News & Analysis
A Dishonest Article about US Army Suicides
Congress can help prevent military suicides ... As troop commanders coming up through the Army ranks, we learned that taking care of our soldiers was a primary responsibility of military leadership. We knew that the troops were our credentials, and we tried to create an environment where they could be the best they could possibly be. This meant getting to know them and their families - whether they lived on or off post. This was part of our responsibility for those under our command. It was - and still is - Leadership 101. When we lost a service member, for whatever reason, it was a heart-wrenching experience. But it was worse in the case of those who took their own lives. Suicides have been a challenge for the U.S. military for a long time - and the problem is getting more severe. Suicides began rising in the middle of the 2000s, leveled off briefly in 2010 and 2011 and resumed climbing again this year, reaching a record high ... Reversing this epidemic is among the military's highest priorities. In that regard, one of the things we learned during our careers is that stress, guns and alcohol are a dangerous mixture. In the wrong proportions, they tend to blow out the lamp of the mind and cause irrational acts. Commanders and noncommissioned officers need the tools to prevent this mixture from turning lethal. – Washington Post
Dominant Social Theme: Take guns away from servicemen so they can't kill themselves.
Free-Market Analysis: The reason this article is dishonest is because of what it leaves out. The authors, both retired army generals, suggest that a big help to officers when it comes to mental health is the ability to find out if soldiers have guns at home – and then to address the issue of how to secure such weapons.
This assumes that officers are constantly taking the pulse of those under their command and reacting empathetically to "perceived stress." The idea is thus propounded that officers are in some sense father figures, psychologists, relatives, friends, etc. They are to be seen as a trusted source.
And yet these same officers must order their troops into battle where they may be killed. There is a contradiction here. It is the reason officers never fraternize immoderately with soldiers under their command.
War is a bloody business and officers have the authority to send men to their deaths. Officers are not friends of their underlings. They are not father figures.
The argument of these two generals also treats the weapon as the culprit. The idea is that if the weapon is "secured," the suicide may not take place. This may be true ... once. But what about next time? Can't the individual unsecure the weapon as easily as it has been secured?
The article seems to treat suicide as some sort of vague complex that descends like a miasma for no reason. But this is not so. There are very specific reasons for suicides of servicemen, from what we can tell. You won't find any of them in this article. Here's more:
In fact, suicides have become an epidemic. This year, more soldiers, seamen, airmen and Marines died by their own hand than died in battle. Suicide was the No. 1 cause of death for U.S. troops. More than two-thirds of suicides involved firearms, and nearly three-quarters of those cases involved personal weapons, not military weapons.
One of the most effective measures of suicide prevention is to ask those perceived to be under duress: "Do you have a gun in your home?" If the answer is yes, we might then suggest that the individual put locks on the weapon or store it in a safe place during periods of high stress - things that any responsible gun owner should do.
Unfortunately, that potentially lifesaving action is no longer available to the military. A little-noticed provision in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has had the unintended consequence of tying the hands of commanders and noncommissioned officers by preventing them from being able to talk to service members about their private weapons, even in cases where a leader believes that a service member may be suicidal.
We both strongly believe that this prohibition interferes with every military leader's obligation to ensure the health, welfare, morale and well-being of the troops under his or her command and care.
There is a movement now to remove the restriction: The House included an amendment in the 2013 NDAA that would allow these important conversations to occur. But the Senate just passed its version of the NDAA without addressing the issue.
We, along with other retired flag and general officers, senior noncommissioned officers and suicide-prevention advocates, are urging the House and Senate conferees to include language in the final bill that removes this impediment to suicide prevention.
This is what these two are upset about – the removal of certain language in an appropriations bill. We haven't been asked, and we don´t know as much about the military as these two ... but we shall contribute some observations anyway.
It's what we do ... yes?
One thing these two don't mention are the pharmaceutical drugs that many service members are taking, especially if they have depression. These powerful drugs place a veil between emotion and action. They make it easier for someone to "pull the trigger" as they have removed (blocked) the normal survival instinct for the moment.
Another issue is sexual abuse, especially of women. The US military has introduced women soldiers throughout the ranks and it seems evident and obvious that this has led to incredible problems with rape and generalized sexual abuse.
