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Monday, December 30, 2013

Muslim Persecution Of Christians: October, 2013

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Two of the most tragic Islamic attacks on Christians, killing several women and children, took place in the month of October, one in Syria, another in Egypt.

On October 21 in Syria, U.S.-supported Islamist rebels invaded and occupied the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad for over a week, until ousted by the Syrian army. What took place that week was "the largest massacre of Christians in Syria," in the words of Orthodox Archbishop Alnemeh. Among other things, 45 Christians—including women and children—were killed, several were tortured to death; mass graves were discovered; all of Sadad's 14 churches, some ancient, were ransacked and destroyed; the bodies of six people from one family, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for "subhuman" Christians).

The jihadis also made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they massacred, while shouting Islam's victory-cry, "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Greater!," meaning "than anything"]. Another video, made after Sadad was liberated, shows more graphicatrocities.

The day before rebels invaded Sadad, on Sunday, October 20, the Church of the Virgin Mary in Warraq, near Cairo, Egypt, was attacked during a wedding ceremony. The attack left four dead and nearly two dozen wounded. According to a report issued by a forensic team, two of those murdered were young girls, each named Mary: 12-year-old Mary Nabil Fahmy, who was shot five times in the chest, and 8-year-old Mary Ashraf Masih ("Masih" meaning "Christ"), who was shot in the back.
The security forces charged with protecting the church were seen leaving their posts immediately before the massacre began, as happens frequently in Egypt and other Islamic nations. In the words of Asia News, "Eye-witnesses of the al-Warraq attack confirm that despite numerous distress calls, police and ambulances only arrived on the scene two hours after the shooting."

These massacres in Syria and Egypt received scant attention and even less condemnation from Western media and governments. Instead, people such as Mohamed Elibiary, an Obama administration Homeland Security adviser, condemned Copts who raise awareness of anti-Christian violence in Egypt as promoting "Islamophobic" bigotry.

Although Christians are habitually killed in Muslim countries, as this series attests, the U.S. government rarely condemns the practice or even acknowledges it. When five Muslims were killed in western Burma, however, the U.S. issued a formal condemnation, according to Voice of America, "urging authorities to do more to address the long-standing sectarian tension there."
The rest of October's roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism

Bangladesh: "A local government official in central Bangladesh has halted the construction of a church, forced Christians to worship at a mosque and threatened them with eviction from their village unless they renounce their faith," said Morning Star News. "The Tangail Evangelical Holiness Church in Bilbathuagani village… was created Sept. 8 by a group of about 25 Christians who had been meeting secretly for three years. However, local council chairman Rafiqul Islam Faruk joined around 200 demonstrators Sept. 13 to protest against the start of the building of the church. The following day, the Christians were summoned to his office. More than 1,000 Muslims waited outside, following an announcement at all local mosques to gather at the chairman's office." There, they were ordered to embrace Islam or suffer the consequences. Said one of the Christians: "Their threats chilled me to the bone. That is why I pretended to accept Islam, but faith in Christ is the wellspring of my life." Another said: "The chairman is clipping the wings of our faith. I do not know how long we can grin and bear it. We want religious freedom. We want to practice our religion freely." Since Sept. 14, under the chairman's orders, eight Christians agreed to return to Islam. Apparently, the chairman and his associates had already beaten some of these Christians three years ago for accepting Christianity.

Iran: Mariam Naqqash, a female convert to Christianity, was sentenced to four years in prison by a court in Tehran. The Christian convert was found guilty of "endangering national security by spreading religious propaganda in the country," and allegedly being a spy for Britain and Israel. According to Adnkronos News, "renouncing the Muslim faith is punishable [in Iran] with the death penalty. Over 300 Iranian converts to Christianity have been arrested over the past two years, according to opposition websites."

Kazakhstan: After Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev, a 67-year-old pastor, was released from five months' detention, based on charges his family and others insist are spurious. After being reunited with his family, he was arrested again within minutes, now accused of "propaganda of terrorism or extremism, or public calls to commit an act of terrorism or extremism, as well as the distribution of material of the content indicated." His son, Askar, told Forum 18 News Service, "These new accusations are complete rubbish. They're trying to turn my father into a terrorist." Grace Church in Astana, where Kashkumbayev served, has, according to the report, long been subject to state harassment, including accusations of being involved in espionage, fraud, money laundering, distributing extremist texts and using hallucinogenic communion drinks.

Kenya: Charles Matole, pastor of the Redeemed Gospel Church, was found shot dead while still sitting with a Bible on his lap: "We found him with blood oozing from the head," said a choir member. The pastor had been receiving threatening phone text messages. Similarly, Pastor Ebrahim Kidata of the East African Pentecostal Churches was found murdered, strangled to death, in a patch of bushes.

  • After a Muslim man slaughtered a Christian—in broad daylight and in front of police—accusing him of being "an infidel who blasphemed against Muhammad" (see September report), a group of armed men broke into the dead man's family home, threatening to kill its members if they did not withdraw their police complaint against the murderer, and convert to Islam. Fr. Arshad Gill, a priest in Karachi, told Asia News "about this 'sad story' in which the victim is 'an innocent man' and his family is told to convert to Islam or die. For him, the case epitomizes the situation of Pakistan's minorities, forced to live 'in conditions of profound insecurity' in which events such as this one tend to exacerbate the situation…. Found in Article 295, B and C of the Pakistan Penal Code, the [blasphemy] 'law' punishes with death or life in prison anyone who desecrates the Qur'an or defames the name of the Prophet Muhammad." Those few political activists who have tried to repeal the law—such as Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, a Muslim, and Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian—have been murdered.
  • Three other Pakistani Christians face a possible death sentence on what lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill says are "trumped up charges" of blasphemy. One of the Christians, Asif Pervaiz, is accused of sending phone text messages with "abusive language against Muslims, Islam, Prophet Mohammed and the Koran." Two other Christians, Pastor Adnan and Mushtaq Masih, were also arrested for allegedly writing "derogatory remarks" about Islam. Gill also said, "Days back we received some heart breaking information that there is one group who forced Christians to accept Islam at gun point."
  • Another Christian man accused of blasphemy, 26-year-old Adnan Masih, trained as a pastor at a United Pentecostal seminary, is being hunted by police. In addition, the banned Islamic extremist group, Jamaat ud Dawa, in Lahore, issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, calling for his death because he sought to correct misconceptions about Christianity in a Muslim book by noting biblical verses that refuted Islamic characterizations of Christianity. A source said that the hunted man had no idea that "pointing out false references in a book would land him in such big trouble." In the words of a representative of Jamaat ud Dawa: "The police better arrest the blasphemer and hand him over to us on Saturday [Oct. 19]. We will not be responsible for any law-and-order situation in the city if the police fails to keep its assurance. How dare someone use derogatory language against our beloved prophet … Don't they know that the Koran orders us to slit the throat of whoever is disrespectful to Allah's beloved prophet."
  • Rana Tanveer, a chief reporter for The Express Tribune, received a one-page letter in Urdu threatening him to stop covering the plight of minorities. He was further accused of being an "apostate" for allegedly sympathizing with Christians and Ahmadis, instead of with their Sunni Muslim oppressors. He was also threatened with death, "from where you cannot even imagine." Tanveer, a Muslim, insists that all his reports are objective and based on facts.

