Powered by TypePad

« Rudy Drops The Gloves | Main | Those Who Do Not Read Their Own Paper Are Condemned To Repeat It »

November 26, 2007



More arrete than arete.

Other Tom

Anybody notice that when these folks make mistakes, the mistakes are always in the same direction? When was the last time any MSM outlet understated any bad news about the state of the armed forces, the situation in Iraq, the economy, or you name it?


Why are so many displaced military leaders
at odds with you folks?

The answer; You seem to still think only in terms of military solutions (probably because that's your fingernails scraping on cliff's edge) rather than the abominable Iraqi leadership and their failure to provide political leadership.

"Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, in the Democratic weekly radio address, acknowledged that Bush's escalation strategy this year had improved security in Iraq. But he said Iraqi political leaders had failed to make "hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country."

"There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result," said Sanchez, an increasingly vocal critic of what he called Bush administration policy failures in Iraq.

He endorsed the latest attempt by Democrats in the House of Representatives to use Iraq-war funding legislation to push for a reduction of U.S. troops. The House passed a measure last week that would have set a goal of withdrawing all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by December 15, 2008, but Republicans in the Senate blocked it."


Other Tom

Would it be fair to mention that Sanchez was fired from his job in Iraq, was replaced by Petraeus, and hasn't been there in a year? There is a reason Sanchez has been "dispaced."

But I fail utterly to see what bearing his remarks have on the matter of veteran suicides...

Other Tom

"Displaced." Yeesh.


Sanches was in charge during Abu Graib - and he's a democrat.


Seman probably meant to put it in the Defeatocrats thread, but Cecil's comment there already shredded Sanchez.

Bill in AZ
Why are so many displaced military leaders at odds with you folks?

er... how many?

"There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result," said Sanchez, an increasingly vocal critic of what he called Bush administration policy failures in Iraq.

Since the goal post keeps moving with democrats I'm not sure why anyone even bothers replying to one, but having said that, what exactly would you have Bush do to force the Iraqis to do what the US Congress can't even do? The only way to have done this for that scenario to work, make the Iraqi government do what we want them to do, is to have a real occupation with military rule and not allow them freedoms. Maybe you are right. Maybe it would have been better had we truly occupied Iraq in every sense of the word.

But next time around, would the democrats please identify which generals they want us to listen to? Because while Sanchez was in Iraq, he insisted to anyone and everyone that things were going well.

Other Tom

Right now at the New Republic online, Martin Peretz has a piece entitled "Democrats--Hoping For Defeat." You can find it at

The most comical thing about the whole article is the comments that follow it. Almost all of them confirm Peretz's thesis in spades.


Actually, I'm not sure the CBS news story is that far out of line. They made what looks like an error of reporting (not making it clear that they were reporting "massaged" numbers, not raw data), but previous studies _have_ found a suicide rate roughly twice as high among male veterans as that found for male non-veterans. The disparity has held, according to this study, since WW2. This shouldn't be a political point scoring thing (yeah, I know), just a call to make sure that sufficient health care/suicide prevention resources are available to the VA.



Great site!

Would you like a Link Exchange with The Internet Radio Network? At the IRN you can listen to over 50 of America’s top Talk Shows via Free Streaming Audio! In addition you can email the President, VP and Congressional Leaders!!


"But I fail utterly to see what bearing his remarks have on the matter of veteran suicides..."

"When was the last time any MSM outlet understated any bad news about the state of the armed forces, the situation in Iraq, the economy,OR YOU NAME IT?" (OT's previous comment)

"Because while Sanchez was in Iraq, he insisted to anyone and everyone that things were going well."

I question teh timing......


