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We  honor all those who risk their lives in serving their country. However we must condemn immoral and war criminal politicians who commit their countries to  immoral and illegal wars. Mainstream journalist, politician and commentariat presstitutes ensure that the politicians get away with their criminal warmongering, jingoistic political exploitation of their servicemen both living and dead, and deadly betrayal of their traumatized veterans of whom about 80 and 8,000 suicide annually in Australia and the USA, respectively.

The shameless hypocrisy of US lackey, warmongering, Australian  politicians is revealed by their failure to properly address the serious and deadly mental health issues of the young Australian men and women who have been sent overseas to participate  in overseas US war zones. Individual incidents and atrocities aside, the overall reason for that widespread veteran trauma can be gleaned from the following appalling statistic: as a US lackey, Australia has been involved in all post-1950 US Asian wars, atrocities  that have been associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or from war-imposed deprivation [1].

The US veteran suicide statistics are horrendous –  over the last 2 decades they have averaged 20 per day i.e. about 7,300 each year [2]. While the number of US veteran suicides per day has hovered about 20 per day, over the period 1999-2010 it  increased in the latter part of that period from 18 (2007), to 21 (2008) and then to 22 (in 2009 and 2010 [2]. Using the 2010-2010 figure of 22 veteran suicides per day one arrives at an estimate of 22 per day x 365.25 days per year = 8,036 veteran suicides annually.

The US  annual suicide rate is 143 per million of population [3] and given a present US population of 325.7 million (2017) the annual number of suicides in America is (143 per million) x 325.7 million = 46,575 suicides per year. From the above data one estimates that US veteran suicides constitute 8,036 x 100/46,575 = 17.3 % of annual US suicides.

In 2016 the suicide rate in Australia was 11.7 deaths per 100,000 people, this being an increase from the 10.6 per 100,000 people in 2007 [4]. Given Australia’s population of 24.8 million (2018), the annual number of suicides in Australia is (117 per million) x 24.8 million = 2,902 suicides per year.

If veteran suicides as a percentage  of annual total suicides is the same in Australia as in the US (17.3%) then there would be 0.173 x 2,902 = 502 Australian veteran suicides annually. However this may well be an upper estimate because  Australia has made much lower military personnel contributions as a percentage of population  than the US to US Asian war zones.

Thus according  to the US Pew Research Center (2017): “There were around 20.4 million U.S. veterans in 2016, according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, representing less than 10% of the total U.S. adult population” (6.3 % of the total population). In contrast, there are about 700,000 veterans in Australia, this representing 0.7 million x 100/ 24.8 million = 2.8% of the total population [6]. Accordingly,  one might downwardly correct the US-based estimate of 502 annual Australian veteran suicides by a factor of 2.8%/ 6.8% to obtain an estimate of 502 x 2.8%/ 6.8%  = 207 annual Australian veteran suicides per year (7.1% of total annual Australians suicides) .  This estimate of about 200 Australian veteran suicides per year is consonant with estimates by veterans’ groups of 70-80 veteran suicides per year (80 veteran suicides  representing 2.8% of total annual Australian suicides)[6].

Thus David Wroe, national security correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, has summarized the ongoing disaster of veteran suicide in Australia (2017):  “A groundswell of concern is being fuelled by revelations that the suicide rate among veterans aged 18 to 24 is double that of their peers in the general community. Among those aged 25 to 29 it is 1.5 times the national average for their age. Those figures, from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare from November, are based on a tally of 292 certified suicides between 2001 and 2014 [19 per year]. This total is regarded as conservative by most veterans groups, some of which counted between 70 and 80 military suicides last year alone. Grassroots groups are emerging among the 700,000-strong veterans community, especially on social media, demanding greater action” [6].