Egypt: After Muslims in al-Minya district accused a young man of having an illicit relationship with a Muslim woman, violence erupted against the village's Christians (see September report). The father of the Christian man insists that there was no relationship between his son and the Muslim woman, whose family, in his words, "actually had their daughter undergo a gynecological exam, which proved the woman is 'untouched' [a virgin]." Instead, according to the father and many Copts in the village, "the whole story was fabricated by Muslim hard-liners from neighboring village to cause sectarian strife." According to a separate Arabic report, "criminal groups and gangs managed to acquire guns and weapons and, as usual, have attacked and abused the Christians … [and] forced Copts to pay large amounts of money as tax [jizya] in order not to steal and/or plunder their lands." The report also points out that no one does anything to oppose these gangs: "they simply kill Christians and their families as happened in the village of Shameiya when two Copts refused to pay the tax: the gang killed them and this was repeated in many other villages belonging to the governorate of Asyut. It is becoming so normal now to watch as these crimes against Christians occur day by day and nothing is done."

Indonesia: Still insisting that Susan Jasmine Zulkifli, a Christian woman appointed governor of the sub-district of Lenteng Agung, in West Java, be removed solely because of her faith (see September report), Muslim protesters stepped up their threats, including carrying a coffin in a protest march of some 600 Muslims—a clear death threat —and waving flags symbolic of death. The Christian woman had been promoted in June by the Governor of Jakarta, who said in response: "I make my choices based on merits, not looking at religion."

Iran: After being arrested in a house church December 2012 and charged with consuming alcohol in violation of the Islamic theocracy's laws, four Christians were sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking communion wine. "The sentences handed down to these members of the Church of Iran effectively criminalize the Christian sacrament of sharing in the Lord's Supper and constitute an unacceptable infringement on the right to practice faith freely and peaceably," a human rights activist said.

Iraq: The nation's Christians, more than half of whom have fled since the U.S.-led invasion a decade ago, are now also being targeted in and fleeing from northern Iraq, which until recently was considered a relatively safe region for Christians fleeing violence in the south. Recently, for example, a suicide bomb went off outside the home of Christian politician Emad Youhanna in Rafigayn, part of the Kirkuk province, injuring 19 people, including three of his children. Several more bomb attacks have also taken place in the northern city of Erbil, for which al-Qaeda claimed responsibility. According to Christian News, "In early September, Christians in the village of Deshtakh complained that they were facing harassment from local police. A group of Christian young people said that policemen told them that they 'should not be in Iraq because it is Muslim territory.' Violence in the south of the country is also escalating. Church leaders in Baghdad say that there are attacks onChristians every two or three days."

Lebanon: Muslims in the historically Christian nation are appropriating Christian land. According to Agenzia Fides: "An urgent reminder to curb the misuse of land belonging to Christians in order to build housing for the Muslims was launched on Monday, October 14 from Talal al- Doueihy, leader of the Movement 'Lebanese Land, our Land'…. Across the Country there are outbreaks of clashes due to problem regarding land. Last week, in the Christian village of Alma (district of Zghorta) residents had complained that the Muslims of the area of al-Fuar had begun to build houses without permission. Already at the end of August, the same Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai had called Christians to limit the sale of their property to avoid jeopardizing the demographic-confessional balance."

Pakistan: After the bombs in the church of All Saints in Peshawar, where nearly 90 people, including many women and children, died, Agenzia Fides reported that, "the situation remains tense in the Pakistani society: not only tragedy but also horror. The Christians said they were 'horrified' by the rumors that link the bombs in Peshawar to the vast problem of organ trafficking: this is what some members of NGOs in civil society in Pakistan told Fides. Some of the 'jackals,' presumably local paramedics, seem to have taken advantage of the high number of deaths and injuries in order to steal the bodies of victims and exploit them for the illegal organ trade. 'If this were true, it would mean that there are criminals who are taking advantage of the suffering of Christian victims in a truly blasphemous and sacrilegious manner,' notes Fr. Mario Rodrigues, a priest of Karachi." Meanwhile, some of the Christian survivors who mourned the deaths of loved ones too openly, were attacked, beaten, and threatened with death. Finally, in a separate story, a Christian, Harrison Masih, working in a store, who used to debate religion with a Muslim customer, Maulvi Khalad, got into an argument when Khalad tried to get him to convert to Islam, "telling him that he would enter paradise that way." But, as Harrison related, because he refused to convert and apparently did not want want any trouble, "I quit my job at the medical store but Khalid, and three other men, came to my house and threatened me and my family."

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions. "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
  1. To document that which the mainstream media often seems to fail to report.
  2.  To suggest that such persecution is not "random" but systematic.
These accounts span different ethnicities, languages, and locations.

West Coast Alert!! Experts: Prepare For Massive Radiation Cloud (Videos)

By Susan Duclos

Earlier I reported that Unit #3 of the Fukushima nuclear plants was steaming, multiple times just this past week and in another report we found out that dust, rain, fog, food and water are all ways that radiation can enter the human body.

Now Turner Radio Network has spoken to some experts and are issuing a major urgent alert for the West Coast of the US about the radiation that could possibly hit them, in a massive way, in the next three to five days. 

Two possibilities according to experts:

1) Pellets of radioactive fuel, ejected when the reactor exploded, have mixed together and "mini" meltdowns are taking place with those small clumps of pellets.  This would not be a horrific problem and may be manageable, OR;
2) Pellets of radioactive fuel, ejected when the reactor exploded, went into the spent fuel pool located above the reactor and have begun melting down so seriously they are boiling off the water in the spent fuel pool. 
Since steam is visible, experts tell TRN that Scenario #2 above is is the most likely scenario and if so,  it would be an absolute nightmare -- WORSE than the original Fukushima disaster!  The Spent Fuel Pool was situated on the fourth floor above Reactor #3, and if this is the source of the steam, the situation could escalate rapidly out of control.

Cross posted at Before It's News

Michelle Has Had Enough Of Barack, Seeks Divorce? (Video)

By Susan Duclos

Rumors of affairs, with males and females, surround Barack Obama and the icing on the cake according to multiple sources and pushed by the National Enquirer, was Barack's over-the-top blatant flirting with Denmark’s prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, in South Africa for the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, going as far as taking a "selfie" with her while Michelle sat to the side looking angered at his antics.