Blackfive had a good discussion about PTSD. Having suffered, and to some extent still suffer, from PTSD from the brutal attack I suffered at the hands of an out of control sheriff, I can attest to the depression and overriding fear that takes over one's body and mind. The problem is often that the triggers for PTSD can come months, even years, after the actual event and be such benign events that others do not see why you have such an intense response. For returning warriors it must be hell to live through. You feel like a total wimp, so out of control in your fear, that even to yourself seems unreasonable. We have had friends who came home from VN and drank themselves to death, or overdosed on drugs, and one who put a gun in his mouth and blew his head off. It is the "aloneness" of PTSD that leads to suicide and if there is any class of men who would be the least likely to admit this nightmarish fear, brought on by a sound or sight that most of us would not even consciously hear or see, it has to be one trained as a fighting machine. Whether it is the sounds and sights of combat or the internal guilt of having killed another human being, for some it is much more than they can handle alone and once they are away from their support groups of their military commands and buddies. You are haunted at night by the nightmares that won't stop in which you relive over and over in your dreams the moment of your trauma, you get where you are afraid to go to sleep, and sleep deprivation feeds depression. You become jumpy and short-tempered, untrusting of everyone, which drives away the very people who could help if you would only let them in. Friends and loved ones lose patience, tell you to stop living in the past and get on with your life, but you can't because the past comes back to you again and again in your dreams or at some really inopportune time in a public setting. Eventually suicide seems the rational choice to end the nightmare and relieve those around you from having to deal with your craziness. In WWI and WWII it was called being shell shocked, after Vietnam, the true nature of PTSD first began to gain some understanding. But, when it comes to psychological matters, Americans as a general rule, are not very sympathetic and the military least of all.

Other Tom

Timing of what, Cleo? (It's getting murky around here...)


I can't figure out how to access the study mentioned above but it hardly squares with the CBS study, which pretty clearly did *not* find the "double the national rate" they advertised.

Maybe CBS can go with the "fake but accurate" defense. Again.


OK, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health is back online. They want $12 for a copy of the study (the copious JOM research budget is not quite that copious just now) but the abstract is free:

Suicide among male veterans: a prospective population-based study

Mark S Kaplan, Nathalie Huguet, Bentson H McFarland, Jason T Newsom

Objectives: To assess the risk of mortality from suicide among male veteran participants in a large population-based health survey.

Design and setting: A prospective follow-up study in the US. Data were obtained from the US National Health Interview Surveys 1986–94 and linked to the Multiple Cause of Death file (1986–97) through the National Death Index.

Participants: The sample comprised 320 890 men, aged ≥18 years at baseline. The participants were followed up with respect to mortality for 12 years.

Results: Cox proportional hazards analysis showed that veterans who were white, those with ≥12 years of education and those with activity limitations (after adjusting for medical and psychiatric morbidity) were at a greater risk for completing suicide. Veterans were twice as likely (adjusted hazard ratio 2.04, 95% CI 1.10 to 3.80) to die of suicide compared with non-veterans in the general population. The risk of death from "natural" causes (diseases) and the risk of death from "external" causes did not differ between the veterans and the non-veterans. Interestingly, male veterans who were overweight had a significantly lower risk of completing suicide than those who were of normal weight.

Conclusions: Veterans in the general US population, whether or not they are affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), are at an increased risk of suicide. With a projected rise in the incidence of functional impairment and psychiatric morbidity among veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, clinical and community interventions that are directed towards patients in both VA and non-VA healthcare facilities are needed.

If this is correct yet not supported by the CBS study, one guess would be that the demographics of veterans is quite different from that of the general male population. E.g., the total vet pool probably skews old due to a WWII bulge.

In which case, if the authors adjusted for age, they may have concluded that old WWII vets are killing themselves much more frequently than old non-vets.

The CBS study would miss that because CBS, aided by the debunkers, ended up comparing an old veteran pool with a younger (and less stable/more violent) general male population.

That is JUST A GUESS, obviously.

Hat Tricks

The psychological stuff is Lucifer. It could be your old enemy. The past repeats. You 'see' again in you sleep or even with your eyes open over what is outside. You 'hear' again. Your body repeats assaults. Lucifer is attacking the body and life.

Lucifer uses 'the eye' to send a person back to experience life again, which is wrong. An enemy you killed and won over might 'use' lucifer to get even. Lucifer repeats. Lawyers.

Americans aren't sympathetic to what? Go to 'your(not the government one)' psychiatrist and he'll 'use Satan to damn lucifer' and you can go back to church.

Iraq is signing long term deals. Rice is signing long term deals. Who writes those big checks? Syria wants a piece like Lebanon and Isreal. They can have little wars and get big checks. Dems are for the money and won't cut off Iraq money because it involves federal employees, like the foreign service, and long term employment, which the dems run.

Rice is big checks from Bush and long term federal employment to dems and something to ****** when your **** on **** for Bush.


I'd have to see the whole study, too, but I noticed a mention of 'completed suicides'. Has this study just identified that veterans are more adept with guns? Er, weapons?

Could a 12 year prospective study be that poor? Who knows? Its agenda is naked in the conclusions.

John S.

