When the Doctor Goes Insane
A sane mind functions in reality. The role of an Army psychiatrist is to enable members of the military to work toward the accomplishment of military objectives. But when a healer whose first duty is to do no harm is compelled to enable soldiers to return to killing, a special burden exists. There must be a real cause for war. To justify murder in the nation's defense, the cause must be not merely threat, but attack.
Simply calling military action a war does not make it so. And this deception , even in the name of national defense, is no justification for killing people in other countries who have done the US no harm.
Calling the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan "wars" is a violation of US national policy. Before the second Bush administration, America established a policy for the evaluation of war. It was called "Just War Doctrine". This attempted to create a value system for whether a war was "Just" or not.
After the Nuremberg Tribunals stated clearly that ""invasive war is the supreme international crime"", the US government convicted and hanged officers and policy makers who violated that principle. The Tribunal was made up of Judges and lawmakers from several countries including the US who made a judgment that military invasion is the supreme international crime because it embodies, by its very nature, all the other crimes against society and humanity.
Today, the US is engaged in military actions overseas that are commonly referred to as "wars". That appellation alone does not make it so. In fact, there is evidence that the fighters and the doctors who are supposed to be healing them are suffering from a cognitive dissonance so severe it is literally driving them crazy.
Killing people is one action deemed criminal in every society. Humanity could not prosper otherwise. The serious nature of homicide is reflected in the ostracism and alienation experienced by those who have committed murder. Killing another person is analogous to killing one's own membership in civilization. Murder destroys not only the immediate victim, but also the murderer's role in society. It creates a breach, a chasm, between the killer and all those who manage daily life without murder. Any taking of life, whether sanctioned by the state or purely accidental, erects a barrier between the killer and the rest of the community.
But that's not all. I suggest this most basic and proscribed transgression creates a schism in the mind of the murderer. Cause and effect-- ending the life of another qualifies forever the value of one's own life-- and for the killer, the value of life itself is depreciated and made a dispensable trifle.
When the act of murder is carried out under a political aegis, it must be held to the most rigid standard of justifiability in order to prevent damage to the social fabric of the nation. Murder is literally an insane act. It defies all civil standards and violates the most fundamental tenets of the social contract.
But in the post-Bush policy, murder is "pre-emptive".
Invasions are "wars".
Unilateral mass murder and aerial bombardment have been justified in the name of national security regardless of their effectiveness in promoting security or their ethicality. But these denials of fact and deceptions do not work in any sane mind. The crucial nature of a free and objective press is clear here. Simply calling these invasions "wars" does not make it so. Even Just War Doctrine supports this fact. So what we end up with is the attempt to justify mass murder for political considerations. The psychic discord experienced by the army psychiatrist exists on a national level. How can the US say it's alright to go around killing people when they've done nothing to deserve it?
How can the doctor help soldiers maintain sanity in the face of insane policy that denies the right of people to live if they are merely considered a threat? How can political judgments decide life or death in any sane society?
Ethical judgment is crucial to integrity and sanity. Without ethical values, no standards for behavior are possible, right and wrong cannot be defined. The entire human community lives by ethical discernment, except for those benighted souls who must be seen to be insane-- to not know right from wrong, war from invasion, love from hate, truth from lies. No wonder the army psychiatrist went insane, our whole nation has been led down the path of insanity and lies that attempt to conceal mass murder as national defense.