Posts Tagged ‘Ft. Hood’

h1

Ft. Hood Tragedy Polarizes Nation Immediately

11.10.09

Major Nidal Hasan sure got both sides spewing their rhetoric.

One side uses the tragedy as an excuse to condemn all of Islam and its followers and to justify the wars in the Middle East.  The other side condemns those who condemn Islam.

As the picture becomes clearer about Hasan and his extremist views, those who were quick to blame Islam may have more of a leg to stand on than when the news first hit about the shootings at Ft. Hood.  It doesn’t by any means justify jumping to conclusions based on the Major’s Middle Eastern name and apparent religious affiliation, but it’s beginning to seem like what looked like a duck and quacked like a duck is, in fact, a duck.

Perhaps.

One of the downsides of our world of instant news is that no one has the time to gather facts before presenting them in a way that fashions some sort of picture.  There is no illumination; just a few spare details and the rest is left to speculation until more facts help reveal the true image.  Unfortunately, by the time the true story comes to light, the blogosphere has already reached their conclusions and they’re just waiting for new details simply to enhance their preconceived notions.

It’s not just the blogosphere that overreacts, either.  Sen. Joe Lieberman sure has done enough of his own lately, seeking a Congressional investigation to consider the Ft. Hood shootings a terrorist act.  No formal charges have even been made yet and Lieberman wants Hasan declared a terrorist.

Sen. Lieberman:

It’s — first, this was a terrible tragedy. Second, it’s too early — it’s premature to reach conclusions about what motivated Hasan. But it’s clear that he was, one, under personal stress and, two, if the reports that we’re receiving of various statements he made, acts he took, are valid, he had turned to Islamist extremism.

//

And therefore, if that is true, the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act and, in fact, it was the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11.

He admits that it’s too early to say, but then goes on anyway with his multitude of ifs leading to his statement meant merely to rile people up.  This is something to be expected from blowhard pundits like Limbaugh, Wallace, and Beck, but not a U.S. Senator.  Nothing good comes of this except for more marginalization, more hate, and more misguided anger.  Thank you, Mr. Lieberman.  Job well done.

Perhaps everyone should just hold off while evidence is gathered, witnesses interviewed, and even an interrogation of the accused before he’s condemned before a trial.  Remember, not only is Hasan an American citizen, he’s a Major in the Army.  It seems that the senator has jumped to conclusions, based either on the information currently available, or perhaps, more likely, due to the fact that Maj. Hasan is a Muslim and there’s a sense of blame associated with Muslims simply due to their chosen faith.  As if his being a Muslim automatically places him alongside Bin Laden and Mohammad Atta without so much as even receiving his Miranda rights.

More and more facts will rise to the surface as the days go by and the investigation continues.  Authorities say that they still don’t have a motive for the massacre, but regardless, there is no excuse.  It was an unconscionable act of violence that took 13 lives and changed countless more.  Perhaps we’ll find that this was part of some bigger plot.  Or maybe we’ll find that it was just a man who snapped and came undone in the worst way.

But like Sen. Lieberman said, it’s too early to tell.

h1

Prejudice Overheard

11.06.09

Today I heard someone speaking on the phone about the massacre at Fort Hood yesterday.

“…the fact that he is a Muslim doesn’t even come up.  It’s ridiculous.  They try to make it sound like it was some psychological problem…”

This person was convinced that Major Hasan’s motive was simply that he was a Muslim and that Muslims are inherently violent.  And this person clearly is not alone in that belief.

Dreher:

No matter how badly the media try to spin it another way, or to ignore the religion ghost in this story, Hasan’s religion was to all appearances a key factor in the mass murder he committed. You don’t have a Muslim shouting “Allahu akbar!” as he executes people one by one, and conclude that religion is incidental to his crime. You have to be a moral idiot to draw that conclusion, a politically correct nitwit.

So: how should we regard the role of Hasan’s religion in this infamy?

John Infidelesto:

This was jihad.

 

(links courtesy The Daily Dish)

It’s hard to combat this type of prejudice and marginalization when it seems to come directly from our country’s own foreign policy.  Our president for the previous eight years, not-so-subtlely claimed that this war was a “crusade,” evoking pretty stark images of Christians versus Muslims in a holy war.  That wasn’t lost on many Americans.  While some found it cringe-worthy and blasphemous, others found it justified.

Even if Hasan turns out to be some radical Islamic fundamentalist, it doesn’t confirm the belief that Islam is evil, Islam is dangerous, or that all Muslims are homicidal maniacs waiting in the wings.  It just means that this particular Muslim was disturbed – for a multitude of reasons, including his fundamentalism – and snapped.

It’d actually be much easier to just blame Hasan’s actions on Islam.  Most people would like that idea because it sums up a very complex situation into a nice, little box to point your anger and frustration.  From the information so far, it just doesn’t seem like this is the whole story for Hasan and the tragedy at Ft. Hood.

While people like Dreher cry about people ignoring the Muslim aspect of Hasan, it’s equally as irresponsible to neglect the affect the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have on our troops, no matter what creed, race, ethnicity, or religion.

And for those people like the one I overheard today on the phone, it’s helpful to place this deadly rampage in the right context of history.  Case in point, just today, a man opened fire at work in Orlando killing one and injuring five others.

He wasn’t Muslim; he was just pissed off about being fired.

h1

Get Out Of The Desert!

11.05.09

As if we needed any more American deaths to make this war real to those of us back home who have the luxury of thinking about the ideal of spreading democracy and freedom across the planet.  Well, here we have it.

12 American soldiers.  Dead.  On American soil.

This is what happens to the human psyche when trained to kill and subjected to years in a war zone.  It breaks.  And, in this case, it takes others with it.

We went into Afghanistan and liberated it from the Taliban.  We installed a democratic government.  We’re done.  It’s over.  Time to come home.

The fact that that the Taliban has reemerged in Pakistan is not the same fight.  Sure, it’s the “War on Terror” but there’s no need for the tens of thousands of troops on the ground nor the 40,000 potentially deployed in The Surge, Part II (we all know how well sequels tend to be).  We can surgically help out Pakistan if need be with their fight with the Taliban.

It’s been over nine years since 9/11.  We’ve been at war for nearly a decade.  The human cost is incalculable, especially when you include the pain of people losing their loved ones as well as those troops who survive physically, but are mentally and emotionally wrecked.

This has to stop. Now. There are no more excuses.  No more reasons to stay.  No more staying the course.  No more troop surges for victory.  Win or lose, we’re done.

Bring our troops home.  It’s time to get out of the desert.