American military commanders in Iraq have rejected recommendations by mental health experts that marines be given a one month break after engaging in three months of continual combat. General Henderson said: “we would never get the job done of securing (Baghdad) if we went out for three months and came back for one.”
A major difficulty today is the low percent of members of Congress who have ever been in combat. We all know no one in the Bush administration ever fought in a war since they had better things to do– like saving their butt. During World War II, the policy was for soldiers who were in continuous combat for three months to be given a month in the rear so they could emotionally deal with combat stress. War in the Pacific was different since it usually entailed a short violent attack on an island, and then months for recuperation. The war in Iraq has been conducted differently for a basic reason– there are not enough fighting men and women engaged in the conflict so it becomes increasingly difficult to allow time off for relaxation. The men and women who served in Iraq will have great emotional problems in the years ahead, but that is of no concern to any Bushite, let alone the conservative press which is busy shouting for war — as long as none of them have to do the fighting.