“Both McCrystal and Petreus self-destructed, they did something they knew would harm themselves and others and did it anyhow. Self-destructive behavior is one of the major elements of post traumatic stress disorder. Generals are not immune from this response to the psychological ravages of war. John Bulette M.D.”
Ed McGaa on Nov 10, 2012 at 14:33:29
“Bull Shit, Doc. A General has it a helluva lot easier than that guy driving over IUDs or walking patrol. I've been both- enlisted (Korea) and later (Nam) an F-4 Marine Close Air, Tree Top level Pilot seeing plenty of combat. SAM missiles too. You pick up an extra rank, the more FOCUSSED leadership is demanded of you. Duty, Honor, Country and your Oath will have you do it. Lay off the GD modern invented medical terms when we talk Honor and Duty!! Dont try and tell it to this Marine!”
“Gen. McChrystal's comments as he was orchestrating his departure from Afghanistan speak volumes about his humanity and his integrity," for every civilian we kill in Afghanistan, we make ten enemies". Our military are not trained to kill civilians, I believe this is the reason he arranged his departure. I also believe the civilian death toll plays a hugh part in the suicide epidemic among combat veterans. Afghanistan and Iraq are replays of Viet Nam, which was a corrupt and self-destructive enterprise. McNamara told us the truth about Viet Nam way too late and after elaborate lying. McChrystal's words are more timely and honest, we should listen. john Bulette M.D.”
atexasdem on Oct 7, 2011 at 16:41:23
“Americans don't want to see the reality of war. They want war to be like Monday Night Football. Preferably watched from the comfort of their living room with a cold beer and snacks in their hands.”
AbeMartin on Oct 7, 2011 at 16:16:26
“Sorry, Dr. Bulette, In Iraq, our troops, though not trained to kill civilians, have managed to kill tens of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani non-combatants and would many tens of thousands more in our unending cycle of invasion. They have also managed to run up the body count in every single military adventure they have started since 1963, when we first started to send "advisors" into Vietnam. Were these combatants, white, Christian, northern Europeans, Australians or New Zealanders, instead of Africans, Asians, Muslims, Slavs or Latinos, I don't think we would be quite so casual about it.
McChrystal is just as big a liar as McNamara. Both of them should have spent ten years in the brig.”
“rep. murtha, by requesting an exit plan only to be ignored, i think you miss the point; there is no exit plan because the neocons have no intention to leave. the base building and the fortress of an embassy all speak to a permenent occupation. jim webb in the senate has said no bases, i hope yoou support this initiative. we could start the negotions with iran by apologizing for the cia orchestrated over throw of a democratically elected government there in 1953. our people need to be educated to the fact that we are hated in the middle east ( and elsewhere) because we have interfered in their affairs in a very clandestine and destructive way. we have fifty years of waging wars based on lies and deceit, enough. john bulette”
“l have so much respect for mr. packer's perspectives on the war in iraq. assassin's gate was a thoughtful story that was told from a variety of viewpoints, from neocon idealogues to ordinary iraqi citizens throughout the country. his story could not have been told without the support of courageous iraqi translators. this lack of concern for us folks, iraqi, us, afghani, etc, is the defining immorality of the bush -cheney cabal. the examples are endless; lie to get into a war, too few troups that are not properly armed, lying about strategy , i.e. calling an occupation a war to free iraq. we are being led by people who precipitate war and they are supported by legions who profit enourmously by this endevor. the democrats have an opportunity to initiate a shift away from the war economy we've been in for more than fifty years. john bulette m.d.”
“this most recent attack on the autonomy of iran is a blatant continuation of covert policy initiated in the 50's not long after the cia was morphed from rhe secret service. the coup orchestrateed by the cia over threw mohammed mossedegh. this coup took place not long after mossedegh nationalized the british oil company. for more details read "all the shah's men". a more correct comment on the bush family fortune is that indeed it is linked to oil and government contracts but both are superceded by profits garnered from supporting war, any war. ideally you fund both sides as in the iran iraq war. by this measure bush is arguably the most successful president in history. our defense budget is off the charts and represents a hugh relocation of wealth. impeachment would be a start. jbulette.”
Durango on Oct 30, 2007 at 11:10:50
“And we shouldn't forget that the present government of Iran is the duly elected democratic government. A flawed democracy no doubt, but after the debacle of 2000 how is the USA in a position to criticize any one else?
So if Bush/Cheney have their way we will have overthrown 2 democratically elected governments in Iran. (And no doubt made martyrs out of the present one).
Our meddleing in 1953 was paid back 25 years later with Khoemeni's revolution. Our meddling now will haunt us for at least that long. Probably much longer.”
“this is a very thoughtful, academic essay. it would be more convincing to those uncertain about whether torture is ever justified if the scope of motivations and history of our use of torture was included. torture has been a covert element of u.s. policy following wwii, if not before. operation phoenix was a systematic program of torture, intimidation and assasination widely used in viet nam. the intent of those who advocate torture is not limited to obtaining vital information but also to let the target population know what they can expect. when our leaders talked about winning the hearts and minds of the vietnamese, operation phoenix was a major component of that effort. abu ghreib was similarly intended and was initiated at the very top , and is a very clear indication of the moral decay there.john bulette m.d.”