The fraternization between the sexes creates abusive situations, which no doubt contribute to the spike in suicides. This is not something the two generals responsible for this editorial seem to want to discuss. In fact, they do not.
Finally, there is the issue of war itself. Perhaps if the wars the US and NATO have engaged in over the past decade had meant something or had been seen as "good" wars, those involved would have a better emotional attitude.
But the current crop of wars is being fomented by a power elite that wants to expand global government around the world. The servicemen and women are merely actors in this larger strategy. Their patriotism is manipulated. Their youth makes them susceptible. Their poverty (most are relatively poor) gives them few choices.
And so they fight ... and die ... or return home as emotional cripples. The army doesn't really give a damn about them. These two generals have positioned guns as a major culprit when it comes to the epidemic of military suicides. But that is nothing more than a convenient dominant social theme: Guns kill and ought to be removed whenever possible.
The subdominant theme is that the top officers really care about their underlings. But caring is not something that comes easily to military forces. And in this case, the US military is operating more or less as a mercenary enterprise. Those who serve have not banded together as a citizens' army.
No, they have joined in many cases for a paycheck and have been sent halfway around the world to cement the globalist ambitions of a power elite that is determined to snuff out the last tribal opposition to its world-spanning plans.
There are many reasons for the rise in military suicides. The idea that better securing guns will have a big impact on this trend is most questionable, from our point of view. These generals have written an editorial supporting a kind of gun control – a meme dear to the collective heart of the power elite.
Conclusion: A problem has thus been reworked to provoke a solution that is intended to reinforce elite control. Soldiers are nothing more than pawns in a power game.
Posted by samson on 12/15/12 03:28 PM
THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR IS DEATH. give me a break. as officers, we are indoctrinated that we are superior to the GRUNTS. Look at the difference in our PERKS, our uniforms, our segregated quarters and clubs. OFFICERS are GENTLEMEN.
The volunteer services lure the under educated, the unemployed, those trying to escape the ghetto etc. Then the military professionals teach them how to kill. This is so alien to most. Is it any wonder of the neurosis suffered by so many. Seeing & being involved with the slaughter of human creatures, many innocent women & children, MY MY, may God have mercy on their souls.
This annihilation of those in other countries because we want to control them & their
resources is a deadly SIN. The post mental distress & suicide is understandable. Until this insane policy is reversed, the victims of suicide will grow larger & larger. Soon there will not be enough volunteers and the DRAFT will be reintroduced.
Posted by libertyjones on 12/15/12 01:28 PM
Wondering why no comment from you on misogynist comments such as from Bobby 7 below?
Posted by Ol' Grey Ghost on 12/13/12 08:15 PM
I am a father of three children and the grandfather to three more youngsters and it still amazes me how young children always blame small, inanimate objects for the injuries the child receives when he or she runs into them when it is the child's fault for running where they should walk and not looking where they are going.
Then we have those grown, well-educated (assumedly) adults who say all the problems of the world would be solved if we got rid of some inanimate objects. Can't they see how childish a response that is?
Click to view link
Posted by email@example.com on 12/13/12 06:23 PM
I recall a tragic episode in my long life dating in the early months of 1959. My girlfriend in Chicago asked me whether I could have a convesation with her older brother who became morose, sullen, disinterested in pursuing his once ambition of becoming a lawyer. He served in Korea and fought in the trenches there. He never spoke of what happened to him after he returned. The girl suggested I meet him in a bar and attempt ot extract some kind of conversation about what bothered him. And indeed after a few beers he slowly began mumbling... softly..I said "what's that?"... he cleared his throat and haltingly, deliberate, reflective, slightly stuttering a flow of words began to be quietly heard as he seemed to seek certainty no one else was listening... a bit eerie as he explained in detail what happened to him fighting hand-to-hand in the Korean trenches... got wounded, but that's the easy part... horrible story! Circumstances were so horrific it was no wonder it affected him psychologically and I couldn't tell his sister. I simply told her he wouldn't talk about it. The haunting scenes were with him every day and worst of all at night in his dreams. On my way to medical school I thought he would be on his way to alcoholism, drugs or something much worse. I recall his description to this very day myself, it was so graphic and horrble especially in the manner in which it was delivered.
