Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Trying to do the impossible?

Today, Tracy Rep. Jerry McNerney and every other congressional representative voted to give more funding and attention to wounded and sick veterans.

McNerney, via press release stressed a particular piece of the legislation: “I am particularly pleased that this bill will also address post traumatic stress disorder and other stress-related injuries – some of the hallmark injuries of the Iraq war,” Rep. McNerney said. “The bill requires the Department of Defense to develop a plan to help prevent PTSD from developing in servicemembers.”

Unfortunately, post-traumatic stress disorder might not be preventable. War is a horrible, ugly, grisly thing, and as long as people continue to fight them, people will continue to be killed, injured, and psycologically maimed. It's the reality of the human condition and the reality of war.

It's good that our lawmakers are trying to take better care of our society's warrior class. So thanks to Rep. McNerney and all the other representatives.

But it is dangerous to pretend that we can go to war without death or injury. We have been led to believe that war is easy, and so we have become eager to escalate conflict. If we realize the reality of war and its impacts, we might not be so eager to fight in the future.

1 comment:

Erdos56 said...

There may be some ways: amygdala interactions with the hippocampus might be suppressed using medication. Group support immediately after stress events seems to work some, but only if we can punch through the macho culture of warfighting.

On the other hand, if war has no consequences on our minds because of pharmacology or other means, would that make war grotesquely easy to engage in? I shudder to think.