#101 – A Zombie Military

America is at war and we are furnishing both the enemy and the defenders. And as in all wars there will be no winners, only losers. And also, as in all of America’s wars, today’s wars are being created and fought in the American imagination. There is an enemy only because we believe there is an enemy. We are attacking the enemy because we imagine that we are being threatened. The enemy, the war and the warriors all emerge from the shadowy interior of the repressed American shadow. We are meeting the enemy and …

Let’s continue with a couple of interesting phrases, one familiar and the other we can only hope does not become familiar. “The war on drugs” and “warriors on drugs” both describe self-destructive behaviors in the American community today.

The “war on drugs” as we have come to realize targeted young people of color disproportionately and ended up criminalizing and imprisoning millions of mostly young males for what should have been categorized as misdemeanors. All wars are waged against the other and again the other exists only in the human imagination.

And now for “warriors on drugs.” Antipsychotic drugs are being used on a continuing basis to treat war-related stress or to numb or sedate those affected by it. “The number of prescriptions written by potentially habit-forming anti-anxiety medications—like Valium and Klonopin—rose 713 percent between 2005 and 2011. The use of sedating anticonvulsants—Topamax, Neurontin and Lyrica—increased 996 percent during this period. (Prescriptions for these three drugs increased 94 percent during the same period in the civilian population.)” (1)

The question has to be asked: if the source of America’s wars are not what we imagined them to be, is our treatment of PTSD in our warriors an effective solution. “Note that the military uses antipsychotic drugs to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, even though there is but weak evidence that these drugs effectively treat it. A recent randomized controlled clinical trial involving nearly 300 veterans found that the antipsychotic Risperidone was no better than a placebo as an adjunct in treating PTSD. Yet in 2007, PTSD was the most common off-label diagnosis for those, within the Department of Veterans Affairs, treated with psychoactive medications.” (1)

Clearly, if we don’t really understand why we fight wars or who the enemy is, then we can’t expect to know how to treat the catastrophic consequences of our imaginary conflicts. To reach that understanding click on the link below.

Insight # 101:    The realization that you are projecting is the most important aspect of awareness.     –John Ruskan

Link:

Reference:

  1. Friedman, Richard A. “Wars on Drugs.” The New York Times Sunday. April 7, 2013, page 5.

 

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