An earlier version of this post appeared in Counterpunch.
The powers that be are pulling out all the stops.
A recent video clip of Cass County Sheriff Paul D. Laney proves as much: “We have received very concerning intel,” the Sheriff said, “that an element within the protest movement wants to exploit veterans with PTSD, arm them, and try to trigger their PTSD, and turn them aggressive. Besides being horrible and wrong, it could be dangerous and deadly.”
Let the naïve buy what he is selling. When it comes to veterans, the psychiatric diagnosis known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has serious limitations; politics and society have played an essential role in the invention of this now common psychiatric diagnosis. Given that around 20 million people in the United States are veterans, the political purchase that comes with broaching PTSD should be a red flag to us all.
Historically, PTSD has impacted veterans politically, especially …