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Thursday, November 05, 2009

First, do no Harm; The Inmate Takes the Asylum
Posted by Melina | 9:13 PM

What goes on in the human brain when its pushed to the breaking point? Could today's massacre at Fort Hood possibly be the result of a terra-ist plot? The country is shocked, shocked, once again, to experience the war right here at home. I believe they call this a frag, but I don't know if it could possibly ever be as simple as that. Bush's wars have created a new kind of crazy, and I'm afraid that we are only just beginning to see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the particular form of pain coming our way in the fallout from these long, pointless wars and our shoestring budget for military after-care.

Major Nidal Malik Hassan was career military soldier, specializing in getting an education. He had not been at Fort Hood long; it was his first deployment and he was reportedly treating soldiers with PTSD. Hassan otherwise was just one of the close to 50,000 military members and almost 8,000 family members living at Fort Hood, America's largest Military base. Of course, in a population like that, the reasons for enlisting vary, and its safe to say that probably its the minority who actually look forward to overseas wartime deployment.

Before going for his M.D, Hassan got a masters in public health, so he owed years of service to the military, having attended their schools, and had recently found out that he was to be deployed himself. This was an idea that he was reportedly opposed to. In a country where higher learning is often so expensive as to be out of the reach of most people, the time had finally come for the perpetual student to pay the piper.
Hassan, 39 and on his first assignment, had become a military psychiatrist specializing in the most difficult cases of traumatic stress. It makes some sort of perfect sense in a senseless world that treating the victims of this war with their percussion injuries and paranoia about every little thing, was more than he had bargained for.

This incident is being covered wall to wall as if something like this could never possibly happen on American soil, and not just that, on the beloved soil of a military base. But really, it seems like a regular day full of all the possibilities of a trip to the Mall of America. Bush's America is armed and as surely as Hassan shot up the soldier preparation area of Fort Hood with 2 semi-automatic handguns, every 3rd person at the mall likely has one of those tucked somewhere waiting for the inevitable. This is not a case of a soldier with AK-47's shooting up the place; its actually less fire power than the average gang member off the street has; But it was enough to kill 13 people and injure 31.

Of course also, the name Hassan sounds a little too Arabic for comfort, which has caused some punditry to mention the possibility of him becoming a part of a terraist network or some such. According to the punditry, a shooting of this type was recently called for by Al Qaeda leader, ex-American wunderkind, Adam Gadahn, and heaven knows, anything is possible at this point. It gives Tweety something to go on about; could Hassan have contacted Al Qaeda on the Internet tubes and been converted in his spare time? The possibilities are endless and we will likely be treated to every scenario along the way.

The inevitability of this thing is what is so glaring. Yeah, it's unusual and shocking that the guy either acted to make a statement or succumbed to this level of insanity, directly before he was to be deployed and that no one noticed that something was wrong. And yeah, it makes little sense that he would kill the very people that he was trained to help. There is surely more to this story, but the rub here is that whether or not he meant for this to be a political statement, it is one. The injuries and PTSD suffered by the soldiers he treated may well have been horrific enough, and his empathy or fear deep enough, that he couldn't take it. So, for whatever reason, he cracked, for whatever reason he crossed over into a place where he could do this much harm. His actions speak volumes on the damage of these wars and how overused our soldiers, in every capacity, are.

Hassan killed 13 people who had lives and families, fears and beliefs of their own. He locked his own fate in those actions, as he must have intended to die today. There is just no knowing what causes someone to snap, but we have to know, very clearly, that we are going to be seeing more of this. Its not going to be something predictable or something that you can prevent. The injuries suffered because of the Bush Administration's lies are vast and deep. We were going after Bin Laden, not nation building, but all of these years later, now we're responsible for the whole area.

So expect the unexpected and keep your eyes peeled for odd behavior or normal behavior or packages left untended on the subway platform. Bring a biscuit for the bomb dogs in Grand Central and realize that this is how much of the rest of the world lives their lives largely because of our meddling. Get used to the new landscape; Obama cant make things OK again...too much has happened.

The unsure nature of things is really not so different than the rest of life, except that we know that we can stop the setting that causes this particular problem, and really, as much as our representatives don't listen to us, we may have to try to make a louder statement that we have to stop the wars...both of them...


That's all.

**** ******* ****

Breaking 10:45 PM via CNN: Hassan, who had been believed dead in the massacre, is alive and in FBI custody. So, maybe we are gonna get some answers after all. So much for going out in a blaze of glory!

c/p RIP Coco

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Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...
Ridiculous. You almost seem to blame us, that is Americans, for the acts of this nut. This man is probably a "lone wolf" terrorist. These Mohammedans are as dangerous as those we face on the battle field. Stop the war(s) you say. We should be fighting them instead of nation building. Do you not want to avenge those who lost their lives on 9/11? What about American and Western troops who have died fighting. Do we just walk away and forget their sacrifice? Grow Up!

Blogger Jill said...
BC, how many "Mohammedans", as you call them, have to die for us to be "even"? How many Muslims = one American? 10,000? How about 85,000, which is the number cited by the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry, or 601,000 -- the number estimated by Johns Hopkins University, or over one million, which is the number released by the British polling agency ORB. Is that enough? How many people who did nothing to us make up for the nearly 3000 people who died on 9/11/01? At what point are we "even"?

As for "revenge", where has that gotten us so far? George Bush kept us in Iraq for nearly eight years, turning his back on those who "attacked us" -- including Osama Bin Laden, whom he allowed to escape at Tora Bora. Please tell me how you get "revenge" and at what point the body count becomes high enough for your taste.

And as for the American and Western troops who have died trying, does it make sense to continue to feed troops into the Middle East meatgrinder to somehow give the deaths of those who have already died meaning? What you are saying is that the only thing that gives death meaning is more death. What a simplistic notion.

In case you haven't noticed, it is liberals who want to give our troops support by making sure that they have what they need when George Bush's Pentagon in the form of Donald Rumsfeld sent them to war on the cheap. It is liberals who want veterans to have health care, both mental and physicals. It is liberals who want to honor their service by sending them to college. It is liberals who pay homage when they return home in a box. It is liberals who want to make sure to hold their lives dear enough that we don't send them to fight unless there is a clear mission with a clear goal.

I know that you are smarter than the GOP talking points you cite in this comment. Now tell us just what will make us "even" in your eyes.