However there is a deeper dimension to this problem and what can be described as “passive suicide”- trauma-driven life-style choices leading to morbidity and premature death.  In contrast to only 2-4 jihadi terrorism deaths ever in Australia,  85,000 Australians die preventably each year  from a variety of life-style and related causes, the breakdown (including some overlaps) being as follows:  (1) 26,000 annual Australian deaths from adverse hospital events, (2) 17,000 obesity-related Australian deaths,  (3) 15,500 smoking-related Australian deaths, (4) 10,000 carbon burning pollution-derived Australian deaths, (5). 4,000 avoidable Indigenous Australian deaths, (6). 5,600 Australians die alcohol-related deaths, (7) 2,900 Australian suicides (circa100  being veterans) , (8) 1,400 Australian road deaths, (9) 630 Australian opiate drug-related deaths with 570 linked  to US restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry, and (10) 300 Australian homicides (80 being of women killed domestically) [7-9]. Look-the-other-way, US lackey Australia commits about $11 billion each year in terms of long-term accrual cost to the US War on Terror and the present cumulative active and passive killing of over 30 million Muslims instead of trying to save the lives of the 85,000 Australians who die preventably each year [7]. One supposes that smoking, drinking, drugs and obesity could be significant components in the “passive suicide” of traumatized Australian veterans.

Consideration of premature deaths in peaceful, prosperous Australia  inevitably raises the issue – resolutely ignored by White Australia – of how many people are dying prematurely  from violence or war-imposed deprivation in countries invaded by the Australia-linked US Alliance since WW2. As a craven US lackey, Australia has been involved in all post-1950 US Asian wars, appalling crimes  that have been associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or from war-imposed deprivation [1].  More specifically, Australia was involved with the US and UK in the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, this being Australia’s 7th Iraq War in a century. The expert US Just Foreign  Policy estimates 1.5 million violent Iraqi deaths and UN Population Division data  enable estimation of a further 1.2 million avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation, with 5-6 million Iraqi refugees having been  generated – an  Iraqi Holocaust  and an Iraqi Genocide as defined by the UN Genocide Convention [10, 11]. As of January 2014 it was estimated from the latest UN Population Division data that in Occupied Afghanistan post-invasion non-violent excess deaths totalled 5.5 million and post-invasion violent deaths totalled 1.7 million (this latter based on assuming expert US-Australian advice that the level of violence has been 4 times lower in the Afghan War than in the Iraq War) for a total of 7.2 million Afghan deaths – an Afghan Holocaust and an Afghan Genocide [11, 12].

It gets worse.  Australia is a cravenly loyal part of the US Alliance that has been conducting a War on Muslins (aka the US War on Terror) for 17 years this century. There have been 32 million Muslim deaths from violence, 5 million, or from imposed deprivation, 27 million, in  20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity in 2001 [13, 14]. Australia has been directly involved militarily in the invasion of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and has also played a deadly role in targeting illegal US drone strikes in a swathe of countries including  Libya, starving Somalia, starving Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and  Pakistan [15].  While the serial invader US commits these state terrorism atrocities for resources and hegemony to “make America great”, craven US lackey Australia simply participates for money –  it is estimated that without the US Alliance, Australia would have to triple its present $35 billion annual defence budget [16].

Final comments.

Successive right-wing, US lackey Australian Governments have committed Australia to all post-1950 US Asian wars, atrocities that have been associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation. These wars have come at a huge but hidden cost to Australia. Thus this century 85,000 Australians have died  preventably each year (1.4 million since 9-11) and successive Australian Governments have committed to a  huge, $11 billion per annum, long-term accrual cost of helping America kill over 30 million  Muslims abroad  rather than saving the lives of 1.4 million Australians at home.

Most of the above is resolutely  ignored in look-the-other-way Australia, but a chink in the Mainstream media’s Wall of Silence may come  from the appalling neglect of traumatized Australian veterans by successive  Australian governments. Successive US Administrations have likewise horribly betrayed US veterans. Thus an estimated 80 Australian veterans suicide  each year  as compared to 8,000 in the US, these representing  2.8% and 17.3% of annual national suicides, respectively. We honour all those who risk their lives serving their country. However Australians must expose and judicially punish all Australian politicians who have (a) involved Australia in illegal and immoral wars, (b)  have sent our youth off to die or be damaged in such wars, and (c) have  endlessly profited politically from massive, jingoistic propaganda, but (d) have betrayed traumatized veterans of whom 80 suicide each year and very likely many more die from trauma-induced “passive suicide” by lifestyle-related preventable death from drinking, smoking, drugs and obesity.

