June 14, 2008

Life's Tragic Imitation of Art

Last week, Time magazine reported on the unprecedented use of prescription antidepressants to keep psychologically battered soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan on the front lines:
... For the first time in history, a sizable and growing number of U.S. combat troops are taking daily doses of antidepressants to calm nerves strained by repeated and lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The medicines are intended not only to help troops keep their cool but also to enable the already strapped Army to preserve its most precious resource: soldiers on the front lines. Data contained in the Army's fifth Mental Health Advisory Team report indicate that, according to an anonymous survey of U.S. troops taken last fall, about 12% of combat troops in Iraq and 17% of those in Afghanistan are taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope. Escalating violence in Afghanistan and the more isolated mission have driven troops to rely more on medication there than in Iraq, military officials say.
As if we didn't have enough reasons to condemn the manner in which George Bush has broken the U.S. military, now we can add the fact that real life is imitating the plot of a video game set in a dystopian and war-ravaged future.

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