Veterans of the 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Haiti, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and other conflicts in the War on Terror, have been subjected to a dangerous and mandatory drug; Lariam. Lariam, an anti-malarial drug developed by the US Army, has nicknames such as “The Kill Pill” and “PTSD in a pill” due to its extreme psychological side effects. And it’s not just US military veterans who have been subjected to it, many of America’s allies also took the drug, though many have now stopped. Even the drug’s manufacturer has admitted the risk of taking Lariam, though only to an extent.
Even after Lariam made front page news after several soldiers committed numerous murders & suicides upon returning from wartime deployments, the US Army and the US Government continue its use to this day. During the Somali Civil War, Lariam was the suspected culprit that led to the murder of a Somali captive at the hands of a famed & elite Canadian Airborne Commando unit, a unit I worked with in Somalia during a joint mission; true military professionals in every regard. The incident led to the regiment’s disbanding in 1995.
I have personally witnessed the effects of Lariam. Chapters in “Behind the Gun” called “The Michael Jackson Incident” and “Jesus of Barawa”.
Why would the US Military give its soldiers a drug that can induce psychosis? Well, you tell me.
Somalia was not a peacekeeping or humanitarian mission. It was a military intervention in a civil war, the goal of which was nation building for both military and economic benefit. We were just additional combatants in an already confusing mix of clans and warlords.
Lariam use and its immediate and lasting effects is just another piece to the mystery of the Somali Civil War that will be examined in “Behind the Gun”. Hopefully we can cause enough of a controversy to end its use, and put an end to innocent casualties of its effects on both sides of the gun.
Thoughts and comments, please.
~ Bravo Charles
Copyright© Bravo Charles & Behind the Gun 2016