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December 02, 2007

Beyond Comprehension (Logical, Historical)

For quite some time I’ve been telling anyone who would listen (most won’t) that the drug war is one of the most stupid and destructive policies ever embraced by any nation and that our prosecution of pot users has been a key element of that war ever since Richard Nixon decided it was the best way to punish the anti-war protesters who were disrupting his first term from 1969 onwards.

One of the entities to be more or less definitively described after both Viet Nam and the ascendancy of a new DSM system for classifying mental conditions in the Eighties was PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition formerly known as Shell Shock (World War One) and Battle Fatigue (World War Two and Korea). That the same entity was already affecting some of our first units to serve in Iraq was reported in the New England Journal back in 2004. A search of this blog for PTSD will turn up other references.

Two items calling further attention to PTSD among Iraq returnees were just published. The ABC news videos simply document the extent to which it is still being either ignored or punished by the VA (bear in mind that pot has been effectively treating the symptoms of PTSD in many Viet Nam veterans for thirty years, but it’s use is still a federal no-no).

The second, documented in a long Washington Post article published today, is simply unbelievable. The ignorance, stupidity and callous cruelty reported in crushing detail in this article constitute an eloquent indictment of our  federal government, its military establishment, Psychiatry, Medicine, and the entire nation. Although its details are amazing;  the behavior no longer surprises me because I have suspected for some time that we are a species in denial of the primacy that our emotions inevitably exert over our most crucial decision making (cognitive) processes;  also that a deeply ingrained feature of that denial is the tendency to reject what Al Gore’s handlers recently popularized as “inconvenient truth.”

There are many inconvenient truths facing us other  than Global Warming, and denial has long been Humanity's knee-jerk technique for dealing with them. I will have far more to say about this in the future.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at December 2, 2007 10:23 PM