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Andy Parker

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Fort Hood...who was to blame?
By Andy Parker   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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The terrible atrocity perpetrated at Fort Hood last Thursday has led to some ridiculous intellectual contortions by those desperate to shift the responsibility from Major Nidal Malik Hasan for what he did. We can quibble over the term we use – James Taranto prefers “treason” to “terrorism” – but it was obvious even within the first 24 hours that Hasan’s radical Islamist beliefs were a major factor in what he did.

That, however, that has not halted a rush to find something, anything to blame other than Hasan or his ideology for his actions – including that perennial scapegoat, America. Of course, the people who are really jumping to conclusions  are those who insist that Hasan’s religion or politics had nothing to do with his motivation. Here are just 10 examples of this perverse eagerness to shift blame:

1. James Yee former US Army chaplain;“Not jumping to conclusions is the right thing to do.The military has a lot to answer for.In Guantánamo there was extreme hostility towards Muslims, not just the prisoners but also civilian workers and servicemen,” he told the Financial Times. “Throughout my experience in the military, every Muslim in uniform met some harassment, discrimination or situations in which Islam was denigrated.”

2. The Los Angeles Times, which publishes a 1,000-word article that doesn’t even mention Hasan’s religion - which he himself referred to constantly. Here’s a taste:

The U.S. military’s culture of silence about troops’ mental health had finally begun to change.In the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the various branches had been roundly criticized for failing to adequately address post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and other psychiatric problems. Responding to that criticism, leaders made progress in diagnosing and treating such illnesses among service members.

But Thursday’s attack at Ft. Hood — as well as two other recent incidents in which military personnel allegedly turned guns on their own — indicates an intractable problem not easily overcome.

3.  The psychologist Henry Kellerman does at least mention the M-word but then goes on to say that Hasan’s “inner narrative” had been attacked and led to a murderous rage:

It was a rage that was born out of a need to protect himself as well as protect or affirm those with whom he shared his pride.

4. Bob Herbert of the Washington Post blamed stress;

Simply stated, we cannot continue sending service members into combat for three tours, four tours, five tours and more without paying a horrendous price in terms of the psychological well-being of the troops and their families, and the overall readiness of the armed forces to protect the nation.

5. CNN misquotes a soldier and one of Hasan’s victims in an effort to discredit his account of Hasan shouting “Allahu Akhbar” (God is Great, in Arabic). Other soldiers have since confirmed these words.

Foster, 21, said he wasn’t clear about whether the gunman said those exact words, noting that ‘with that much adrenaline, you tend to forget things’.Private Foster said no such thing about the words he heard.

6. Keith Olbermann speculates that the (Christian) “fundamentalist thing within the US military may have contributed to this harassment” and concludes that Hasan was a victim of “a religious hate crime”.

7. Ilene Serlin, another psychologist, reckons Hasan had “compassion fatigue”:

The issue of “Compassion Fatigue” has only recently attracted attention and understanding. The multiple stressors faced by caregivers include not only broken bodies and broken souls, but their own safety.

8. President Barack Obama plumps for Hasan being an individual cracking under the stress of being a soldier:

I think everybody understands how outstanding the young men and women in uniform are under the most severe stress – there are going to be instances in which an individual cracks.

9. Gwynne Dyer blames the “war on terror”: So is it possible that the shooter in Fort Hood, Nidal Malik Hasan, who was waiting to ship out to Afghanistan, did not want to take a personal part in that enterprise? Might he belong to that large majority of Muslims (though probably a minority among American Muslims) who, unable to discover any rational basis for U.S. strategy since 9/11, have drifted towards the conclusion that the United States is indeed waging a war on Islam?

10. Stephanie Miller follows the President’s example with a when-in-doubt-blame-Bush strategy:But also you add in that look, George Bush made many people around the world feel like this was a war against Islam by using words like crusade and all of that.


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Reviewed by John Martin 11/17/2009
Good Article, Andy. Non are so blind as those who will not see.
Reviewed by Mark Lichterman 11/17/2009
The world laughs at us for our "political correctness" that will never call a thing what it really is or a person what they really are, or the reason for a bad deed for the real reason... Unless, of course, that "thing", "person" or "deed" goes to the right of their left slanted indoctrination. Very well written article, Andy.

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