But Helle is another matter; she was not on the campaign trail, she is not an athlete, secret service detail, nor a troubled woman from Connecticut. She is not a “sister,” and Denmark was not, at that moment, a pivotal part of some pending international crisis. For Barack Obama to openly flirt and act like a moon struck 14 year old boy with another woman at the funeral of a leader of historical importance was just over the top, even for Michelle. There is no shared interest in athletics, campaign trail stories, or public policy achievements to share with this woman in Michelle’s mind. There was no way to write off his antics as gross exaggerations of a normal relationship.


The Obama divorce rumor has been around a while, reported back in February over Barack's close "relationship" with Actress Kerry Washington which the Free Patriot describes  Michelle's unhappiness with the "excessive amount of time" Barack Obama spends with Washington.

On the bright side, it seems Kerry Washington and Michelle Obama have the same taste in clothes!!!


But I digress... there is Reggie Love and the rumors that have surround that relationship, then back in Obama's Illinois Senate days, Vera Baker, and according to the report, Michelle has finally had enough and has visited a divorce attorney.

A White House insider speaking to the National Enquirer along with other tabloids are all reporting that Michelle Obama is meeting with divorce attorneys again. This one isn’t likely to be met with a make-over; while Kerry Washington’s efforts at least lead to Obama’a moving up in the polls and winning reelection, the move with Helle has not helped his poll numbers one little bit. In fact, they have contributed to his polls plummeting.

If it had been just the Enquirer reporting, then despite their accuracy with the John Edwards affair and love child, to which the MSM ignored until Enquirer reporters cornered him in the bathroom of the hotel he was meeting his mistress at, and the Rush Limbaugh drug story, I probably would have passed on this, but according to a White House insider, via ShowBizSpy:

But now Michelle is mad AS hell. She feels violated in front of the whole world, and screamed at him, ‘I’ve had enough!’ 
“She’s met with divorce lawyers and told Barack that she wants a life apart from him. 
“Mi­chelle will stay in the White House for the rest of Barack’s term for appearances’ sake, but she made it clear they’ll be leading separate lives.” 
“She’s moving into one of the va­cant bedrooms in the family’s private living quarters, and she’s preparing to move his clothes and personal things out of their million-dollar house in Chicago.”

If the recent pictures of Barack and Michelle in public are anything to go by, neither one of them look very happy.

Cross posted at Before It's News

Health Alert! Chicago H1N1 Outbreak, 5 Dead In Texas!! Multiple Other States Affected (Video)

By Susan Duclos

A major health alert folks as the H1N1 spreads further than previously reported with nearly two dozen cases in Chicago, five now dead in Texas, with multiple states reporting cases.The H1N1 virus otherwise known as the Swine Flu is responsible for the massive 2009 worldwide pandemic where the CDC estimated the global deaths from H1N1 at 284,000.

As was reported the other day here at Before It's News, the deadly virus is spreading and is being reported in Florida, Oregon, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Canada. More on that in the video below, before the one where Indiana Pastor Paul Begley discusses the Texas deaths.

Cross posted at Before It's News

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Fox News ‘All-Stars’ Agree: Duck Dynasty Critics Are Right

Guest post by Greg Lewis

In what amounted to a disturbing development in the Duck Dynasty debate, Fox News All-Stars Charles Krauthammer, Kirsten Powers, and George Will all came out in favor of censoring comments by such people as Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson on a recent Fox News Sunday broadcast. They further supported the use of leftist values as the basis for such censorship.
Oh, they bobbed and weaved, artfully disguising their cave-in to the thought police, but in the end they all agreed: A&E, GLAAD, and pretty much anyone else who wants to, can attack Robertson with impunity, and Robertson would be well-advised to submit meekly as his civil rights were trampled on by what amounts to a leftist flash mob.
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace got the “debate” started with a brief clip from the mealy-mouthed Karl Rove, who opined that Robertson committed the sin — Heaven forbid — of using “unacceptable language” in the GQ interview that caused such an uproar. Presumably Rove was referring to Robertson’s “vagina” reference and his mention of one of the preferred targets in male homosexuals’ frequently-practiced method of sexual intercourse.
Rove conveniently forgot to mention that Robertson’s critics, particularly Bill Maher, prefer the four-letter word beginning with “c” when referencing women’s private parts. They’re also comfortable with suggesting, as Martin Bashir did, that someone urinate and defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth, presumably as a way to express their displeasure at Palin’s exercising her free speech rights to criticize the left.
In the Bashir case, the left was forced to follow its own anti-free speech principles and fire one of their own for going beyond what is called acceptable speech. And let’s not forget that Alec Baldwin was also suspended from his MSNBC talk show on the grounds that homophobic slurs — read “free speech” — should not be allowed.
But to understand how these examples of free speech, left and right, miss the point, take a look at the arguments put forth by Will, Krauthammer, and Powers.
First, Will naively asserted that, as Americans, “our freedom is secure.” He went on to explain that the First Amendment to the Constitution “protects people from government,” and does not guarantee our right not to be offended.
What is missing from Will’s explanation is that Barack Obama has effectively suspended the Constitution and is rewriting legislation from the Oval Office and governing by executive order and by regulation through federal agencies such as the IRS and the EPA. Obama has assumed extra-constitutional power as a dumbfounded Congress and a Supreme Court handcuffed by the Chief Justice’s willful misreading of our founding document in his Affordable Care Act ruling stand by, effectively mute, confirming their Constitution-be-damned stance.
Kirsten Powers was exercised and adamant that the real problem with the Duck Dynasty controversy is with Phil Robertson himself. She made her argument by asking, “Is he [Robertson] saying that if you hold the minority opinion that whites and blacks shouldn’t be married that that’s acceptable? The point here is not that this person supports traditional marriage; the point is that he’s a bigot.”
Charles Krauthammer, following Powers’ lead, had this to say: “What we’re talking about here is ‘cultural compulsion.’ . . . At some point you’re way over the line, and people will punish you and the culture will have you fired. This is a dispute between a network . . . and another party.” Krauthammer went on to bring the conversation full circle to Powers’ assertion, maintaining that “Obama is not a bigot.”
These three are right in one important way, although they don’t realize the import of their arguments: The culture has replaced the Constitution.
Leftists have long assumed it’s their right to claim the mantle of cultural superiority. They’ve used this vantage point to attack by any means necessary — whether by assertion, slander, or ignorance — the rights of others to express their own opinions if they disagree with the political plutocracy on the left. GLAAD, referring back to the Stalinist gulags with which their tactics have so much in common, actually used the term “re-education” in pronouncing the punishment appropriate for such heretics as Phil Robertson and his family. A&E and several Duck Dynasty sponsors concurred.
Then the culture struck back. For one of the first times, those in favor of upholding free speech rights took to social media with a vengeance, making it clear where the left was wrong and making it clear they weren’t about to let themselves get trampled in the same way the Mitt Romney campaign let itself be badgered into submission.
Are we finally beginning to understand that the most important battles we need to fight need to be fought now, and not two years down the road when and if legal challenges reach the Supreme Court?
Are we finally beginning to understand that we need to take matters into our own hands, peacefully asserting the rights that are no longer guaranteed by the Constitution since those on the left have made moot that document by simply ignoring it as they move ahead with the most subversive agenda ever to take root in the United States?
Contrary to Mr. Will’s assertion, our freedom is far from secure. It’s under constant attack from the forces of the subversive left and Islamists who have become the new Satanists, not to mention an NSA that Edward Snowden successfully outed but whose unbridled illegal surveillance apologists like Krauthammer continue to defend while at the same time denouncing Snowden as a traitor.
And is Ms. Powers suggesting that no one be allowed to express the opinion that blacks and whites shouldn’t be allowed to marry? When “free” speech becomes saying what a self-appointed “cultural majority” says you should say, as it has in the hands of the ├╝ber-left, then free speech is dead and the true bigots, Barack Obama included, have won.
The so-called cultural majority is, in many cases, exactly the opposite. In Utah’s “adoption” of the right to same-sex marriage, a roughly two-thirds majority of Utah voters voted against same-sex marriage. That didn’t stop the left. A judge stepped in, invalidated the citizens’ choice, then refused to suspend his pronouncement even until appeals had had a chance to be heard.
Freedom to have your vote count is certainly categorically equivalent to having your voice heard when you speak out.
In siding with the left in the Duck Dynasty case, Will, Powers, and Krauthammer have taken the side of those who, in their own subversive way, are shouting down those who exercise their right to free speech.
It’s good to finally see that true defenders of the right to free speech are themselves speaking out and refusing to give in to leftist apologists in conservative clothing.


