Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hidden costs of the war

Salon.com has a godawful story about vets suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the further trauma our government is inflicting upon them. Apparently, it's not enough that these soldiers go to war, kill others, and watch others being killed. Once they come home, battered and bruised both physically and mentally, the government is preparing to fight with them over money.

The short story is the government is making 72,000 Iraq war vets receiving PTSD payments reprove their worthiness. The government believes there may be as much as
2.5% of vets who have previously been judged claimworthy for PTSD who received that designation through fraud. Boy. 2.5%. That's a shockingly high figure. Certainly worth further traumatizing 72,000 vets by making them go through the claims process all over again.

I wonder who had this bright idea. "Hey, let's balance the US budget on the backs of those who are fighting, or have fought, in Iraq." Guess Bush et al didn't consider that these vets might cost us something once they return from battle. Assuming they do return, of course. Perhaps the government was just assuming a higher death count so less cost overruns in the VA department.

The current cost of the war thus far is about $186,000,000,000. But this does not include future care of returning vets. UPI reported that "as many as 1 of every 10 soldiers from the war on terror evacuated to the Army's biggest hospital in Europe was sent there for mental problems." So it would seem that the costs of the post-war era will continue to rise.

In a related note, Newsweek had a story a few weeks back about how PTSD appears to be affecting more women vets than men, and affecting them more harshly. Often these women have been sexually violated in some way prior to their service, then sometimes abused, violated, or harassed during their service, as well. Lovely.

I'm a little scattered this evening. Sorry. I can't conceive of why people actually support this war. Most war. Devastation upon devastation to all involved: men, women, children, countries, land. Devastation that will last generations. For what? Oil? Revenge?

Until tomorrow,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liz.. Thanks for extending the coverage of this story. I think our current government is pretty much the Mafia. It seems to be run that way. Grab power and keep it so as to enrich yourself and your friends and trod on the weak and vulnerable (even if you made them weak and vulnerable in the first place though war).. This is one of the most disgraceful acts yet by the Republicans and Bush.

3:25 PM  

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