More readers’ comments on the Fort Hood Massacre

(Note 9:20 p.m.: comments have continued to be posted in this entry through the day and evening.)

Sage McLaughlin writes:

The shooter’s cousin was on with Shepherd Smith this morning, and when asked whether Hasan had displayed any violent tendencies, his cousin emitted a strangely inappropriate chuckle, so typical of a person who is about to lie through his teeth, and responded that no, of course Hasan had hated going to the firing range and was extremely uncomfortable around weapons. One wonders how his cousin would even know whether he “hated” going to the shooting range, unless his discomfort was very severe indeed, which is impossible to believe under the circumstances.

But then we read this morning that Hasan was actually taking additional weapons training by request, and was able to handle himself perfectly well with a handgun. This makes his family’s story, that he was not only a peaceful Muslim but a man who hated to be around guns, not merely false but an obvious lie. Which calls into question whether in fact any of them are actually surprised by this. And this would repeat a familiar pattern, in which a Muslim goes homicidal against the infidel, at which point his closest friends, family, and Friday mosque compatriots express total disbelief—at which point it comes to light that he was an obvious danger and there’s no way the other Muslims in his life did not know it.

This points to the essence of the Muslim problem as I see it, which is that the number of gun-wielding jihadists as a proportion of the total Muslim population is a red herring. The reality is that such men are never turned in by their co-religionists, and are able to swim very easily in a sea of (at least) indifference if not outright sympathy. Add the institutional liberalism of the U.S. military to the mix, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for this sort of thing that any sensible person can spot from a mile off. (Those who would suggest Hasan was reacting to unfair treatment should answer how it was that the man attained the rank of Major in the first place.)

Tom writes:

While I certainly hope that this scum is put to death in the end, and I’m hopeful that he will be, our military justice system being a whit better about such things than our civilian system, I can’t say I agree that, under the circumstances, his survival thus far is a bad thing. A trial, especially if he makes a good Ramzi Yousef-style defendant and goes ranting about during the proceedings, is the best way that the real truth will come out around the MSM’s predictable lies about this being about “repeat deployments” or “military stress” or (best of all) “anti-Muslim bigotry” (read: the victims had it coming). They won’t be able to put words into a dead man’s mouth now.

Mel R. writes:

Mark my words he will come out as the “victim” in this mass murder. My wife and I were watching Fox News last night and when they, like the good neocons they are, started the cousin’s explanation in their scroll at the bottom I knew exactly where the MSM was headed. And of course right on cue, the NYT has their story straight by this morning. I would not be the least surprised if he serves no jail time. And I’m sure he has already been contacted by legal counsel that is willing to represent him in a lawsuit against the U.S. for causing this to happen because of America’s racism.

Still when all of the above happens the neocons will still not get it.

LA replies:

I don’t think it’s correct to equate liberals with neocons on this issue.

There are two acceptable mainstream views of Islam:

Liberals say that Islam is wonderful, and completely deny that Islam is a problem; if Muslims do anything bad, the liberals blame it on us.

Mainstream “conservatives,” including neocons, say that a tiny minority of Muslims are dangerous and that we must stop them, but that, apart from that tiny minority, Islam is wonderful.

That may not seem like much of a difference, but it’s not nothing. Mainstream conservative/neocons seek to defend America from Muslim extremism; liberals either deny that Muslim extremism exists or blame it on us; either way, they do not seek to defend America.

Mel R. replies to LA (2:30 p.m.):

Thank you for your response. I was in a hurry this morning when I dashed off my original e-mail to you. I agree with you 100 percent and should have clearly stated that it will be the left-liberals that will make the shooter a “victim” not the neocons. In place of the neocon label I should have said right-liberals (Steyn, NRO, Phillips, etc., a.k.a. “The Usual Suspects” by you). And what I should have said about the right-liberals are that they will NEVER call for the halting of the inflow and removal of Muslims from our society. Nor will they call for the ban of Muslims in our military. After all we are only as good as our Propostions! They will just dutifully note that it was an “extremist” Muslim that did this. Whereas the left liberals will say it was a “persecuted” Muslim that did this.

