In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war. A look at the redistribution of surplus tools of combat to state and local law enforcement. (SL NYT)
A New Theory of PTSD and Veterans: Moral Injury
But as clergy and good clinicians have listened to more stories like these, they have heard a new narrative, one that signals changes to the brain along with what in less spiritually challenged times might be called a shadow on the soul. It is the tale of disintegrating vets, but also of seemingly squared-away former soldiers and spit-shined generals shuttling between two worlds: ours, where thou shalt not kill is chiseled into everyday life, and another, where thou better kill, be killed, or suffer the shame of not trying. There is no more hellish commute.[more inside]
CNN.com's 'Home and Away' initiative honors the lives of U.S. and coalition troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The extensive data visualization project tells the story of where and how the lives of these troops began and ended. The project is a sobering look at the human cost of two wars in the Middle East, and as such is restrained with a sober palette of blacks, whites and greys. [via] [more inside]
Super-Surge Me. General David Petraeus is asking for another Army brigade in Iraq, in addition to the 21,500 mentioned in January and the 4,700 support troops added last week. [more inside]
Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility. The Iraq war has transformed Walter Reed into "a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients." Meanwhile, despite predictions that the cost of medical care for veterans will skyrocket, the Bush administration apparently plans to cut funding for veterans' health care. Tired of waiting for the government, more people are taking the initiative in developing alternative facilities to help veterans.
Let's Say Thanks is a website that allows you a simple means of delivering a card to a member of the US Armed Forces serving overseas. While some of the pre-written sentiments will not meet with many Mefite's approval, you can just type your own. Of course, you may think that this is a bit cheesy, but maybe sharing a little kindness with someone who risks their life everyday (for whatever reason) isn't such a bad idea.
Bush teleconference with troops staged. Nothing in the article says who is responsible for organizing the staged question and answer session, The White House, military officials, or others in the defense department. Just that it infact was staged, and that the troops were coached for 45 minutes prior to the actual teleconference. When Bush, in an unscripted move, asked an officer if he had anything to say, he stammered through a sentence, in stark contrast to the well put together responses to all the other questions, thanking the President and saying, "I like you." More PR from the Bush administration.
You can't make this stuff up: Rumsfeld announces that the Bush administration is planning to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with an "America Supports You freedom walk" from the Pentagon saluting the troops deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, followed by a show by "country music superstar" Clint Black at the National Mall. (Not to imply that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 or anything...)
Capt. America and Spiderman support the troops, how about you (pdf)? America Supports You! Get a free comic book, dogtag, or maybe even a free body bag.
"They are holding us against our will," McClenny said. "We are now prisoners." A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a "suicide mission" to deliver fuel, the troops' relatives said Thursday. via Daily Kos.
Sinclair Broadcasting is demanding its 62 television stations air an anti-Kerry 'documentary' in prime-time, just before the november election. Does the name sound familiar? That's because Sinclair Broadcasting was the same media group that refused to air an episode of 'Nightline' where the names of the troops who died in iraq were read, on the basis that it was 'nothing more than a political statement'. Those upset with this unfairness can do something about it. Write the FCC, and get active. If that's not enough, you can join Sinclair Watch.
Another good one for "the troops". Iraq is being used to blackmail soldiers to re-enlist, or else...
Russia To Send Troops To Iraq? If this takes place, will it impact the forthcoming election in the United States? "Sources close to Russia's Security Council say that Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to the request "in principle" and has directed the Russian General Staff to work up a plan by the end of the month. "
Order 17--sovereignty sure, but... The Bush administration has decided to take the unusual step of bestowing on its own troops and personnel immunity from prosecution by Iraqi courts for killing Iraqis or destroying local property after the occupation ends and political power is transferred to an interim Iraqi government, U.S. officials said. (including contractors, btw.) Apparently US immunity was used by Khomeini in Iran as a rallying cry in the 60s. Are Sadr and Sistani listening?
Gmail 4 Troops! The idea of matching U.S. troops in need of a low-cost way to communicate with their friends, family, and other loved ones back home with those who have spare Gmail invitations is the brainchild of Wil Wheaton and Drew Olanoff. Gmail4Troops is their project, as a result of their inspiration. The sponsors here, including Whizardries and ISIPP, are here to help further and support Drew and Wil's project, and are honoured to be able to assist Wil and Drew, and to serve our troops serving overseas, and their loved ones back home, in this manner .
In the can-anything-else-go-wrong file, US Troops suffer from permanent brain damage after being administered malaria treatment. For as big a logistical challenge a war might be, and technological advances in mass support systems, you'd think the joint-forces would do a better job?
Yesterday, Iraq. Today, homeless in the Bronx. Welcome back, soldier, and god bless America.
The coffins that George Bush doesn't want you to see. The Memory Hole filed a Freedom of Information Act request for photographs of American servicemen and women who died in Iraq. After an initial refusal, the request was granted. Over a hundred US troops have been killed in action in the last month alone.
Two U.S. Combat Officers Speak Out. "What I want to say as my final statement to America is 'Stop letting your proud men and women die so senselessly. If we are going to die for our country let it be for something we can really be proud of. I just don t see us making the US any safer from terrorists because of what we are doing in Iraq. Bring us back home so we can defend the US from real threats to our shores.'" "Yeah, I pretty much agree with that. I am proud to serve my country and even die for it. I know the risks of putting on the uniform and accepting command. But damn it, if we are going to die, make it for something that really is helping to defend the US. I agree that we are dying senselessly for an idea of democracy in Iraq that the US government will never really let happen. I just want to be able to look back on my service with total pride and that is not really what I feel right now. I hate the ones in power that have made me question my sense of duty and honor."
Bush OKs troops in Liberia even though President Charles Taylor remains. (Taylor's abdication of the presidency had been a US requirement before troops would be sent.) It's obviously a tough call for the White House to make, but are we in for a repeat of Somalia 1993?
"A cowboy who had gone out on a jolly" British soldiers talk about surviving friendly fire, and call for the US pilot who attacked them to be prosecuted for manslaughter.
Front-line troops disproportionately white, not black. While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line. In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show. Blacks, especially in the enlisted ranks, tend to be disproportionately drawn to non-combat fields such as unit administration and communications. ''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.
Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon Ok Israeli intelligence so I assume some will dismiss this as propaganda, though clearly US knows of this and works along with Israeli intelligence. And Syria occupies Lebanon with thousands of troops and thus runs the country. Meanwhile, we will (or will not) busy ourselves with Iraq.