This story on CBS shows an ongoing problem in Iraq. Overworked, stressed-out soldiers start to fall apart due to long deployments and irrational (if any) strategy. I question labeling someone as mentally ill when it’s due to long-term stress.
Think about it. You get sent to the Middle East on a six-month deployment. 18 months later they still won’t let you go home. Your kids think you lied when you said you’d be home in six months – and again when you said you’d be home in a year – and are showing behavioral problems in school; your mortgage is in arrears because you took a pay cut for what you thought would be only six months; if you owned a business it has long since failed; you’ve missed 18 months worth of family get-togethers; you have to climb over a half-dozen Jersey Barriers to get to your ratty, noisy little home-away-from-home. And every day you drive highly-paid civilian contractors up and down the road to the airport like a duck in a shooting gallery. You start to envy the ones who get to go home in a body bag.
You see no progress being made, and you no longer believe that your efforts can make a difference. It creates a lot of confusion.
And in frustration you start lashing out at people. This is not good. We are literally driving thousands of our best citizens insane with our irrational policy and complete lack of strategy for rebuilding the country we tore apart. For someone with a degree in History, Bush seems incapable of learning from the mistakes of the past. Perhaps he was AWOL for history class, too.
I would like to remind everyone that we are not at war over there. Bush declared that the war was over years ago. Let’s get the other Islamic countries involved at the political level – their citizens are already in there helping the “insurgency,” as we like to call their freedom fighters. Whether you like Iran or not, they have what passes in the Middle East as a Democracy. So does Turkey. You’d have to get all kinds of agreements to stop the sectarian violence, but we knew that before we started this whole thing.