God Bless.

LA replies:

Excellent way of putting it, thanks. As you remind me, when it comes to questions of culture, race, national identity, immigration and so on, mainstream conservatives and neoconservatives are better understood as right-liberals than as conservatives. And you’ve perfectly boiled down the difference between the two types of liberals when it comes to Islam: right-liberals will say that an “extremist” Muslim did this, left liberals will say that a “persecuted” Muslim (persecuted by us) did this.
Jeff W. writes:

Your translation of the NYT article about Hasan was great.

We need to laugh at liberals more. They are idiots. Thanks for the laughs.

Irwin Graulich writes:

Re “The massacre,” you are very wise—but I have been warning of this for more than 25 years. Whoever first goes after the Jews, will eventually come for you. The Muslims have been coming after the Jews since they did not accept Mohammed. However, they really went after the Jews full force since Israel was established. 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982 should have been wake up calls for America. Instead, America chose to ignore the reality and now you have the results—9/11 and all the other massacres including yesterday’s at Ft. Hood.

All of our wars today are against Muslims and they are certainly the most dangerous enemy within, as a group. You should hear what is being taught in most mosques here in America. Yet The New York Times and the left, who hate Christianity and Judaism and find these religions radical and dangerous, somehow have a much more nuanced understanding of Islam. Read the front page of the Times today and you will see no mention of Islam with regard to the terrorist Hasan. According to The NY Times, it is just a coincidence that Nidal Malik Hasan happened to be a Muslim, and just happened to be wearing his religious white garb yesterday.

Thank you for continually waking us all up to confront reality.

Your partner in fighting the good battle,

James P. writes:

I have already noticed the media’s relentless emphasis on Hasan being “about to deploy.”

It was not being a Muslim that made him a homicidal maniac, it was being sent to Iraq. All is now clear!

Howard Sutherland writes:

There are many interesting threads in this story; one wonders how many of them the mainstream media will decline to pursue.

Mr. Auster has already raised the most important: why was such a glaringly obvious potential fifth-columnist misfit an officer, no less, in the United States Army? Does no precautionary principle apply any longer in the United States’ selection of military officers? Evidently not. As, indeed, it has already been evident for years that the feds take no such precautions in recruiting enlisted men (pardon me: enlisted persons), even resorting to transparent subterfuges to enlist and retain illegal alien mercenaries.

What lessons, if any, will the Army, the federal government and the country at large learn from this incident? Already it seems that the feds are carefully conditioning us to draw no conclusions relating to Islam and the wisdom of allowing multitudes of Moslems to settle in (to them) infidel nations. (But a curious, and no doubt unintentional, counter-note is sounded by the CAIR blurb quoted in this news story. In its vehement protest against the attacks and demand for punishment of those responsible, methinks CAIR doth protest too much and too obviously. I can’t read CAIR’s comment as anything other than a sub rosa acknowledgment that CAIR quite strongly suspects “Major”* Hassan’s outburst is a jihad attack.)

What does the Army’s response to the attack tell us about the state of the Army (and, by extension, all of the armed forces with the possible and partial exception of the Marine Corps)? The response of Lt.Gen. Cone, CG of III Corps, is the response of a uniformed bureaucrat, not a field commander rallying his force in the face of an unexpected atrocity. And the story I linked above features a revealing photo that may, in its portrayal of multicultural compassion, have been carefully stage-managed by the press. Unfortunately, I doubt it had to be. The image we get to see of our Army reacting to this vicious attack is not one of heavily armed MPs sending this murderer to Gehenna, but rather of a weeping white female private being hugged by a hulking Samoan sergeant. We hear nothing about better vetting of those who would be officers of the U.S. armed forces, especially those from very high-risk backgrounds, like Hasan. Probably all we’ll ever hear is “gee, maybe we should add another gate guard”—which is pointless—and “gee, maybe we should have more sensitivity training”—which is actively harmful. One thing we may be sure of is that we will never hear the likes of Gen. Petraeus or Gen. McChrystal protesting, as a matter of command security, the assignment to their war zones of soldiers who might very likely be on the other side. If they had the prescience to do so, which they don’t, they would be relieved of command before the phone call was over. And that’s no way to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs!

