Posted by: wtfwjd? | May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

Juan Cole reminds us to remember not just those killed, but those who were badly injured, who suffer from PTSD, who were driven to suicide, and the 1,123 “US civilian contractors” who have been killed since this war started.

Investigative reporters at CBS News found that in 2005, 6,250 veterans took their lives, nearly 18 a day. Emanuel Margolis writes,

‘ Dr. Ira Katz, chief of mental health services for the Department of Veterans Affairs, sent an e-mail to a VA colleague this past February that read:

“Shh! Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among the veterans we see in our medical facilities. Is this something we should (carefully) address ourselves in some sort of release before somebody stumbles on it?”‘

Margolis charges that Katz covered up this startling statistic, showing 12,000 attempted suicides a year while in VA care, when he testified before Congress.

We aren’t told the scale of the sacrifice by our corporate media or Washington officials. Michael Munk has done a fine job of focusing in like a laser on the real numbers of casualties for the Iraq War. Here is the last dispatch I have from him, dated May 6, 2008:

‘US military occupation forces in Iraq suffered at least 108 combat casualties in the week ending May 6, as the official casualty total reached at least 65,500. The total includes 33,325 dead and wounded by what the Pentagon classifies as “hostile” causes and 32,175 (since over a month ago on March 1) dead and injured from “non-hostile” causes.*

The actual total is over 85,000 because the Pentagon chooses not to count as “Iraq casualties” the approximately 20,000 casualties discovered only after they returned from Iraq -mainly brain trauma from explosions.**

In addition, a rare report showed that 1,123 “US civilian contractors” has been killed since the invasion, including a record 353 in 2007. No numbers are available on the wounded and injured, nor about casualties among the “contractors” who are not US citizens. (Houston Post, Feb. 9, 2008.)

Photo via Mithras

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Responses

  1. Memorial Day Sonnet

    If Liberty means anything to me,
    I will remember what my freedom cost,
    By those who gave their all to keep me free,
    Whose lives were sacrificed, but never lost.
    I will remind myself of what they did,
    And keep them dearly cherished in my heart;
    Their honor never from me shall be hid
    And I will know they always did their part
    To save our nation and its people here,
    To pledge their lives in defense of our ways,
    To show that freedom always outlives fear,
    And sacrifice is hallowed all our days.
    If Liberty means anything to me,
    I will remember those who kept me free.

    © John Stuart 2008
    Pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church,
    Knoxville, Tennessee

    [audio src="http://media.libsyn.com/media/stushie/Memorial_Day.mp3" /]

  2. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Netzahualcoyotl
    .


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