Memorial Day Dishonor and Disgrace
by Stephen Lendman
General Smedley Butler was right. War is a racket - based on Big Lies, waged for wealth, power and dominance.
Wars have nothing to do with upholding democratic values, humanitarian intervention or fighting for peace, stability and security.
They have everything to do with conquest, colonization and control - forcing one nation's will on others, stealing resources and exploiting populations.
America dishonors its war dead - sacrificed on the alter of greed and lust for power.
Privileged elites let others do their dying for them - making the world safe for bankers, war profiteers and other corporate predators.
Innocent youths are sent to die based on Big Lies. Sick and/or wounded returning home are often abandoned.
Epidemic levels of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affect hundreds of thousands of combat forces and vets. Many go untreated.
Independent reports reveal nearly half of Afghan and Iraq vets have emotional and/or physical combat injuries. Many are maimed for life.
Combat stress is more than many can bear. The disturbing toll wars take is one of the most underreported stories. A generation of combat vets won't ever be the same again.
Many needing help don't get it. Too few get enough. An epidemic of vet and active duty suicides symbolizes war's hellishness.
Many deaths aren't called suicides - at home or abroad in war theaters. Misreporting is commonplace.
Many suicide victims are age 50 or older. Combat-related trauma is long-lasting. According to a Center for a New American Security
(CNAS) suicide report, veterans commit suicide every 80 minutes.
Study authors Margaret Harrell and Nancy Berglass said:
"America is losing its battle against suicide by veterans and service members. And as more troops return from deployment, the risk will only grow."
Many vets return home feeling helpless. Marine Corps vet Jason Christiansen watched his life unravel. "At one point, I was sitting there with a gun in my mouth," he said. A friend urged him to seek help.
The Veterans Crisis Line gets hundreds of thousands of calls. CNAS said from 2005 - 2010, "approximately one service member committed suicide every 36 hours." Too little too late reflects DOD/VA policy.
For what? America hasn't had an enemy since Japan formally surrendered in early September 1945 aboard the battleship Missouri.
In the decade post-9/11, the VA paid $200 million to nearly 1,000 families in wrongful death cases.
They're the tip of the iceberg. Malpractice takes countless others. Included are veteran and active duty suicides for denial of vitally needed physical and/or emotional care.
Wrongful diagnoses and botched surgeries are commonplace by uncaring medical professionals in a system encouraging malpractice by devoting resources to war-making, not caring of its sick, wounded or dying.
Malignant tumors are allowed to grow. Over-dosing on dangerous drugs compensates for denial of proper treatment.
Elderly vets promised healthcare for life die from fatal neglect. How many others suffer out of sight and mind?
It bears repeating. America dishonors its war dead, sick, wounded and dying. Paul Craig Roberts is right. Memorial Day is a cruel hoax - a national disgrace.
It's been this way from inception since 1866 - more than ever today by far.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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