Finally, how will the criminal proceeding that must result from this attack, should Hasan survive his wounds, play out? Hasan was a serviceman who shot other servicemen on a military reservation. It is obvious that, after a cursory Article 39 investigation, his trial should be handled within the Army as a General Court Martial (which may impose capital punishment for several offenses). That is a good way to handle the matter, if the Army will play it straight—not something one should assume. Will the government, because of sensitivity about the delicate feelings of Moslems, assiduously avoid the question of Hasan’s motivation as much as possible? I suspect so. If the government thinks the matter is sufficiently inflammatory, there is the possibility of sealing the trial. How vehemently would our diversity-obsessed multiculturalist propaganda press protest, under the circumstances? I suspect the Fourth Estate would heave a collective sigh of relief. And, since Hassan undoubtedly shot some Christians and some women (and, who knows, in today’s armed forces, he might have pinked some homosexuals as well), will he be prosecuted for “hate crimes”? I’m not holding my breath for that one.

Americans didn’t get the message about Islam and jihad after September 11, 2001. Somehow I doubt “Major” Hasan’s islamatrocity will be America’s Islam-epiphany. But we can hope!

* I put the grade the Army gave Hassan in quotes because very often medical, dental and legal officers are promoted to grades far higher than their actual service would warrant, to help persuade them to join the services when they have professional skills that might command a good living in the real world. Tellingly perhaps, chaplains do not enjoy such solicitude. As one example, when I was a fighter pilot Captain with ten years of commissioned service (and so a year away from the normal promotion time to Major) I befriended a flight surgeon, a Major, newly assigned to our squadron. He had been a commissioned officer for less than a year—and he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel before I was promoted to Major, which I was right on time for a line officer.

Jack S. writes:

A few thoughts on this.

I listened to the BBC on NPR last night. Not a word identifying the shooter as a Muslim or even a mention of his name. Repeated statements that the motive is “unknown.”

On NPR this morning Katy Kay and her guests on the Diane Reehm show engaged in self-parody, hitting all the liberal cliches.

  • the shooter faced discrimination as a Muslim

  • the shooter was upset at his pending deployment against his fellow Muslims.

  • the shooter’s family is shocked and had no inkling

  • fear among Muslims of a backlash

  • the motive is unknown

  • the “community” will have to heal from this “tragedy”

The idiot commanding general of the base spoke saying that soldiers don’t carry weapons:the base is their home. Television coverage showed unarmed soldiers manning checkpoints outside the base with police in SWAT attire.

An army base at war where the soldiers walk about unarmed; this policy is beyond stupid, it’s criminal.

Not a single mention anywhere that the Koran commands all Muslims to wage jihad, that any Muslims that kills or is killed for Allah’s sake is guaranteed entry to paradise.

I was surprised to see from Drudge this report from NBC Chicago criticizing the Kenyan for his “frightening insensitivity” after the shooting.

Hugh writes:

Very good.

I worked as a librarian at Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force Base for three years between them. I was appalled to discover that there was a mosque on Fort Dix.

Alan Levine writes:

The news coverage of this has been hilarious or horrifying or both. I watched the CBS national news last night. La Couric mentioned the killer’s name, which was known by that time, but of course not even the slightest reference was made even to the possibility that there might be a connection with terrorism or the Religion of Peace. There was more than five minutes of discussion of (1) other crimes on military bases, (2) the strain on men deployed repeatedly to Iraq and Afghanistan to pave the way for the “Well, he snapped” line.

