Sunday, June 26, 2011

Consequences of US Wars: To Us, to Others, to Land, Atmosphere, Species

OMNI NEWSLETTER ON CONSEQUENCES OF US WARS #2, June 26, 2011, Compiled by Dick Bennett as part of OMNI’s multi-various campaign to expose the harms perpetrated by US militarism and empire, and for a Culture of Peace.  (#1 April 9, 2011).  See Dick’s Blog, “It’s the War Department.”

Contents of #1 April 9, 2011
Iraq: Killing Innocents
Libya: Weapons
Our Soldiers
  Combat Injuries
  Bitter Memories
Monetary Costs: Stiglitz and Bilmes
Civil Liberties Lost: Wiretapping, NYT editorial
Unintended Consequences: Hagan and Bickerton
Collapsing Empire: Glenn Greenwald

Contents of #2
Consequences to US Soldiers
Women Combat Amputees
Poster Girl Film
Bradley Manning
Film:  Beyond Treason, experiments on US military personnel

Consequences to Others
Civilian Victims
Consequences to US Citizens: Civil Liberties Lost, Continued.

Consequences to Nature
Dai Dong
Film:  Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives by Alice and Lincoln Day
Book:   Green Zone by Barry Sanders

Magnifying a Distinct Badge of Honorby Jennifer Penate.  Research Frontiers, UofA (Spring 2011).    Account of a doctoral dissertation based upon interviews of six women amputees, their physical and psychological problems.   The deep flaw of the diss. is the uncritical treatment of the women’s ignorance about the purpose of the wars.    Apparently their recovery partly derived from their erroneous belief “that their amputations occurred while protecting their country and freedom,” and they risked their lives “for the safety of Americans,” when the US was not in danger and had not been attacked by Iraqis or Afghans.   Sadly, the women lost their limbs in an illegal, unnecessary war.

Poster Girl documentary (female hero PTSD on return home)(2010 film, 38 min., directed by niece of Ralph Nesson)

MENTAL SUFFERINGS AND SUICIDES OF US TROOPS.  A sharp increase of soldier suicides has occurred recently, to an all-time high.  In one period more suicides than combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.  Growing evidence of neglect of PTSD soldiers showing suicidal signs.  Mark Benjamin’s study on examines ten cases.  For example, Adam Lieberman’s strong symptoms of mental illness following his return from Afghanistan were treated by the Army as non-combat.  He turned to alcohol and prescription drugs and killed himself.  Benjamin found many cases of depression, violence, self-medication prior to suicide. Interv. Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, 2-20-09.
(from Citizen Soldier Reports 2011)
Soldier suicides increasing.   2009 rate highest since Army began keeping records in 1980.  “In April 2010, the VA reported that an average of 18 veterans kill themselves each day; that’s 6,500 a year.”
Half of veterans who need treatment seek it, fearing damage to their careers.  Only about half of these receive adequate care.
Drugs instead of therapy.    The military over-prescribes drugs like Paxil and Zoloft to “treat” PTSD despite warning of the risk of suicide.  Prescribing psychiatric medications for soldiers and dependents has increased 42%.  
Drugs are preferred at many military clinics because “psychotherapy would make them ineligible for deployment and would be much more costly than drugs.”

New Resources in Bradley Manning Campaign
For those of you who want to participate more actively in the campaign to free Bradley Manning, Courage To Resist has created an activist toolkit, jam-packed with useful info, strategy and resources.   The toolkit contains a breakdown of how to take individual action and encourage others, create and host events, outreach to the media and ally.

Beyond Treason (2005).  Our government experimented on US military personnel without their consent, with dire consequences to the victims.  LSD, Agent Orange, radioactivity, depleted uranium.    The Gulf War Syndrome included not only depleted  uranium effects but also of chemical and biological weapons   Result:  hundreds of thousands of soldiers were injured or even killed.   Of course there was zero concern for the “enemy” civilians similarly harmed by DU.   Good explanation of the lethality of DU.  


Bagram prison, bigger than Guantanamo, its prisoners in limbo, cries out for some news coverage
COMMENTARY | May 31, 2011
Some 1,700 detainees are being held with no charges, no trial, no way to prove their innocence despite a Marine Corps general's 2009 report saying many should be released. In addition, there has been almost no in-depth news coverage of practices that, if widely known, would no doubt add to the call for removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and criticism of the government’s conduct of the war.  Read More:

--Tirman, John.  The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars.   Oxford UP, 2011.  Rev. The Progressive (July 2011):  “the definitive study.…a must-read.”

Fourteen years after his discharge, Gray began to reread his war journals and letters in an attempt to find some meaning in his wartime experiences. The result is The Warriors, a philosophical meditation on what warfare does to us and an examination of the reasons soldiers act as they do. Gray explains the attractions of battle—the adrenaline rush, the esprit de corps—and analyzes the many rationalizations made by combat troops to justify their actions. In the end, Gray notes, “War reveals dimensions of human nature both above and below the acceptable standards for humanity.”

“The American Police State Is the 'New Normal'
Jared Spurbeck, Y!News Contributor Network
Shutting down websites, tasering nonviolent people to death, stealing your cellphone (and its data), arresting nonviolent activists, it's getting pretty crazy out there.


During the 1970s, the Fellowship of Reconciliation organized an early international effort to make people aware of the harms by wars to the land and species, called Dai Dong.   See this account:   Paul Dekar’s Creating the Beloved Community (Chapt. 5)  (2005). 

LETTER FROM CREATORS OF  Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives,  Alice and Lincoln Day, whom many of you met when they brought their film to OMNI to show.   4-26-11
 Dear Dick.   We're just back from Houston,TX where it received a Special Jury Remi award.  Details below:
Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: the Environmental Footprint of War was presented with the highest level of award handed out at  the Saturday night, April 16, awards dinner.  The award plague reads:  WORLDFEST - 2011 SPECIAL JURY REMI AWARD THE 44th ANNUAL AWARD WORLDFEST - HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL  FILM & VIDEO REMI AWARDS . ECOLOGY/ ENVIRONMENT/ CONSERVATION  "SCARRED LANDS & WOUNDED LIVES: THE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT OF WAR,"  ALICE AND LINCOLN DAY.  We went up on the stage, accepted the plaque, emblazoned with the Lone Star and our names and the film's name on a gold label and our photos were taken with Master of Ceremonies, Hunter Todd.  Quite a thrill.  We knew we were going to receive a prize, but didn't know it was going to be the highest level.
Our website: has been revised.  It now makes available the trailer and full version for both Scarred Lands and What We Are Leaving Behind”
Best, Alice

Barry Sanders, Green Zone: The Environmental Results of Militarism.  2010.


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