Saturday, November 7, 2009
From someone who was on the front lines of America on September 11, 2001, the tragic shooting and killing of Army Personnel at Fort Hood Texas about to deploy is beyond words. If you are not safe in the middle of a military base – well you know what I mean.
It is also sad to say – this particular incident is at a safe distance from many of us.
The personal toll and burden of our land war in Asia is not shared equally by all Americans, and falls unfairly on the military and their families.
This generation at the helm is perhaps trying archaic and obsolete methodology in the craft of war. Technology makes war much more abstract these days. No more Battles of the Bulge - more like mopping up at an unpaved street intersection in the middle of adobe town, anywhere, Asia. More times than not, casualties in our current land war in Asia are the result of digitally timed anti-personnel devices or crude old fashioned land mines and not from direct combat.
So too, many of those in charge in Washington paying, borrowing heavily overseas for these wars, have never served in the military. Deferments in Vietnam went to those who could afford college and not the working class who got drafted to fight that stupid useless vain enterterprise.
It was the draft that brought that war more keenly into focus to the American people. The politicians demand for sacrifice went beyond sacrifice and into the realm of insanity in Vietnam.
I am not surprised that an incident like this massacre in Fort Hood Texas had not happened before. But it has. Columbine and Virginia Tech, to name a few, are signs of the weakness of our society where guns and violence become the final answer to many stress filled situations.
Outsiders, even if native born, take the casual bullying and disrespect from day to day society. In the end we are only as strong as our weakest link. The sensitive, the unloved, the misunderstood set apart from the so-called main stream norm sheds light on our alphabet soup culture. On some days, these marginalzied people snap and sad to say innocent people die.
This Major at Fort Hood who snapped was a shrink. I heard an online cable commentator refer to any army shrink as a secular father confessor. The things said or heard and not resolved go on and on in the minds of military personnel stretched beyond their capacity. This psychological burden also carries over onto people treating them. It is indecent what we are doing to our sons and daughters in our military. Asking them to go an extra mile for all of us not serving – not making the equivalent of their sacrifice.
Major Hasan is in Intensive Care. His name has not been added yet to the 75 or more recorded suicides of soldiers at Fort Hood since 2003. There are no stats available for attempted suicides. That is a sad statistic aside from those dead at Fort Hood from the other day and along with the deaths of our military and civilian casualties since 2003 in this new artificial cold war of a wobbling, wobbling a lot of late in its artificial orbit, empire.
Putting aside all the many individual factors of this current tragedy, we need to reexamine this multitasking, recycling of humanity on tour after tour after tour to the breaking point on the front lines of combat.
Wars will never go way. We need everyone in society to bear a greater burden of the process of war if war is in fact necessary.
We need to bring back the draft to support our global empire.