– by Shenali D Waduge –
If the war on Iraq and Afghanistan and possibly all other military interventions using a bogey called “humanitarian intervention” are all a sham we need to empathize with the US military personnel who are victims of the lie and sent to combat zones on a fictitious story that they are supposed to hound the “terrorists”. That orders to shoot would end up killing civilians would naturally lead any soldier to be traumatized by the orders given and would eventually end up a statistic like 23 year old William Busbee who took his life after telling his mother “you would hate me if you knew what I’ve done out there….the son you loved died over there” and it was no re-enactment of Lady Macbeth when he kept repeatedly saying “the blood wont’ come off” trying to wash his hands claiming blood was on them. Americans need to wake up to the reality and demand that their Governments (Republican or Democratic) put an end to US invading nation’s leading indirectly to the unnecessary loss of lives (American and foreign) while placing large numbers of military personnel on drugs most of whom have committed suicide unable to lead a life of normalcy. This is America’s collateral and has led to more deaths than the enemy!
America’s media and perhaps the American public are not interested enough in its military personnel deployed under a US program called “War on Terror”. The news relayed is more about Tom and Kate’s break up, Kim Kardhashian’s wardrobe or the latest scandal in the sports arena. Yet, when every day a US soldier commits suicide with the rate exceeding that of deaths caused by road accidents it should alarm the US more so because these men and women are in combat on falsehoods created by the US government and by media who have played a role in justifying these falsehoods.
What makes the issue more alarming is the use of prescription drugs which the Huffington Post reported. Which then raises the question of how can the world’s most advanced, most equipped, trained and capable army not be able to come up with a program to handle the suicide as well as alternate to prescribing drugs. Yet, US Government is allocating $2billion for soldier’s mental health. Should they not be removing the cancer instead of continuing it and plastering it with medications?
US military statistics:
- Over 2.2million troops serve in the US military. US population is 309million.
- 6084 US military personnel had died in either Iraq or Afghanistan whilst 44,266 were wounded.
- 2007 – 17% of combat troops in Afghanistan were on prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills. (During Vietnam War only 1% troops were on prescriptive psychiatric drugs).
- 1/3 of marines in combat zones are on psychiatric drugs.
Source: US Dept of Veterans Affairs
- 23million US military veterans
- 349 active duty suicides (almost one a day in 2012. In 2011 the figure was 301)
- 22 deaths a day
- 1 every 65 minutes (on an average)
At least 36,000 Americans commit suicide annually in the US.
CBS News 5 month investigation in 2007 on military suicide revealed:
- Of 45 states 6256 men and women of the US military had committed suicide in 2005.
- Chief Investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian and team concluded that veterans were more than twice likely to commit suicide than non-veterans.
- 18 veterans commit suicide daily. 950 attempted suicide monthly
The Military Operational Medicine Research Program has diagnosed 900,000 of cases where active-duty troops suffer adjustment disorders, depression, alcohol abuse and anxiety. The solution has been to come up with a $2.9million grant to support a nasal spray using a fast-acting hormone to alleviate symptoms of depression and suicidal behavior of 55,000 soldiers who are part of the research. The nasal spray experiment is one of 12 studies for which the army has allocated $18million.
The Dept of Defense and Veterans Affairs has spent over $4.5billion on antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs (against warnings of their side effects one of which is suicide).
Additionally it emerges that veterans of 1991 Gulf War may be more than twice likely to be stricken with Lou Gehrig’s Disease [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)] than members of the general population. Gulf War syndrome includes fatigue, joint pain, depression, balance problems and diarrhea among its symptoms and was first diagnosed in 1997 and is said to be linked to exposure to toxic chemicals. The mandatory vaccinations given could have affected their immune systems.
Use of Agent Purpose in Vietnam has increased prostate cancer of veterans – one can imagine the suffering the Vietnamese suffered and continue to suffer.
Drug usage in US military
One in six service members are on a psychoactive drug – some take more than one kind with many taking anti-psychotic drugs to prevent nightmares.
The drugs taken include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Lexapro (antidepressants), Seroquel and Zyprexa (antipsychotics), Lyrica, Topamax and Neurontin (anti-seizure), Lariam the malaria drug is also associated with suicide. None of these drugs have helped to DECREASE suicide attempts instead it has INCREASED six-fold.
The truth is that anti-depressants do not prevent suicide – in fact they are more prone to cause suicide. Anti-depressants have never really cured depression – in fact they have worsened the depression. Anti-depressants never cures biochemical imbalances – in fact they cause them.
It is no secret that antidepressants are linked to suicides, homicide and bizarre behaviors.
