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How Much is Enough? : Effects of PTSD Induced by Afghanistan War

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After reading the article, “When the Good Do Bad” by David Brooks featured on the New York Times, it occurred to me that the possibilities of any individual of committing a murder is very common. On his article, Brooks explains his stance on how common people are eligible of committing crimes. He believes that when an individual is persecuted for murder, it should not be perceived as “bafflement”, instead, that it is very common for anyone to be able to “snap” at any given moment and commit a misdemeanor. In order to enforce his opinion, Brooks relates his theory to the case of Robert Bales, Staff Sergeant of the United States Army, who is accused of murdering 17 Afghan citizens this past March 11, 2012. Brooks’ assumptions derive from the fact that, Bales as any other individual, is capable of committing murder and that the society should not be surprised by his action. Indeed, Brooks is correct in believing that individuals are capable of committing horrendous acts and the motives range from person to person, but he is wrong to assume that Bales’ catastrophic “snap” was induced by this stance. Although studies have shown that any common individual is capable of committing horrifying acts, Bales’ impulses, on the other hand, were derived from his traumatic experiences after serving multiple deployments in the American Army during the Afghanistan War.

First, concurring to Brooks’ ideal of individuals being capable of the unthinkable, he emphasizes the murder, which Sergeant Bales committed to fall under this category. In regards to the incident, Brooks stresses “people who contain reservoirs of compassion and neighborliness also possess a latent potential to commit murder” (Brooks par. 6). He continues on his argument by contemp...

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