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Friday, October 12, 2012

War’s madmen cause then neglect global mental illness they cause

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. . . . 

The price of a single destroyer could heal millions. (slight license with Ike)

Nevertheless, Ellen Brown recalled in a Global Research article last year, “Every year since World War II the United States has been at war somewhere.”

Editing, commentary by Carolyn Bennett

Mentally ill
This week UN circles commemorated “World Mental Health Day” ─ Africa to Asia, overlooked USA and Co

Years caught in the crosshairs of foreigners’ wars in their land, half of Afghans over the age of 15 are reportedly suffering mental illness: “depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.”

In Uganda’s north in almost every family, there continues to be mental trauma twenty years after a rebellion (now ended) in which thousands of kidnapped children were forced into military operations.

Madness among USA/NATO/UNSC powers

Legitimate mental illness is often caused then neglected by the willful madness of foreign militaries and militarists, the makers of war.

Four hundred and fifty (450) million people worldwide suffer mental disorders. More than 75 percent of these people live in developing countries. Many of the mentally ill people are shut away or locked up. Few receive treatment.

ome madmen hold positions of power and no doubt should be locked up or at least removed from positions of power.  

Veterans for Peace co-founder Tarak Kauff wrote last year that wars and occupation corrupt the human condition and are evidence of “madness”: war, the crime of “madmen.”
Four decades after activist Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech, Kauff wrote, “madmen” ─ madmen “dispensing death, cold to the misery of others,” indifferent to the pain they have inflicted, “immune to reason and conscience”  ─ “still run the asylum.”

Moreover, madmen solidify, entrench this insanity as normal. “The system and those in power, the executors and guardians of an inhumane system of corporate capitalism, recognize that the source of their power is a subdued, sedated and manipulated public, a public fed lies and fantasies that can, when needed (and for a long time), be manipulated by fear or coercion,” Kauff said. In the long run, “the ‘mad ruling class’” relinquishes human “qualities of love, kindness and empathy.”

urthering the status quo, madmen of war turn “humanitarian” dispensers of pain who retreat self-satisfied to gated estates.

Somalis suffer
U.S.  humanitarian drone bombs
In some parts of the world it is only during or after an emergency that people with legitimate mental health disorders get any treatment at all ─ and often this humanitarian largesse is not what they need.

Dr. Mustafa Elmasri, a psychiatrist in Gaza with two decades’ experience working in conflicts and war and their painful aftermath, says “the idea of ‘emergency relief’ is totally distorted in the psychosocial sector because it is often only after disasters that people get help, when they needed it before the disaster.”

In the case of Gaza, Dr. Elmasri said “emergency relief was tagged to the war”; then the relief disappeared.  During the war in Gaza, NGOs making a profit on others’ misery swooped down. “Far too many international NGOs came in.,” he said. “They recruited staff and trained them for a few days on some aspects of trauma work, sent them around the place going from house to house looking for traumatized people, sent in psychologists to debrief health and emergency staff in single-group sessions but … single session debriefing is harmful.” Quite naturally, he said, “Families rejected this psychological help [because] what they really needed was help with basic needs.”  

In some cases, assistance is ineffective and inappropriate, Elmasri said. In the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, local people chased foreign NGO staff out of villages because so many were coming in.
ilitary industrial complex joins NGO and sectarian industrial complexes to perpetuate the madness of war, its misery, and the madmen (madwomen of the Hillary Rodham Clinton ilk) who create and sustain a status quo of perpetual madness.

“Those mad with power will never voluntarily relinquish nor surrender to even the most eloquent and passionate appeals,” Veterans for Peace activist Tarak Kauff wrote. So the citizenry must confront this machine of madmen, refuse any longer to be passive and, as Mario Savio said in 1964─

ANSWER Coalition
‘… Put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and … make it stop.’

Sources and notes

Quote from 34th U.S. president, Dwight David Eisenhower

Ellen Brown is an author and president of the Public Banking Institute.

“Africa: Untreated Mental Illness the Invisible Fallout of War and Poverty,”
(Stephen Leahy), October 10, 2012, http://allafrica.com/stories/201210110511.html

“This Madness Must Cease! Resist the War Machine March 19, 2011” (Tarak Kauff), February 5, 2011, http://www.stopthesewars.org/2011/02/05/this-madness-must-cease-resist-the-war-machine-march-19-2011/

Denied … Mental health and human rights
People with mental disorders are some of the most neglected people in the world. In many communities, mental illness is not considered a real medical condition, but viewed as a weakness of character or as a punishment for immoral behavior. Even when people with mental disorders are recognized as having a medical condition, the treatment they receive is often less than humane.
Human rights violations against people with mental disorders occur in communities throughout the world – in mental health institutions, hospitals, and in the wider community.

Image: Harrie Timmermans /Global Initiative on Psychiatry: A man crouches inside a mental health institution

Mental health beyond the crises, Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2011; 89:326–327. doi:10.2471/BLT.11.040511

Dr. Mustafa Elmasri took his Medical Degree at Alexandria University in 1983, Diploma in Psychotherapy from Tel Aviv University in 1996 and Diploma of Psychiatric Practice in 1997 from the universities of London and Egypt’s Ain Shams.

He began his career as a doctor in Gaza in 1986 and started working in mental health care in 1992. From 1998–2000, he worked with genocide survivors in Cambodia; 2000–2003 with terrorized civilians in Algeria; and 2005–2006 with Darfur refugees in Chad.

Since 2008, Dr. Mustafa Elmasri has been working with the World Health Organization to integrate mental health services into Gaza’s primary health care. http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/5/11-040511/en/


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