The victims are usually not famous. They are almost always young men. Almost every story about them is followed by “this did not have to happen”. Yet tragically, inexorably, it does keep happening. Young men that somehow manage to survive the horrors of being thrust into one of this nation’s undeclared and ill-advised wars succumb to that most tragic of life ending events: suicide. Some are taken from us in their primes for acting out what they have been taught by our government: point your weapon at whoever is pointing one at you.
We still do not know precisely what happened to Iraqi war vet and Abita Springs resident Jason Glover on Saturday last. The St Tammany Parish Sheriff(1), Jack Strain, says a deputy shot and killed Glover when he raised a handgun at an STPSO deputy and refused to lower it. The internet is abuzz with hearsay & chatter that maybe the story didn’t happen that way, that perhaps the deputy mistook Glover’s delirious actions as homicidal. We may never know.
We do know that since 9/11 over 3,000(2) young enlisted men and women have taken their lives as have over 6,500 veterans. The VA reports that since it launched a “suicide hotline” in 2007 it has fielded over 650,000 phone calls and performed over 23,000 “life saving rescues.”(3) All this has happened while the United States military remains deployed around the globe and the numbers of “terrorists” are increasing(3a). But still this is not enough. ”Conservatives” huff & puff daily about our anemic(4) fighting force and pine away to deploy troops to Syria and Egypt. They never tire of threatening to invade and subjugate Iran(5).
The Jason Glover stories never stop or even slow down as we become innoculated from the tragedy created by our own hubris. It is time to end the campaigns, bring all of our troops home, shutter the far flung bases(6) and spend those resources on caring for those who have been injured, mentally or physically in our obsession with war.
(3a) http://non-intervention.com/1065/pity-poor-america-obama-romney-and-foreign-policy/ Former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit Michael Scheuer writes that “–Interventionist foreign policy is an aggressive action that — like every aggressive action — earns an aggressive reaction; this is a lesson Americans learn in the grade-school yard but which is erased at university and by politicians and the media. –We are at war with an increasing portion of the Muslim world, and that world’s fighters are motivated by what we do in the Muslim world and not by what we think or how we behave at home.”
(6) Politifact.com checked former Presidential Candidate Ron Paul’s claim that the U.S. has “900 bases in 130 countries” and found it to be largely true. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/sep/14/ron-paul/ron-paul-says-us-has-military-personnel-130-nation/