“its salutory that someone with the stature of sen. joe biden opts to focus on domestic violence. it is unfortunate that his emphasis on lawyers as a solution or as a major element of recovery diminishes the enourmity and complexity of perhaps the major publlic health scourge of this or any other time. victims of domestic violence are at high risk to develope post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd). multiple studies have documented that ptsd is co-morbid with depressions, various anxity states, and substance abuse. in my opinion, as a psychiatrist, domestic violence is, arguably, the largest mental health problem we face. what the mental health system lacks are well-trained cllinicians to assist victims in their recovery, lawyers are a neccessary adjunct. i appreciate your efforts and respectfully suggest you re-think the priorties john bulette”
SteveCamp on Oct 19, 2007 at 18:21:36
“Your comment serves as further proof of the old maxim, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Since when did psychiatrists take up the practice law? These victims need immediate protection from the courts. You can't counsel a dead body.”
sparkandy on Oct 19, 2007 at 07:14:27
“Thank you for pointing that out. There is a form of PTSD that victims of domestic violence suffer. My doctor says I have it because I do things like focus on "Has anyone tracked the changes in the English language in land documents between 1600 and the present?" instead of thinking about what I'm going to do when my house is repossessed.
I'm in counseling and taking anti depressants and the only place I really function is at work. The rest of the time I'm a basket case.
My abuser is NOT in counseling, even though the Court ordered it. There's nothing wrong with HIM.”
“i appreciate the thought and courage this blog illustrates. more people need to see through the moral bankruptsy this pre-emptive war represents. blackwater is not a cause of the social chaos in iraq, its a symptom of malignant leadership that pursues war and killing disguised as idealistic quests for democracy and freedom. this amoral undercurrent is manifest in cia interference in other country's sovereignty starting with mossedegh in iran jn the 50's. operation phoenix in viet nam is an egregious example of what is now a powerful and insidious force in our society. taking back our country and its founding values has never been more pressing. jbulette”
“this critique of blackwater and its impact on the so-called effort to win the hearts and minds of the iraqi people totally mises the point of "shock and awe". we heard the same spin in viet nam, what we got was operation phoenix. my lai was very likely was linked to phoenix. abu ghreib and the torture initiatives and renditions are all part of the mind set of terrorizing populations into submission. lets connect the dots and make all this criminal behavior part of the debate. john bulette”
“just returned from spain after a 35 year hiatus, the prosperity was breathtaking, building and industry and hi-tech agriculture everywhere. madrid was bustling with vibrant, well-dressed people, it was great! amazing what can happen when a culture learns from its experience,i.e. exspend energy and creativity and money on fostering human growth vs spending it on destruction. jbulette”
“i've come to think that the character assassinations directed at bush i.e., chutzpah, misses a very critical point. the militarists he represents foment war period. they don't have concern about the human cost to us or to putative enemies. and they don't care much about winning or losing. the war on drugs is an example, its a failure, yet the money and troops continue to be deployed. making a concerted effort to educate more of the population that we have amoral leaders who will go to any lengths to justify war has the potential to cut through the fear-mongering to a better place. jbulette”
“this is excellent commentary that needs to be widely dissemenated. rove exemplifies the total lack of any moral concept that typifies the malignant group that have usurped control of the republican party. john bulette m.d.”
Tennessean on Aug 19, 2007 at 11:23:17
“Yes, but I think we have a problem in the Democratic Party, too. And, it is the very "Alice in Wonderland" quote so brilliantly posted earlier and reprised in my thoughts below. Here is our problem summarized by Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com, in one of this rational and reasoned columns, which every American should read closely. Our "foreign policy" establishment, whether it is run by the Demi-crats or the Republi-cons, is geared toward something other than "truth, justice and the american way." It's a house of smoke and mirrors, and no one is telling the truth at all. Both sides argue in abstract, orwell-speak regarding the policies that we are impacted by every day in the country. Just read it, and see why we're going to have to have a revolution from the ground up if we're going to ever change a damn thing. Why aren't we impeaching this president? He has clearly violated the law (FISA) and admitted to it. The Democrats are obstructing the rule of law by NOT impeaching Bush, Cheney and Gonzales. Bruce Fein is right on the money on the issue, and so is Glenn Greenwald here:”
“to this list i would add schools. neglect of schools for middle class children is another example of the indifference of the idealogues now in power. this social darwinism, read fascism, is fueled by the ersatz social science of charles murray. murray opined that teaching the lower class types was pointless. what's wrong with america is that our current leadership has no moral compass.”
