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US veterans suffer from trauma of fighting Imperial wars: Journalist

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Former US Marine Corps sharpshooter Bryan Riley, 33, who broke into a pair of homes in Tampa, Florida, and shot dead four people, is escorted by police officers to the jail on Sunday afternoon.

Many US military veterans engage in anti-social behavior and some become cold-blooded killers after suffering from the trauma they acquire while fighting in unjust imperialist wars, according to African American journalist and activist Abayomi Azikiwe.

Azikiwe made the remarks while commenting to Press TV on Monday after a former US Marine Corps sharpshooter broke into a pair of homes in Tampa, Florida, and shot dead four people, including a three-month-old baby.

“Prior to this morning, this guy was a war hero. He fought for his country in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters. “And this morning he’s a cold-blooded killer.”

Bryan Riley, 33, had no apparent connection to the victims but had become increasingly erratic in the weeks leading up to the shooting, according to reports.

“This is another example of the detrimental impact military service has become for young people in the United States,” said Azikiwe.

“The shooter had served four years in the Marines and was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He later spent three years as a military reserve. Many veterans of the US military engage in anti-social behavior stemming from the trauma they acquired while fighting in an unjust imperialist war,” the journalist explained.

‘US must end the imperialist wars’

“Even President Joe Biden stated at the time of withdrawal from Afghanistan by the Pentagon and NATO, that on average, 18 soldiers and former military personnel commit suicide every day. This phenomenon will inevitably worsen as the full social, political, and economic impact of the Afghanistan debacle unfolds for not only soldiers and veterans but also the society as a whole. $8 trillion has been spent on the so-called ‘war on terrorism' by the US over the last two decades,” he added.

“The enormous impact on the overall economy of the US has been devastating. Education, healthcare, environmental quality, housing accessibility and the labor market has gone into serious decline,” the analyst said.  

“To label the behavior of Bryan Riley as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) seeks to avoid the deeper social-psychological malaise running rampant in the US. If the successive Republican and Democratic administrations want to address this crisis, they must first end the imperialist wars, return all troops to the US and begin to restructure the national priorities of the country towards serving the interests of the people,” he concluded.


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