If you look into the statistics, military vets are among the demographic with the highest risk for suicide. As you noted, males have a higher rate of suicide. Suicides are also more common among 18-25 year olds. In addition, there are large differences in suicide rates in rural vs. urban areas. If I recall correctly, suicide rates in the most sparsely populated counties more than double the rates in urban areas.


So Semanticleo is still hijacking threads I see.


First, in epidemiological studies (unless they've changed the standards in the past 3 years or so) anything less than a 3X increase in not regarded as statistically significant. (This is why those studies the shout "People who do *XXXXX* are TWICE as likely to die of ingrown toenails" get so little attention from the health care professionals as compared to the MSM. A mere doubling of the 'odds' of X happening are not enough to overcome the inherent difficulties of the underlying stats. The 95% confidence merely means that you can be confident that 95% of the time you'll get the same results, +/- the internal error factor.) So, a doubled chance of suicide means just about zip. Of course, I'd have to read the whole study to be sure, but the abstract above appears to show that it followed standard guidelines.

Now, then, about Cleo. He's ducking the argument by trying to juxtapose quotes (a sort of Dowdification in reverse, I suppose) in an effort to show that the MSM understated bad news in Iraq when Sanches was in charge. Unfortunately for him, most of us can read, and we can see that the last quote he posted was not from the MSM, so he has no true conclusion to his attempted syllogism. (The equivalent of "All men have two legs. Birds have two legs. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is also a bird.")

I seem to remember that during the NYT's incessant pounding on Abu Grhraib (the most important story since the Crucifixion and Resurrection) they were adamant that officers all the way to the top didn't get convicted and jailed, which certainly would have involved Sanches.

I'm guessing they didn't care much for the general until they figured out he could be used to bash Bush.

Poor Cleo. His BDS blinds him to the obvious as well as the more difficult.

Other Tom

Thanks, JorgXMcKie, for doing the work of ten haruspices on Cleo's latest obscurity.

You raise an interesting point about Abu Ghraib. It's my understanding that the NYTimes ran fifty, count 'em fifty, front-page stories on that subject, including 37 in a row. (They also ran thirty front-pagers on the Masters not allowing women to play, and CBS continuing to televise it. But no, they're not agenda-driven, are they?)

Consider this: On April 29, 1945 US troops who had just liberated Dachau machine-gunned a number of unarmed guards to death. No one disputes that at least a dozen Germans were murdered at one location; some rather dubious accounts put the total number in the hundreds. How many front-page stories do you think the NYTimes published concerning that incident?


Hmm, if I make enough guesses I am sure to be right about something - per this study, older guys off themselves disproportionately:

While suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, with 11 suicide deaths per 100,000 Americans, white men over the age of 65 commit suicide at almost triple that overall rate. These men are also eight times more likely to kill themselves than are women of the same age group, and have almost twice the rate of all other groups of male contemporaries (see Figure 1).

So if veterans skew old due to a WWII bulge, their suicide rate ought to be higher than the national average.

Other Tom

The study was done in the year 2003, at which time the youngest of WWII vets were 76 years old. That would sure put a lot of surviving vets in the over-65 cohort as of that year. So that cohort's number of suicides in that year would surely have included a proportion of veterans significantly larger than the proportion in the population at large.

In any event, to the extent the original piece was intended to suggest that Mr. Bush's war is causing an alarmingly high rate of suicides among those who served in it, I would say it has pretty well spent its force and been discredited. (We friends of the SwiftVets love to throw that word "discredited" around.)

hit and run

Just saw this on Ace of Spades.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Personal Memos

But I exhort you, should you be so moved to utilize the comment feature, please, treat Mahmoud's blog with the respect Mahmoud deserves.

If you know what I mean and I think you do.


... treat Mahmoud's blog with the respect Mahmoud deserves.

I've always thought that attempts to disguise oneself on the internet are essentially futile, so I try to read and write only what I wouldn't mind having traced back to me.

That said, I'd only go to that site and leave an appropriate message from a public hotspot after masking my MAC address.

But I'm lazy and would prefer to limit the network security measures I take to those necessary to deter the casual hacker.

You seem to still think only ... rather than the abominable Iraqi leadership and their failure to provide political leadership.
That's probably because we are so used to observing Democratic politicians -- the Iraqi ones look pretty good in comparison.

I'm with you, Walter. My first thought when I saw the post at Ace's was, "no way!" There is no way I would bring myself to the attention of Imanutjob or his henchman.

The comments to this entry are closed.