Thursday, March 05, 2009

I Hate The War

The following press release is credited to Col Catherine Abbott:

The Army today released suicide data for February and provided an update on its Suicide Prevention program, reporting that two Soldiers committed suicide in February, and 16 cases of death are pending a determination.

"Soldiers and Families are our most important asset, and the loss of any Soldier to suicide is tragic and incomprehensible," said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. "Army leadership is working to better understand the causes of the troubling rise in Soldier suicides and is taking swift action on widespread prevention measures."

In January, the Army reported seven suicides and 17 other deaths pending determination of cause of death. Since that time, investigators have ruled that five of the 17 pending cases were suicides. The remaining 12 cases are still being investigated.

Addressing the increase in the number of suicides is a top priority for the Army, which has taken a number of actions to emphasize the seriousness of the situation and the urgency for all levels of Army leadership to implement suicide prevention measures.

"We continue to do everything possible to create a high level of awareness and to remove the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues. We are committed to using every tool at our disposal, and finding new tools, to address suicide prevention," Chiarelli said.

Last month, the Army announced an Army-wide stand-down, from February 15 to March 15, 2009. The stand-down includes training for peer-level recognition of warning signs that may lead to suicidal behavior, and intervention at the buddy level. The stand-down will be followed by a chain-teaching program focused on suicide prevention, from March 15 to July 15, 2009.

In 2008, the Army reported there were 143 suicides, the highest number since the Army began keeping records in 1980. It was the fourth year in a row that the number of suicides increased despite efforts towards greater awareness and intervention. In January 2009, General Chiarelli was given the responsibility to oversee the integration of the Army's efforts to prevent suicides.

"As I dig into this problem, I am convinced that there is no single solution; reducing the number of suicides will require a multi-disciplinary approach," Chiarelli said. "Nevertheless, at the top of the list is training leaders at all levels to recognize the signs of depression and take the appropriate actions to get Soldiers the help they need."

The Army recently launched a $50 million, multi-year study on suicide and suicidal behavior among Soldiers in conjunction with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the federal government's National Institute of Health. It is the largest single study on the subject of suicide that NIMH has ever undertaken. Benefits of the study may lead to more effective interventions for both Soldiers and civilians. Every year, an average of 30,000 Americans die by suicide.

The Army also is implementing a Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program that will enhance Soldiers' resiliency and help Soldiers, Families, and civilians them thrive in an era of high operational tempo and persistent conflict.

"Nothing substitutes for informed leaders who take care of our Army's most precious asset, its Soldiers," Chiarelli said.

Luis Martinez (ABC News) explains:

The Army's in the midst of a month-long training stand-down to help soldiers identify suicidal behavior among their colleagues. That stand-down was prompted by last year's record number of 143 suspected suicides in the ranks, 138 of those have been confirmed as suicides and five remain under investigation as possible suicides. Still, last year's 143 possible suicides were substantially higher than the 115 suicides that occurred in 2007, and the fourth straight year that suicides had increased Army-wide.

In other words, the longstanding problem is still not being dealt with.

That's Iraq and it didn't make the snapshot so it's in the above.

Amnesty International is supposed to be an organization that advocates for human rights around the world. They are not supposed to play 'favorites.' There are branches of Amnesty in various countries. There is an Amnesty USA, for example. But Amnesty International is supposed to be "international."

Yes, we're on the topic mentioned in the snapshot. On the right side of the website, you will find

Obama's first 100 days
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No, they don't cover all the leaders. In fact, they don't cover any other ones. Evo Morales? No. An honestly left leader and he got no special coverage from Amnesty "International." Hugo Chavez? Forget it. But the corporatis War Hawk Barack Obama gets it.

At Amnesty "International."

Which serves to say to the world: Only the US matters.

Which tells the world: the United States of America rules! Everyone else sucks! You're not worthy of attention!

It takes a lot of nerve and a lot of xenophobia for Amnesty "International" to serve up a spotlight -- for 100 days! -- on the leader of one country when the country is the US. How self-serving, how pig headed and how insulting.

No one was thinking when they decided this was a 'good' idea.

But remember countries in the world, Amnesty International cares about all nation-states, it just cares about the US a lot, lot more. Again, consider them Amnesty Provincial.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4251. Tonight? 4255. Just Foreign Policy? We don't bother with them anymore. These are serious times, we don't waste energies on those who treat death as a hobby.

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