The worst offenders are the politicians of the US lackey, far-Right Liberal Party-National Party Coalition that is presently ruling Australia, although the presently Right-dominated Labor Party Opposition is often just as bad in kow-towing to US state terrorism. Decent Australians who care for Humanity and for fellow Australians will utterly reject the Australian-killing Coalition, vote 1 Green or Socialist, and put the Coalition last.  Australian readers, if you have personal mental health concerns  please contact the following telephone help services as appropriate: Lifeline 13 11 14; MensLine 1300 789 978; Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

References.

[1]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes a succinct history  of every country and is now available for free perusal on the web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/  .

 

[2].  Dr Janet Kemp and Dr Robert Bossarte, “Suicide data report, 2012”, Department of Veterans Affairs, Mental Health Services, Suicide Prevention Program, especially Figure 3: http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf  .

[3]. “List of countries by suicide rate”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate .

[4]. “Suicide in Australia”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_Australia .

 

[5]. Kristen Bialik, “The changing face of America’s veteran population”,  Pew Research Center, 10 November 2017: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/11/10/the-changing-face-of-americas-veteran-population/ .

[6]. David Wroe, ““He had 10 knives and a machete”: The unvarnished truth about veteran suicides”,  Sydney Morning Herald, 13 May 2017: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/he-had-10-knives-and-a-machete-the-unvarnished-truth-about-veteran-suicides-20170511-gw2yj9.html .

[7]. Gideon Polya, “Horrendous Cost For Australia Of US War On Terror”,  Countercurrents, 14 October, 2012: https://countercurrents.org/polya141012.htm .

 

[8]. Gideon Polya, “Pro-Apartheid Australia’s New White Australia Policy & compulsory Australian values statement”;, Countercurrents, 12 May 2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/05/12/pro-apartheid-australias-new-white-australia-policy-compulsory-australian-values-statement/ .

 

[9]. Gideon Polya, “Australia Shocked By Cricket Ball Tampering But Ignores Horrendous Australian Crimes From Child Abuse To Genocide”, Countercurrents, 24 April 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/04/24/australia-shocked-by-cricket-ball-tampering-but-ignores-horrendous-australian-crimes-from-child-abuse-to-genocide/ .

 

[10]. “Iraqi Holocaust Iraqi Genocide”: http://sites.google.com/site/iraqiholocaustiraqigenocide/ .

 

[11]. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ .

 

[12]. “Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/afghanholocaustafghangenocide/ .

 

[13]. Gideon Polya, “Paris Atrocity Context: 27 Million Muslim Avoidable  Deaths From Imposed Deprivation In 20 Countries Violated By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 22 November, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya221115.htm .

 

[14]. “Experts: US did 9-11”: https://sites.google.com/site/expertsusdid911/ .

 

[15]. Phillip Dorling, “Pine Gap drives US drone kills”, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 July 2013: http://www.smh.com.au/national/pine-gap-drives-us-drone-kills-20130720-2qbsa.html ;

[16]. Brendan Taylor, “Why Australia’s defence capability without ANZUS is greatly overrated”, Financial Review, 6 February 2017: http://www.afr.com/opinion/why-australias-defence-capability-without-anzus-is-greatly-overrated-20170205-gu5rpq .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine  ;  Gideon Polya: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home  ; Gideon Polya Writing: https://sites.google.com/site/gideonpolyawriting/ ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Polya ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/  .

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    The far of veterans is almost similar in USA and Australia as well as other allies who follow capitalist system. Their contribution to their nation’s pride and dignity are rarely remembered