Fuku Radiation Hits San Francisco!!! (Alarming Video)

By Susan Duclos

They say seeing is believing and in the video below from Kill0Your0TV, he films his Geiger counter as he approaches and walks along Pacifica State Beach (Surfers Beach), California, on December 23, 2013.

Below is a chart showing low to high radiation readings and what they mean, note the levels considered higher than normal and the descriptions to the right of them, then watch the video below.

For those that claim the amount of radiation traveling in plumes across the Pacific from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is negligible, then you probably won't be concerned about traveling to California and taking a swim.

A warning to the rest of the readers... stay out of the water and off the beach.

Cross posted at Before It's News

Omens: Thousands Of Fish Beach Themselves (Video)

By Susan Duclos

Thousands of fish have beached themselves on the shore of Kg Tabisan in Sabah’s eastern Lahad Datu, Malaysia, which is prompting a discussion among locals over whether this is good omen or a bad omen at the years end.  The Star Online article quotes a local villager Suzila Abdullah who claims this phenomenon has been happening for the last three years but "it is different this year because the number of fishes are exceptionally high. In the past, most would have been scooped up by the end of the day but today there is still a lot more left."

As can be seen in the map below, Malaysia's shores share the same water as Japan, where the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant continues to dump radioactive water in the ocean.

The great earthquake and tsunami that devastated Fukushima happened in 2011, making this the third December since the nuclear meltdowns.

Coincidence that for three years this odd phenomenon has been happening on the shores of Malaysia or a sign from the sea life indicating how contaminated their waters are?

Cross posted at Before It's News

Federal Judge Bombshell: Obama Admin Aids/Abets Human Traffickers (Video & Ruling Embedded)

By Susan Duclos

Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Brownsville, Texas dropped a massive bombshell on the Obama administration saying the admin's immigration policies are "completing the criminal mission" of human traffickers "who are violating the border security of the United States" and assisting a “criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals."

Furthermore the judge called the Obama administration's actions "criminal and unconscionable."

Direct quotes from the ruling in U.S. v. Nava-Martinez, which will be embedded below, accusing the Obama administration of aiding and abetting human traffickers, includes:

"By fostering an atmosphere whereby illegal aliens are encouraged to pay human smugglers for further services, the Government is not only allowing then to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so."
"The DHS should enforce the laws of the United States -- not break them."

Below is the news report on this ruling and beneath that is the short ruling that should be read in full to see the extent of condemnation the judge delivered to the Obama administration policies.

Judge Hanen Order on Child Smuggling-1 uploaded by Susan Duclos

Cross posted at Before It's News

Creepy Obamacare Pod Found In Walmart (Video)

By Susan Duclos

InfoWars received a tip about robo-doctors via an Obamacare pod in Walmart and decided to take a trip to see what it was all about and when they call it creepy.... it is.

They take you through the process as this pod thing takes blood pressure and the kiosk health assessment by robot. Evidently a man in excellent condition can be considered "possibly obese," and other mistakes are explained in the video below that a human doctor would not have made.

So, would you trust your health assessment or your family's to an Obamacare robo-doctor pod?

Cross posted at Before It's News

Nuclear Snow! USS Ronald Reagan Sailors Sue TEPCO Over Fukushima Radiation Sickness! (Videos)

By Susan Duclos

The more information that comes out about the crew of the USS Ronald Reagan sailors and their March 2011 relief efforts in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the more horrifying we find out their experiences were at the time and ever since as they suffer blindness, cancer and a whole host of other effects from their massive exposure to the radiation plumes from the Fukushima nuclear plant  after the great earthquake and tsunami of 2011.

Almost instantly after being sent to help, they felt a warm gust of the killer death plume, then the radioactive snow started, described as tasting like "like aluminum foil."

Lindsay Cooper, Navy sailor aboard USS Ronald Reagan during 3/11 rescue operation: “I was standing on the flight deck, and we felt this warm gust of air, and, suddenly, it was snowing [...] We joked about it: ‘Hey, it’s radioactive snow! I took pictures and video [...] Japan didn’t want us in port, Korea didn’t want us, Guam turned us away. We floated in the water for two and a half months [until Thailand took them in] “People were s- -tting themselves in the hallways [All the while crew members had been suffering from excruciating diarrhea].”

Their stories are chilling, the effects on their bodies horrifying and their lives destroyed and they deserve compensation for the families they will leave behind. 70 to date are involved in the lawsuit against Fukushima plant operators, TEPCO, after their initial lawsuit was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

Cooper was interviewed on EON, listen to the interview below.

Cross posted at Before It's News

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013 Everyone & Happy New Year!!!

By Susan Duclos

Merry Christmas Everyone and I hope each and every one of you have a very happy and prosperous New Year!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Video: Dylan Thomas 'A Child's Christmas in Wales'

One of my favourites, and a Brat Christmas tradition (yes, I do have this on tape!)

Military 'Sending up the count': How many can we save from suicide?

"Sending up the count" is something that's done when troops are out somewhere dark and dangerous, and the leader, normally up in front, wants to make sure everyone's still there. The leader whispers, "send up the count" to the next person, who whispers it to the next person, who whispers it to the next person and so on until it gets to the last person in line. That person starts the whispering back forward again, only this time, they start off by tapping the shoulder of the person in front of them saying "one". The next person taps the shoulder of the person in front of them and says "two". This continues until the person behind the leader in front taps the leader's shoulder with the number of people behind the first person in line.

