War and suicide

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by annie-crafts, Feb 12, 2009.

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  1. annie-crafts

    annie-crafts Well-Known Member

    I live in the United States. It's no secret that we are in an unjustifyed war.

    In a news report, I heard yesterday that more Veterans of this current war died last month of suicide than acive duty soldiers died in combat.

    I don't think that I worded that very well -- but what I mean is that last month, men and women who are no longer on active duty in the war committed suicide in a number that was greater than the number of men and women who died while in active combat duty in the war.

    This is just another horrific conseaqence of this unjustifyed war.
  2. wastedmylife

    wastedmylife Well-Known Member

    Such a shame these people don't take out the perpetrators of the war with them
  3. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Actually, the weird part is, we may not in fact technically be at war at all. At least if you think the Constitution is something other than endlessly expanding trash bag into which can be stuffed, well, anything anyone wants.

    Or, hell, believe what the Attorney General said:

    Which is an appalling load of excrement, this business of sending fellow citizens off to die without even giving them benefit of at least telling them they're fighting a war. But neither Repubs nor Dems seems to care. Which is why I vote Libertarian these days.

    But, going the other way, there were numerous technical justifications, unfortunately. Saddam Hussein violated the agreement that ended Gulf War I early and often. He gave cassus belli damn near daily...it is just that there was never any particular will to fight him again. (And he was truly a nasty piece of work, even I admit that.) But if you mean "unjustified" in the sense that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, I agree. They didn't. In fact, a secular regime like Saddam's hated religious kooks like Al Qaeda like poison.

    Given that there are close to a million soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and I guess toss in guardsmen (both Coast and National, since they're now under either the authority of the DoD or the abomination known as Homeland Security) this really isn't all that surprising. Combat deaths are way down, and since there are about 30,000 suicides in the US each year, at least some of them will come from the armed forces.

    A more telling statistic would be if you could somehow figure out suicide rates in the armed forces vs. the general population, correcting for stuff like a higher presence of men in the armed forces vs. the general population. (Men commit suicide at something like three times the rate women do in the US, so some sort of adjustment for that would have to be made.)

    I don't doubt that there are some PTSD type cases that might sadly result in suicide, but I think it is too soon to draw a bright line of causal effect like you seem to be doing.

    Hell, Obama has been threatening Pakistan since well before he got elected. If US troops start entering Pakistani territory, and they very well might, would that be justified or unjustified?
  4. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I firmly believe that the Iraq war is unjustified... but what the hell do you do now? Pull out completely, leaving the country to fall into anarchy [and likely, genocide] voiding the sacrifices of the soldiers lost, or stay in there, trying your damn best to fix it?.. So I think that continued involvement in the war is justified, even if the start was not. Screwed up situation, but like all things is not reversible.
  5. annie-crafts

    annie-crafts Well-Known Member

    I was simply repeating a stastic that was made in a new report.

    I don't know if it's true or not. I know that, according to reports, suicides have increased for those in the military who have recently come back from the "war", or whatever technical language they are using to call it.

    I am not in any position to make any assumptions of cause and effect. I just thought it was an interesting and sad story.
  6. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    How many soldiers died last month?
    If hundreds of thousands of soldiers served in Iraq I wouldn't be surprised if the rates had caught up in a relatively peaceful month.
  7. Aeterna

    Aeterna Account Closed

    You assume you can fix it. To be honest, I don't believe you can.

    At this point in the game, Iraq is no longer a war. This is an occupation, and the American troops have to leave eventually. You don't void the sacrifices of the soldiers who've died by leaving an occupied country. American troops didn't void the sacrifice of their comrades when they pulled out of Post-War Nazi Germany. American troops didn't void the sacrifices of their fellow troops when they left Korea or Vietnam either.

    You do, however, void the sacrifices of the soldiers who've died by keeping their brethren in an occupation that can never be won.



    It found that veterans were more than twice as likely to commit suicide in 2005 than non-vets. (Veterans committed suicide at the rate of between 18.7 to 20.8 per 100,000, compared to other Americans, who did so at the rate of 8.9 per 100,000.)

    One age group stood out. Veterans aged 20 through 24, those who have served during the war on terror. They had the highest suicide rate among all veterans, estimated between two and four times higher than civilians the same age. (The suicide rate for non-veterans is 8.3 per 100,000, while the rate for veterans was found to be between 22.9 and 31.9 per 100,000.)

    Not the best information, I'll give you that. It does not tell me if they did or did not adjust it. However, I don't think twice the rate in suicide can be attributed to gender alone.
  8. bleach

    bleach Well-Known Member

    Umm, we never pulled out of Germany or the RoK. We still have soldiers in both countries. Japan, also.

    A long occupation is an essential part of conquest, as much for the conquered people's benefit as for your own. You can't bomb a few buildings and throw up the 'Mission Accomplished' banner, like the greedy fools in America's political arena (left and right) think you ought to do. Without buying them the muscle and time to rebuild, you basically consign their country to factional warfare and create a shitty long-term situation for everybody.
  9. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Same case as Vietnam.
  10. Darken

    Darken Well-Known Member

    True it is unjustified, aggresive war and its horrible. It makes me sick to my stomach to think innocent little kids in the middle east getting blown up by bombs sent by my own country. As long as there is big profits to be made in war the same corruption by powerful people will continue.
  11. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    According to this, men in the US commit suicide at just under four times (17.7 per 100,000 vs. 4.5 per 100,000) the rate women do, not twice:


    So, not only can it, any analysis that fails to take this huge variance into account I don't see how it could be considered valid. As in, it has the stench of propaganda attached to it. And rather clumsy propaganda at that.

    To continue: I couldn't find exact figures on the numbers men vs. women in the US military, but if you go to page 26 here:


    it looks like the US military is ~ 80% male, 20% female vs. a total US population that actually tilts to a slight female majority (See here - Men in the US are far more likely to commit suicide, get murdered, and die in accidents. Over time this all adds up. )

    Good enough, or do you need something else? I've seen some stuff that parses these figures by age and gender but I can't lay my hands on it.

    Note that I'm not saying there hasn't been an increase in suicides in the US military or that the policies of the past and present Administrations are not wrong, just that in this particular instance a conclusion has been reached that I simply do not find warranted. And the more I look at it, the less I am finding reasonable here.
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