It has long been known that there are more veterans who end up committing suicide than there are who actually die on the battlefield. This fact has been so unsettling for many people in the mainstream because it exposes the true nature of what war is all about. When the people on the front lines are so depressed about what they have seen and what they have been forced to do, it opens up a whole list of questions that people in the US have been running from for over a decade.
As of last month, 270 active-duty service members killed themselves this year alone, and half were from the Army. Instead of targeting the underlying psychological issues and traumatic memories that are pushing veterans towards suicide, the establishment has been putting forward false solutions that just cover up the symptoms, instead of addressing the causal factors behind the depression.
As suicides continue to rise in 2012, the Defense Department officials are developing a suicide prevention campaign, part of which will encourage soldiers to give up their weapons. Under current legislation when troops are identified as high risk, commanders have the authority to confiscate their service weapons, but they can not ask them to hand over their personal firearms.
These new policies that have been suggested by Congress and the Pentagon are hoping to change that, giving commanders and law enforcement the ability to confiscate their personal arms. This is by far the most offensive and alarming attempt by the US government to lower veteran suicides, but it is not the first time that they have put forward a solution to this problem which misses the point entirely. Earlier this year the US Army awarded a scientist at the Indiana University School of Medicine $3 million to develop a nasal spray that eclipses suicidal thoughts.
The underlying problem here, the bottom line, is that human beings are not cut out for the kind of carnage that plays out on the battlefield. Despite the cultural mythology surrounding human nature, and the dark history of subjugation that has plagued humanity for centuries, violence has a very traumatic impact on the human consciousness. The human nature debate is something that I cover frequently in my work; I even released an article last week reporting on recent scientific studies which added more evidence to back up the argument for a peaceful human nature.
In my hardback book Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance I give a more in-depth description of how post traumatic stress disorder is an indication that human beings are not built for lives of violence. In chapter 12, “Inhuman Nature” I discuss how:
war is the most inhumane and unnatural phenomena on the planet, yet due to endless propaganda and indoctrination it is revered as honorable in most cultures. Dehumanizing programs such as the American ‘boot camp’ are used by governments to remove any traces of empathy, compassion or free thought from the minds of potential soldiers. During these programs the military conditions soldiers into accepting violence through imposing racist and hateful ideologies. This kind of psychological manipulation coupled with the horror of war often results in what doctors describe as post-traumatic stress disorder, a severe emotional condition in which extreme circumstances cause severe depression and panic attacks. If violence was a natural part of the human condition then soldiers would not be coming home from war with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Veteran suicide is a serious problem, that certainly deserves a great deal of attention. However, these solutions that have been put forward by the establishment are nothing more than band-aids that overlook the causal factors behind the depression. These people are suffering through a very traumatic time in their life, where they need to work through their issues and face their demons head on before coming to terms with what they have experienced. To cover up these issues and act like these veterans have no good reason to be depressed is to bury them even deeper in their trauma and increase their risk of depression and suicide.
J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio. He is also an artist with an established record label and event promotion company that hosts politically charged electronic dance music events. You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com.