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Soldier Suicides

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by heyjude, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. heyjude

    heyjude New Member

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    116: Number of U.S. troop suicides in Iraq, which “does not include several dozen still under investigation, nor any of the many cases back in the U.S.” Editor and Publisher notes that the “rising toll of suicides” is “[o]ne of the least covered aspects of the fallout from the Iraq war.” thinkprogress.org

    I think the stress of all these back to back deployments are beginning to wear on our soldiers. Maybe it is time to bring back the draft.
     
  2. SW85

    SW85 New Member

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    I'd wager it's not just stress but post-traumatic stress, which soldiers are especially prone to developing and which increases the risk of suicide. That means it's a problem that would worsen, not improve, with the reinstatement of the draft.
     
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  3. heyjude

    heyjude New Member

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    I think that a large part of PTS is exhaustion. Mental, physical, and emotional. A year at home between postings would help prevent that. We are using the soldiers inexcusably. And using the fact that they are volunteers as the excuse to do so. I have heard that the military is planning on a minimum of two more years in Iraq. What are we going to do if the soldiers start collapsing?
     
  4. SW85

    SW85 New Member

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    No, PTSD results from exposure to traumatic situations -- i.e., seeing little kids blown to bits by some ill-shorn barbarians with nothing more than cell phones, a can of gasoline, and a box of nails.

    Forcing more people at gunpoint to be exposed to that kind of trauma (i.e., drafting them) is not going to make it go away.
     
  5. LilAnn

    LilAnn Member

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    How long do you suppose they can keep someone over there before its a miracle if they DON'T commit suicide? As far as I'm concerned its the same thing as the soldiers who come back from Vietnam... addicted to heroin to cope with the things they did and saw. The government is treating them like little plastic pieces on a risk board. If it was their child over there for years on end, I bet they would look at the situation a whole lot differently.
     
  6. paf_2

    paf_2 Member

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    I have been saying that once a soldier comes back from war that they should be required to go through Psychatric treatment. Even if the soldier wants to say they are all right, it should be mandatory that they go through some counseling even if its in a group setting. I have heard way too many horror stories of soldiers going over the edge committing suicide or turning violent on others because they can't seem to readjust to life outside the warzone. We really need to help our troops when they come back.
     
  7. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    The Draft leads to unmotivated troops who are poorly trained...And more fraggings. How about thinking about when we need to send in troops and not to fight pointless wars based on nothing first...then worry about draft
     
  8. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    The draft led to some rather interesting civil unrest during the Vietnam era, and would no doubt have resulted in the same thing during the invasion of Iraq.
    Suicide was a big issue during Vietnam as well, and no wonder. War is Hell, and sending people to Hell is bound to be a difficult thing for them, particularly when the war winds up being a stalemate at best. When you ask yourself what all of the heroism, all of the death, all of the maiming, all of the trauma and evil that takes place during war has accomplished, and the answer comes back, "The situation is worse than it was before," that has to be difficult to accept.

    So, you don't go to war when there is any other alternative. When you do go to war, you have a declaration of war and then go in to utterly defeat the enemy.

    You know, like WWII, the last declared war the US troops fought.
     
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  9. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I don't know where you get your guidelines about what a "declaration" war must look like - but the war in Iraq was certainly authorized by Congress - and I would argue should be classified as a "declared war".
     
  10. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    one could argue that Bush Failed to meet the guidelines set up in the authorization, but yes overall I agree. They often used things they them self said, as then proof of such a thing, to meet standards. But overall they agreed to it, stupidly.
     
  11. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    There was never a formal declaration of war. Instead, the Congress gave their constitutional authority to declare war over to the president. But, the main point is this: We went to war once again with no clear goals in mind. When you go to war, you do it because there is no other choice and you do it to destroy the enemy. In Iraq, we did have other choices and we did not have a clear goal to destroy the enemy. I'm not so sure we even knew who the enemy was. Our enemy was not the head of a secular state, not in a religious war.
     
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  12. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Why is a "formal declaration of war" important at all? The political debate over whether Iraq was a good idea or a bad idea is irrelevant to the issue of did we "declare war." I think the answer to that questions is a clear yes.

    Section 3 of the Authorization For Use Military Force in Iraq Resolution says:

    SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
    (a) Authorization.--The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to--
    (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

    That is some pretty clear language to me, authorized by Congress, outlining authorities granted to the President to conduct the war in Iraq at the time.
     
  13. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    The Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the authority to declare war. While it may seem a minor point, a formal declaration of war is not the same as an authorization for the use of military force. When war is declared on another country, the entire nation is on a war footing. In Iraq, as in Vietnam, the country was not on a war footing. Those wars were never all out efforts to destroy an enemy, but simply military adventures and attempts at nation building.

    The war against Iraq was never declared, was in fact never funded. By contrast, the entire economy of the US was behind the effort to destroy Nazism and Imperial Japan. Had we simply authorized the use of force and sent the military to go it alone, had not funded the war properly, had not assured that the country was behind the effort, WWII would never have been won. Either the Axis powers would have prevailed, or the war would still be simmering along today.

    You don't go to war half way. You either are at war, or you are not. Maybe that lesson has been learned this time around. It wasn't learned in Vietnam, and so the lesson has been repeated.
     
  14. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I agree - but the Constitution does not spell out what a declaration of war must look it.

    Why not?

    That doesn't make them not "wars".

    We can certainly debate the merits of how the war was fought, but the issue seems to be was the war "declared". I maintain that under the Constitution, an action that is authorized by Congress is akin to a declaration of war - which is what we had in Iraq.
     
  15. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it is "akin to a declaration of war." It is not a declaration of war. The first undeclared war, the one in Vietnam, wasn't called a war at the time it was being fought because Congress had not declared war on Vietnam. The second undeclared war was authorized by Congress, but was never formally declared. The result of both of those incidents of side stepping the Constitution were wars (or perhaps actions akin to wars) that were not supported by the folks back home and were not entered into with the intention of utterly defeating the enemy.

    Had we gone all out to wipe Al Qaeda and the Taliban, our real enemies in the region, from the face of the Earth, the war would have been over years ago. As it is, the situation is more dire than it was before the half way war was ever fought.
     
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