January 13, 2008
Report: 121 Veterans Linked to Killings
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 9:08 a.m. ET
NEW YORK (AP) — At least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have committed a killing or been charged in one in the United States after returning from combat, The New York Times reported Sunday.
The newspaper said it also logged 349 homicides involving all active-duty military personnel and new veterans in the six years since military action began in Afghanistan, and later Iraq. That represents an 89-percent increase over the previous six-year period, the newspaper said.
About three-quarters of those homicides involved Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, the newspaper said. The report did not illuminate the exact relationship between those cases and the 121 killings also mentioned in the report.
The newspaper said its research involved searching local news reports, examining police, court and military records and interviewing defendants, their lawyers and families, victims’ families and military and law enforcement officials.
Defense Department representatives did not immediately respond to a telephone message early Sunday. The Times said the military agency declined to comment, saying it could not reproduce the paper’s research.
A military spokesman, Lt. Col. Les Melnyk, questioned the report’s premise and research methods, the newspaper said. He said it aggregated crimes ranging from involuntary manslaughter to murder, and he suggested the apparent increase in homicides involving military personnel and veterans in the wartime period might reflect only ”an increase in awareness of military service by reporters since 9/11.”
Neither the Pentagon nor the federal Justice Department track such killings, generally prosecuted in state civilian courts, according to the Times.
The 121 killings ranged from shootings and stabbings to bathtub drownings and fatal car crashes resulting from drunken driving, the newspaper said. All but one of those implicated was male.
About a third of the victims were girlfriends or relatives, including a 2-year-old girl slain by her 20-year-old father while he was recovering from wounds sustained in Iraq.
A quarter of the victims were military personnel. One was stabbed and set afire by fellow soldiers a day after they all returned from Iraq.
If this is what they are doing to their own families and in their own country, what are they doing over in Iraq and Afghanistan? Both foreign countries in which they are sent to kill.
What atrocities are they committing over there and we have not even heard about? I fear knowing the depth and extent of this sickness.
And of course the US Army does not collect these types of statistics, because they are “statistical anomalies” that do not serve their interests. Just as they do not collect statistics on the number of Iraqis or Afghans killed by their occupation.
Since the Chechen conflict began nine years ago, similar cases have been reported all across Russia: depressed young vets return embittered and traumatized to their home towns and begin lashing out at those around them. Russian psychiatrists, law-enforcement officials and journalists have started calling the condition Chechen syndrome (CS), drawing a parallel with the post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by American soldiers who served in Vietnam and Soviet soldiers who fought in Afghanistan.
The symptoms are identical — chronic fatigue, nightmares, attention problems, anxiety, aggression and denial — but some see Chechen syndrome as worse because Chechnya vets fought a war inside their own country. “At least 70% of [the estimated 1.5 million] Chechnya vets suffer CS,” says Yuri Alexandrovsky, deputy director of the Serbsky National Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry in Moscow. “Some readjust. Many don’t. All need help.” (Sunday, Sep. 28, 2003 By YURI ZARAKHOVICH | MOSCOW | Time Magazine)
The war in Chechnya is another example of another war started on false premises. The FSB was heavily implicated in blowing up its own buildings as a pretext to start a war in Chechnya.
Invade a foreign country and you get a boost to your poll ratings (for a while until people figure out the truth) as a bonus.
Maybe the underlying cause of this psychosis is the unjust nature of all these wars?
A troubled soul is hard to numb…