“the suicide rate among combat veterans has always been asignificent component of mortality figures in any war and is directly linked to ptsd. one of the major elements of ptsd, in addition to flashbacks, is the psychic numbing. those who suffer from this syndrome can be emotionally shut down i.e., they do not have access to any emotional signals. anyone with such a shut down in place is unable to make emotional connections to anyone. if this state of alienation persists and is projected into the future life is not worth living. another devastating element of ptsd is so-called survivor guilt. when veterans feel guilty aboout surviving when buddies have not survived, some feel they do not deserve to survive either. i'm writing as a psychiatrist with many years experience working with trauma victims on their recovery, also a viet nam veteran. john bulettem.d.”
“an additional perspective on the bush psyche is the family history as depicted in thomas frank's book on the bush dynasty. the bush family wealth derives from war profits going back to ww 1. the strikiing feature of mr. frank's research is that the financiers, of which the bush family was a leser component, are not concerned with winning wars but rather just fomenting wars since they finance both sides. while focusing on george bush is useful since he represents an immediate threat, the militarist elite that he comes from needs broader public outing. we need more people like chalmers johnson and more more people need to read him. john bulette m.d.”
“hopefully, mr. waxman's work will get wide media exposure and become part of a push to end another war conducted for fraudulent reasons. its been my belief that the war on drugs is more corrupt than than the war in iraq which is more corrupt than the war in viet nam. keep up the drumbeat. john bulette m,d, viet nam veteran.”
“i read the wash post piece by mr. kristol and was equally amazed by his hubris. i do disagree with name calling when contesting the lies the neocons are given to promoting. i my opinion the issue for them is pushing war,any war. as long as there is war under way they have hijacked the federal budget. they are not stupid or incompetent, they have no concern for the common man. they lack a moral compass, something that jumps out at you when you read henry kissiinger. i believe there is an historic opportunty to confront the mmilitary-industrial complex to move away from this war focus that will ultimately destroy everything. john bulette m.d.”
“ms. kelly makes several compelling points in driving a wedge between the adm and the troops. being against the war is not bring against the troops or against the country. for most its being against the immorality of the militarists who have usurped the republican party and taken the treasury hostage, i find it incredible that there has not been a surge of national disgust for those who advocate kiling iraquis to promote democracy. it reverberates with blowing up villages in viet nam to save them from communism. this betrayal of the public trust richly deserves impeachment. john bulette”
“i agree fully with gov. richardson's views on ending the devastation in iraq immediately. redeploying the troops is important but the matter of closing the incredible number of military bases is of the essence. the purpose of these bases is not to promote democracy, the goal is much more sinister. noone in in their right mind believes it is morally justifiable to kill people for democracy, this is akin to blowing up villages in viet nam to save them from communism. jbulette
“jane smiley is getting close to seeing what is the big picture as articulated by those who support empire. ongoing war is the object, it doesn't matter much whether we win or lose, what matters is that our resources go toward making war. we play into these people by calling them stupid or inept or incompetent. they are not. they are militarists,some might say fascist, or on an individual basis, sociopaths, people who have no reguard for the well-being of other people. killing people in the name of democracy is a prime example. jbulette”
“mr. chopra's thoughts on accountability are thoughtful and point out a deficit in political procedure, save for impeachment for which there is growing sentiment. mr . chopra used the word militarist which has great potential to evolve as a powerful devaluing label, similar to the way those on the right managed to turn liberal into a dirty word. jbulette”
your courage in telling the truth about the sufferiing of our troops and their families is very welcomed. i believe its time to go beyond quibbling about details of conducting this immoral, if not illegal war, and to highlight and educate the public about who benefits from saying the course. congress, has an oversight responsibility in the matter of the contracts awarded. this money is not going to the troops, its going to american corporations. this should be publicly stated.
on another matter, i hope you are paying attention to the impeachment initiative that is gaining resonance in vermont. impeaching bush would send an important message to the militarists. keep up the good. john bulette m.d.”
“this is a very insightful comment on another failed war that continues to be funded despite widespread perception that it's bogus. joe califano said, five or more years ago in a ny times mag article, it was a failure but quoted polls saying most people thought drug treatment did not work and were afraid to shift funding from interdiction to treaatment. milton friedman preached against the war on drugs from the get-go, even calling it a socialist enterprize in his later years. i never understood why conservatives never picked up on this idea from their patron saint, or why organized psychiatry and others interested in addiction never rose up. jbulette”
“gary hart's comments on lesssons of iraq are useful but they do not bring into focus the major motivating force in both conflicts he considers. in my opinion, the major influence is the legions of individuals and corporations who profit obsenely by agitating for war. henry kissinger even today would have us belileve that for another 'measely 300,000,000$" we could have bombed our way to an "honorable" victory in viet nam. robert mcnamara, in his apology,advised that prior to any future declaration of war that there be a moral component to the debate. the neo-conservative discourse to justify our aggressive foreign policy is striking in its utter lack of any moral element. perhaps this the reason that such words as fascist and sociopathy are appearing more frequently in efforts to characterize their value system, john bulette
ould have bombed our way to an honorable vixtory in viet nam.”