Friday, March 7, 2014

VIOLENCE IN THE MILITARY?

How silly to even have the question asked. Especially in today's military made up primarily of people with little or no options in today's America and who are bored out of their skulls after being raised on  junk food, home alone glued to joysticks wiping up anything that moves in their lonely virtual worlds of "Call to Duty" or "Grand Theft Auto' where raping and killing is constantly recycled into an on-going flood of blood soaked carnage.

It's all harmless fun, they say. Especially those who produce, market, and sell this "virtual" version of Dante's Inferno.

No one wants to look at or talk about the potential damage to the psyche this causes, much like making believe head trauma in football is not real. Just imaginary.

Today's military is desperate and hard pressed to find recruits that they can convince to enlist for any other reason than to have a shot at playing out those computer games for real. It's difficult to convince them they are doing this to defend their country from the enemy when the only place they seem to find them are in caves in some far off land who's name they can't even pronounce.

Patriotism? Or spreading democracy around the world? Both hard sells given the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan. 10 years and counting and still no "Mission Accomplished" banner to wave and no signs of freedom and democracy; American style popping up anywhere.

What that leaves the military with is a bunch of very bored youngsters with a lot of pent up anxiety, anger, and paranoia with no where to dump it. Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto are not standard issue gear.

Neo-cons, those who make lot's of money from war have little concern for the state of the military. They solved that problem long ago by creating the "private contracting industry" that for a whole lot more of tax payer dolllars are given all the cushy jobs once offered to the military rank and file.

Top this off with the latest revelation that there's a large number of our guys and gals in uniform who enlisted that were carrying large loads of mental garbage and not too stable to begin with and the results are not surprising.


About one in five US soldiers have been found to have a common mental illness such as depression or panic disorder upon enlisting in the Army, according to a new study.

A second study showed that over eight percent of soldiers had contemplated suicide and 1.1 percent had attempted suicide, researchers found via confidential surveys and interviews with 5,428 soldiers at Army bases across the US.

The studies’ results were published on Monday in JAMA Psychiatry. Experts say the findings show a weakness in recruiting processes. Army applicants are asked about their psychiatric pasts in evaluations, while those with certain disorders or a history of suicide attempts are often kept from entering the service.

In 2011, a representative sample of soldiers was assessed for eight common psychiatric disorders.
Researchers found that soldiers interviewed had joined the Army with higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than the general population.

"The question becomes, 'How did these guys get in the Army?'" Ronald Kessler, a Harvard University sociologist and leader of one of the studies, said to the Los Angeles Times.

The studies found that over eight percent of soldiers came into the Army with intermittent explosive disorder, marked by unrestrained anger attacks. It was the most common disorder found, as pre-enlistment levels were six times the civilian rate.

Pre-enlistment rates of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse were found to be close to civilian rates. Suicidal ideation, planning, and attempt rates fell under the general population rate, though still significant.

Though during military service, the surveyed soldiers’ rates of psychiatric disorders climbed well beyond civilian levels and far beyond the normal rate for some disorders.

A quarter of soldiers were found to be suffering from a mental illness: around five percent with depression, around six percent with anxiety disorder, and almost nine percent with PTSD.

The amount of soldiers who had attempted suicide went up from 1.1 percent to 2.4 percent, though the study did not explain a possible cause.


So, now comes the question; why are we so shocked and surprised that sexual assault (violence) is running rampant in the military?

I'm tempted to just writing it off to being just plain dumb or uninformed but I believe there's something much more sinister at play here.  Let's just simply start with the lack of bodies willing to join the military. Not enough males? Then, let's go for females. Putting females in combat positions was almost unheard of even in the time of Hannibal and the Barbarians who had more respect for the sexes than anything we see today in our so-called civilized world. Other than a handful of suicide bombers females have usually served in jobs that are now held by those "private contractors" the neo-cons hired on.  

So let's take a bunch of not-too-stable males and throw them into tents with a bunch of not too bright females and what you see is what you get folks. 


The report from the Center for American Progress — titled “Twice Betrayed: Bringing Justice to the U.S. Military’s Sexual Assault Problem” — was first commissioned in the aftermath ofseveral high-profile cases involving rape and assault in the military earlier this year. In the most damaging to the armed forces’ image, the then-head of the Air Force’s sexual assault response program was charged with sexual battery in Arlington, VA.

After laying out the history of the problem, the report pushes back on myths about sexual assault that occurs within the military, including statistics on the prevalence of sexual assault against men as well as women. In 2012, of the 26,000 military personnel estimated to have experienced sexual assault, 14,000 were men and 12,000 were women,” the report notes. The opening of new positions to women within the armed services is also dismissed as a reason for an increase in estimated sexual assaults.

Rather than seeing a trend towards improved reporting, CAP’s analysts worry that instead of being over-exaggerated, as some have claimed, that the numbers may in fact still be too low. “A significant percentage of cases, for example, are counted each year as a single ‘incident’ but involve multiple perpetrators and/or multiple victims,” the report explains, also noting that it doesn’t include information from the service academies.

Among the recommendations the report lays out, the most controversial is likely to be the support thrown behind a proposal to remove military sexual assault cases from the chain of command, stripping commanding officers of their ability to try cases in their units. The idea is a cornerstone of Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand’s (D-NY) legislation, titled the Military Justice Improvement Act, which has gained bipartisan support since it was first introduced.

In conducting research to critique the proposal, Larry Korb — a CAP Senior Fellow and one of the co-authors of the report — told reporters that other countries who have carried out such reforms and the results. 
Kirsten Gillibrand’s sexual assault bill derailed


When it comes to taking care of it's people the United States continues to lag behind the rest of the civilized "developed" countries; Gun Control, Health Care, and now protecting women in the Military all focused on "social" issues that concern the welfare of Americans.

When the United Kingdom, France, and Israel removed sexual assault cases from the chain of command, Korb said, there was actually no impact on military readiness. Should such a step not prove successful in reducing the amount of sexual assault in the military, Korb went on, the cases should then be moved to civilian courts as seen in France and Germany.

Americans need to be asking; why is that? Are the lives and well being of Americans not the first order of business in a country that likes to wear their flag on their sleeves and boast about equality, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness? America Strong?