Thursday, May 21, 2015

Answers to the PTSD question?

My oldest brother's wife is a psychologist.  She sent me this a couple of days ago:
So I went to a seminar today and they gave the definition of PTSD as trauma being the event and the stress generated from not being able to do anything about the event. 
 I went back to things a lot of my combat vets have said....in that the rules of engagement prohibited them from fighting back on many occasions.  The response was extreme anxiety and those incidents being the ones that ended up troubling them in flashbacks and nightmares.  
The military is actually perpetuating PTSD by not allowing these guys to fight.  One of the guys said that after McCrystal left, the Rules got even more rigid in that they would call in for air strikes or firepower and be denied because they couldn't identify the enemy as the enemy.  
This makes no sense to me....why would they tie their hands like that?
Well, here's my view in response:
It’s not the military that handcuffs us: it’s Obama.
It’s an outgrowth of civilian control of the military:
Ever since the Korean War, when the military was micromanaged by Truman, and during Vietnam, when targets were hand picked by Johnson/Nixon, the political control of the military has included a basic distrust of what they do and how they do it.  Remember, the Marines marching at Obama’s inauguration were not allowed to have bolts in their rifles, and they were disarmed on more than one occasion when, Say, the Secretary of Defense would go over there for photo ops.
If I were president, I would call the Joint Chiefs in and hand them the mission of pacifying the Middle East and eradicating terrorism.  And I’d leave the details up to them.  That’s what they’re there for… and if you don’t trust them to do the job, then put somebody in there you do trust who would.  My only other job would be to make sure they had the wherewithal to do it. Many of those dead from the wars since Korea to now have died from overly restrictive rules of engagement (Which included, literally, an ROE that said you could only fire at armed insurgents… meaning that people who had been shooting at our troops a few moments before could, absolutely, drop their weapons and safely run away.  It never took long for the bad guys to figure out our ROE and as a result, that scenario played out repeatedly.)
In many respects, civilian leaders who have never served… and who have a deep-seated dislike and distrust of the military because of what we stand for… have no problem whatsoever jacking up our casualty count to make something they want to be unpopular… unpopular.  Thus, by increasing the likelihood of our troops getting killed, the war is made even more unpopular.
By giving our enemies our withdrawal schedule, it makes them stronger… and us weaker. By lying to the American people (“ISIS is the JV team” Seriously?) it makes us weaker.
By allowing ISIS to do what they’re doing in the face of a few, token air strikes that haven’t even slowed them down… well, you get the drift.
1300 of us were killed in Anbar. Thousands maimed for life.  And all the Administration can do is play golf and gut our military… and reinforce the message to our veteran population that our service is worthless with an unorganized, corrupt, typically worthless Veteran’s Administration.
It’s not the “military” not allowing guys to fight.  It’s Obama, et al.  The Military doesn't set policy: it enforces the policies they’re given.
In the end, tens of thousands more civilians have been slaughtered than would have been with ROE’s that matched the situation.  But the military does not develop ROE’s… the civilian leadership does.
And the civilian lack of military experience (Who surrounding Obama ever served?) combined with their hatred of the military and their agenda of making us weak is what results in this.
PTSD would, I believe, essentially disappear if those who fought believed in their soul that what they were doing was right and had made a difference.
While those in WW2 also suffered this, the numbers were far fewer in large part because no one ever questioned the sacrifice.  Someone who was killed or wounded in the war was universally looked on as a hero because the people of this country backed them in every way.
Ever since Dick Durbin (D-IL) got on the floor of the US Senate and compared the US Army with the Nazis over Abu Ghraib back in 04, if memory serves, that was when the lid came off and it told the fringe-left that attacking and insulting our military was a perfectly OK thing to do.
I would venture to say that if Durbin had tried a stunt like that during WW2, he wouldn't have made it off the floor alive.  Here, he wasn't even censured.
And now, the left takes joy in exercising the rights those who served and died paid for with their blood by stomping on our flag.  The White House lionizes criminals, and craps on the Constitution.  More and more, that sends the message to those who've fought for us that their efforts were for nothing. 
My conclusion: first, those suffering the most are those most aware that their sacrifice and the blood of their friends were wasted. In short, they feel that none of it mattered… and unfortunately, none of it did. So, they fight a constant battle between what they believe and what they know.  PTSD is primarily this.  Attempting to justify that which we're now having pounded in to us is not justifiable.  Despised by far too many who take their freedoms for granted. 
Second, they are no longer a part of what they were… yet, their identity will be inextricably interwoven with the service they bled for and others died fighting in.  There are elements of isolation from the group… because, well, I know, for example, that I've been out of the Army since 1986… but part of me never left.  So, in this instance, they’re part of something… yet not part of something because they’re out… but not out.
It took ten years or more for the Army to heal from Vietnam.  Many came back despised and spit on and they will likely NEVER be healed, even though the majority were drafted and had no real choice except to serve... or engage in cowardice.  Jimmy Carter reinforced that message by pardoning all the deserters. 
It might take 10 decades for the military to heal from the damage those who hate us the most have inflicted over the last 6 years, because of the gutless, political generals who refuse to stand up to those who would slaughter us for their political gain.

1 comment:

Lew Waters said...

One of the main reasons Grenada and Desert Storm were so successful is that the Military was given the mission and the politicians sat back and let them do it.

That I recall, Bush (W) was also following that path, but faced extreme opposition from Democrats that continually worked to undermine the and demoralize the Military.

Remember the New York Times article labeling Afghanistan a "Quagmire" within three weeks of the beginning of the operation?

And then, as you noted, calls from Durbin, Murtha, Kennedy, Pelosi, Clinton and so many Democrats that voted for the invasion of Iraq politicizing the war to score political points in the 2006 election.

How can anybody not expect there to be Troops suffering with their sacrifices invalidated and demeaned?