Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Hidden Costs of War

The Hidden Costs of War

“Recent news articles have reported that nearly 216,000 veterans diagnosed with PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder – receive benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA). Most of these veterans are from the Vietnam period, and many, including myself, were granted their disability ratings only during the last decade. Since 1999, the VA's PTSD benefit payments have jumped 150 percent, from $1.7 to $4.3 billion annually. Clearly, since the disorder's recognition in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), PTSD – with its long, silent history under other names, from soldier's heart to combat neurosis – has finally become a cost of war to be reckoned with.” Michael Uhl The Politics of PTSD 03-29-06

AmeriKKKan Aryan culture glorifies war and violence. The mass media is saturated with gratuitous depictions of varying types and degrees of fury and immoral behavior passed off as entertainment. On one level it is entertainment for people of a lower baser consciousness. On anther deeper level it is mind control/manipulation, values dissemination, socialization and psychological warfare to prepare the public to be on a permanent war footing. The United States has been on a permanent war footing since the end of WWII. Dwight Eisenhower a military general and president warned the AmeriKKKan people in his farewell address to the nation to beware of the undue influence on the body politic of the military industrial complex on the AmeriKKKan way of life. Alas his words went unheeded as the US ratcheted up for it’s “Cold War” (expansion of the military and promotion of militarism, creation of weapons of mass destruction, formulation of foreign policies that press for imperialist military interventions and confrontation against, at that time global communism). Immediately following WWII AmeriKKKa became embroiled in a war in Korea and experienced its first “defeat”. It went down hill from there. Communism was the great bogeyman which allowed the ruling elites to demonize anyone they didn’t approve of by calling them a communist. The ruling elites and their flunkies had a field day painting anyone who dissented or opposed the status quo including peace advocates, labor leaders, civil rights proponents, environmentalists and reformers as “communist subversives”. The warmongers need demons and enemies to justify the humongous expenditures for weapon systems that don’t work, for more and more military personnel and to rationalize their predatory and imperialist foreign policies that have now crystalized AmeriKKKa into the premier rogue state on the planet. The new demon is fanatical Islamic terrorism, the latest reason for perpetual war is called"The GLobal War on Terrorism". Sounds impressive, but in the long run its just as bogus as the war on drugs, the war on poverty or the war on communism.
While the military/industrial/technology/financial complex is raking in huge amounts of money from budgetary expenditures and high ranking generals and admirals get jetted around the world in private and US military planes, stay in swank country club like living quarters during R&R, the rank and file GI Joe and Jane are catching pure D Hell. Bu$h and Co. rushed to war against a defeated, essentially defenseless nation and in their arrogance failed to properly equip the active duty troops and reservists against a backlash against their invasion and occupation by the Iraqi populous. To make matter worse the civilian and military leadership lied to them about their mission setting them up for major battlefield and mission trauma by forcing them to kill innocent men, women and children. To show you just how callous the ruling elites are when it come to treating the men and women they have used as cannon fodder, it took years for the Veterans Administration to even admit or address GI health claims for Agent Orange or post traumatic stress disorder of Vietnam era vets! The same insensibility and insensitivity was exhibited following the first Gulf War when hundreds of returning GI came down with an assortment of illnesses and conditions they lumped together in what is called Gulf War Syndrome. In their final report a presidential advisory committee looking into Gulf War veterans claims they suffered from Gulf War Syndrome essentially said, there was no such thing! “The Committee has examined exposure and, independently, expected health effects for ten Gulf War risk factors: pesticides, CW agents, BW agents, vaccines, PB, infectious disease, DU, oil-well fire smoke, petroleum products, and psychological and physiological stress. In our evaluation, we used the substantial amount of relevant scientific information available in published peer reviewed literature, interviews with experts, invited testimony, public comment, and discussions with scientific experts in academic and government agencies. For most of the risk factors evaluated, the Committee has determined-even in the absence of exposure data-they are unlikely to be associated with the health problems currently reported by Gulf War veterans. Based on its review, the Committee makes the following findings and recommendations. Although some veterans clearly have service-connected illnesses, current scientific evidence does not support a causal link between the symptoms and illnesses reported today by Gulf War veterans and exposures while in the Gulf region to the following environmental risk factors assessed by the Committee: pesticides, chemical warfare agents, biological warfare agents, vaccines, pyridostigmine bromide, infectious diseases, depleted uranium, oil-well fires and smoke, and petroleum products. Some of these risk factors explain specific, diagnosed illness in a few Gulf War veterans, for example, leishmaniasis has been diagnosed in 32 individuals. Prudence requires further investigation of some areas of uncertainty, such as the long-term effects of low-level exposure to chemical warfare agents and the synergistic effects of exposure to pyridostigmine bromide and other risk factors. A number of Gulf War risk factors-e.g., mustard agent, aflatoxin, and certain petroleum products-are potential human carcinogens that could cause increased rates of cancer beginning decades after exposure. Stress is known to affect the brain, immune system, cardiovascular system, and various hormonal responses. Stress manifests in diverse ways, and is likely to be an important contributing factor to the broad range of physiological and psychological illnesses currently being reported by Gulf War veterans.” Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses Final Report December. 1996.
What is going to happen to the poor souls sent to Afghanistan and Iraq who have experienced situations where they were forced to wipe out whole villages and towns killing innocent civilians? Who knows what types of psychic damage is being done to them as they are forced to follow orders to destroy towns based on a mission of fabrications and falsehoods! The desertion rate for Iraq War participants is high as is the suicide rate. But despite all this and the gloomy assessment of the saner military brass, for the Bu$h cabal the beat goes on, more killing more destruction more lies. Not only is the war itself costing AmeriKKKa its economic solvency, but the human cost of the war is becoming an increasing burden. In an article entitled The Politics of PTSD a Vietnam vet laments the conditions of people like himself, “Most veterans I know who are rated with PTSD, including myself, will tell you that after living with this condition, often for decades, their symptoms never go away, but that with self-vigilance, proper care, and the support of loved ones and friends, their symptoms can be managed and kept at bay. Given this well-documented collective experience, the most troubling aspect of the VA-mandated Institute of Medicine's PTSD review is not just the hidden assumption that something is wrong with the existing PTSD science or benefit-adjudication criteria, but the introduction within the policy debate of an expectation that combat trauma can be prevented. Concepts like 'survivability' and 'resilience' offer hope of coping mechanisms to returning veterans who undergo disturbing changes of behavior because of their wartime experiences. The idea that an individual's response to trauma in warfare can be 'prevented' prior to or immediately following the traumatic event seems suspiciously convenient for those who would bend science to a conservative vision of social policy. Ironically, in this scenario, support for the troops in the field does not translate into support for veterans at home.” And this was a Vietnam era vet. What additional changes are the military and VA putting more recent survivors of AmeriKKKa’s imperialistic foreign wars through? How many more lives are being ruined due to young people being brainwashed, duped and sent out as cannon fodder so Lockheed Martin, GE and Haliburton can make a few more billions on perpetual wars drummed up by sociopaths and megalomaniacs and dutifully carried out by career warmongers? The costs of war far exceed the costs of the latest weaponry, ordnance, technology and soldiers' rations. The Karmic debts AmeriKKKa is amassing are becoming overburdening. The only way these spiritual debts can be absolved and reconciled is for good people to say an emphatic no to war! The real peace dividend will not be just the money we will save once we turn from this permanent war footing, the real peace dividend will be no more fatalities, no more mutilated, wounded and traumatized humans (soldiers and support personnel) coming home to end up being kicked to the curb by the same government that sent them off to illegal wars in the first place.



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