Thee is increasing evidence of an unforseen consequence for members of the military who are fighting in Iraq. Soldiers and Marines caught in rodside bombings and fiefights are coming home in epidemic numbers with permanent hearing loss and ringing in their ears. Hearing damage has now become the number one disability in the fight against terrorism. The Veterans Affairs administration and hearing experts say the true toll of this disability may require decades before final figures are in. Nearly 70,000 of the more than 1.3 million troops who have served in the two war zones are collecting dsability for tinnitus, a potential debilitating ringing in the ears and more than 58,000 are on disability for hearing loss.
Theresa Schulz, author of “Troops Return With Alarming Rates of Hearing Loss,” says “the numbers are staggering” for those returning with these problems. Blasts from roadside bombs cause violent changes in air pressure and can rupture the eardrum and break bones inside the ear. A common problem is refusal on the part of many soldiers to wear earplugs.
The loss of hearing is just one of the many unforseen consequences of an invasion that lack coherent planning for the safety of American fighting men and women. There was a rush to judgment by the Bush administration who never explored all potential consequences of a war and how it might physically impact those doing the fighting. Experts estimate 60% of those exposed to roadside blasts may suffer from permanent hearing loss. That cost is not listed in any budget for Iraq war expenses.
The American commander in Iraq’s central province of Diyala told the French magazine, Le Point, that he never witnessed any hostile act from the Iranian side of the region over the past 10 months. Le Point, quoted Colonel Ronald Ward as saying during his ten-month stay in the Iraq province he never witnssed preparation by any US military forces for carrying out border operations. Meanwhile, Brigadier General Scott Pettinger said what he saw in that province was completely contradictory to what was being claimed by Washington in making allegationss of Iranian activity in the region. He said no Iranian agent had ever been arrested in Diyala nor had he ever come across evidence of the transfer of weapons or money from Iran to insurgent forces in the area.
The information in this story emanates from the Tehran Times and we have not been able to access to the original source of Le Point. If the Tehran Times report is an accurate recital of what the French magazine reported, it again illustrates the hysteria against Iran by the Bush administration is more illusion than reality.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Iran, Iraq War, Military, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Iran, Iraq, US military