Once again, we see just how much supporting of the troops is really going on by the Iraq nightmare’s cheerleaders.
From Liberal Jarhead at Bring It On:
Who remembers Catch-22? In Joseph Heller’s novel, Catch-22 was the hook in the rules that made it impossible for flyers who were driven crazy by combat to be relieved from flying more missions. The way it went was that if you went crazy, you could be taken off flight status on request; but since it was supremely rational to want to stay alive, anyone who requested to be relieved was obviously not crazy, and anyone who didn’t ask to be taken off flight status would not be relieved because he hadn’t requested it.
In the modern version, Marines who develop disabling posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should get psychological care as a result; but if their behavior and conduct are disturbed because they have PTSD, they are being kicked out without VA benefits, i.e. put on the street with no care for their PTSD, and if they don’t show behavioral problems, they aren’t disabled. As my wife Jan said when I told her about it, this is not okay. [emphasis mine]
I don’t know whether this is happening in other branches of the military too. If it is, shame on them. If not, good for them and shame on my beloved Corps.
A story in the 11/13/06 issue of the Marine Corps Times describes it in detail. What it boils down to is that in the cases of 1,019 Marines who have been kicked out for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice (the UCMJ) after being in uniform for at least a year, serving combat tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, and getting in trouble after coming back with PTSD, the Marine Corps has taken the position that PTSD is not an excuse for misconduct because not everyone with PTSD breaks the rules. That is faulty reasoning – saying that if situation A doesn’t lead to outcome B in every case, then they aren’t connected, even if outcome B is much rarer in the absence of situation A.
In this case, a lot of good Marines, bona fide combat heroes, who never got into trouble before they went to war and experienced their traumas are now having problems with alcoholism and other drug abuse, anger management problems, conflicts with authority, and other classic symptoms of PTSD. When that happens, they often get kicked out with classifications of discharges that deny them VA benefits, even though they need ongoing psychiatric care for the very problems that led them to get into trouble. As Marine Captain James Weirick is quoted by the Times as saying, “People would be appalled if a guy came back and he had lost a leg, lost a limb, and then we say, ‘Oh, you had a DUI, so you’re going to have to give your prosthetic back.”
Read the rest here.
From Welcome to Pottersville:
Sometimes you have to dig deeply in the most obscure parts of a newspaper find nuggets of truth regarding the war in Iraq. This page is just such an example. It’s dedicated to giving a forum for soldiers and Marines just back from Iraq to briefly tell of their experiences, “in their own words.” I was reading through some of them and came across this account of the new outsourced military, written by Army reservist Lisa Dunphy.
Here’s one of the most despicable parts, one that, unfortunately, doesn’t surprise me:
An earlier tour in Bosnia left a bad taste in Dunphy’s mouth about the role contractors played in war zones. Her Iraq experience didn’t change that opinion… “The whole idea of it is to free up the military to deal with military stuff… There would be a generator broken. We’d have soldiers that could fix it, but they couldn’t touch it because they would void the contract. So we couldn’t fix our own stuff, would have to call and put in a work order with [Kellogg Brown & Root]. It just seemed like a big bottleneck for almost everything you needed or wanted to do. You wanted to fix a road or building, you couldn’t do it. Had to jump through a lot of hoops. I think it’s become more of a hindrance than it’s a help.” [emphasis mine]
Senator Chuck Hagel, a known conservative Republican, says what many Democrats and most Americans have been saying for the past year.
From Senator Hagel’s column, to be published in tomorrow’s Washington Post:
Leaving Iraq, Honorably
There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq. These terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. The future of Iraq was always going to be determined by the Iraqis — not the Americans.
Iraq is not a prize to be won or lost. It is part of the ongoing global struggle against instability, brutality, intolerance, extremism and terrorism. There will be no military victory or military solution for Iraq. Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger made this point last weekend.
The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation — regardless of our noble purpose.
We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans. Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. They will decide their fate and form of government.
America finds itself in a dangerous and isolated position in the world. We are perceived as a nation at war with Muslims. Unfortunately, that perception is gaining credibility in the Muslim world and for many years will complicate America’s global credibility, purpose and leadership. This debilitating and dangerous perception must be reversed as the world seeks a new geopolitical, trade and economic center that will accommodate the interests of billions of people over the next 25 years. The world will continue to require realistic, clear-headed American leadership — not an American divine mission.
We are destroying our force structure, which took 30 years to build. We’ve been funding this war dishonestly, mainly through supplemental appropriations, which minimizes responsible congressional oversight and allows the administration to duck tough questions in defending its policies. Congress has abdicated its oversight responsibility in the past four years.
It is not too late. The United States can still extricate itself honorably from an impending disaster in Iraq. The Baker-Hamilton commission gives the president a new opportunity to form a bipartisan consensus to get out of Iraq. If the president fails to build a bipartisan foundation for an exit strategy, America will pay a high price for this blunder — one that we will have difficulty recovering from in the years ahead.
To squander this moment would be to squander future possibilities for the Middle East and the world. That is what is at stake over the next few months.
Read the entire column here.