Archive for the ‘War’ Tag

A Soviet solder holding the head of an Adolf Hitler: World War ll Berlin Germany

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Bolton: Striking Iran ‘Is Really The Most Prudent Thing To Do

Source: thinkprogress.org

Yesterday morning, Fox News interviewed former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton to discuss whether America is close to striking Iranian targets, as new reports indicate the Bush administration is drawing up plans for a “surgical strike.” Bolton said that while there are “obviously risks associated” with a strike on Iran, the risks of not doing something are “far higher” at this point.

Fox anchor Jaime Colby asserted, “The Brits think we overestimate the threat of Iran in this particular case. Are they right or wrong?” Bolton — who has previously claimed that the “mullahs in Iran” want a Democratic president in 2008 — responded:

I think they’re dead wrong on this. I think this is a case where the use of military force against a training camp to show the Iranians we’re not going to tolerate this is really the most prudent thing to do. Then the ball would be in Iran’s court to draw the appropriate lesson to stop harming our troops.

Fox anchor Colby reacted to Bolton’s war cries by concluding — without sarcasm — “That’s a good message to end on. Thank you.” Watch it:

Bolton has asserted that preventive war against Iraq “did work” and “achieved our strategic objective.” Moreover, he has openly stated that the U.S. should have no interest in the well-being of Iraqis.

Bolton’s unquenchable appetite for a military conflict with Iran is easy to understand, given that he cares so little about the disastrous consequences that follow from war.

Post-War Suicides May Exceed Combat Deaths, U.S. Says

Source: bloomberg.com

May 5 (Bloomberg) — The number of suicides among veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may exceed the combat death toll because of inadequate mental health care, the U.S. government’s top psychiatric researcher said.

Community mental health centers, hobbled by financial limits, haven’t provided enough scientifically sound care, especially in rural areas, said Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He briefed reporters today at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in Washington.

Insel echoed a Rand Corporation study published last month that found about 20 percent of returning U.S. soldiers have post- traumatic stress disorder or depression, and only half of them receive treatment. About 1.6 million U.S. troops have fought in the two wars since October 2001, the report said. About 4,560 soldiers had died in the conflicts as of today, the Defense Department reported on its Web site.

Based on those figures and established suicide rates for similar patients who commonly develop substance abuse and other complications of post-traumatic stress disorder, “it’s quite possible that the suicides and psychiatric mortality of this war could trump the combat deaths,” Insel said.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD, is the failure to cope after a major shock, such as an auto accident, a rape or combat, Insel said. PTSD may remain dormant for months or years before it surfaces, and in about 10 percent of cases people never recover, he said.

Difficult to Predict

“We don’t yet know how to predict who is going to be the person to be most concerned about,” Insel said.

The Pentagon didn’t dispute Insel’s remark.

“The department takes the issue of suicide very seriously, and one suicide is too many,” said spokeswoman Cynthia Smith in an e-mail.

The department has expanded efforts to encourage soldiers and veterans not to feel stigmatized if they seek mental health treatment, Smith said.

Soldiers who’d been exposed to combat trauma were the most likely to suffer from depression or PTSD, the Rand report said. About 53 percent of soldiers with those conditions sought treatment during the past year. Half of those who got care were judged by Rand researchers to have received inadequate treatment.

Failure to adequately treat the mental and neurological problems of returning soldiers can cause a chain of negative events in the lives of affected veterans, the researchers said. About 300,000 soldiers suffer from depression or PTSD, the report said.

Treatment Options

Researchers aren’t sure whether it’s appropriate to treat such patients with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of medications that include Prozac, and other anti- depressants, Insel said. His institute is examining that question and novel treatments for PTSD, including using so-called virtual reality technology.

The psychiatric association reported last week that a survey of 191 military members and their spouses found 32 percent said their duty hurt their mental health, and six in 10 believed seeking treatment would damage their careers.

More than 15,000 psychiatrists are attending the professional group’s meeting.

This is the Real Cost of the Iraq War

Based on the evidence of years of fighting, it seems as though the war has continued at a large price to the human race all over the world.

between news reports, suggest that so far the war has claimed the lives of:

  • Over 600, 000 Iraqi men and women (the population of the entire country of Luxembourg is under 500,000)
  • More than 4,000 American servicemen and women
  • British forces; 175 lives
  • The injured stands at more than 20,000 American soldiers, and more than 1,400 British soldiers with numbers rising constantly

The Real Cost to the Living

In 2006, the US had set aside 315 billion dollars for the Iraqi and the Afghanistan wars, but the cost of the Iraqi war alone has since been estimated at about 3 trillion US dollars or 1.5 trillion British pounds.

It was said then, that if 315 was stored in 1 dollar notes, the stack would be the height and thickness of a 38 story building, and if you were to line the notes up side by side, they would be long enough to wrap the Moon around its middle almost 3 times. But that was 315 billion.

On the other hand, I couldn’t really understand what 3 trillion dollars (£ 1.5 trillion) was, but apparently it’s a million times a million and looks like this when written out, 3,000,000,000,000 (12 zeros).

I still could not comprehend such a large amount, so I tried to put it in terms that would make its literal meaning it more easily understood. To put it in perspective, if I could somehow manage to stay alive for about 3,000 years, I would have to spend a million dollars a day in order to spend 3 trillion. So way before Jesus Christ’s mother Mary was born, I would’ve been spending a million dollars a day, and would still be spending as we speak.

What could this money be spent on instead of the war

  • $3 trillion would provide clean drinking water for every last individual who needs it
  • Totally eradicate world poverty
  • Buy gas for every driver in the US for 10 years
  • Educate, house and feed every last Aids orphaned child in Africa for 10 years
  • Provide Primary education for every child on earth
  • Provide free medical care for 16 million Americans (money spent on the war each day)
  • Send 43 million students to University in England

Taxpayers in the UK and in the US are paying out more than £2,000 (nearly $4,000) a second into the war (so in the time it took you to read from the top of this page to here, you’ve spent £ 240, 000 on the war). Every day more is being spent, and when America pledged £18million (nearly $36million) into the United Nations’ refugee agency, the public did not realise that this very amount is spent in less than three hours in Iraq to sustain a steadily failing war.

The obvious cost of mental and physical rehabilitation of soldiers would mean that steadily, more money has to be allocated. Money that wouldn’t have to be spent in the first place if there was no war, but that’s a different story.

Meanwhile, Mr Bush below has got to answer to the families of the dead soldiers whose pictures so poignantly make up the mural of his face.

Faced with the agonising choice of feeding the poor and providing water for millions of children who walk half a day to obtain one bucket for their families’ needs, our governments have taken the path of war. We and our children meanwhile, live with the consequences

This is how the New York times so succinctly summarised it in this accompanying chart. Based on the hefty difference between the smallest (a necessary way to save lives) and the largest (a certain way to lose lives), it is up to you to decide where the human life places on the governments’ list of importance.

It is estimated that The war is costing $720 million a day or $500,000 a minute, according to an analysis of the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard public finance lecturer Linda J. Bilmes