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Updating you about today’s news confirming long-ago warnings on the FM website

8 April 2012

Summary:  Among other services, the FM website warns you today about future dangers.  Here we review two important news stories about matters often reported on the FM website.  Please reading these stories, which describe potentially major trends.  More importantly, please act on at least one of them.  Information is useless if it provides only fodder for gossip and whining.

Another over-the-top graphic

Content

  1. About our drugged military
  2. About the US government and influential Americans illegally supporting terrorists

In the comments please suggest appropriate responses by citizens to these stories.

(1)  About our drugged military

A fog of drugs and war“, Los Angeles Times, 8 April 2012 — “More than 110,000 active-duty Army troops last year took antidepressants, sedatives and other prescription medications. Some see a link to aberrant behavior.”

For more about this see section one on the FM Reference Page An Army Near the Breaking Point.  Here are some of these posts:

  1. 28 Articles: a guide to a successful insurgency against America, 7 May 2007 — About harassment and rape of women soldiers.
  2. Is post-traumatic stress disorder more common now than in past wars?, 17 July 2008
  3. Suicides skyrocket among US soldiers, 26 March 2009
  4. A look at the gradual decay of our armed forces, 28 December 2009
  5. “We are often more dangerous to ourselves than the enemy”, 18 August 2010
  6. The Army and Marines are breaking, but we don’t care, 11 October 2010

For more information:

  1. Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence“, 28 February 2001 — Last report of the 3 year project.
  2. 2008 DoD Survey of Health Related Behaviors Among Active Duty Military Personnel — 50 meg PDF here; Survey Summary
  3. Invisible Wounds of War“, RAND (2008) — “Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery”
  4. America’s Medicated Army“, Time, 5 June 2008 — About the growing use of antidepressants by US army personnel. Also see my postabout this article.
  5. VA testing drugs on war veterans” – The Washington Times and ABC News, 18 June 2008
  6. Prescription Drugs and the U.S. Military — The War…on Drugs“, Melody Petersen, Men’s Health magazine, current issue (undated) — “Our Military is fielding one of the most heavily medicated fighting forces in the history of war. Our soldiers aren’t just fighting our enemies, they’re often also fighting their prescriptions.”
  7. Alcohol abuse by GIs soars since ’03“, USA Today, 19 June 2009
  8. Navy attempted suicide rate nearly 3%“, Navy Times, 24 December 2009
  9. Prevalence of Mental Health Problems and Functional Impairment Among Active Component and National Guard Soldiers 3 and 12 Months Following Combat in Iraq“, Jeffrey L. Thomas et al, Archives of General Psychiatry, June 2010
  10. Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report“, US Army, July 2010
  11. DoD Task Force On The Prevention Of Suicide By Members Of The Armed Forces“, August 2010

(2)  About the US government and influential Americans illegally supporting terrorists

On the FM website an accurate forecast in 2008:

Confirming reports:

  1. Will the U.S. Support Terrorists to Destabilize Iran?“, William O. Beeman (Prof of Anthropology, U MN), New America Media, 7 July 2008
  2. Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran“, Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, 7 July 2008
  3. Israeli Source: Assassination of Iranian Nuclear Scientist Joint Mossad-MEK Operation“, Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 10 January 2012
  4. Washington’s high-powered terrorist supporters“, Glenn Greenwald, Salon, 12 March 2012
  5. The Iran War Hawks’ Favorite Cult Group“, Jeremiah Goulka, Salon, 28 March 2012 — With an intro by Glenn Greenwald
  6. Our Men in Iran“, Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, 6 April 2012
  7. Report: U.S. trained terror group, Glenn Greenwald, Salon, 6 April 2012
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8 Comments leave one →
  1. 8 April 2012 9:21 pm

    Don’t worry, be happy!

    “In 1989, drug companies spent $12 million on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. By 2007 the figure reached $3.7 billion.” (source)

    And if all else fails, engage in the great American pasttime of the Power of Positive Thinking. Life can be depressing for real reasons and so what? It is surprising that the Military guys are on mood enhancing stuff? Ya don’t say ?

    Breton
    .
    .
    FM note: Bobby McFerrin singing “Don’t Worry Be Happy”
    .

    Like

  2. Zemtar permalink
    9 April 2012 12:25 am

    Soon it wil be better than drugs: “How electrical brain stimulation can change the way we think“, The Week, 30 March 2012 — “After my brain was jolted, says Sally Adee, I had a near-spiritual experience”

    Like

  3. Fred permalink
    9 April 2012 3:29 am

    Just one more indication that, despite the optimism of FM, it is very likely too late to save the USA from its own government. Just how many people found no interest in prior reports and how many others didn’t car about very much eise and just kept on keeping on? Here’s an interesting analysis from an Alter Net posting: “10 Ways Our Democracy Is Crumbling Around Us“, By Les Leopold, 5 April 2012.

    Les Leopold is the author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street’s Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It, Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009.

    Like

    • 9 April 2012 3:40 am

      You might be right. I’ve certainly been too optimistic about America (hence several posts added to the Smackdowns page).

      But that’s not the source of my optimism, my faith in the American people. From the conclusion of Forecast: Death of the American Constitution (4 July 2006):

      The coming years might test America more than anything in our past, including the Revolutionary and Civil wars. America might lose both what defines it and what we hold most dear: our Constitution, our vast wealth, and our role as global hegemon. This transition will be like a singularity in astrophysics, a point where the rules breakdown – and beyond which we cannot see.

