By Kevin Barrett, Veterans Today Editor
Each and every day, an average of 20 American veterans take their own lives. The standard diagnosis is PTSD. But that catch-all label conceals the deeper reality: The biggest single factor driving veteran depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide is shame. Veterans know that US attacks against Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Iran are unjust. They have seen, and in some cases participated in, horrifically immoral behavior. Invading someone else’s country is the supreme war crime, the worst crime that a human being can commit according to the Nuremburg Principles, and it encompasses and leads to all of the lesser war crimes. Our veterans know, consciously or unconsciously, that they are war criminals. That is why so many are executing themselves.
Donald Trump’s cowardly decision to invite Soleimani to Baghdad for a peace conference and ambush him at the airport—and then threaten to nuke Iranian heritage sites if the Iranians retaliate, as they must—brands every American serving in our armed forces with a smoking scarlet “WC” for “War Criminal.” All American service members are now legitimate targets, not only for Iranian retaliation, but for execution by anyone who wishes to enforce international law. And that category includes the criminals themselves. Service members will become their own judge, jury, and executioner at a much higher rate as the fallout from Trump’s off-the-charts war crimes stinks up the whole US military.
Suicidal depression is “anger turned inward.” Veterans’ anger is bottled up, and results in suicide, when cultural conditioning prevents the individual from expressing his anger against the real war criminals.
Below is a fascinating new article by Ken Meyercord on the horrific “immoral injuries” that psychopathic decision makers like Trump are inflicting on our veterans. Expect such suicides to sharply increase, in the medium and long terms, as a result of the outrageously immoral war on Iran that Trump has just launched.
Kevin Barrett,Veterans Today Editor
I recently attended a panel entitled “Coming Home: Dialogues on the Moral, Psychological, and Spiritual Impacts of War”. The event was about the invisible scars many veterans bear long after he or she experienced the horrors of war. How the scars were inflicted and how the afflicted recover from them is something those, like me, who have never been in combat can hardly understand.
One of the panelists at the event related the experience of a fighter pilot who on a bombing run was unable to see clearly what he had hit. Viewing his cockpit screen footage later, he saw that a carport had been totally demolished by his bomb. Amidst the rubble were four small bicycles. For years afterwards the pilot had a recurring nightmare in which he enters a bombed-out building and picks up a dead child from among the rubble. As he hugs the child to him, he sees that the back of the child’s head has been blown off. Simultaneously, the face of the child morphs into that of his own son.
Such anguished memories are sometimes referred to as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sometimes as “moral injury”. There’s a difference. PTSD is a mental disorder which makes it difficult for a vet to reintegrate himself back into civilian life. Moral injury is a “soul in anguish, not a psychological disorder”, as one psychiatristputs it. It’s been defined as “an injury to an individual’s moral conscience and values resulting from an act of perceived moral transgression”. If a veteran survives the wound to his morality, he may not only successfully get on with his life but make an especially valuable contribution to his country.
A second panelist at the event, a lady fighter pilot, came back from her tour in Iraq uninjured either traumatically or morally. Without a twinge of conscience, she gushed about how good it felt to drop a bomb on a car filled with ISIS terrorists, knowing she had killed the personification of evil. She felt no more empathy for the those she had killed than do our drone pilots, raining down death from thousands of miles away, who refer to the victims of their bombs as “bugsplat”.
I was tempted to try to inflict a little moral injury on the gung-hoTop Gunness, so cocksure she was of the rectitude of her “good kill”, but I decided that wouldn’t be very nice. If I weren’t such a nice guy, I would have pointed out to her that the United States has a long history of working with Islamic extremists to counter governments we don’t approve of, the most overt case being our support of the mujahideenin Afghanistan in the 1980s.
In more recent times, our attitude vis-à-vis the Islamic State (ISIS) has been disturbingly ambiguous. The thousands of foreign fighters who poured into Syria to join ISIS came through the territory of our NATO ally, Turkey—apparently with that country’s blessing… and, by extension, our own. Our good friend Qatar is generally credited with being a major financial backer of ISIS. Would we tolerate such behavior from a fauxcountry like Qatar with a measly 300,000 citizens and an American military base within a stone’s throw of the Emir’s palace if we didn’t approve of their generosity?
So long as ISIS directed its attacks against the Syrian government, we had no problem with it. Only when it diverted its attention to trying to take over Iraq did we decide it needed to be reined in. Even then, a number of times we bombed Syrian or Iraqi forces engaged in battle with ISIS—all a big mistake, of course. Someone less kind than myself might have suggested to “Miss Crack-shot USA” that those grisly videos of masked evildoers beheading some hapless victim, which so enraged her as to free her from any soul-searching about exterminating some noisome bugs, owed more to American stage managers than to some mullah’s fiery rhetoric.
