Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bye, Bye Eric Shinseki,  Veterans Affair Secretary Incompetence Galore!!!
For a long time, I have been calling for the resignation of ex-Four Star General Eric Shinseki as the Veterans Affair [VA]  Secretary. 
  My professional colleagues and friends who are psychiatrists in the VA system have been complaining for years, how 9000 new Iraqi and Afghani Wounded Warriors have been completely neglected or mistreated in the Shinseki’s VA system.
  They complained correctly that the back logs were intolerable and that the staffing was SERIOUSLY INADEQUATE. 
  Instead of hiring more Psychiatrists,  my psychiatric colleagues said repeatedly that they were asked to do more bureaucratic,  inappropriate work that took them away from treating the onslaught of new, sick veterans.   Some of these returning warriors came to the VA after 4 rotations in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.  They needed help and they weren’t getting it.  You heard it before: suicide rates through the roof, domestic violence, PTSD etc.
  Needless to say,  I had asked repeatedly for better scientific treatment other than BEHAVIORAL DESENSITIZATION [which I used extensively but futilely as St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington DC.]
  The inadequate treatment and increasing backlog of 9,000 new soldiers with possible PTSD and BRAIN DAMAGE was becoming increasing intolerable.  Yet at the same time generals and admirals are enjoying doubling dipping with lucrative pensions and juicy consulting contracts- hey what’s wrong with this picture?
  Recently the NY Times, once again in an article written by  James Dao [ Sunday, May19,  2013 posted earlier] stated very clearly how inept ex-General Eric Shinseki has been as the Secretary of the VA.
The article begins with the Web video which demands: “It’s Time For New Leadership”[ at the VA, of course; and implicitly in the WH, too.]
  Finally, some of these newly formed veterans groups are saying “Enough!”  We need a change in leadership now!   Bravo, take some responsibility for cleaning up the fat bloated inept service bureaucracy.
  Shinseki may have been a good general, hell,  he even stood up to Bush Jr and was against the war in Iraq.  But that does not make him a good administrator in an organization as complex and large as the VA.  Obama can’t hold any one accountable and Obama makes bad appointments.  This mistake is costing our military vets their lives.
  Even Jon Stewart is mocking the ineptitude of the VA system.   It would be a joke if people were not suffering and even dying because of neglect.
General Eric Shinseki  take some advice from General Douglas MacArthur:
  “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”
It’s also time to heed your own words: ”The Buck Stops Here!”
Unfortunately, this is one command that was not suited for your talents, Gen Shinseki.   So bow out,  let someone competent with some administrative skills clean up the mess.  Just cause you were wounded doesn’t mean you are up for the task,  get out before you do more damage.


  1. War is hell.

    I'm not going to make any friends by saying this but what did these young Americans think it was going to be like?

    Did they really think it was like the commericials? Did they think it was going to be like a video game?

    When you go off to fight in other people's countries, and take sides in these conflcts, you might expect that really horrible things might happen.

    With all that said....

    Yes these kids need to be diagnosed as having PTSD but as yet what treatment is there for it?

    I have had PTSD myself since I was nineteen years old [though not from combat but from another similar experience] and although I've seen psychiatrists in the past there was no relief from them.

    What actually happened in my situation was simply the passage of time, and over decades the symptoms faded away until they were pretty much gone.

    However my father, who was a Korean War POW, never found any relief in his symptoms, which persisted all of his life. But then he didn't have my 150 IQ score.

    The only thing that helps with PTSD is having the intelligence to put these fears and impuses into cognative perpective over many years.

  2. PTSD is a neurosis, not a psychosis.

    The only cure for neurosis is intelligence.

    The afflicted person can have an attenutation of symptoms if he has the intelligence to put the anxieties into perspective and understand that they don't have to determine his behavoir.

    It requires intelligence for any person to realize that any impulse or emotion need not determine what they believe or how they act.

    Cognative therapy can help people of all intelligence levels understand their symptoms.