'Not Surprising': U.S. Soldier Kills Five Others in Iraq

For Immediate Release

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Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

'Not Surprising': U.S. Soldier Kills Five Others in Iraq

WASHINGTON - The New York Times is reporting: "The United States military said Monday that five American soldiers had been shot to death by a fellow soldier who opened fire on them at one of the biggest American bases in Baghdad, and that the suspected shooter was in custody."

AARON GLANTZ
Glantz is a Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism at the Carter Center and author of the book The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle Against America's Veterans.

He said today: "This Columbine-style shooting in Iraq is shocking, but unfortunately is not surprising. For eight years now, the Army has stood by silently as more and more American soldiers have taken their own lives under the strain of repeated deployments, an acute lack of mental health services, and a back-door draft. It was only a matter of time before a stressed-out soldier pointed his gun at comrades rather than himself.

"In January, the Army reported more active-duty soldiers had committed suicide than died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The Army's suicide rate for 2008 (128) was the highest in 28 years."
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