Seriously Not All Right

Monday, May 12, 2014

A refugee woman is seen at the refugee camp for the internally displaced in Kalma, home to 80,000 people on the outskirts of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state on November 8, 2010. A refugee woman is seen at the refugee camp for the internally displaced in Kalma, home to 80,000 people on the outskirts of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state on November 8, 2010. (AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

Ron Capps witnessed atrocities in Kosovo, the brutal cruelties perpetrated in several conflicts in Africa, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the genocide in Darfur, serving as both a senior military intelligence officer and as a Foreign Service officer for the U.S. Department of State. The cumulative effect of these experiences, combined with the helplessness of his role as an observer, propelled him into a deep depression and a long bout with PTSD. He writes about his experiences in Seriously Not All Right: Five Wars in Ten Years.


Ron Capps

Comments [10]

Lucia from Chelsea

Great show, as always, but I'm curious as to why you used that particular picture to illustrate the segment. The author talks about 5 wars and various conflicts -- some of which took place in Africa, but most of which didn't. And yet the image you have is of an East African refugee. I'll never understand this tendency in "liberal" media to constantly use African faces as a shortcut for suffering.

Were there no pictures of Kosovars? Afghans? Iraqis? It's not like you're raising money for a cause: In which case it's ALWAYS a good idea to dragoon some poor Black child into your fundraising. Otherwise, let's stop being lazy and facile.

May. 15 2014 11:00 PM

Rory Stewart's "The Places In Between" and his other book on the southern Iraq marshland benefit from his having been both in the military and the Brit Foreign Office...Rather than being mutually exclusive, the experience in both would seem to foster more insight.
All the best. I know several who have been with NGOs.

May. 12 2014 01:56 PM
Amy from Manhattan

On the idea that getting help is a sign of weakness, I think it takes more strength to seek help in the face of that attitude (esp. if you hold it yourself!) than to let it keep you from acknowledging the problem & going into therapy.

May. 12 2014 01:55 PM
Ed from Larchmont

"War is always a defeat for humanity", John Paul II.

May. 12 2014 01:55 PM
Ed from Larchmont

It's also Muslim, radical, on Christian. See Bishop Gassis is pleading for help. The government in Kartoom (sp?) wants the resources, the head of the country is an indicted war criminal already.

May. 12 2014 01:49 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Mary appeared there too - Our Lady of Kibeho - see Immaculee's book about it, how she asked people to not hate each other, but she wasn't heard, but Immaculee says that the country has really rebounded.

May. 12 2014 01:46 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Mary appeared to the seers at Medjugorge from 1985 or so, before the war there. The Church is judging its validity now, a decision should be out this summer.

May. 12 2014 01:44 PM
Ed from Larchmont

One does ask - this is going on in Syria now - where is our hope? Without prayer I don't see how a person can endure this kind of disaster.

May. 12 2014 01:42 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Could Mr. Capps say something about the effect of PTSD on the people in the regions he served in, & how it may be contributing to the conflicts there? If not being able to change what was happening could bring him to the brink of suicide (& I don't mean to minimize his experience, & I'm *very* glad he didn't go through with it), couldn't being targets & survivors of atrocities make people see their lives, & any life, as not worth protecting, so they become willing to give up/risk their lives & take other people's lives?

May. 12 2014 01:39 PM
Ed from Larchmont

People have different tolerances. And now the government has bombed the hospital is South Sudan, etc., it continues. It reminds me that after the Holocaust there were some children who refused to eat, just wasted away. Didn't want to go on.

May. 12 2014 01:33 PM

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