We do this especially at night, when we can't see to the end of the line, or even see the next person. We do this to make sure all is well. We do this to make sure everyone knows that whoever's supposed to be there, front and back, is there. We do this to make sure those on the team are still with the team. And if someone is missing, we find them and bring them back into the group. [Emphasis mine]
  In the last month,  four Canadian Combat Veterans - who having survived deployment - have died at home, within days of each other. Now add one more, as in the last few days, another young Canadian Soldier ended his own life.  Although each death is being investigated, (as are the other 70+ still being investigated) initial reports are calling these deaths suicide.  I read somewhere the other day that since the current phase of this ongoing Global War On Terror, Canada has lost more than one hundred Veterans to suicide.   Quite apart from the huge gaping holes left within those families, those communities, that number is beyond staggering when you consider that thus far in Afghanistan, 158 Canadian losses have occurred in the sandbox due to enemy action.   In the US, various statistics claim that we lose 22 Veterans a day to suicide now outpacing Combat fatalities.   


Those are just the ones we hear about.  These numbers, which represent a horrific new 'normal' for their families after such a devastating loss, tell me that we are failing our Military men and women. 

Veterans Day (US) and Remembrance Day(Commonwealth countries) may be over for another year, but we cannot just return to 'business as usual'.   WE  - yes, all of us -  bear responsibility: our Military leadership; our politicians; our mainstream media, and yes, we civilians are failing our Military.

From where I sit, a very basic question arises:  How can we fix this?

 Dated 2009, I found this from the US:

September 23, 2009

The Sergeant and suicide prevention

Suicide prevention 100%
The theme for this year’s “Suicide Prevention Awareness Month” is “Improving our Soldiers and Families Health: A Healthy Force Combating High Risk Behaviors.” At the conclusion of this article, there are many resources/links.


 I was saddened (but not surprised) to learn of the difficulties and problems some of the soldiers experience while deployed. I can cite many articles about the deployment cycle and its’ affect on the military, it is worth mentioning however that difficulties such as depression, suicide, aggression (some of the symptoms of PTSD) aren’t necessarily exclusive to the ‘multi-deployed’, often, it can be ‘first time’ deployers. In fact, the military is studying the ‘mind set’ of the multi-deployed v. first or second timers to examine the element that helps them cope with extreme psychological pressures and extreme battle fatigue (both mental and physical).

My son is on his fourth deployment, a platoon sergeant (SFC) with approximately 70% ‘first time’ deployers. He is extremely proactive, carefully observing, listening and taking care of his men or any others who seek or need help. The NCO is almost always the first line of defense for troops who are experiencing hardships. I know my son has moved the earth and stars to intervene on the behalf of a trooper in trouble. He is also the same one who will allow the Private on duty with him to catch some ‘sleep’ during 24 hour CQ (Desk/phone duty in the company headquarters/on base) instead of the other way around because he remembers what it was like to be the ‘sleep-less’ private.

He asks much from his men but makes sure he gives them the training, tools and personal time they need to achieve the unit’s mission objectives and succeed as individuals.


While in the process of completing this article, I read an excellent article “Going Beyond the Book Answer: How to Be a Better Leader, written by Specialist Ben Hutto. In the article,  Spc Hutto writes:

“Army leadership, as I learned it for my promotion board, is the ability to influence others by providing purpose, direction and motivation in order to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.” [Emphasis mine]

He talks about ‘leadership by the book’, and states how “the best NCOs are able to communicate the “purpose” behind a command or task no matter how mundane or difficult. ...

There is much more here, with an extensive list of Military resources available.  What strikes me as I read this, and as I listen to our men and women today, is that even with all these programmes in place, something is missing, and to this civilian the missing ingredient is leadership.   In the last few weeks I have seen videos from both the US Military and Canadian Military leadership  as a response to the ongoing - and most recent - crisis within the Military community.  Take a look here and here. 

 All well and good, but as the article linked above clearly shows, part of the solution to current issues is about leadership that is connected to our Troops.  

I asked a Military Veteran (Platoon Sargeant in the Army) friend where we should begin.  The truth he gave me is universal and, even to this civilian, makes sense:

The only thing that is going to fix this is good leadership. F******' know your troops.
 Know when they're out of character and figure out why....[...] If a soldier has any doubt that they can tell their leader anything they need to, that leader is wrong.. [...]
 If you're going to be in charge, BE in charge. It's like I've said MANY many times: the way to "fix" this is good old fashioned leadership, but the Army doesn't allow time for that anymore.

 It means returning to the old climate, where leaders led, and trained rather than sat in a bunch of CYA, meaningless politically correct powerpoints. Those briefings are knee jerk reactions to the need "to do something," by those that have no clue what really can be done.

And that real leadership I've preached so often goes against the political correctness and professional managers the out of touch generals are pushing, so they are even further out of touch with any real means of doing something.

[Yes, real leadership is teaching] ...knowing when to break s***, and when to turn it off and protect your kids.

This simple concept of leadership is not new, and to this day, real leaders understand what their role is. Just this last weekend, I found another article about leadership. While this compelling article is addressing corporate leadership, it IS written by a Veteran, and it is directly related to leadership within our Military. Every aspect echoes what the Veteran above has told me, and adds weight to how crucial leadership is to our men and women within our Military:

Care, and make sure — without being too obvious or hackneyed — that your people know you care. Fight for them, even occasionally when you know you will lose … it engenders loyalty, and sometimes you need that to hold them together when the “big” reasons for all they’re giving just aren’t enough.

No one will follow you until they know you care.  You have to be demonstrative enough that they know you’re invested — not just in the shared mission you’re pursuing together — but in their fate and future.  Know their stories.  Know the texture of their lives.  Know what makes them tick....

Go read Reflections on Leadership here. 

We are losing our men and women who know what leadership really is, and who are committed to the values of leadership.  I came across another column, also written by a Veteran, which painfully demonstrates the disconnect that so obviously exists between our Military community and the rest of society.

 Sunday, December 15, 2013

We are the expendable and the forgotten. I want to be your voice, but I wish I was able to be someone elses voice. I loved him like a brother. Deployed with him. Slept five feet from him. Taught him to surf. Laughed my ass off when he came down to the beach from the parking lot with Scottish, both with their wetsuits on backwards, looking like they lovingly got each other dressed without their grranimals for the first time. What could have been saved with the ringing of a phone and a hello instead ended with a gunshot in Warner-Robbins without the chance to say goodbye.

 When we leave the life we know and try and build something new for ourselves, we miss the brotherhood, the way that your life depends on the man or woman to your left or right. We miss the hugs that the family we were thrown into and grew to love are now replaced by empty memories of better times and the jokes that only made sense to the people who were closer than family could only get away with telling....


One veteran dies by their own hands every 65 minutes. That is  22 a day. One active duty Soldier kills themselves every 25 hours.  I do this for them. I do this for you....

 For the enormity of the pain of the loss, that most of us will never understand, go read the rest of this one. 

