Tag Archives: Iraq War

PTSD Rises Among Soldiers In Iraq

The number of soldiers who are displaying signs of post traumatic stess disorder has jumped by about 50% in 2007. Records show that about 40,000 members of the military have been diagnosed with the illness since 2003. However, Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker believes we do not right presently “have good numbers.” He attributed the rise in numbers to better record keeping and increased exposure of soldiers to combat. Officals have been urging soldiers and their family members to seek professional help if signs of the illness appear. The new figures that were revealed indicate that Army and Marine personnel are being hit hardest by PTSD.

Army statistics show there were nearly 14,000 newly diagnosed cases across the services in 2007 cmpared wth more than 9,500 in the previus year and 1,632 in 2003. The Marine Corps had more thn 2,100 new cases com pared with 1,366 in 2006. More than 5,000 Marines have been diagnosed with PTSD since 2003. In a sense the Surgeon General is correct, more knowledge means more soldiers are seeking treatment. But, this is good news, not bad.

Seek Juvenile Records Of Combat Veteran

A newspaper is seeking permission from a judge in order to inspect the juvenile court records of an Iraqi war vteran who is now being charged with the murder of an Army comrade’s death. They want the file of Kenneth Eastridge to be opened because at the age of 12 he was charged with reckless homicide in a juvenile court when he shot 12 year old Billy Bowman. Now, at age 24, Eastridge is being held in a Colorado jail along with two other former Army buddies for the alleged murder os Spc. Kevin Shields. State law allows juvenile files to be opened in special circumstances. Public Defender J. David Nehaus, who represents Niehaus, is arguing that juvenile files should not be opened just because the media wants to examine records in a current high profile case.

Niehaus is expected to argue that Eastridge suffered a serious head injury on his first tour in Iraq and was awarded the Purple Heart. His lawyer is arguing Eastridge suffered from post traumatic stress disorder which impacted his behavior upon returning home. This case is merely one of many which will be in the courts as PTSD continues impacting the lives of thousands of wounded Iraq war veterans. The fruits of the Bush invasion of Iraq will blossom long after the president leaves office.

Iraq War–Six Trillion Dollar Bush Gift To World!

The Bush initiated invasion of Iraq has been a major factor that has trebled the price of oil, according to a leading expert, costing the world a staggering $6 trillion in higher energy prices alone. Dr. mamlouh Salameh, an adviser to such organizations as the World Bank and tue UN Industrial Development Organization, told the British newspaper, The Independent, he estimates without the war in Iraq, the price oil would now be no more than $40 a barrel. Goldman Sachs predicted recently the price of oil might possibly rise to over $200 a barrel which means the era of inexpensive oil is now over.

Dr. Slameh, told a parliamentary group last week that three years prior to the war in Iraq being launched, Saddam Hussein had offered the United States a deal that would have opened up 10 new giant oil fields on “generous terms” in return for lifting the sanctions against his country. Dr. Salameh believes the American government had a different view which entailed occupying Iraq and gaining possession of its oil.

Chris Skrebowski, editor of the Petroleum Review commented: “There are many ifs in the world oil market. This(Salameh’s belief) is a very big on, but there are others. If there had been a civil war in Iraq even less oil would have been produced.”

We are in the blame game pose in which various groups or people issue comments that blame this or that factor as the cause of an increase in oil costs. There is little doubt Bush’s Iraq blunder is a major factor, but so is failure of successive American government since 1973 to assume leadership in weaning the nation away from its dependence on overseas oil. The United States needs a president who will be blunt, honest, and offer oil alternative solutions. John McCain is defnitely not that president.

Former Ghana Leader Blames Bush And Blair

In a wide ranging interview with a Nigerian news agency, former Ghana President Jerry Rawlings blamed the flawed policies of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush for creating current problems impacting the African continent. “The crisis in Africa is a consequence of the damage the world has suffered during the leadership of Britain’s Tony Blair and America’s George Bush.” Rawlings claimed the invasion of Iraq in 2003 had undermined “international political morality and the judicial consciousness of the public.” He said he had told world leaders a years ago, “that soon we would see the consequences in about three and five year’s time, particularly in Africa. Today, I have been proved right.”

Rawlings argues the invasion of Iraq “undermined fundamental ethical values” and demonstrated that power could do as it wished. He urged President Yar’Adula of Nigeria to use the vast power of his country to help create a sense of stability in Africa.

Rawlings also admitted his own behavior shortly after taking power in his country resulted in unfortunate decisions such as the execution of key military leaders. He insisted that was not his desire but the rank and file of the Ghana army wanted revenge against many of their officers and he was forced to allow executions.

There is a logic in what Rawlings says about the war in Iraq undermining the rule of law. However, it is doubtful if rulers like Robert Mugabe have ever been impacted by the war in Iraq since their own thrust for power predated that invasion.

Senate Places Curbs On Private Contractors in Iraq

The Senae Armed Services Committee is writing new legislation that impacts roles played by private contractors in the Iraq war. One provision would prohibit comtract employees from performing “inherently governmental” security operations. the second prevents them from conducting interrogation of detainees during or after hostilities. Senator Carl Levin expressed the view, “We’ve seen a real problem..where some contractors are performing what are essentially governmental functions in combat areas.” The proposed legislation will also apply to private contractors working with the State Department.

