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Support for armed forces

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Jacques Roux's picture
Jacques Roux
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Mar 17 2006 17:55
Support for armed forces

Has anyone heard of this org or anyone like them? http://www.atease.org.uk

I saw in TimeOut they run a weekly support meeting in London for armed forces people needing help - "providing advice, support and representation to members of the armed forces, their families and friends".

Quote:
This service is especially needed, since members of the Forces do not enjoy employment protection or the right of Trade Union membership. At times of difficulty the very closeness of relationships on which the Forces depend can impose severe limits on the individual or family whose needs differ from what their service provides for.
Jacques Roux's picture
Jacques Roux
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Mar 29 2006 22:19

I'll try again wink Did anybody see the piece on Newsnight about Veteran's from Iraq in the US, walking to New Orleans, talking about their experience etc? Its on Newsnight site watch again i think.

Zobag was telling me about the number of people coming back from Iraq to the US with mental issues of one sort or another. Cant remember the numbers tho. Does anyone know about similair situation in the UK?

IMO this is where any serious anti-war campaign should be targetted...

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Ramona
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Mar 29 2006 23:23

nah it was brain damage not mental issues, though I'm sure that's off the scale too. It was somehting like 17,000 have come back with brain damage. Which, I can tell you from experience in my own family, is no light matter at all.

Jason Cortez
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Mar 29 2006 23:32

but how could you tell? They are american after all grin

martinh
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Mar 30 2006 06:50
rkn wrote:
I'll try again wink Did anybody see the piece on Newsnight about Veteran's from Iraq in the US, walking to New Orleans, talking about their experience etc? Its on Newsnight site watch again i think.

Zobag was telling me about the number of people coming back from Iraq to the US with mental issues of one sort or another. Cant remember the numbers tho. Does anyone know about similair situation in the UK?

IMO this is where any serious anti-war campaign should be targetted...

This is the sort of thing that has proved the tipping point in a number of long-running wars since WW2. It is definitely a good idea to dig some more and publicise it - maybe a feature for Freedom or a news thread?

However, I think the likely impact on members of the armed forces is only one thread of a serious anti-war campaign. While I think it's hard to achieve here industrial action against the war is something we should advocate. And to counter the daft SWP/STW march round in circles stuff - direct action in itself. If we think war is bad ( and I hope we all do wink ) then we should support and actively encourage people who do stuff like the Trident ploughshares actions and blockading bases. Britain's involvement as US lapdog won't end through politicians, but through escalating the costs to the state and British capital. Politicians in certain countries (mainly ones that speak romance languages and have strong anarchist movements wink ) already know there is a cost in supporting what the US wants to do.

Perhaps this is something we should talk about more - it's not as if there won't be more wars along in the future.

Regards,

Martin

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jef costello
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Mar 30 2006 09:46
zobag wrote:
nah it was brain damage not mental issues, though I'm sure that's off the scale too. It was somehting like 17,000 have come back with brain damage. Which, I can tell you from experience in my own family, is no light matter at all.

Not just brain damage, the cost of care for all the various injuries people have picked up is phenomenal.

It is difficult because these are the same armed forces that will oppress, but then again if they are part of the community then they won't.

support for armed forces comes too close to the American "Support our troops" rhetoric that is used to stifle any criticism, although reversing that non-argument might be valuable.

Pilgrim
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Mar 30 2006 11:11
martinh wrote:
rkn wrote:
I'll try again wink Did anybody see the piece on Newsnight about Veteran's from Iraq in the US, walking to New Orleans, talking about their experience etc? Its on Newsnight site watch again i think.

Zobag was telling me about the number of people coming back from Iraq to the US with mental issues of one sort or another. Cant remember the numbers tho. Does anyone know about similair situation in the UK?

IMO this is where any serious anti-war campaign should be targetted...

This is the sort of thing that has proved the tipping point in a number of long-running wars since WW2. It is definitely a good idea to dig some more and publicise it - maybe a feature for Freedom or a news thread?

However, I think the likely impact on members of the armed forces is only one thread of a serious anti-war campaign. While I think it's hard to achieve here industrial action against the war is something we should advocate. And to counter the daft SWP/STW march round in circles stuff - direct action in itself. If we think war is bad ( and I hope we all do wink ) then we should support and actively encourage people who do stuff like the Trident ploughshares actions and blockading bases. Britain's involvement as US lapdog won't end through politicians, but through escalating the costs to the state and British capital. Politicians in certain countries (mainly ones that speak romance languages and have strong anarchist movements wink ) already know there is a cost in supporting what the US wants to do.