Epic failure by all of us.   Again:  How can we fix this?

Yes, I do mean all of us, since we as civilians must speak out,  stop enabling the failure of our politicians and the Military Chain of Command to adequately support our Military.

 Let's start with the politicians.  To anybody who is half wake, even the casual observers, it is no surprise, not news,  that our current batch of politicians are failing to fulfill their duty - as OUR elected representatives - as they daily fail to meet the sacred obligation we all have to our Military community: our Active Duty; our Veterans; our Military families.

As the most recent headlines have shone a spotlight on the Canadian losses, our politicians have rushed to the media to express their concern about what they are calling 'troubling losses'.

 Read this, an article that pulls no punches about politician's hypocrisy.

As politicians loudly proclaim that they are 'bringing the Troops home' and that 'Combat is over' (nary a whisper of the word 'Victory,' have you noticed?) our Troops and our Veterans are used as pawns in political gamesmanship.  It is our Veterans and their families who are bearing the brunt of budget cuts, in all our countries. Yes, the various Defence Departments may have publicised  transitional programs  as a measure of how they support the Troops, which is better than nothing, I suppose, since according to a survey released in  September, Canadian employers - for example -   'have little interest in hiring Veterans.'.  Meanwhile, the  Canadian government is proposing to  close Veterans Affairs Offices across the country. 

From CBC, comes this from November 29, of an interview with retired Colonel,  and former Veterans' Ombudsman,  Pat Strogan.  Hard to miss his message of our failure to our Veterans:

As Stogran says "this is not news" to those of us paying attention over the years. Neither is it news that politicians persist in pointing to the millions of dollars that have been designated to supporting our Troops and Veterans.

The fact is,  politicians can puff out their self-righteous chests and claim how much they do for our Troops and Veterans, how much money they profess to be throwing at support,  but obviously whatever they, and the Military,  are doing is not working. Period.  Don't take my word for it.   Watch the video above, and read what one of the most recent grieving families has to say about the Military "dropping the ball."

 "Dropping the ball" by both politicians and Military is not unique to Canada.  I read recently that in the UK (for example) Falkland Island Veteran suicides now outnumber those we lost in Combat, and then I read that within the current Troops/Veterans that more British soldiers commit suicide than die in battle.

 From the US, headlines like thisthis, this and this bear witness to the price that our Veterans are expected to continue to pay once they return from Combat.
As a recent editorial in the National Post said: Canada's Duty to its veterans is to act, not just talk.

It is my belief that it is the sacred duty of each of our countries to honour the Service by our Troops.

The FACTS clearly demonstrate the Canadian government is failing our current Troops and Veterans, and our Military families.  

Yes, it is true that there ARE official resources available in Canada, such as Canadian Forces Members Assistance Programme, found within the official site of Veterans Affairs Canada, and they also have a page that lists the Guide to Benefits, Programs, and Services for CAF Members and their Families

They also list a 24 Hour Crisis Line Help Line   

Despite all these services, clearly,  the crisis is going unanswered for some seeking help..  What about the families?  Regular readers here know well that I also always acknowledge that the family also serves.  As one Military Wife told me recently: As a Military family, there is no personal life; there is only the Military life.  For those families, there is the  Family Information Line - which supports the 'Military Families: The Strength Behind the Uniform'.   All terrific, of course, and the absolute minimum we should be doing.  But the numbers of suicide (both those we know of, and those we do not) tell me that these programmes are not helping everybody, and that many, many - who we may only hear about when disaster strikes - are falling through the bureaucratic cracks.

Over the years I have heard -  first-hand - from deployed Troops, and now Veterans, of how they feel our Military leadership, and their political bosses,  are failing them.  

You may remember back in 2010 I shared an open letter here written by a Military Wife who chose to be called "Anonymous".  She wrote, in part:

Monday, February 8, 2010

The families also serve: A military spouse open letter

To the American Public From a Military Spouse An Open Letter (to anyone who can help) Written by: A Military Spouse December 14, 2009

This is a open letter to the Commander in Chief, First Lady Michelle Obama, the leaders of our Armed Forces, and the American Public. If it moves you, contact your elected officials.

News stations count the casualties of the War on Terrorism; by using body counts. Those numbers represent the service members who have not come home breathing to their family members. What about those that came home breathing, but dead inside? Those who suffer daily from some form, or extreme of Depression, PTSD, TBI, or any other of a half dozen syndromes? What about the families left behind whose soldiers are not getting the medical and mental health treatment the government has promised?

Our leaders stand in front of the American public and talk about how much the war is costing, and how much help is available to our returning soldiers and their families. We throw billions upon billions of dollars to artificially hold up the banking system and the value of our dollar. Yet, we sit by and do nothing while our American families fall apart.
I am the spouse of an Active Duty Soldier;

I have held up my end of the bargain; the Military and American Government has not. I was on the front lines during the initial invasion. My husband’s military unit deployed on the day the war started in March of 2003...


I have watched as the man I married has died inside. I have waited for him to work through his demons. ...I have asked for help from the military; I have sought help in the laws written to protect my family. I have received none....

There is much more from this "anonymous" Military spouse here.

I wish I could tell you that "Anonymous" from 2010 was just an anomoly, but I know she is not.  

Over the past decade or so since I started writing on Military matters, I have come to know and love more than a few of the Military and Veteran Families from this current Global War On Terror.  These families  are some of the most amazing people it is my privilege to know, and yes, they do share their thoughts with me.  It is through them that I see and hear what life is really like for these "Girls Behind the Men Behind the Guns."     That poem, written about the women in a long ago war, reminds us that the issues faced by women then and now, and their families, are timeless and universal.  (Yes, I did write a column on that very topic long ago, but I can't find it now.)  

 FACT is that today Military Wives (of both Active Duty and Veterans) do sometimes fall through the bureaucratic cracks, and as they fall not yards of red tape, nor government-sanctioned organisations,  can provide a lifeline.  From one long-time reader I recently got this (and yes, I DO have her permission to share) :

[...]   Behind every soldier/veteran who suffers in silence with "invisible" wounds called PTSD there is a family and loved ones who suffers in silence as well. We have all read and heard about men who were soldiers who took their own lives in the last two weeks. We are angry, upset, and want to find a way to help stop even one more soldier or veteran from taking their lives again. As we try to find away to help soldiers/veterans we also need to keep in mind their families and loved ones.
  It is near impossible to do if you are a wife of a soldier who is still serving...the unwritten rule is wives are seen but are not to speak. We too suffer in silence literally and there is not much help out there for us or loved ones of soldiers dealing with PTSD....

I'm very glad there are many programs for soldiers who suffer from OSI/PTSD but there needs to be something for the families of soldiers. We have issues/concerns/problems at 3 am that keep us awake and there is no one we can talk to. OSI/PTSD doesn't only come up during business hours and civilian crisis lines are not equipped to understand nor offer much help/advice. I am not the only military wife who also suffers in silence nor is our family the only one who suffer in silence! We need support as well. There needs to be help for wives/families of soldiers still serving and for families whose soldiers are no longer serving. How many suicides will it take for someone to start helping us!...


