Support the Troops: Stop the Iraq War Related Suicides in the Army and Marines

The number of suicides in the U.S. army of occupation was 87 for 2005 although we do not know the precise number that was specifically war related. I originally posted a number of 83 which is unfortunately too low. This represents a kill ratio of 12.5 per 1000. The marines are not much better with 24 suicides at a rate of 12.3 per 1000. Compare this to the Air Force's 31 which is 8.9 per 1000 or the navy's total of 36, 9.7 per 1000 and one can discern that the Iraq war is the cause of a considerable number of deaths by suicide. Clearly those departments that have ground troops in country are experiencing higher ratios of suicides than those less engaged in this state act of terrorism.

Also those who think the Pentagon is promilitary and protroops, should consider that the statistics do NOT include suicides of those who were Iraqi war veterans such as Michael Torok, who committed suicide in all likelihood due to unresolved mental problems resulting from Operation Crusade Against Islam. The numbers are considerably higher when factoring those suicides among military personnel that served in country and then left the military.

The army began in 2003 a suicide prevention programme called in typical Pentagonese, Deployment Cycle Support. My advice to the army is: refuse to carry out any immoral or illegal order that violates the laws of war. Openly protest the war or encourage former senior army military officers to protest the war–not the tactics, not the strategy–but the morality of this unjust war. People should not have to die or commit suicide related to a war for S.U.V.s, a war propagated by those who see no difference between Israeli and American national security interests and a war that continues to be waged as a fruitless effort to salvage Mr Bush's inevitable historic legacy as a president who lost a war, destabilised the Middle East, rendered the United States more vulnerable to attack and brought shame and dishonour to America from Abu Ghraib to Haditha.

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