Mission Accomplished? I Think Not

Today is also the fifth anniversary of President Bush making a surprise “landing” on the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of San Diego, where he famously declared that “in the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

With nearly 4,000 US soldiers dead and many more wounded, Bush’s job approval ratings hovering around 30 percent, the number of insurgents up to 30,000 and a weekly cost of billions courtesy of US taxpayers, I think we can all agreed that we are far from prevailing anything in Iraq.

A recent report said that 300,000 US troops are suffering from mental health problems.

From Reuters:

About 300,000 U.S. troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer symptoms of
post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, but about half receive no care, an
independent study said on Thursday.

The study by the RAND Corp. also estimated that another 320,000 troops have sustained a possible traumatic brain injury during deployment. But researchers could not say how many of those cases were serious or required treatment.

Billed as the first large-scale nongovernmental survey of its kind, the study found that stress disorder and depression afflict 18.5 percent of the more than 1.5 million U.S. forces who have deployed to the two war zones.

The Pentagon announced today that troops will be urged to get psychiatric counseling for wartime mental health problems, saying it will not be used to deny them security clearances for sensitive jobs. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said a new policy under which troops and civilian defense employees will no longer have to reveal previous mental health treatment unless it was court-ordered or involved violence.

I guess this is good news, but will the Pentagon now extend a new policy for not trying to influence the American public with phoney “TV analysts.” Maybe if there was fair and balance information coming out of Bush administration, the mental health of our troops could have been dealt with sooner.

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