Monday, September 25, 2006

Soldiers & Drugs, Veterans & Addicts

This is the story you just had to know was coming:

Times Online: "Soldiers in 'guns for coke' scandal" 09.24.06

Anyone wanna bet that American soldiers aren't likewise implicated? The stories that aren't being reported out of the "Iraqi theatre" would fill volumes. Drug use among American military personnel just ain't getting reported to us here in "Support Our Troops" land.

At a recent film screening event ("The War Tapes"), I asked some Iraq Veterans Against the War activists about drug use among Operation Iraqi Freedom soldiers. They affirmed that "self medication" is, if not rampant, certainly not uncommon.

You don't have to revisit the Vietnam War experience to understand that frustrated people in frustrating situations often turn to mind-altering substances for psychological relief. Afghanistan has reemerged as the global leader in opium production. Despite all the violence, just looking at a map we know that it has to be easier to get opium to Iraq than it is to get it to Los Angeles.

Given the abundant corruption of this as all other wars, we also shouldn't be surprised if senior military officers aren't themselves involved in drug trading and smuggling.

In addition to blown up limbs and minds, we can expect a new generation of veteran addicts.

Yet more evidence, as if more could possibly be needed, that this Iraq occupation must end. Immediately.


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