realize that most of what they have been told regarding the enemy was in fact lies. By this point if a soldier hasn’t lost a limb or an eye or his sanity, he has to live with the fact that he wasn’t indeed fighting for good but was mislead. Getting his limb back or washing off the blood from his hands is impossible by this point. The guilt, the resentment and the sheer helplessness to go backwards in time can make many people despair.
Being motivated to go to war by being made to believe that you are embarking on something patriotic and otherwise heroic could be believable for an impressionable young man who has never been in a battlefield before. But the very lie that you are going to be participating in something of great value and in fact sacrificing for something worthwhile is shattered when a soldier returns home to be faced with neglect by their government which had done a marvelous job of convincing them to go to war in the first place.
Upon return, thousands of American veterans lack basic life needs such as a job, shelter (total number of veterans homeless is between 110,000 and 130,000) and healthcare. That is not the treatment a hero deserves, the veteran comes to realize, and what a devastating realization that must be! One’s life is fully altered and no one is there to console and show some understanding and appreciation, that must be truly tough.
The PTSD explanation might have some validity but it is more a convenience for the psychologists working for the pentagon than need to seek the truth. PTSD has all to do with the horrific memories left by the war and their incessant presence in the mind and their consequent effect on the emotions and no one can refute that.
The American soldier, by the time the first bullet passes an inch from his ears; he is awakened to the possibility that he has been duped by politicians into something that is far from resembling just cause.
They come to fathom that they weren’t fighting for anything of transcendent nature but for the interests of the Bushs and Obamas of this world who are often fighting to further Zionism and their own interests. Far from being just cause!!
The dreadful news for the US military and chiefly veterans is that among the 22 veterans who kill themselves every day, 50% are above 50 years old which would hint to the long term and seemingly lifelong psychological damage caused by unprovoked and unnecessary American wars. Even those who persevere, depressions and lifelong mental illnesses and emotional turmoil’s are the only fate for many of them.