Wives can only seek out so much help.  They have to be careful not to draw attention to their husband's PTSD for fear the military will catch on and put their husband's military career at risk. To this day being an active soldier seeking treatment for PTSD you run a very high chance of ending your military career even if your PTSD is considered mild.  Your personal life is not personal when you are a Military family. 

The soldier can lose his job for doing what his employer,  the government,  is asking him to do:  seek help for his PTSD.

FACT: although this Wife is anonymous, I have heard over the years of more than a few Troops afraid of seeking help because it is a "career killer."   I may not be directly connected to our Military in this current GWOT (although I do come from a family with centuries of Military service, and have been  directly affected by the generational ripples of suicide.)  I have heard many times over these last few years of how reaching out to access help has resulted in an extremely negative career impact.  There is a stigma that kicks a Soldier (or his family) who reaches out for help from the official Military programmes.

Given the escalating number of suicides, I asked another Military Wife - a long time friend - for her thoughts on what needs to be done to fix our struggling Military families.  From her I got this (again shared with permission):

A veteran should get every stinking possible piece of assistance to make sure they are at peace with the wars they have had to endure.
There is a way to do 24/7 help. At no cost to the veteran. I did it,  and it ended up becoming the Vet Hut Resource Centers locally here.  Just gather up some volunteer-friends, and make a phone tree. Take the phone tree to the local VA-type deal you have, and let them know your group  is willing to be a 24/7 crisis call group to aide veterans who suffer from PTSD and suicidal problems. 

Then leave it with your version of the VFW and the American Legion (or whatever your local equivalent is) and so forth,  until all groups of veteran support centers have the phone tree. Then be prepared for the phone to never ever ever stop ringing.

IT WORKS THOUGH! Then,  when the calls are too many, you take ALL that statistical information you have gathered about the number of calls, durations, and crisis problems without mentioning names etc, and go to your local veteran support centers and show them IN THEIR FACE how vital a small office of round-the-clock crisis call support is for the suffering veterans. Not just ideas. Empirical theoretical studies that proved successful.  It does work. The only problem is finding volunteers to actually answer the phone constantly. 

This workable plan echoes what the first Military Wife quoted above calls for.

Pretty basic, huh, and doesn't require a gazillion dollars.  I have seen this ingenuity, and this front-line commitment to 'knowing your Troops, looking out for them' extend into the Veteran community, and their families. too. Just as in a Combat zone it is a matter of life and death to know that you can count on the battle buddy to your left and your right to 'cover your six,' so I see Veterans and families applying that after deployment.    Veterans - sick and tired of waiting for governments' broken promises/contracts to be honoured - have created support groups specifically designed and run by Veterans - for Veterans.

In Canada, for example, there are Veteran groups that reach out in the way only a fellow Veteran can, as they continue their battles on the home-front.  There is:

The Canadian Veterans Advocacy

Their name says it all, as they advocate, both in front of the mainstream media, and behind the scenes among the politicians, for all Veterans.  I also found a very informative article in the Ottawa Citizen where they quote directly from CVA on the history and meaning of our sacred obligation to our Veterans.

Military Minds

Veterans sharing their common experiences, and solutions,  to  the issues they all face.  

VETS - Veterans Emergency Transition Services

 "...formed to reach out and help the many of Canada’s veterans who had not made successful transitions from their military careers to healthy civilian lives...."

 Our Duty - which also has a petition that I urge you to sign, calling on the government to give our Veterans the support they have earned.

These are but a small sampling of Veteran-led groups in Canada that talk MilSpeak. 

These groups DO work, DO pick up the dropped ball that governments and Military bureaucracies fumble. The Military Veteran  friend quoted above reinforces the bond found among Veteran groups:

Sadly this generation ignores the most obvious “support groups” already established. In an electronic world, VFW’s and American Legions are brick and mortar gathering places for Veterans It’s not all cheap beer and war stories, but an employment network of established Veterans that made their way through the post-Military world. It is just sitting in the company of those that “know” without saying a word, what a Veteran has been through, and is going through, even if the overt topic is an argument about the Iron Bowl, Superbowl, NASCAR, World Series, or World Cup. 

 For several years now, in Canada,  Equitas has been pursuing a class action suit representing Veterans who have been severely short-changed under the New Veterans Charter of 2006.  All Canadians who support our Troops, our Veterans and their families should check that site out.  Let it be noted that the Canadian federal government has spent thousands of dollars, in legal fees,  fighting this lawsuit; money that could have helped a lot of Veterans.  However, also comes news,  recently,  of an individual Soldier who has submitted  his own  $20-million statement of claim with the Federal Court. [ He...] alleges the Canadian military did not adequately address his post-traumatic stress disorder. 

How sad is this that our Veterans have to fight the governments when they return home.  Sure, the politicians may say they "support our Troops" but talk is cheap.  In the week prior to Remembrance Day,  Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberals, challenged the Prime Minister to honour our commitments to Veterans. 

Our politicians continue to fail our Veterans, and our Veterans continue to do at home what they did in the sandbox: fight for rights, but now they are fighting for their own rights.  I came across a stunning statistic out of the US which claimed huge numbers of homeless and hungry Veterans.    How can this be, that in NYC, for example and according to a recent article,  thousands of Veterans are having to eat at soup kitchens???  That is just one city, and I have no way of verifying the truth of their claims. However, I wrote back in October of how the cuts to Military budgets in the UK are swelling the number of homeless Veterans there.  Again, at least one volunteer group is working tirelessly to address that very real issue: Soldiers Off the Street. 

Thank God there are these volunteer groups throughout Canada, the US and the UK who stand up for each other, while the fat-cat politicians obviously remain sitting down on their job. Something in the system is very broken, and regardless of the actual number, if there is even one Veteran living on the streets, that is an epic fail, in my opinion.

So what about the current batch of politicians who appear to be clueless about Military matters, and whose ignorance woefully fails our Troops and our Veterans? As things stand right now, not one of the leaders in the UK, Canada, or the US has served in our Military.  They have no clue what it means to BE a Veteran. As I have watched our Troops and Veterans in the Global War on Terror, I have been anticipating that some of them would enter the political arena, but this is proving to be a very slow process.   In Canada, as of May 2013, out of 4,210 Parliamentarians, a paltry 14 are listed as having Military Service (and one of those is an Honorary.)  That is 0.3325416% in control of our Defence Department, all our Military policies..

From the US, I found this dated 2012:

And yes, there was this underneath the graph:

Military service by politicians is quickly nearing zero. Perhaps this is why many of our politicians are so trigger-happy these days. No one has fought and no one knows just what they are doing when they commit our soldiers overseas.

