Some Lessons to Learn From Fort Hood

forthoodWar is taking a heavy physical and mental toll on our troops. The physical injury can be seen. The mental wounds are many times invisible until it is too late. It is not a new lesson. We saw social and political questions deteriorate unit cohesion of our military forces in the Vietnam War. The U.S. claim to fight communism in defense of freedom was a contradiction to class divisions that sent the poor to Vietnam as draftees, class tensions between Enlisted Men and Officers and the racism of White troops against Black troops. Today, there is open speculation as to whether or not U.S. actions in the Global War on Terror are just. Are these wars against Islam? Why are there little if any consequences for torturing Muslims? Are these wars about protecting the people of the United States or some other agenda? In Afghanistan and Iraq, similar to Vietnam, questions and obvious contradictions undermine the legitimacy of the cause and tear at the mind of the soldier.

There are many time bombs like Major Hasan, but those troops exploded in their homes by committing suicide or on their families; pushing love ones out of their lives and overtime destroying themselves. It is a mistake to see this day as an isolated incident. Major Hasan exploded in the open, in the middle of our lives. He and his horrific action to kill those around him is the latest and most public act of violence. He made visible the countless, hidden and forgotten tragedies. It shows us these tragedies are not restricted to the combat zone, but in ways big and small affect us at home, in our communities and as a people. It should motivate us to work harder to end the madness of war.

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About Michael T. McPhearson

Currently Michael is executive director of Veterans For Peace and co-chair of the Don't Shoot Coalition, A Saint Louis based coalition that formed in the aftermath of Michael Brown's police killing death in Ferguson, MO. From August 2010 to September 2013, Michael worked as the National Coordinator with United For Peace and Justice. He is a former board member of Veterans For Peace and as well as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010. He works closely with the Newark based People’s Organization for Progress and the Saint Louis centered Organization for Black Struggle. Michel also publishes the expressing his views on war and peace, politics, human rights, race and other things. Michael also launched website as an effort to change the discourse and ignite a new conversation about Dr. Martin Luther King’s message and what it means to live in just and peaceful communities.