Posted by Bobby7 on 12/13/12 02:19 PM
RE: Posted by RomeyR on 12/13/12 12:44 PM
Domestic Violence -- An Update
by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.
President, Equal Justice Foundation
I am beginning to understand why people are attracted to ISLAM!
Maybe, just maybe, we need a 100 years of Islamic Rule to bring SANITY back to the Mad House we are living in today! You don't see the feminists pointing the finger at Islam! WHY? Because they are afraid they might loose their head -physically.
Yep! Put a bag over their heads; put them back into the kitchen & have them pregnant on a regular bases. NO MORE ABORTIONS!
Yup! I'm beginning to like Muhammad!
Sorry Jesus, but its just for 100 years, until we men get our due respect from women, who have lost theirs to anarchy thinking.
Posted by Bobby7 on 12/13/12 02:02 PM
The amount of suicides by car will never be fully known. Its a particular type of suicide that uses a gun & remember its not a 100% perfect means of suicide. Many times the person moves & blows part of their face off & are left with terrible injuries.
The Staff reporter is right about the mock attempt of trying to come across as father figures, when in fact, the Top Brass couldn't give 2 cents worth of affection to their men in trouble.
Thousands of ex-army are begging on the streets of America, while thousands more strive to survive on welfare, disability etc.
"We, along with other retired flag and general officers, senior noncommissioned officers and suicide-prevention advocates, are urging the House and Senate conferees to include language in the final bill that removes this impediment to suicide prevention".
THIS IS A LIE!
THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT THE LIVING! IF THEY DID, THEN THEY WOULD LOOK AFTER THE MEN ON SKID ROW, WHO ONCE WERE IN THE ARMED FORCES. AND WHAT ABOUT THE MAIMED FROM VIETNAM TO AFGHANISTAN, WHO ARE STRIVING TO SURVIVE? DO THEY CARE ABOUT THEM? MAYBE THEY SHOULD GIVE THEM A CYANIDE PILL, WHEN THEY DISCHARGE THEM BACK INTO CIVVIES & TELL THEM,
"IF LIFE GETS TOO TOUGH, JUST BITE THE PILL"!
Life is like a game of chess & the pawns are the first casualties in the game of life. The game is all about the other pieces on the board. I know that once in a while, even a pawn can win the game, but it rarely happens.
The American Armed forces became Mercenaries for Big Business after World War II. There is no DIGNITY in being a mercenary & that is the problem in the Armed Forces TODAY.
Posted by RomeyR on 12/13/12 12:44 PM
A fundamental cause of suicides is the intrusive involvement of the government in "domestic disputes", including many "mandatory" actions that are almost always devastating to the male. [send me an email for 2 important documents] Here is a current update from the Equal Justice Foundation:
Domestic Violence -- An Update
by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.
President, Equal Justice Foundation
A comment by an attorney at lunch recently provoked the following update on the issue of domestic violence. In effect he stated that the Equal Justice Foundation had "won" the battle against false and unsubstantiated claims of domestic violence. According to him there is not a local defense attorney who isn't aware that if a defendant simply demands a jury trial that there is a 90-95% probability the charges will eventually be dismissed.
While that may be a "win" for defense attorneys, who can now readily win cases without the trouble and bother of going to trial, most domestic violence cases are not dismissed until the day before or morning of trial, usually four to six months after the arrest. In the interim typically the marriage or relationship is destroyed, the children are traumatized or placed in foster homes, jobs and homes are lost, and the defendant (man or woman) is left destitute and often homeless. Suicides and murder-suicides are an all to common adjunct as well. However, the attorneys are enriched. I hardly call that a "win" for citizens and the public weal.
So how did we get to this sad state of affairs?
Modern efforts to control domestic violence date back to 1971 when Erin Pizzey opened one of the first refuges (shelters) for abused and battered women in Chiswick, London, England. Publication of her book Scream Quietly Or The Neighbors Will Hear in 1978 brought the issue of abused women to the world's attention.
While she consistently pointed out that the women who sought refuge at her Chiswick shelter were as violent or more violent than the men they left, that did not fit the neo-Marxist radical feminist (redfem for short) agenda and threatened their funding. In 1998, when Pizzey dared to publish her finding that women are as violent as men in intimate relationships in her book The Emotional Terrorist And The Violence Prone, radical feminists in England drove her into exile. Obviously her efforts to create shelters for abused men met with no success as well.
