154 active duty troops have committed suicide in the first 155 days of the new year—a rate alarmingly close to one per day. The number dead from suicides eclipses the U.S. forces killed in Afghanistan by about 50 percent.
Read more at The Atlantic Wire. [Image: AP]
“No one was really prepared for the number of seriously wounded survivors,” says Dr. Ronald Glasser, the author of a book on battlefield medicine. Wounded veterans have swamped the VA system, leading to a backlog of almost 900,000 disability claims. Vets complain of a burdensome bureaucracy, lost paperwork, redundant medical exams, and inconsistent diagnoses. “You fight for your country, then come home and have to fight against your own country for the benefits you were promised,” said Clay Hunt, a Marine sniper who was shot in the wrist in Iraq, and had to wait 10 months for disability checks. Depressed, divorced, and haunted by the loss of several close friends in battle, Hunt killed himself last March.
Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are returning home with unprecedented physical and mental wounds, and many aren’t getting the care they need.
The more closely I study this picture, the harder it is to look at.
Zoe Strauss, Pennsylvania National Guard, Philadelphia, 2005.
This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Philadelphia-based artist Zoe Strauss, who joins me to discuss her new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The show opens this weekend and is on view through April 22.
That is some mind-boggling juxtaposition there.
The art: Goya, Not This Time Either (Tampoco), from “The Disasters of War,” working proof for plate 36, 1810-1814.
The news: “Qadaffi is Dead,” a running roundup of news, links and pictures at The Atlantic Wire.
The United States has found itself in a seemingly endless series of wars over the past two decades. Despite frequent opposition by the party not controlling the presidency and often that of the American public, the foreign policy elite operates on a consensus that routinely leads to the use of military power to solve international crises.
The passionate zeal of the liberal interventionists and neoconservatives satisfies an emotional hunger that has been a part of our political system since the emotion-laden days of the Cold War, when the public first came to view U.S. foreign policy as a tool of good to be deployed against evil. Both ideologies use the language of morality and appeal to our shared humanity. People want to do something about tragedy and it’s easy to persuade them that doing the right thing will be worthwhile. Realists may often be right, but they are rarely convincing
Read more at The Atlantic
In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.