"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

October 18, 2005

V.A. (a.k.a. Bush-war) to Iraq Vets: Go Fuck Yourselves

Phil Loper sent this article by Gene C. Gerard, which chronicles how the VA is trying to whitewash the Bush Administration's failures in Iraq by claiming that too many Iraq veterans are receiving treatment by the V.A. for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The facts (excerpted from the article):

....In the July 2004 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine Colonel Charles W. Hoge, M.D., the chief of psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Institute, published a preliminary study of the effects of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan on military personnel. The study concluded that close to 20 percent of soldiers who served in Iraq, and approximately 12 percent of those who served in Afghanistan returned home suffering from PTSD. The study found that there is a clear correlation between combat experience and the prevalence of PTSD. The study determined that, "Rates of PTSD were significantly higher after combat duty in Iraq."

Approximately 86 percent of soldiers in Iraq were involved in combat, as were 31 percent in Afghanistan. On average, soldiers engaged in two firefights for each tour of duty.

The study indicated that 95 percent of soldiers had been shot at. And 56 percent of soldiers had killed an enemy combatant. An estimated 28 percent were directly responsible for the death of a civilian. Equally grim, 94 percent had seen or handled corpses or bodily remains. Additionally, 68 percent witnessed fellow soldiers being killed or seriously wounded.

Although the number of soldiers suffering from PTSD is high, Dr. Hoge's study found that a majority of veterans are not seeking treatment. Only 40 percent of returning soldiers acknowledged that they need mental health care, and only 26 percent were actually receiving care. As such, the number of veterans approved for PTSD compensation by the VA is relatively small. Yet the VA believes that too many soldiers were approved for PTSD disability compensation and is now seeking to deny soldiers this benefit....

As Phil summarizes, the affected Iraqi vets will suffer more significantly than Vietnam War vets: "Is this how this Administration pays back the soldier? The men and women who are carrying out bu$hco's lies!! This will create a whole new scenario for homeless Afghan and Iraqi Vets as compared to Vietnam Vets! These young men and women went off to war with a much more violent background than the Vietnam Vets did. They have been desensitized by TV, Video Games, Movies and the Internet. These youngsters will look at this like their service is being questioned and there is no doubt that violence will erupt! There will be frustrated, dangerous and mentally ill kids who will find it incomprehensible on how to respond to this backstabbing treatment!! These kids will literally go postal! Or worse, run in gangs to satiate their needs, since their country has turned it's back on them! They will not care about everyday citizens! The jobless rate for returning Afghan and Iraqi Vets is running at 15%, (www.Military.com). Americans feared what the mentally ill Vietnam Vets could do. It will be mild compared to what these new irate and furious Afghan and Iraqi Vets being denied benefits are capable of!!"

We are screwing up some of our nation's finest and fittest young adults, and we will now need to take care of them with our rapidly dwindling government-backed resources (thanks to Republicans in power). Thank you President Bush (and all you equally naive idiots who somehow thought it smart to reelect him). You are the most naive yet destructive madman to walk the face of this planet since... well, since monkeys learned to walk upright.

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