In the interim feminists generated a deeply- and fundamentally-emotional response to the problem of abused women that resulted in the 1994 passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the United States. Of course VAWA provides no protection or defense for abused men despite the fact that the findings of Straus and others in their 1980 book Behind Closed Doors: Violence In The American Family confirmed women are as violent as men in intimate relationships. And by 1994 the US Army had found that male victims of abuse outnumbered female victims by two-to-one. And all research since has confirmed these findings. But redfem dogma still maintains that 80-95% of all intimate partner violence are husbands battering their wives in order to maintain the patriarchy.
Given the neo-Marxist ideology on which the feminists based their need for VAWA it was deemed essential to do away with such pillars of jurisprudence as due process, warrants, mens rea and actus reus, presumption of innocence, property rights, the right of a man to raise and protect his children, the right to face one's accuser, and any other rights a man may have thought he had. Hearsay became admissible in court and because a man might object to being forcefully evicted from his home with no notice, secret orders to accomplish that could now be issued ex parte.
We were told we must now "Believe the victim," and presume that women would never lie or injure themselves, and never suffered from mental health problems. Nor should women be required to provide evidence to substantiate their claims. Even the "potential" for violence or emotional abuse became sufficient justification to impose these penalties.
Expanding the definition of domestic violence
Not content to simply have destroyed civil liberties, radical feminists continued their campaign for power and control.
In Colorado "domestic violence" was always an add-on charge, or sentence enhancer, to any other crime. Cussing and swearing, never polite, now became criminal harassment in the presence of a woman. Writing a description of her, no matter how accurate and justified, also became a criminal act. So much for freedom of speech.
On the federal level, in 1996 the Lautenberg Amendment to the Brady Gun Control bill made it a federal felony for anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence or who was restrained under a domestic abuse order to purchase or possess any gun or ammunition.
In year 2000 the dismissal of the case against Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy served as an excuse to broaden the definition of domestic violence to include any damage or destruction of a man's private property.
Any animal abuse while in the presence or belonging to an intimate partner also became domestic violence. So if you kick the cat you go to jail.
In 2010 in People v Disher the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a sexual relationship was not an essential element of an intimate relationship. So any woman a man had dated, kissed, held hands with, invited into his home, or lived communally with could take out a restraining order against or charge him with domestic violence. The situation has deteriorated to the point that attorney RK Hendrick strongly recommends that a man not allow a woman into his home before he has run a background check on her.
And few judges would dare deny a woman a restraining order for fear she would end up murdered and he blamed. Of course, the hundreds of women who were granted restraining orders and then ended up dead was excused as simply proving the necessity for such orders and justification for ever more tyrannical laws.
Nearly two decades after the passage of VAWA it seems worthwhile to review what has been accomplished in the way of reducing domestic violence, and whether or not the draconian laws are working or not. By 2010 over one-quarter of all crimes in Colorado involved domestic violence and the courts became overloaded with specious cases.
By the time retired Army Sergeant Tom Ball took his life in 2011 after a decade of injustice under such "laws" as VAWA, about 36 million people had been arrested for "domestic violence" and an estimated 72 million men, women, and children had been rendered homeless at some point in their lives by such arrests.
Number of domestic violence cases
One measure of success of these draconian laws would be to find they had deterred offenders from assaulting their intimate partners and the number of criminal cases had measurably decreased. In Table 61 I present the population-normalized numbers of restraining orders, including criminal domestic violence cases, from 1998 through 2010 for 21 judicial districts in Colorado (excludes Denver). In no district do the number of cases consistently decrease over time and the statewide average increases from 62 per 10,000 residents in 1998 to 77 per 10,000 in 2010.
Rather than deterring, current laws seem to be increasing the incidence of domestic violence and abuse.
An increase in such abuse and violence is hardly the outcome desired, particularly given the loss of civil liberties involved.
Initially, domestic violence was presumed to occur primarily in married or cohabiting couples where the husband beat his wife in order to maintain power and control to maintain his patriarchal dominance. Again, the data do not support that supposition. Table 78 shows the number of victims of . . .