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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 May 13 - 19  > War ruins aggressor state’s soldiers as well
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2015 May 13 - 19 [PEACE]
column 

War ruins aggressor state’s soldiers as well

May 15, 2015
Akahata ‘current’ column

The number of U.S. soldiers who returned from the Iraq and Afghan wars has reached about 2.8 million, and 53% are suffering from emotional disorders such as PTSD, according to a survey conducted by a veterans’ association.

The percentage of returned servicepersons who have thought about committing suicide is 31%, and 40% said they had friends or acquaintances who killed themselves after coming home from the wars. Returning soldiers committing suicide have become a serious social issue in the United States.

A book titled “Thank You for Your Service”, which depicts returned American servicepersons and their families has become a topic of discussion in Japan. The author is David Finkel, a journalist who had worked for The Washington Post for 23 years and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006.

A veteran in the book repeatedly told his family that he had killed a girl about three years old in Iraq. One day, he suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and said that many children are standing around him. In the end, he committed suicide, leaving his one-year-old daughter behind.

In March 2003, the Bush administration started the Iraq War under the pretext that Iraq secretly possessed weapons of mass destruction. The war destroyed the minds and bodies of many mobilized young American soldiers along with the Iraqi people.

Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s Cabinet has recently approved a set of bills related to war legislation with the aim of turning Japan into a nation that can fight wars abroad. The Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military newspaper, reported on May 11 that the move in Japan indicates “a significant shift in the country’s pacifist policies”. Such a “significant shift” must be blocked by the opposing power of the general public.
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