      Such trials appear throughout history. … The mark of a great people is the ability to carry on when all is lost, including hope. We can learn much from the Russian people’s behavior in WWII. I doubt we will fall into such peril. But no matter what happens, there is no cause for despair.

      • Our wealth is just things (“hardware”), an inheritance from past generations. What we lose we can work to replace. Our aspirations to global hegemony were revealed as a mirage in Vietnam and Iraq, lasting less than two generations after WWII.
      • Our culture is a collection of discordant ideas, mixing lofty and base elements in a manner despised by much of the world — a disgust easily understood by watching our TV shows and movies, or listening to some of our popular music.
      • Our Constitution is just an idea inherited from the founders. We created it, and its death will give us the experience to do better with the next version.

      We are America. We are strong because of our ability to act together, to produce and follow leaders. We are strong due to our openness to other cultures and ability to assimilate their best aspects. We are strong due to our ability to adapt to new circumstances, to roll with defeat and carry on.

      People, Ideas, and Hardware. “In that order!” the late Col John R. Boyd, USAF, would thunder at his audiences.

      We will be what we want to be. The coming years will reveal what that is.

      “There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius.”
      — Maximus Decimus Meridius, in the movie “Gladiator”

      (8) For more information

      Like

  4. Bluestocking permalink
    9 April 2012 3:38 am

    When I was in college studying psychology, my professors repeatedly warned me and the rest of their students that “correlation does not imply causation” — meaning that when researchers explore the potential relationship between two variables that are not subject to direct manipulation by the researchers, the direction of causality cannot be conclusively determined.

    The problem with suggesting that aberrant behavior among people in the military might be attributed to psychotropic drugs lies in the fact that over the past few years, enlistment qualifications were — to put it politely — “expanded” (or to put it bluntly, lowered) in an attempt to help military recruiters meet their monthly quotas which they were having difficulty doing. One way in which these qualifications were lowered is that a prior history of “emotional problems” or even minor criminal convictions no longer disqualified a potential recruit from military service. Therefore, the possibility cannot be ruled out that at least some of the recruits and veterans currently taking psychotropic medication already had emotional problems before they entered the service — perhaps, in some cases, problems that had never been officially treated or diagnosed — but the pressures of war and combat amplified these problems and overtaxed whatever mechanisms and strategies they had previously been using in order to cope. “A Fog of Drugs and War” faintly alluded to this, but I feel the author could have done a lot more to emphasize this.

    That being said, the possibility also can’t be ruled out that in some cases, the psychotropic drugs are only exacerbating rather than improving the situation. There’s no question that these drugs can be and have been of great benefit to some patients, but (contrary to the general expectations of the military) human beings are not uniform and there have been plenty of examples of patients prescribed one of these medications who either received no significant benefit from it or who actually experienced worse symptoms as a result.

    To make matters worse, the military may have created a vicious circle by permitting people with a history of emotional disturbance to enlist in the military since it is well documented that the experience of combat even without the extra stress of guerrilla warfare takes a toll on people who are comparatively well-adjusted, never mind people who aren’t. This potentially creates recruits who are practically being set up to fail, ticking time bombs just waiting to be set off — allow people with a prior history of emotional problems to enlist, drop them in a stressful situation which is bound to make any emotional handicaps even worse, and then prescribe drugs which carry risks f their own!

    Personally, I’ve had very mixed feelings for a long time now about the frequency with which psychotropic drugs are being prescribed in this country for the general population — let alone for people in the military. The problem as I see it is that in many cases, psychotropic drugs (when they’re effective) only treat symptoms — in some cases, merely by numbing the patient’s emotional and/or physical reactions — and do little or nothing to treat the underlying cause(s) of the patient’s condition. It often seems to me as if we’re slowly moving toward a “Brave New World” quick-fix scenario in which we simply medicate people into compliance and conformity with an increasingly sick and stagnant society instead of making an effort to change the conditions within the society creating the suffering which necessitates the drugs…but of course, if we did that, Big Pharma wouldn’t be raking in the big bucks for these drugs anymore.

    Like

    • 9 April 2012 3:50 am

      It’s just a guess, but the experts cited in the LAT article and the various DoD studies I cited do not need to be reminded about lessons of freshman stats.

      Like

    • Bluestocking permalink
      9 April 2012 3:20 pm

      It’s just a guess, but the experts cited in the LAT article and the various DoD studies I cited do not need to be reminded about lessons of freshman stats.

      Indeed…but that being said, the experts are not the target audience for many of the articles which you cited for further information. Articles such as “A Fog of Drugs and War” which appear in publications such as Time, Men’s Health, The New Yorker, and the Los Angeles Times are written for the benefit of the general population, the majority of whom probably never went to college and therefore probably never took statistics. I realize that these kinds of publications tend to favor articles which simplify the issues for the benefit of their readers (especially in these times when a growing number of Americans seem to be jettisoning knowledge in favor of ignorance and reason in favor of reaction) but the problem with simplifying an issue is that even when the writers and editors have the best intentions, sometimes vital pieces of information can be left out — and that’s assuming that corporate-owned publications such as the ones mentioned above have the best intentions, which is questionable.

      Like

    • WTF (unattended gmail) permalink
      9 April 2012 7:04 pm

      Overall educational attainment in the USA:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_attainment_in_the_United_States

      http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p20-566.pdf

      Like

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