Sowell says it so-well

Conservative columnist, Thomas Sowell (one of the best in the biz) has called Barack Obama to task for the “cocky ignorance” he displayed in a political stunt which exploited the recent disturbing news reports about increased troop suicides overseas.

Now that Sen. Barack Obama has become the Democrats’ nominee for president of the United States, to the cheers of the media at home and abroad, he has written a letter to the secretary of defense, in a tone as if he is already president, addressing one of his subordinates.

The letter ends: “I look forward to your swift response.

With wars going on in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a secretary of defense might have some other things to look after, before making a “swift response” to a political candidate.

Because of the widely publicized statistic that suicide rates among American troops have gone up, Sen. Obama says he wants the secretary of defense to tell him, swiftly:

“What changes will you make to provide our soldiers in theater with real access to mental health care?”

“What training has the Pentagon provided our medical professionals in theater to recognize who might be at risk of committing suicide?”

“What assistance are you providing families here at home to recognize the risk factors for suicide, so that they may help our service members get the assistance they need?”

“What programs has the Pentagon implemented to help reduce the stigma attached to mental health concerns so that service members are more likely to seek appropriate care?”

Certainly these matters should be addressed. And I have no doubt they already ARE being addressed… with or without our hero Barack’s intervention.

Meanwhile, Sowell uses a lesser known statistic to put this sobering trend into better perspective:

No one needs to be reminded that suicide is a serious matter, whether among soldiers or civilians. But the media have managed to create the impression that it is military service overseas which is the cause of suicides among American troops, when civilians of the same ages and other demographic characteristics are committing suicide at an even higher rate at home.

Moreover, this is not the first time that military service overseas has been portrayed in the media as the cause of problems that are worse in the civilian population at home.

The New York Times led the way in making homicides committed by returning military veterans a front-page story, blaming this on “combat trauma and the stress of deployment.” Yet the New York Post showed that the homicide rate among returning veterans is a fraction of the homicide rate among demographically comparable civilians.

In other words, if military veterans are not completely immune to the problems found among civilians at home, then the veterans’ problems are to be blamed on military service — at least by the mainstream media.

The rest of Sowell’s excellent commentary may be found here.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I doubt the Administration address those matters because they lie in the first place to go to war.

Comment by moniqueth3intern

Actually this post was more about Obama’s arrogant grandstanding than anything else. His letter is a PR ploy to get the anti-war libs pumping their fists in the air and to show voters what a take charge kinda guy he is. But he comes across more like a smarty-pants college kid here than he does a true leader. No offense to smarty-pants college kids, of course…

Comment by hopperbach

Well, the media painting Obama as soft at one point and now it look like they are painting as anti-war libs. I have heard so many different argument from the media and the story keep changing so much. So yes, I can see how he may come across as smarty-pants college kid. The question come to mind, do you want a president who drink a beer with you or one who is a smarty-pants college kid? President Bush was one who most people thought that he look like one who can drink a beer with.

Comment by moniqueth3intern

I’d enjoy hanging out with Bush but he wouldn’t be much fun to party with since he’s on the wagon and all. On the other hand, I’m not averse to sitting down and having a Sam Adams with Barack and discussing a few key issues. On my tab, of course (if it were on his I’d end up paying for it anyway).

Comment by hopperbach

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