I suspect growing up just down the road from the Air Force Academy, then attending the Naval Academy, made the pilot immune to my contrarian point of view, but not every veteran is so lucky. Killing a fellow human being without guilt qualms is not normal. That’s why many soldiers—even in the heat of battle—never fire their weapon. It’s also why the army, I’ve been told, came up with the rapid-fire M16: you don’t aim it at anyone in particular, you just start blazing away.
According to one expert, moral injuryoccurs when “(i) there has been a betrayal of what is morally right, (ii) by someone who holds legitimate authority and (iii) in a high-stakes situation.” Sending those who trust you into battle on the basis of lies (e.g., Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction; staged gas attacks in Syria) is a gross betrayal of their trust. Many returning from the war which gave us the term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the Vietnam War, concluded that’s what happened. That’s why they founded Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).
I can only imagine what pangs of guilt must haunt the slumber of those who feel they’ve been lied to. Killing in a justified cause is hard enough to reconcile with our deep-seated aversion to the taking of human life; without legitimate justification, it becomes simply murder. How decent, good-hearted, feeling ex-soldiers deal with this “immoral injury”, as I call it, is a mystery to me. Maybe that’s why many Vietnam vets don’t like to talk about their experiences. No one likes to admit to having been duped, even if they were only eighteen years old at the time and most of their older and supposedly wiser compatriots let themselves be duped as well.
I hope those trying to help troubled veterans do not seek to have them forget their shame, anger, and disgust over being betrayed by those in power. Having been injured themselves, the vets can instruct those of us who have never paid the price on the techniques employed by unscrupulous leaders to get us into illegitimate, aggressive wars. That’s the special contribution I mentioned earlier that veterans can make to our country. Many members of the VVAW are doing just that today.
Whatever methods are being used to “cure” those suffering from immoral injury, they have not been completely successful. Last year, the number of attempted and successful suicides amongst marines—active and former—hit an all-time high: 354. Professor Lawrence Wilkerson of William & Mary—who in a former life was Col. Larry Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to Colin Powell when he was Secretary of State—offers this explanation: “GIs have killed or helped to kill more than 400,000 human beings in these wars [Afghanistan, Iraq]. Killing at that level affects people. It particularly affects people when they are unable to explain the reason for the killing…. The U.S. government has told these young men and women that they are killing these people for freedom’s sake, for democracy, for women’s rights, for justice, to protect Americans, and for all manner of reasons that these troops know are just so much hogwash…. These GIs know that, on account of many of these lies, they are killing people, wounding people, destroying their homes, bombing their towns and villages, and generally wreaking havoc for ‘God and country’. They know this is a lie. But what are they to do about it? Some of them kill themselves.”
The next time you see someone in uniform and are inclined to express your thanks, keep in mind what Col. Wilkerson has to say about this: “[T]he 99 percent of America with no skin in the game of war makes sure to say quite frequently ‘thank you for your service’ to any of these GIs encountered at airports, in restaurants, on the street, or elsewhere. From my own experience talking with serving troops and veterans—including a triple-amputee at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center— nothing galls them more. They see the 99 percent assuaging their guilt with a few meaningless words that don’t do a thing to alleviate the GIs’ concerns. In fact, such triteness deepens those concerns.”
2 Thoughts to “Trump’s Shameless Murder of Soleimani Will Kill Thousands of US Troops — By Suicide”
ISIS/DAESH always was the deliberate creation of the Terrorists Mossad and CIA with MI5 collusion.
They always worked for the above, always. To imply that America was happy when ISIS targeted Syria was approved of but when they diverted their terrorism to take over Iraq frankly is a deceitful disingenuous comment by Meyerson. ISIS ARE THEIR TERRORISTS, always have been, in the barbaric service of the Israeli Empire for whom all these wars have been waged, costing millions of lives of Arabs and Muslims under the War OF Terror on behalf of Eretz Israel for whom all these American soldiers are dying for. American military commanders and top Politicians encourage Americans to support and die for Israel.
I have no sympathies at all for American soldiers. There is no excuse for their barbarity serving in the Middle East and blindly taking orders from their Commander in Chief and Generals just as Nazi soldiers did under the Third Reich but whose excuses were dismissed by the International Criminal Courts of that time sentencing them for their war crimes collaboration.
American soldiers and British too[NATO] have no excuses. for their blind execution of their military orders, under going indoctrinated initiation military programming that exposed them to ignorance and downright crimes against Humanity.
