Written by Daniel Newby exclusively for SouthFront
US soldiers “touring” the ongoing, disastrous invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, face a less-than-ideal homecoming. They are investing more in America’s political policies than does the average citizen, and for their blood, sweat, and tears, many will see, hear, smell, and feel things no decent person should ever have to endure.
Most will return home confused and justifiably angry. In response, psychological practitioners in white gowns and suits will peer over their sterile charts and declare that they suffer from “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD). With this diagnosis, they will magically be transformed into “disordered” war veterans.
Hordes of psychiatrists, counselors, and even other veterans, will take this pronouncement as the green flag to encourage them to apply for various subsidies, including mind-numbing medication, individual and group therapy, and disability pension. Unfortunately, none of these bureaucratic remedies will adequately assist soldiers in confronting the root causes of their mental and emotional distress.
“Disordered” soldiers are assumed to be abnormal as compared to those who did not experience the stresses of combat. In other words, non-soldiers are more “ordered” because they were not exposed to the death, gore, and loss and pain associated with that environment.
These are convenient theories for those who profit from dishing out labels and expensive “treatments”. They are inaccurate, however. While the stresses of combat are uncommon for most Americans, there are other experiences, closer to home, that are as damaging to the psyche and spirit.
Explosions May Vary
Consider an event that might trigger the “PTSD” label for a soldier in Iraq: A roadside bomb detonates, leaving several comrades and native children dead or screaming in shock and agony. How would you cope with the emotions of that moment? How could you console yourself or others impacted? When you returned home, while removing yourself from the sights, sounds, and smells that accompanied the tragedy, how could you erase the memory of it? And should you?
Contrast this with something I, and many other political activists, have encountered here in the “real world.” We get a call in the middle of the night from parents who just had their children seized without legitimate cause by “Child Protective Services” (CPS). We listen to their desperate cries, and do what little we can to comfort and focus them.
We withhold the fact that children in the foster care system are more likely to be raped and otherwise abused than are children in the general public. We rarely reveal that one of the first places their children will go is to a pseudo-private psychiatric facility, where they are often diagnosed with disorders so that the facility — and CPS — can receive tens-of-thousands of dollars in additional perverse federal incentives. Or that their children might thereafter be drugged out of their minds to make them more “compliant” for their government kidnapping.
Like soldiers in the Middle East, we can’t easily walk away from this explosion of human misery. Over the next months and even years, we may attempt to help these parents fight against a merciless system that is hopelessly stacked against them.
During the course of our involvement, we might explain to them that they have fewer rights than an already-convicted felon. We may encounter vile bureaucrats who lie without shame, trick parents into signing away their rights, and coerce children into submission. We may witness “judges” who, devoid of ethics or decency, preside as the ruthless dictators over jury-less, and often secret, “juvenile courts”. We may watch children sob in agony as they are permanently torn from their innocent parents.
Source: As an example, consider the “family-friendly” State of Utah in “Utah Legislature Declares War on Your Family!” published by Accountability Utah in 2003. Nearly every state has erected similar barriers against innocent parents.
Trauma is Guaranteed
Traumatic stress? You damn well better believe it. And this example represents one despicable assault of many being perpetrated throughout America — on a vast battlefield of carnage and suffering.
Those of us who wrestle with these home-grown terrors have no refuge or escape. We get no special kudos, support groups, subsidies, or parades. We know the victims, and can knock on their door to relive their torment and emptiness all over again.
Yes, our soldiers are being horribly abused. They are being sent to the slaughterhouse by a society in complete decay. The “leaders” who give them their orders, the corporations that profit by providing their equipment, the pastors and chaplains who tell them Jesus is proud, and the masses that enable such corrupt individuals and organizations, are sick and degenerate.
Like many of us political activists, soldiers are being thrust into an environment that fortunately strips them of their blissful ignorance. They are beginning to realize that their neighbors are in a state of stupor; not inclined to fight, or in any meaningful way resist, the nefarious people and systems above them.
With time, it will become exponentially more difficult for soldiers to slap an “I Voted” sticker on their chests and disregard the calamities happening in their own backyards. They, like us, are being forced to taste some of the blackest fruits of our collective failure.
We are each paying a heavy price for every stupid vote, tolerated lie, and abysmal policy decision. We are realizing that these grotesque politicians despise the ideals they claim to believe in public settings. And few of us — military soldier or activist soldier — will enjoy those Souza fluff-parades of flag waving and apple pie the way we used to.
And why should we? Our future is in too serious a jeopardy to ignore. Those of us who recognize our precarious state, and try to improve our world, are traumatized and stressed, but we are not “disordered.” That term is earned by those who pretend that our disintegrating society is actually ordered and serene.
Soldiers, you don’t have to retreat into an emotionless cocoon of denial. Join us in facing reality. We need you, and you need us. Let’s take the journey toward independence and empowerment together. We do not require experts and pills to deaden our mental faculties or make a mockery of our hard-earned experience. Nor should we act “normal” like the comatose masses around us.
We can support each other by rejecting the neutered passivity and detestable subservience so commonplace today. We can resist by pursuing a clear and uncompromising path toward justice and accountability. We can deal boldly with those who manipulate and abuse others.
When enough of us are ready to exert our strengths together, we can create something superior to the intolerable cesspool that keeps us up at night. Then those most responsible for today’s injustices will get a taste of the same fear and terror they have so callously dished out.
Other articles by Daniel Newby:
- When ‘Conservative’ Think Tanks Betrayed the World
- The War Vultures Circling US Presidential Front-Runners