Perhaps this is something we should talk about more - it's not as if there won't be more wars along in the future.

Regards,

Martin

I'm currently Freedom's Defence bod, and I'd be interested to write something on the damage (as much mental as physical and sometimes even more so) done to people during their military service.

It's certainly true that ex-forces people are often treated shamefully after their service is over. They can often end up living on charity and benefits and have all sorts of mental and physical damage to contend with. It seems as though a lot of people, especially the politicians (surprise, surprise) seem to forget these people as soon as they are discharged and have walked out of the barracks gate.

Well worth an article, IMHO. But it'll have to wait until after I've finished the one I'm currently working on and that won't be for a week to ten days.

I'll bear it in mind, though for when I'm done with the current article.

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jef costello
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Apr 2 2006 00:53
Pilgrim wrote:
It's certainly true that ex-forces people are often treated shamefully after their service is over. They can often end up living on charity and benefits and have all sorts of mental and physical damage to contend with. .

A fairly large percentage of homeless are ex-forces.

Post traumatic stress disorder is terrible at the leels that the army admits that it happens, so it must be chronic.

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 2 2006 01:21
Jef Costello wrote:
support for armed forces comes too close to the American "Support our troops" rhetoric that is used to stifle any criticism

I fail to see what's wrong with this. If that soundbite can be exposed for the empty, shallow rhetoric that it is by comrades offering actual, concrete support to (ex-)troops, it'd be an awesome act of inverse recuperation. Or something.

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Apr 2 2006 09:31
zobag wrote:
nah it was brain damage not mental issues, though I'm sure that's off the scale too. It was somehting like 17,000 have come back with brain damage. .

I saw a BBC world service feature on the medical care provided for US soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan last month.

It stated that the US aim is to get any soldier injured in action into surgery within 30 minutes, using helicopters. That is an astonishing target, even for the wealthiest country in the world. More soldiers than ever before are apparently surviving serious gunshot wounds due to the use of small adrenaline bags, that if shoved into a wound can staunch bleeding.

The flipside of this is that the yanks have more injured men to rehabilitate than ever before. The documentary featured a guy in his mid 40s, who had joined as a mechanic, been pressed into front line action in Iraq, and suffered a head injury. He was shown being taken shopping, and discussing his problems.

The impression I got was of a country that can provide the best medical care known to man, but cannot find enough 20 year olds to volunteer for its wars that they have to turn mechanics into soldiers.....

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Apr 2 2006 10:40
Alan_is_Fucking_Dead wrote:
Jef Costello wrote:
support for armed forces comes too close to the American "Support our troops" rhetoric that is used to stifle any criticism

I fail to see what's wrong with this. If that soundbite can be exposed for the empty, shallow rhetoric that it is by comrades offering actual, concrete support to (ex-)troops, it'd be an awesome act of inverse recuperation. Or something.

Your rejoinder is remarkably similar to the end of the sentence that you partially quoted.

Quote:
It stated that the US aim is to get any soldier injured in action into surgery within 30 minutes, using helicopters.

That is fucking amazing, I wonder how domestic medical services match up.

I do remember reading that one of the reasons that the murder rate in America was slowing/dropping was due to far better emergency care of gunshot victims than anything else.

It is surprising how fast that US/UK have been burning through their reserves, especially the US.

Sooner or later we'll have barracked units refusing to go, its the only way that they can resist, there have been a fair few desertions by reservists in America from what I hear.

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Jacques Roux
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Apr 2 2006 22:33
zobag wrote:
nah it was brain damage not mental issues, though I'm sure that's off the scale too. It was somehting like 17,000 have come back with brain damage. Which, I can tell you from experience in my own family, is no light matter at all.

Yeah that was it. Either way, i mean just the psychological effects these people suffer afterwards, watching the guy cry on camera as he tried to talk through why he did some of the shit he did on the BBC feature was pretty wrenching i thought.

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Jacques Roux
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Apr 15 2006 13:23

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/04/338296.html

Quote:

The Armed Forces Bill – now going through the UK Parliament – would impose harsh penalties on soldiers who refuse to take part in military occupations.

Section 8 –which has hardly been mentioned in the media -- introduces a new tougher definition of desertion: soldiers who intend to avoid serving in a “military occupation of a foreign country or territory” can be imprisoned for life.