Both Long Island Newsday and the local ABC used the term “one of their own” (referring presumably to the military and not the psychiatric fraternity) in leading news stories covering the massacre (though to be fair the stories following were straightforward.) As far as I can tell, the man has not been deployed to a war theater before, so if he “snapped” it was under the stress of merely performing his professional duties, at which he did a lousy job according to his superiors at Reed, at home, nor, as a medical man, would he have been exposed to really serious danger even in Iraq or Afghanistan. (There seems to be some conflict in the available accounts about just where he was supposed to go.) As for the next line of defense, his suffering from rudeness as a poor Muslim, any Japanese American after Pearl Harbor suffered considerably more than anything I have never heard of any going berserk in response.

Such “defenses” would be absurd enough for anyone, but this creature was supposedly a trained psychiatrist, allegedly more capable than the rest of us at knowing when he needed “help.”

I apologize for placing some stress on the obvious, but even assuming the man was mentally ill, what were his colleagues and superiors doing? Not to mention the security people who had been aware of his outbursts for months?

Just more PC, or professional incompetence as well?

Jonathan L. writes:

BTW, has anyone mentioned Colin Powell’s role in all this? Powell went out of his way last year to slander as “bigoted” anyone who would on principle object to a Muslim becoming U.S. President, and then used the example of a Muslim serviceman who had died in the line of duty to “prove” that U.S. Muslims were as patriotic as anyone (this despite the fact that at the time there were already several cases of Muslim servicemen having turned on their comrades or the U.S.). Powell is a former Joint Chief of Staff and four-star general who has led men in combat. Given the immense respect he still wields in military circles, what kind of “chilling effect” did his words have on the bureaucracy of our armed forces, especially those whose job it is to screen the ranks for troublemakers? We now know there were several glaring red flags regarding Malik Hasan, yet he kept getting kicked upstairs through promotion after promotion. In my opinion, Powell should immediately fly to Texas and beg forgiveness from the families of the fallen and the wounded.

LA replies:

In your mind, and my mind. Not in America’s mind. In America’s mind, crimes are performed by individuals, and it is the essence of moral wrong to attribute the act of an individual to his group … even if that individual is following the religion and rules of his group when he does it, and even if a major segment of his group approves what he is doing, facilitates what he is doing, or quietly goes along with what he is doing.

A reader writes:

Malik Hasan was not being deployed, document at this link:

Tori D. writes:

I was reading on a website yesterday that our suicidal/liberal/clueless military chose to use Arab Muslims instead of Sephardic Jews to translate all Arab communication.

Sephardic Jews speak Arab and could do the job just as well as any Muslim. This type of decision-making is absolute insanity and when I read about it I just about blew a gasket. Our friends offer to help us and what does the military do? They pick people to translate our documents who would likely try and deceive us as their religion commands them to do. Idiocy, plain and simple. Do you ever get the feeling we are running out of adjectives to describe the craziness in liberal society?

An Indian living in the West writes:

You noted correctly that prudence would require that the U.S. military keep Muslims out. But that would require (gasp!) discrimination. So it is unthinkable.

This kind of lunacy has led to other forms of absurdity. If you ever try to enter the United States as a tourist with the passport of a foreign country (any foreign country) you realise what lunacy now passes for “tighter border controls.” The men sitting at the immigration desks at the airports are like robots—they bombard you with stupid questions regardless of who you are. So if you are an old white woman from Europe visiting America as a tourist they ask you the same questions as they would if your name was Mohammad Azhar Khan, age 26 years and with a Saudi passport.

During my recent visits, I must’ve spent two hours each time getting through immigration. In most of East Asia, the time taken is about five minutes usually. Yet it is America that has out of control illegal immigration and not the countries in East Asia. I found the Japanese and the Koreans to be sensible about security and border checks in a way that is virtually impossible in the West. Liberalism is insane.

LA replies:

What you speak of is true, and it’s horrible. We let in all kinds of people we shouldn’t let in, while we create a nightmare for perfectly legitimate immigrants/visitors.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 06, 2009 10:33 AM | Send

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