It now remains unclear which body will be responsible for performing security functions in combat areas. Levin indicated the numbers entailed in this entire issue are rather small and if the military requires additional military police that issue could be addressed.

At present about 14,000 private contractors are providing security for military personnel. During prior wars, the military handled its own security and there is no reason why they cannot do so in Iraq.

Republican 2003 Views On Paying For Iraq

Following are comments made by Republican leaders as the Iraq war began in which they discussed how to pay for it.

Don Rumsfeld, March 27, 2003
“When it comes to reconstruction, before we turn to the American taxpayer, we will turn first to the resources of the Iraqi government and the international community.

Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defence, March 27, 2003
“There is a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi peole. We are talking aobut a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”

Mitchell Daniels, White House Office Of Managment and Budget, April 21, 2003
“The United States is very committd to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid.”

Glenn Hubbard, White House Economic adviser, October 4, 2002
“The cost of any intervention would be very small.”

Lawrence Lindsey, White House economic adviser, Septembr 16, 2002
“The likely cnomic effectss of a war in Iraq would be small… Under every plausible scenario, the negative effect will be quite small relative to the economic benefits.”

Is Enough Ever Enough For America’s Military?

The United States armed forces contain individuals whose patriotism and dedication to the nation are extraordinarily high, but one must also pose the question as to whether or not a situation is reached in which the nation can not ask more of those who do so much? Senior leaders of the Army and Marine Corpts told Congress they are not comfortable with military resources available to confront international obligations. General Richard Cody said: “we are a stressed force but… this army is not broken.” Marine General Robrt Magmus added: “Although we are currently meeting our operating requirements.. the net effects of maintained combat and high operations tempo are taking a toll on our Marines and their families.”

General Cody raised an important issue when he commented “we did not have enough depth across the total Army to meet the 360 degree fight we’re in. That’s what we mean when we say the Army is unbalanced.” The generals admitted there was insufficient men available to do assist in training Afghan soldiers and tour duties of Marines had to be extended when some were sent to Afghanistan to fight. It is apparent from their comments the United States would face a serious crisis if another conflict broke out in the world that required extensive military commitments.

No Pubic Iraq Inquiry Says House Of Lords To Mums

The British House of Lords turned down a request from mothers of soldiers fighting in Iraq for an inquiry into why their children were sent into battle. The women argued there was failure on the part of the Blair government to ensure in advance the war was lawful and justified. “That duty,” said their lawyer, Rabinder Singh, “is owed to soldiers who are under the unique compulsory control of the State and have to obey orders. They have to put their lives in harm’s way if necessary because their country demands it.” The mothers challenged a Court of Appeal rulining December, 2006 that the Government was not under an implied obligation to order an independent inquiry undeer Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Their lawyers argue it was not sufficient for the government to promise holding such an inquiry “when the time is right.”

Although the mothrs lost their bid, it made clear to the British people that Government has an obligatin to be truthful when it sends soldiers off to fight about the reasons for fighting. To this day, the Bush adminstraton has never been honest regarding internal discusions about decideing invade Iraq. There will be an inquiry one day, that’s for sure.

$30 Billion Iraq Government-Succcess Or Failure?

As General Petraeus and Ambasador Crocker, prepare to offer their ideas on the past, present, and future of Iraq, some Democratic congressmen are raising questions about the famous surge. Senator Carl Levin of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, wants to know why the Iraq government has accumulated a sum of $30 billion which rests in US banks drawing interest while the American public is paying high prices for gasoline. “I want the details,” said Levin, “I’m going to be pressing the ambassador about the funding issues.” However, the main topic of discussion will center on the success or failure of the surge durng the past few months. Senator Joseph Biden of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wants to know: “Where are we after the surge? Back to where we were before it started, with 140,000 troops in Iraq and no end in sight?

Republican supporters of the surge argue the surge worked and fatalities are down. They point to examples of new legislation passed by the Iraq legislature and actions to confront violence by the government of Prime Minister Maliki. Or, as Biden raises, have we gone “from drowning in Iraq to treading water?” The Iraq government still requires the presence of 140,000 American troops despite five years of fighting.

In the end, the war in Iraq has always centered on political issues, not military. The Maliki government has failed to win the trust or support of Sunni members of their nation and divisions within the predominant Shiites continue to divide the country. Until those factors are addressed, fighting will continue in Iraq.

Mental Health Personnel In Short Supply In Iraq

The famous TV program, MASH, depicted a nice psychologist who would run up to the unit on a moment’s notice if called, but those days are over as far as the war in Iraq is concerned. Last May, the Army had funds to hire 200 additional counselors, but as of today, there were only able to find 158 willing to serve in a situation requiring constant deployments and a shattered personal life. A recent study revealed only about one-third of soldiers in Iraq are able to access a counselor within a reasonable time period. Most mental health personnel hve to travel in an armed convoy that might take up to 40 hours to finally reach those in combat zones. As Colonel Sharon McBride notes, “they can’t be in every place at the same time.”

Mental health personnel are required to sign up for an eight year hitch which hampers recruitment, particularly since the armed forces are competing against the private sector. Perhaps, it is time to shorten the sign up period and face the reality of a war being fought in which society has other concerns at the moment.