Friday, November 6, 2009

"13/30" - The Damaged within - Part 1



Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a 39 year-old Army psychiatry resident  - tasked with helping soldiers suffering the debilitating psychiatric effects of having been deployed to a war zone, at both Walter Reed Army Hospital in DC and later at Ft. Hood -  has been identified as the alleged lone perpetrator of the latest incident of violence against U.S. military troops - on U.S. soil.

Will this Democratic POTUS, with his Democratic Congress in the majority, finally take a stand against War?

According to the Army Times piece, "Major named as Fort Hood shooter:" 

Greg Schannep, an aide to Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, told the Austin American-Statesman that he was on the Army post to attend a graduation service. He said that as he neared the entrance of a building where the service was being held, a soldier with blood on his uniform ran past him and said a man was shooting.
Per news reports, this could have been a whole lot worse than it was - seeing as the building directly adjacent to the the graduation service is where the "killing fields" were.

*******************

I've pretty much sworn off watching the "celebrity news" on television - especially CNN!  Once I get caught up in all their s'posed-to-be news, my blood pressure tends to shoot right through the damn roof!  But, raised blood pressure notwithstanding, I watched the coverage of the shooting pretty much non-stop and what I saw unfolding was tragic in more ways than one.

Why is the fact that this happened on U.S. soil so amazing to everyone.  Because Ft. Hood is a closed military post?  Because this was an act of "terrorism," on American soil as CNN and others first tried to imply? Because there has been, according to CNN, a lot of reported "gang activity" on Ft. Hood?  I don't think it's amazing at all, given we've been involved in two wars - of our own making- for the last eight years on someone else's soil.  Anyway you slice it, this has brought the war home in a way that pictures of flag-draped caskets arriving at Dover never could.

I was watching this exchange on Larry King live and thought, "What the Hell!!" This is clearly illustrative of the dichotomy in this country surrounding the discussion of what are now, Obama's wars, that makes this so decidedly "un-amazing" to me:



I know Dr. Phil was the purported "expert" on the panel, but there was no better expert among them than sister, Shoshana Johnson, former Army Specialist and POW (tried to upload a photo of her when she was released from captivity but apparently, due to the upcoming release of her book, all the photos I could find have been copyrighted and I couldn't). 

And yes, I'm so very proud of her for calling former JAG Officer, Tom Kenniff out on his racism, elitism and sheer ignorance (did this guy learn to pronounce terror and terrorism from Shrub or something?).  Props to Dr. Phil for his two cents, but he's never been to war, never been shot in both ankles, never been captured and held for some 22 days.  This sister of Panamanian descent did what has heretofore been taboo in both Black and white society - she stood up, speaking her truth - out loud (and yeah, there was some neck-workin' going on) - to one who can definitely be considered a poster boy for the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy.  Good for her, and Blacks/Browns (had to add the "Browns" here.  I don't want any of my people in the diaspora to think I intentionally forgot them.)  in general - but for sisters in particular.

Other military members have died ON POST in this country - at the hands of fellow military members:

- From a July 2009 cbsnews.com piece, Was Navy Sailor Killed For Being Gay?

The 29-year-old Houston native was found dead Tuesday at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego. Roy said the family was told that Provost was shot three times, had his hands and feet bound, his mouth gagged, and body burned.
- From an October 2009 hamptonroads.com piece, Family of sailor slain in Newport News seeks court-martial:
In February, in a new apartment complex for Navy sailors, Mackie, a sailor on the amphibious assault ship, Kearsarge, put a gun to the back of Trask's head and pulled the trigger.
- From an October 2008 NY Daily News piece, Army to probe five slayings linked to Colorado Brigade:
Three other members of the unit were accused in the slaying of two soldiers.
- From a July 19 ABC News piece, Reports Clears Army in Gay Soldier's Death:

At Glover’s trial, soldiers testified that Winchell had been relentlessly taunted with anti-gay slurs in the months leading up to his slaying.
- From the 1956 St. Petersburg Times piece Sailor Killed in Race Fight at Naval Base:

A Navy spokesman said the riot broke out Friday night outside the recreation hall at Ford Island, the naval air station in the middle of Pearl Harbor.
And I would certainly be remiss, particularly as a Black Navy veteran, if I didn't list the 1944 Port Chicago Mutiny:
...many black divisions were being bet upon by the whites commanding them.  White officers were wagering whose division could load the most ammunition in the least amount of time. This atmosphere of speed-above-safety put the loaders in further peril.
 Probably the best source I've seen on the type of killing that happened at Ft. Hood,  is Salon's excellent and  in-depth, Coming Home series.  Check it out.  It's definitely worth the read.  Also, here's a short list of Some other military slayings from the Austin-American Statesman.

It just boggles the mind the way people are acting like Ft. Hood is some kind of anomaly, initially blaming it on terrorism, or some possible gang activity.  This is totally irresponsible on the part of what passes for media in this country, particularly because it allows the military, Obama & Co. and the rest of the country to continue burying their heads in the sand regarding what war does to people - deployed or not.

2 comments:

ea said...

Okay, I am stealing this line for my modified new response, "That's crap! We humans are a flawed species."

Tell it sister!!!!! Shut that boy up.

Deb said...

¡Hola mi amor! I know that's right!!!

See! That's what blogs and blogging are SUPPOSED to be about - how we can go forward together - better! I'm happy for your "modified new response!!" It means a lot to me. It says, YOU - Mi Hermana - are truly open to walking this walk in honesty. I know I'm babbling, but let me explain:

Your comment today references the "conversation" you, Cinie and I had on previous post. You've now moved from simply, "We humans are a flawed species," to - "That's crap! We humans are a flawed species," and seeing the difference - and why! I think.

In any event, my sister tore him a new one - and I ain't mad at her!! This fool was just spewing forth, never once considering (can't see how, since her release was all over the damn news!), nor caring, that SHE could have any INKLING of what REAL AMERICANS go through during a time of war. Priceless!!

And NO, I'm not feelin' any guilt - at all - for the abundance of schadenfreude I'm dancin' in right now!!

The White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy is still very much alive and well in our society, ea. But it's way past time, for my brothers and sisters of a darker hue to stand up - as Shoshana did - and say, "That doesn't make it right!"

We'd be a better country for it.

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