Ex-Marine Ross Caputi says American soldiers should take “ownership” of the war in Iraq that was one long atrocity.
It’s no wonder, he says, that so many returning soldiers are overwhelmed by guilt at what they have done, with a higher rate of suicides than in any previous American war.
“People do not go home and want to kill themselves because they’ve been helping Iraqis,” says Ross Caputi. “They go home and want to kill themselves because they’ve committed atrocities.”
Ross Caputi now campaigns for justice for the city of Fallujah, which as a Marine he helped to destroy in 2004, when thousands of civilians were killed and 200,000 driven from their homes. stopwar.org.uk
FACTS & FIGURES
According to a “scientific study of violent Iraqi deaths caused by the U.S.-led invasion” conducted by the Just Foreign Policy, nearly 1,500,000 Iraqis have lost their lives to the war. The number is at least 10 times greater than most estimates cited in the U.S. media.
Iraq’s anti-corruption board revealed in December 2007 that there were five million Iraqi orphans as reported by official government statistics. Alternet.org
Military suicides have increased since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a Center for a New American Security Suicide report. In the fiscal year 2009 alone, 1,868 veterans of these wars have made suicide attempts, according to armytimes.com.
The VA estimates that about 18 veterans commit suicide every day.
In 2010, more than 134,000 people made calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Of those callers, 61 percent identified themselves as veterans. News.medill
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