More Troop Support: College and Malaria

Thursday, August 18, 2005

How do you feel about the Iraq war? Do you think we should leave Iraq? Do you support the troops, really? Here are some of the wonderful ways the Bush administration is showing its support for the men and women it sends to Iraq to do their bidding.

The first little story takes place in Austin Texas. Surely they support the troops in Texas. Carl Basham, a decorated Marine recently back from two tours of duty in Iraq, decided to enroll in classes at Austin Community College. Being a Texas resident, Mr. Basham thought he would only have to pay roughly $500, compared to around $2,600 for out of state registrants.

Support the troops, because Mr. Basham did two tours of duty in Iraq and he now no longer meets state requirements for residence in Texas. This means he now has to pay $2,600 a semester for these classes. Now if that isn't support, what is? I wonder if this is what the armed services mean when they speak of all the college money you can earn ( Here is an e-mail the army sent me: Hi Jason, I just wanted to get in touch with you to discuss the great opportunities in the Army Reserve. Give me a call as soon as you get this email so we can discuss, the college money, bonuses, income and vocational training. SSG Delmolino 508-347-5089)

Another great way Bush has shown his support was the government's usage of Lariam on our troops. This controversial anti-malaria medication (Is there even malaria in Iraq? Not one troop has contracted malaria-even since they stopped using Lariam last year) has been used on thousands of troops. According to Pentagon records, the number of prescriptions issued for active-duty personnel are as follows: 18,704 in 2002; 36,451 in 2003 and 12,363 in 2004 taken in the form of white pills every week.

So, what is the problem with Lariam, which is the brand name for the anti-malaria drug Mefloquine? Well, the FDA has a pamphlet (18-pages) that is required to be given to all patients receiving Lariam. Some side-effects listed in the pamphlet and on the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website are: headache, nausea, dizziness, difficulty sleeping (great for troops), depression (also a bonus for a person with a gun) and my personal favorite psychosis.

The FDA itself warns that because of these side-effects, Lariam is not recommended for people suffering from depression, anxiety or other psychological disorders. I have never been in a combat situation before, but it seems common sense to me that people in such an atmosphere might feel depression and/or anxiety. The troops are under fire and under threat of death every day. They are in Iraq; how can they not feel anxious or depressed?

These are just two examples of how the Bush administration is showing their support for the troops. How about you? How could a person possibly claim they support the troops when this so-called support results in this type of treatment by our own government on the people they claim to be our heroes? Is this how you would like the people coming back from this illegal war to be treated? What about when they come home and are living in your neighborhood with their service-issued firearm and the Lariam related hallucinations start, then will you support them?


Good Guy said...

Good info.

Best Regards

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