They ALL have a Conscience and a soul an no doubt access to the world wide web where they could educate their brainwashed moronic brains, seek knowledge base don reality and truth instead of accepting the programming matrix of their military training that subjects them to lies deceit and political propaganda for a foreign entity that their own leadership are treasonous, serving, thus betraying America and its own Constitution that Israel and American Jewish/Zionist Neocons have continuously violated
America’s Military know this and have done nothing to put an end to the COUP done to their country assassinating their Presidents in the past as carrying out a massive Crime against the American people on 9/11. Just where are the honourable and righteous within the American Military Intelligence Services and indeed within the American Government itself that has been OCCUPIED and owned lock stock and barrel by Israel and all its American Jewish Lobby groups, Billionaires, millionaires like Adelson who constantly brags about identifying himself as an Israeli Firster proud Zionist and happy to have his relatives, sons etc serve in the most immoral army in the world, as his own wife and daughter did in ,the IOF, where he is hoping his ‘little bar mitzvah boys will become SNIPERS.!! He REGRETTED WEARING the American Uniform and NOT the ISRAELI ONE!! Good citizen of Israel and Good Zionist. THIS IS WHO is running America’s Foreign Policies sacrificing American soldiers for FOR Israel AND AMERICAN JEWS LIKE ADELSON AND HIS EQUALLY EXTREMIST WIFE AND OF COURSE NUMBER ONE WAR CRIMINAL AND TERRORIST-NETANYAHU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJA3hx2OkRw&feature=emb_logo- AT 4:35
I ask American soldiers and their families- what exactly has Israel actually done for you and America, being your number one bosom pal and ally, other than bring many of you back in body bags or physically, mentally and emotionally scarred for life??
Was and is that price ‘worth it’ for America and its programmed soldiers [and now Police]
American soldiers have no right under international laws to get immunity for the heinous and barbaric war crimes they have carried out against 27 million Muslims that they have assisted in slaughtering on behalf of Israel and even do so throughout Africa and Latin America??
None of them are serving honourably to defend and protect their country at all.
It is ALL about protecting the ‘National’ Interests of Israel and the Jewish Corporatocracies, Military Industrial Complex and Banksters – The Shadow Deep State that rules the United States of ISRAEL. and in fact the UK.
That is who soldiers are dying for and getting maimed for.
Have you got any Conscientious Objectors left in your Military and Intelligence/Governmental Matrix World ??
Your constant arrogance and racism for ‘The Other’ sadly gives me no hope, only a negative answer each time. A very sad reflection of America’s Immoral corrupt political religious, financial and social decline
YOU have all allowed this to happen with your weakness, indifference, your acceptance of the Judeo Zionist Clash of civilization mantra used to divide and rule and incite further hatred and wars and all for Supremacist Israel and Judaic Talmudic Noahide Laws being implemented around the world by Jewish Messianic Extremist Rabbis who apparently are all drooling for their WW3 Nuclear war which they in their supremacist lunacy believe their Yahweh will spare all Jews from as they hide in their Bunkers and Mountains and remote Islands that they have been constructing and buying up.
They openly discuss this on their JEWISH owned YouTUBE for which they ironically do not get censored or taken off for ‘inappropriate material and/or incitement to hatred’.
they are happy for us all to see and hear their ‘ Moshiach prophecies’ so they can declare that they did try to warn The Gentile world but we took no heed to stop them so they can feel free to carry on.
I am a layperson and over 20 years have accumulated so much info from books and the Internet so why the hell have Soldiers all failed to acquire the same info and recognise the Truth when so many brave souls within the Truth Movement have tried to expose the vile Conspiracies against us all that threaten our God given world and Peace itself.
Instead they insult them with the Conspiracy theory Lunatic label
Real honourable soldiers are like those in Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian/Lebanese resistance Fighters really fighting to defend their Nation and their Families, their very existence, from outside Foreign Barbarian Imperialists.
Only entity that has ever threatened America has been America’s best Ally- ISRAEL, Not Arabs, NOT MUSLIMS, NOT ISLAM, but ISRAEL, America’s Ally who Trump has told Americans they must love and support..
This Autistic Lunatic has once again been successfully manipulated into doing Israel’s bidding as they celebrate the unlawful murder of Iran’s General who was asked to come to Baghdad for diplomatic talks by his dishonourable American Killers[under Israeli dictates] who also betrayed the trust of the dumb Iraqis who played into their hands!!
Trump via Israel, has now opened the flood gates to a worst hell on earth reaping further deaths and destruction all for Eretz Israel
I apologise for the length of this comment but I am seething inside at America’s insanity fearful of the madness Trump and Israel have unleashed.
[…] In response to Donald Trump’s comment, President of Iran recalls the day the US eliminated a plane with 290 people on board, including 66 children. Killers were awarded:Trump’s Shameless Murder of Soleimani Will Kill Thousands of US Troops — By Suicide Each and every day, an average of 20 American veterans take their own lives. The standard diagnosis is PTSD. But that catch-all label conceals the deeper reality: The biggest single factor driving veteran depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide is shame. Veterans know that US attacks against Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Iran are unjust. They have seen, and in some cases participated in, horrifically immoral behavior. Invading someone else’s country is the supreme war crime, the worst crime that a human being can commit according to the Nuremburg Principles, and it encompasses and leads to all of the lesser war crimes. Our veterans know, consciously or unconsciously, that they are war criminals. That is why so many are executing themselves. http://kevinbarrett.heresycentral.is/2020/01/trump-suicide/?fbclid=IwAR3vBDaLzMsrR2aQpd4Kzw72hnHxlh… […]