Ya think?  What this underscores for me is that we need more politicians who ARE Veterans, who know what being in the Military actually means. When I was discussing this with another Veteran friend, they were quick to remind me of  Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan both being non-Veterans.  Good point, but I would also suggest that  both of those leaders, even as civilians, demonstrated their governmental, bureaucratic support for our Troops and Veterans.   The Troops then knew they were supported. The world was a very different place then.  Unlike today, where our political leaders continue to prove that they don't *get it*,  even as they pay lip service to 'support the Troops' when absolutely necessary, it seems to me that Troops from the Reagan/Thatcher era never doubted the support from those leaders. It also seems to me, through the lens of hindsight, that Reagan and Thatcher were smart enough to listen to our Military leaders and defer to their expertise and experience (unlike the current crop of political leaders.)

As another Veteran friend (yes, I know a few!) pointed out to me recently: another part of the difference is the very low fatality rate in our current and recent wars. These low fatality rates are in large part due to military successes in trauma treatment, so that fewer troops have been killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan than on single days of earlier wars.

This obviously means that we have more Veterans, returning as Wounded Warriors, who have earned all the benefits that we as a society are obligated to provide. Our Veterans today,  who would most assuredly have died in previous wars, are more visible, and yes, they are dealing with long-term issues that we, as a society,  are failing to adequately and effectively address..

One of those issues is the terrible belief by some of our Troops and Veterans that the only option they have is to choose suicide.  

As I heard somewhere recently:  suicide is a symptom that becomes an unacceptable solution.  

The Veteran friend initially quoted above had this to say about suicidal Veterans:

The reality is that suicidal veterans sometimes get raided because they admit they have a gun, who the hell is going to call that line?

 Suicide is not prevented by strangers. It's prevented by friends, who notice their friend needs help, before it becomes suicidal ideation.

Powerpoints can’t fix this. Generals can’t fix this. Only individuals can fix this.

 Too often civilians and even fellow veterans say and do all the wrong things. When a veteran’s life begins to derail, often those around him withdraw, making it worse. Often, those “friends” he had before the war, suddenly have nothing in common with him. Instead of just listening, they’re more concerned with their own, in his eyes, trivial, problems.

But, when veterans see broken promises, such as promises that “getting help won’t be held against you,” while those that do get help get screwed by the very military that makes the promise, they’re not going to get help. And getting (real) help isn’t seeing a shrink that has never been there, done that. It is finding someone that can help him find his own way through the challenges he’s facing, those challenges that seem to be becoming insurmountable.

 Veterans are withdrawing from society, because increasingly society is self-absorbed and disconnected from what is important to our veterans.

A column from War On Terror News in 2009 reminds that this is not a recent phenomenon, but that within the GWOT environment, we must find solutions:

June 09, 2009

I could copy and paste all of this article, but instead would suggest you go read it here.  For all the commonsense within it, it would be really helpful if some Generals also read it:

But with the advancement of communications, a General can watch a squad level engagement on the other side of the world in real time.  The danger comes in when he tries to command that battle from the safety of his office....

Leadership, again. From where I sit, it is lack of leadership, both in the Military and governments that is sorely lacking.  Our Troops, our Veterans and their families are paying the price. 


Not only our Troops, but our Veterans, are missing the 'old style' leadership; leadership that undoubtedly saves their lives while in Combat, and can certainly save their lives once they become Veterans.

Today we see the old school Military leadership being deliberately being purged, as our politicians continue to declare - ignorantly and shortsightedly in my opinion - that "war is  over." NO, it is not.
Still, our Military leaders, who know Combat first-hand, are leaving.  Don't believe me?  Take a look:

 DISTURBING: The List Of Purged Military High Officers Under Obama 

 And there is this: [US] Army will cut almost 2,000 captains, majors

Where does all this leave our Veterans?  In the same place as they were in the front-lines of the GWOT: relying on their battle buddies from the sandbox, the battle buddies who have been there, done that, and know what hell they have survived.

As another Veteran friend of mine recently commented:  We are not broken.  We are changed.

Who better to understand, and address those changes than another Veteran?  As the politicians, and the Military leadership who has perhaps never seen Combat continue in their failure to understand, and implement, real help that could save lives, our Veterans are 'sending up the count', and adapting what worked in Combat into their post-combat lives.

Take a look at what Sgt Brian Harding has to say..

"We are reaching out to find guys who maybe have fallen through the cracks."

To this civilian, that even one of our Troops, our Veterans falls through the cracks is unacceptable. 


I recently heard Canadian former chief of defence staff Rick Hillier interviewed on CBC radio, and his insights reinforce what Sgt Brian Harding and any other Veteran I know has said:

Hillier, who also served in Afghanistan as the commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul in 2004, said he suffered only minuscule symptoms of PTSD when he returned home, having the occasional dream or waking up at night.

He credits his strong circle of friends and family for making him feel healthy and comfortable upon his return, but warns that not all soldiers are so lucky.

His final message to troops is to not be alone this holiday season.

"Don't be alone. Do not be alone over this period of time.

"If you've got a problem, we learned long ago in combat that there is no embarrassment in admitting a weakness. No embarrassment in approaching somebody else," Hillier said.

"You know, we entrust our battle buddies with our very lives on the battlefield, this is now a different battlefield, so trust them. Go talk to your battle buddies. Talk to them and tell them you've got a problem. [Emphasis mine]

There is much more here, which includes a link to the radio interview I mentioned above.  If you haven't read Rick Hillier's biography, A  Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats and the Politics of War,  I highly recommend it.

As Pat Strogan says in the video above, these issues faced by our Troops and our Veterans are not just 'flavours of the day...there will be more suicides.'   These issues our Troops and Veterans face on a daily basis MUST be addressed in the months and years to come.  To do any less is to dishonour each and every one of our Military and their families. It is an epic fail by all of us. 


 Weeks ago, as I decided to write this column, I planned only to write a one-off.  However, I have been reminded of the enormity of the failure of all of us to actively 'Support OUR Troops'...  I deliberately say 'all of us' because from where I sit, there is more than enough failure to go around for all of us.

Despite my familial ties to our Military, and my close 'family' ties to many in the current Global War On Terror, as a civilian, no, I do not have the authority of our men and women who have risked and sometimes given all in Combat;  nor would I ever claim such authority.  However, after years of caring about our Troops, our Veterans, and our Military families - of watching and listening to them -  I maintain my belief that we as civilians do have an irrefutable responsibility to stand with them. 

We all must listen,  learn and be educated by those most knowledgeable, our Combat Veterans. If we truly mean to  respect and honour the Service and Sacrifice of our Troops, Veterans and their families, we need to do more than pay lip service. To say we 'support the Troops' is not enough.  We ALL need to walk the walk.  We need to demand our politicians also honour our Military Family. We need to address this 'unacceptable solution,' which - even during the course of my researching and writing this one article -  has claimed more lives from our Military Family.  

WE must not fail.  Period.

[cross-posted from Assoluta Tranquillita ]