Op-ed: Donald Trump, who never saw a shot fired in anger, now thinks he knows more about PTSD than generals.
He scorned its victims in a speech in Herndon, Va., on Monday.
Trump said: "When you talk about the mental health problems — when people come back from war and combat, and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over, and you're strong and you can handle it. But a lot of people can't handle it," he said.
Many hoped Trump had been misunderstood or taken out of context, such as David Maulsby, the executive director of the Texas-based PTSD Foundation of America. He told Associated Press first news accounts were largely correct.
"At the very least, it's a very poor choice of words. PTSD is basically a rewiring of the brain as the result of trauma or prolonged trauma. That is not a reflection of a person's strength, character, stamina — any of that," Maulsby said.
"Our veterans who are struggling with post-traumatic stress as a result of their combat need to be encouraged to seek help, and not be told they are weak or deficient in character in any way, shape or form," he said.
But the criticism Trump has received doesn’t even come close to what he deserves.
As someone who suffered PTSD and had to go on Social Security Disability I can tell you it hits reporters, like me, police officers, firefighters and other first responders. And of course the victims of massacres and other violent incidents like Columbine High School, which I covered.
It was not my first such story.
Using Trump’s standards I guess I am one of the strong because I did not commit suicide. I became a walking test tube for anti-depressants and other drugs and my family’s finances were destroyed.
The irony was I was covering PTSD for Associated Press, among the first reporters to study its effect, in this century, though it had been studied before. The U.S. Army knew of the effects of repeatedly exposing troops to violence during World War 2 and knew it could lead to soldiers becoming psychotic.
Officers were told to watch for soldiers near “their breaking points.”
And yet in this century, more than 60 years later, reports of PTSD initially were greeted by officers calling victims “malingerers.” I saw this first hand at Fort Carson in Colorado and heard about its in dozens of interviews.
Trump is the last person to judge these people. Even flying in a helicopter frequently could cause PTSD, without ever deploying in a combat zone.
The late British war historian, Sir John Keegan, wrote in “The Face of Battle” that war was making itself useless because humans had evolved beyond it.
British historian John Keegan, in “The Face of Battle,” writes that evolution has made “the fitness of modern man to sustain the stress of battle increasingly doubtful.”
There is no doubt some warriors can handle the stress, Keegan wrote.
But doctors now know that “psychiatric casualties at every stage of the war formed a significant percentage of all battle casualties...”
Op-ed: A former president introduces his wife as potentially the nation’s first woman president. An English politician nominates his brother as Hillary Clinton’s opponent.
The Russians are accused of trying to steal the election for Russia. The Democratic House Leader says Vladimir Putin did more than steal files from the Democratic National Committee. She says they are paying people to carry Bernie Sanders’ signs on the streets.
The Internet was full of lies, some them perhaps only white lies, but they all favor Republican Donald Trump.
Some say the woman who was fired for trying to frustrate the Sanders’ campaign, presumably fired by Hillary Clinton, was given a job with the campaign. Not true.
The rightwing Breitbart web site said the election site 538 now predicted that Trump was 57 percent likely to win. Not true.
The site gives a 52-to-60 percent likelihood of winning.
President Obama said Trump scared him.
“Set aside the nuclear code. What I think is scary is a president who doesn't know their stuff and doesn't seem to have an interest in learning what they don't know,” Obama said in a pre-taped interview that aired Wednesday morning on NBC’s “Today.”
“I think if you listen to any press conference he has given or listen to any of those debates, basic knowledge about the world, or what a nuclear triad is, or where various countries are, or the difference between Sunni and Shia in the Muslim world, those are things he doesn't know and hasn't seemed to spend a lot of time trying to find out about,” Obama said.
Obama's Vice President Joe Biden said: “The truth is Donald Trump knows nothing about foreign policy, nor should he based upon his background. But the thing that bothers me, Willie, is I don't see any attempt from him to go out and get people who really know [the subject] on the Republican side,” Biden said.
Speaker after speaker, including former President Jimmy Carter, talked of how Hillary worked for them and with them.
No one could match Bill Clinton. Who else would tell the audience that one summer Hillary decided to work in a salmon factory?
Here is Bill’s speech.
Democrats showed people who said they had been rejected by Trump ranging from victms of injuries and diseases to shootings.
Nothing matched the claim that Trump, who has declared himself proud to make money off the recession, had gotten a government cash payment because one of his businesses was damaged in 9/11.
This is a man who bragged that he was proud of his five bankruptcies. They showed, he said, he knew how government worked.
On Wednesday night the convention will hear from outgoing President Obama, who has been a strong backer of Hillary. Michelle Obama earlier told the crowds Hillary helped her raise her daughters.
Bernie Sanders was going door-to-door in Philadelphia telling the people who had supported him they will be electing a monster if they don’t vote for Hillary.
He told them no one was more disappointed than him to have not been nominated, but he had gotten over it and wanted to do what was right for the country.
Strongly rightwing journalists were furious with Putin for interfering in our election.
This is a man whose jets buzz our warships.
Trump is prepared to cut support for NATO, which would make it easier for Russia to retake Baltic states it once controlled.
Trump admitted Wednesday morning on network television that Russians had done numerous cyberattacks.
Once again Trump refused to release his taxes, claiming he is under audit. Other candidates under audit have released their taxes.
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2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.
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