Published on Dissident Voice, by E.R. Bills, August 20, 2009.
In the last few years the number of suicides involving active duty American troops has skyrocketed. In addition to engaging the enemy, a growing number of our soldiers are fighting themselves. And they’re losing.
The Army’s new solution is “resiliency” training. Instead of completely eliminating the back-door draft or reasonably limiting the number of deployments a soldier and/or his (or her) family has to undergo, Uncle Sam is simply trying to make sure our warriors can better stomach the strains and inequities we have required them to endure.
Clearly, the logic seems to be that there is nothing wrong with what we’re asking them to do; they’re simply ill-equipped or not up to the task. As noted in the New York Times, the “resiliency” program will be offered in weekly 90-minute classes, the sessions designed “to defuse or expose common habits of thinking and flawed beliefs that can lead to anger and frustration” …
… If you tell me America has been attacked and knowingly send me to a country that had nothing to do with the attack and have me unknowingly slaughter innocent people who also had nothing to do with the attack, I will eventually find myself alienated from you, my community and myself. I will lose my center, become unsettled and feel undermined. It’s one thing to be made a fool of; it’s quite another to be reduced to a murderous fool and a pathetic, discarded marionette.
If it is the U.S. Army’s intent to bolster our troops’ resiliency in the face of such absurdities, that’s fine. Good luck. The plan obviously addresses the symptoms of the problem instead of the problem itself, but our servicemen and women need all the help they can get. My hope is simply that we don’t stop there.
Our leaders need to be scrutinized and held accountable and we, the public, need to be chastised for our ignorance, apathy and frightful gullibility. In fact, as the troops receive treatment and training for their psychological maladies, we could stand to be screened for our own potential neuroses, particularly of the collective or communal varieties. We elected and continue to elect low representatives who usurp young Americans to perpetrate mad acts. Clearly, our soldiers are not the only folks whose sanity we should be concerned about. (full text).