16 November 2007

"Suicide Rampant Among US Army Veterans"

The following is a short commentary by a fellow wobbly from the Vancouver branch. The views expressed are no necessarily those of the union.

Suicide Rampant Among US Army Veterans

An investigation by American television network CBS has revealed that in the year 2005 at least 6,256 American war veterans committed suicide. That is an average of 17 a day, or 120 a week. For the record, it is also more than the number of American soldiers killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

This speaks volumes about the nature of the "war on terror" and the debilitating affect it has on those who are involved. The article adds that the Department of Veterans Affairs spends 3 billion dollars a year on mental health services. However, this does not get to the root of the issue; war itself. For as long as soldiers are sent to die for their wealthy masters, those who return home will face mental and physical hardships.

The fact still remains, as it has done for centuries, that wars are fought by the working-class of the world for the benefit of the ruling class. Under a hierarchical system such as capitalism there will continue to be wars as long as it is in the interests of those who rule over us. The current wars in the Middle East are no exception, as poor and working-class soldiers fight and die for the economic gains of their leaders.

Sometimes, the trauma of combat compels these men and women to take their own lives. No amount of funding for mental-health treatments can stop this tragedy if wars continue to be fought for the advancement of power and profit.




  1. i have just been sent a video of the "making of a good taliban"...(i take it to be a modern take on the only good indian is a dead indian)...it explicitly shows taliban soldiers being blown to pieces...i found it quite disturbing and cannot imagine what it would be like to be the person pulling the trigger...i can imagine some very dark long term damage to my psyche...no wonder these suicide figures exist...

  2. Well put Scotty. There are some definite historical trends here. The same was true of Vets in every war, especially Vietnam in recent history.