Friday, February 15, 2008

give me a break: anti-military or asking hard questions?

When Strains on Military Families Turn Deadly - New York Times
War Torn: Slideshow
War Torn: The Cases

Criticism of War Torn (follow the links)

This particular part of the series makes me feel like a voyeur peeping into the seamy scenes of mental instability, pain and violence. But it's valuable in pointing out a dangerous lack in the military (one that I've written about again and again): the military's increasing inability to address issues like mental health, violence against civilians (although the articles reveal that these soldiers also turn against one another) and particularly domestic violence.

While I can understand criticisms of the series' methodology (I'd think they'd also want to look at those crimes of violence that weren't big enough to warrant a newspaper story) I think it's a narrow view to say that this series is 'anti-military.' (It's also hyperbolic to say that the article is 'lying.' There are no untruths here, only really uncomfortable and stark realities - some of the men and women coming back from our 'war on terror' come back damaged.)

So, here's a question to ask our pro-war candidates this election cycle: if they're going to commit our men and women to a 100-year war on terror, what are they also going to do to address the real human cost of such a war?

Now, that's not being anti-military, is it? Heavens, no.

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