As for bizarre behavior it appears that many of the troops accused of killing civilians had in fact been on prescription drugs. Jeremy Morlock who was accused of killing civilians for “sport” in Afghanistan in 2009 confessed to being on multiple prescription drugs while the other soldiers accused were smoking hash at the time of the killings. http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/soldier-describes-murder-of-afghan-for-sport-in-leaked-tape/
Statistics reveal that soldiers who have committed suicide are those who have not been in combat zones but under prescription drugs. When 85% not being in combat but are committing suicide it is an alarming number. Together with 5000 newspaper reports linking antidepressants to suicide, homicide and bizarre behavior we do not need to go far to realize where the trouble lies.
Under TRICARE – military health plan half of the US military were given prescriptions for anti-depressants.
- 89% of US troops suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are on psychoactive drugs. In 2008, 89000 antipsychotics were prescribed.
- Of the 48,000 troops and families stationed at Fort Hood, 6000 soldiers were on antidepressants, 1400 on antipsychotic drugs (USA Today – 2009)
- Of the 50,000 troops stationed at Fort Bragg, 4994 soldiers were on antidepressants and 664 on antipsychotics (Fayetteville Observer 2010).
- At least 1 in 6 troops are on some form of psychiatric drug some taking more than one (Military Times 2010)
There is reason to be concerned the Food and Drug Agency – FDA requires drug companies to produce only 2 positive clinical trials for antidepressants. Its not too difficult to manipulate data to create 2 positive trials and after a meta-analysis these anti-depressants are no different to a sugar pill but far more dangerous and expensive too.
Given the alarming statistics of military suicide and the associated truth that the military is drugging its personnel would that encourage men and women to join the US military?
Should the American public be alarmed? In fact so should the entire world – antidepressants are nothing but a hoax.
It just so happens that several powerful military psychiatrists and administrators are also consultants to Big Pharma – so should we be in the least surprised that veterans are guinea pigs for drug studies, promotion of pills etc?
In fact, in 2012, the top 11 global drug companies made nearly $85 billion in net profits.
- 11 percent of Americans ages 12 and older now used prescribed antidepressants/ psychotic drugs.
- At least 106,000 people die each year from drugs which are properly prescribed and properly administered. More than two million suffer serious side effects. (Lazarou J,)
- Illegal drugs, including cocaine and heroin, are responsible for an estimated 10,000-20,000 American deaths per year. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Now let us ask why soldiers would need to take anti-depressants. Why are they depressed?
Is the answer for a selfish lot of people to use soldiers as a market segment a means of a new market to sell their drugs? Should the American nation be helping these heroes instead of putting them on drugs that led them to greater depression and violence ultimately to lead them to take their lives? Should authorities not reassess the easy route they have taken by spending millions of dollars on allocating Defense budget for drugs that does not help these soldiers in the least? Shouldn’t a more human approach be applied after all they are the men and women who go out there to defend the nation (whether it is for the wrong reason – it was never their decision to invade nations, they are only carrying out orders). Can the American public be happy simply to proudly sing the national anthem knowing that large numbers of their troops having become addicted to drugs were experiencing the horrors of its side effects making them irritable and angry whilst some have committed suicide?
Thus, when soldiers already unnerved at what they are ordered to do and the realistic understanding of the ground situation leaves them not only vulnerable but when that situation combined with drugs it is one sure reason for the rise in suicides.
That the situation warranted address was obvious when in 2010 the Veterans Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives held a Congressional hearing on “Exploring the Relationship between Medication and Veteran Suicide”. Was there a link in the rise in military suicides and the prescription of drugs which was also on the rise? The drugs under review were Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Cymbalta, and Effexor. What was noteworthy about the hearing was that there was overwhelming evidence for the harmfulness of antidepressants against those that claimed to its effectiveness. Rep. Filner found fault with the American Psychiatric Association and the Veterans Association who tried to minimize the risks of antidepressants.
What is more tragic is that soldiers who are really emotionally overwhelmed by their experience in the nations that the US Government falsely invaded purposely avoid seeking help because they do not want to be active duty soldiers who become stressed. Unfortunately, many soldiers avoiding seeking help precisely because they do not want to be given drugs.
This is written not to downplay the role of the American soldier but for readers to realize that the present wars have only conglomerate interests and are nothing about national security. When men and women joining one’s national army ends up fighting against and dying because of the very weapons that one’s Government had supplied to these supposed “terrorists” that is a tragedy of epic proportions. Moreso, when under orders these troops end up killing people who they know are not terrorists and suffer immense trauma as a result they end up guinea pigs and profits for Big Pharma who are very much part of the conglomerate network of profiteers.
The people of America need to come forward and demand their political parties to stop the hypocrisies that prevail and put an end to the manner conflicts are created to sustain and profit a handful.
Thankfully some good advice has been heeded and 4000 British troops are following Buddhist meditation instead of becoming victims to drugs.