Monday, November 09, 2009

Fort Hood Thoughts

I had not intended to blog about the events that took place at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009. This is mainly because I do not believe that I can add anything to the discussion. However, an article on the Forbes online edition today has changed my mind. But first, allow me to offer my sympathy and outrage to the families of those killed and wounded in this despicable attack. And let me suggest to our elected leaders that a more sincere expression of outrage and tangible actions to deter any future episodes of this nature are absolutely required. The current lukewarm reaction simply won't cut it.

The facts of the case are not in doubt. Major Nidal Malik Hassan opened fire at a processing center on the base, killing thirteen and wounding twenty-nine people befire he was taken into custody. Based on reports that have been coming in regularly, ther seems to be little doubt that Hassan's motives were due to his identification with fundamental Islamic terrorists and thier attempts at global jihad - attempts that include the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Since the attacks, the Obama administration has bent over backwards to obscure any possible linkage of the shooter with the Islamic religion. And they have also shown a startling lack of compassion or sympathy with the victims, choosing to focus on Indian tribal matters as opposed to the US Armed Forces.

Today, Forbes editor Tunku Varadarajan writes a column about the lessons and possibilities opened by Hassan's actions. Regarding the shooter's motives, he writes chillingly,
"Going postal" is a piquant American phrase that describes the phenomenon of violent rage in which a worker--archetypically a postal worker--"snaps" and guns down his colleagues.

As the enormity of the actions of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan sinks in, we must ask whether we are confronting a new phenomenon of violent rage, one we might dub--disconcertingly--"Going Muslim." This phrase would describe the turn of events where a seemingly integrated Muslim-American--a friendly donut vendor in New York, say, or an officer in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood--discards his apparent integration into American society and elects to vindicate his religion in an act of messianic violence against his fellow Americans. This would appear to be what happened in the case of Maj. Hasan.

This is a truly frightening thought. The United States, as Varadarajan points out, has a long history of assimilating new arrivals and in most cases, has successfully managed to integrate them quite well. This appears to be less successful in the case both of the illegal aliens from the south and the Muslim immigrants, regardless of their country of origin. As Varadarajan says,
America differentiates itself on integration from Western European countries, which are far more cringing and guilt-driven in their approach. But can the American swagger persist if many Americans come genuinely to view Muslims as Fifth Columnists? The integration compact depends on a broad trust that the immigrant's desire to be American can happily co-exist with his other forms of racial/cultural/religious identity. Once that trust doesn't exist, America faces a problem in need of urgent resolution.

This is undoubtedly true. If a majority of Americans come to see Muslims as incapable of assimilating, they could eventually lead to a violent confrontation. And that is something that no one in their right minds wishes to see. But if this phenomenon is not dealt with, that possibility could come to pass.

Finally, it is clear that the Army itself and the federal government ignored signs that Hassan was no friend of the United States. The question has been raised as to why he was still an officer in the United States Army. That question is salient. Why indeed? The Obama Administration has reportedly instructed the FBI to rule out any idea that this is related to Islam or Islamic terror. if this report is tru, then the Obama Administration is even more pathetic and less friendly to the country they are sworn to represent that was previously thought. The first and foremost duty of the President is to protect the United States. Hassan killed thirteen members of the US Armed Forces while they wer unarmed. This is murder, plain and simple. Why is the FBI not allowed to pursue all possible leads?

Finally, Varadarajan points out the the Army itself failed to take action on the many warning signs Hassan exhibited before he opened fire. Among these were the following:

  • Dressed in traditional Islamic garb

  • attended a mosque closely linked to the 9/11 terrorists

  • wrote comments highly critical of the UNited States and supportive of the Islamic terrorists

Why was Hassan never investigated for these actions? Taken together, they present a fairly consistent pattern of anti-American, pro-Islamic terror actions. But apparently no action was ever taken. Was this because Hassan was Muslim and no one dared to complain, fearing the lawsuits of the grievance-mongers like CAIR? Was there some policy that stated Muslims were to be given extra leeway in their actions? Answers need to be provided. As Varadarajan concludes,
Let the first lesson of the Hasan atrocity be this: The U.S. Army has to be a PC-free zone. Our democracy and our way of life depend on it.

I could not agree more.

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