An Army psychiatrist went postal last week at a military base in Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people in the process and wounding many others. The psychiatrist is a Major named Nidal Malik Hasan. He is a medical doctor (M.D.), with a specialty in the field of psychiatry. His job was to counsel military people who had already been in war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and/or were set for deployment, and/or were going out for repeated deployment. Some of his patients, of course, had suffered terrible physical injuries as well as psychological and emotional damage.
For a long time, the military refused to even acknowledge that sending men and women off to war to slaughter or be slaughtered caused a long-term, sometomes life-long and severe psychological condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The military simply refused to admit that it existed, refused to provide treatment to those who suffered from it, and refused to acknowledge the high number of suicides and family violence being committed by the vets who suffered from these problems.
And who is expected to deal with all of this? Military Shrinks, like Major Hasan.
Why does someone decide to become a shrink? It's a similar question for prison guards. Does somebody decide to become a prison guard because they have a borderline-criminal or violent personality and want to spend their lives brutalizing others of a similar bent? Or is it the job that changes people, takes an otherwise healthy person who becomes a prison guard and, based on years of watching unspeakable violence among inmates, the person becomes an oddball, perhaps somewhat violent and brutal in defense of themselves? There's a debate there, but no clear answer.
Same for shrinks. How many people who go into the field are primarily motivated by their own personal or family history of psychological problems? Or, does the job of sitting 40 hours/week listening to people who are unrelenting in their suffering simply change a person, make them depressed and maybe a little nuts themself?
Throw in the fact that it is now undisputed that the U.S. wars against Iraq and Afghanistan are being waged primarily for the purpose of stealing oil, stealing and controlling land to run pipelines full of oil and gas out to the coast to be taken away by western oil corporations. Assuming Major Hasad has any ethnic consciousness or religious affiliation whatsoever, how would he be affected as a Muslim by seeing the center of the Muslim world being exploited, still or again depending on one's perspective, seeing Muslims being slaughtered for no reason, seeing his own country and the military to which he had devoted his life engage in war based on lies and covering up the massacre of completely innocent civilians who just happen to be Muslims. What effect?
Who knows. But it could push somebody over the edge.
I'm pretty sure that if the shooter's name was Melvin Saperstein, Joe Lieberman wouldn't be screaming in the Senate that this is Terrorism with a Capital T, Al Queda in Texas. If the shooter was a Born Again Christian, what effect? How about a Catholic? Would the media coverage be any different? Would the politicians be so quick to condemn this person if he wasn't a Muslim? Would they at least leave it to the justice system to investigate before mouthing off? Obviously the Major went nuts. Does that matter?
They want to charge him with the murder of 14 people because one of the victims was pregnant. This is a whole sneaky way to get around the abortion rights of women. By claiming that a pregnancy is a "person" who can be "murdered," that really puts anyone who aborts a pregnancy at risk of being charged with murder and sent to prison. Of course this is Texas, the death penalty capital, but it will be a military trial.
Who wants to bet this Major will be executed, and quickly? I have a very old man who lives behind me, I'd say he's close to 90. He was wearing his military hat yesterday, I think 101st Airborne. We spoke briefly. He said he hopes they kill this guy, and do it fast. I don't think we need to bother having a trial. Both my neighbor and Joe Lieberman have identified the nut-case Major in Texas as being part of Al Queda in Texas. Kill the Bastard. It's the American way.
I've got a better idea. The U.S. military trained this guy, provided him with training facilities, taught him to kill, gave him funds, gave him shelter and food. In Texas. Isn't that the basic reason we claim to have attacked Afghanistan? I think we should invade Texas. Bomb that state. They are obviously supporting Al Queda in Texas, providing them with money, weapons, training. Let's have some Shock 'n Awe in Houston. And they've got oil, too! So we can steal that. Perfect.
All over this country, for decades, we've seen people who because of personal stresses in their lives, have a mental breakdown, get a gun and go out and shoot a bunch of people. It's so common that we've got a name for it: Going Postal. I guess it must have happened a few times at the post office. Yet you don't see people stigmatizing post office workers, or claiming we need the national guard to occupy our cities to protect us from the mailman.
Yet suddenly, when it is a Muslim military guy who does it, the country immediately calls it Terrorism. Al Queda in Texas. But this practice of giving guns to everyone, glamorizing violence, raising violent children, one generation brutalizing the next inside the homes in secret, giving them these hideous war video games and telling them that killing is fun, sending almost every generation off to needless wars (at least after WWII) makes mass shootings and gun violence a very American habit and custom. Like Thanksgiving.
Somebody should tell Joe Lieberman to STFU. Stop with the al Queda. I hope this Major gets some good attorneys, although I doubt he will. Most importantly, we need to start recognizing that the price of Empire, the cost of waging wars in each generation, is a violent nation full of men who are right on the edge, who often are violent at home (ask the cops about domestic violence), who brutalize their wives and children in secret behind closed doors, who have a high rate of suicide, alcoholism and drug addiction, and who occasionally Go Postal.
Of course Joe Lieberman wouldn't know anything about military service since he managed to duck service, hiding in the Ivy Leagues to avoid going to war himself. Another yellow Senator who cheers the slaughter of other people's children.
Thirteen people dead in Fort Hood. It's a tragedy. But the estimates are that we have murdered possibly One Million Iraqis. Anybody want to give a speech about that? How about Joe Lieberman: any compassion for the one million dead Iraqis in the U.S. war based completely on lies? Not one bit of sympathy. Maybe that's ultimately what made the Major Go Postal.