[Marxism] Suicide Rate Among U.S. Soldiers Hits 26-Year High

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 16 20:34:44 MDT 2007

(These suicides would not be happening if the U.S. was winning the war.
The suicide bombers evidently believe they are participating IN combat 
while the U.S. soldier's suicides seem to be expressing the individual
soldier's despair about getting OUT of the war, and OUT of Iraq.) 

US Fatalities in Iraq Reach 3,701

Baghdad, Aug 16 (Prensa Latina) The number of US troops killed since
the start of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq reached
3,701, with the deaths of another two soldiers in clashes with the
Iraqi resistance yesterday, according to Pentagon figures released

Another six US troops were wounded in the action, said the US high
command. Meanwhile, an Iraqi civilian was killed and another two
wounded after a helicopter gunship fired at two vehicles south of
Tikrit, in northern Iraq. Also in Tikrit, another person was killed
by unidentified armed men who attacked the Al Qadisiya neighborhood.

A policeman was killed when a military convoy hit an explosive device
in Al Dura, southern Baghdad, police sources said. Also on Thursday,
a car bomb explosion in a main, crowded Baghdad square (Rasafi)
killed nine people and wounded another 17, according to police.


August 16, 2007 4:17 p.m. EDT

Suicide Rate Among U.S. Soldiers 
Hits 26-Year High, Report Says

Associated Press 
August 16, 2007 4:17 p.m.

WASHINGTON -- Ninety-nine U.S. soldiers killed themselves last year,
the highest rate of suicide in the Army in 26 years of record
keeping, a new report says.

Nearly a third of soldiers who committed suicide did so while serving
in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to a report released Thursday. Iraq
accounted for the overwhelming number -- with 27 of the suicides
coming from that conflict and three from Afghanistan. Also, there
were 948 attempted suicides, officials said, adding that they didn't
have a comparison for previous years. celebrating

The report said the 99 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers
compares with 87 in 2005 and was the highest raw number since 102
suicides were reported in 1991, the year of the Persian Gulf War,
when there were more soldiers on active duty. Investigations are
still pending on two other deaths and if they are confirmed as
suicides, the number for last year would rise to 101.

See a copy of the Army's report1 on the rising suicide rate of
soldiers.In a half million-person Army, last year's suicide toll
translates to a rate of 17.3 per 100,000, the highest since the Army
started counting in 1980, officials said. The rate has fluctuated
over those years, with the low being 9.1 per 100,000 in 2001.

Failed personal relationships, legal and financial problems and the
stress of their jobs were factors motivating the soldiers to commit
suicide, according to the report. It also found a significant
relationship between suicide attempts and the number of days deployed
in Iraq, Afghanistan or nearby countries where troops were
participating in the war effort.

There was "limited evidence" to back the suspicion that repeated
deployments are putting more people at risk for suicide, the report
said. With the Army stretched thin by years of fighting the two wars,
the Pentagon has had to extend normal tours of duty this year to 15
months from 12 and has sent some troops back to the wars several

Officials found no direct link between suicide and deployments or
exposure to combat except in how they affect a soldier's marriage or
other close relationships, Col. Elspeth Ritchie, psychiatry
consultant to the Army surgeon general, said in a Pentagon press

"Unfortunately, suicide is very often a compulsive act," she said,
and the fact that soldiers are armed can make it harder to prevent.

"Very often a young soldier gets a 'Dear John' or 'Dear Jane' email
and then takes his weapon and shoots himself," she said.

Preliminary numbers for the first half of 2007 indicate the number of
suicides could decline across the service but increase among troops
serving in the wars, officials said.

The increases for 2006 came as Army officials worked to set up a
number of new programs and strengthen old ones for providing mental
health care to a force strained by the longer-than-expected conflict
in Iraq and the global counterterrorism war entering its sixth year.
In a flurry of studies in recent months, officials found a system
that might have been adequate for a peacetime military but has been
overwhelmed by troops coming home from war.

Some troop surveys in Iraq have shown that 20% of Army soldiers have
signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress, which can cause
flashbacks of traumatic combat experiences and other severe
reactions. About 35% of soldiers are seeking some kind of mental
health treatment a year after returning home under a program that
screens returning troops for physical and mental health problems,
officials have said.

The Army has sent medical teams annually to the battlefront in Iraq
to survey troops, health-care providers and chaplains about health,
morale and other issues. It has revised training programs, bolstered
suicide prevention, is adding 25% more psychiatrists and other mental
health professionals to its staff, and is in the midst of an
extensive program to teach all soldiers how to recognize mental
health problems in themselves and their comrades.

The Army also has been working to stem the stigma associated with
getting therapy for mental problems, after officials found that
troops are avoiding counseling out of fear it could harm their

Copyright C 2007 Associated Press

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