Ralph Peters goes ballistic over the Pentagon’s report on the Fort Hood massacre.
Rarely in the course of human events has a report issued by any government agency been so cowardly and delusional. It’s so inept, it doesn’t even rise to cover-up level.
“Protecting the Force: Lessons From Fort Hood” never mentions Islamist terror. Its 86 mind-numbing pages treat “the alleged perpetrator,” Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, as just another workplace shooter (guess they’re still looking for the pickup truck with the gun rack).
The report is so politically correct that its authors don’t even realize the extent of their political correctness—they’re body-and-soul creatures of the PC culture that murdered 12 soldiers and one Army civilian.
Reading the report, you get the feeling that, jeepers, things actually went pretty darned well down at Fort Hood. Commanders, first responders and everybody but the latest “American Idol” contestants come in for high praise.
The teensy bit of specific criticism is reserved for the “military medical officer supervisors” in Maj. Hasan’s chain of command at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As if the problem started and ended there.
Unquestionably, the officers who let Hasan slide, despite his well-known wackiness and hatred of America, bear plenty of blame. But this disgraceful pretense of a report never asks why they didn’t stop Hasan’s career in its tracks.
The answer is straightforward: Hasan’s superiors feared—correctly—that any attempt to call attention to his radicalism or to prevent his promotion would backfire on them, destroying their careers, not his.
Hasan was a protected-species minority. Under the PC tyranny of today’s armed services, no non-minority officer was going to take him on.
This is a military that imposes rules of engagement that protect our enemies and kill our own troops and that court-martials heroic SEALs to appease a terrorist. Ain’t many colonels willing to hammer the Army’s sole Palestinian-American psychiatrist.
I thought myself that existing circumstances in which a fanatic can arm himself and simply proceed to gun down members of a crowd of completely unarmed uniformed military personal in the middle of an Army base in time of war speak volumes about contemporary American pacifism, hoplophobia, and identity problems in certain branches of the US Armed Forces. The US Army actually needed an armed female police officer to come to the rescue of soldiers being attacked by a single adversary.
They call them Armed Forces, don’t they? If US military personnel routinely carried sidearms, and knew how to use them, there wouldn’t be much chance of anyone succeeding in a massacre. An Islamic fanatic might draw a gun and shoot someone, but if everyone else had guns, his shooting spree would come to an abrupt halt very quickly.
A.J. Strata argues that it was not just random luck that nobody did anything to stop Major Hasan before the Fort Hood massacre and not just one of those things that Abdulmutallab was given a US visa and never promoted to the no-fly list, counter-terrorism effort has been slackened by the current administration and liberal pieties prioritized above saving American lives.
This new, liberal leaning administration took the high tempo of a heated war against a dangerous, evil enemy and turned into a cautious criminal investigation of ‘extremists’ who cause ‘man made disasters’. This change had consequences – intended and otherwise. War means ‘whatever it takes’, crime investigation is slow and cautious and shrouded in personal protections for the ‘accused’.
They also legally threatened those who were tirelessly defending this nation 24×7. Where people were once willing (and rewarded) to go the extra mile, make personal sacrifices, spend the extra time to ensure a lead was not the next 9-11, the new administration deflated that drive and made our defenders more concerned with their own security than national security. ...
We have growing evidence Team Obama made changes in our national security posture which could easily have resulted in the Nigerian bomber getting through our defenses. First from a career State Department source:
This employee says that despite statements from the Obama Administration, such information was flagged and given higher priority during the Bush Administration, but that since the changeover “we are encouraged to not create the appearance that we are profiling or targeting Muslims.
And then there were these massive organizational changes to a system that was protecting us:
Obama fundamentally altered the culture and risk-taking incentives of the intelligence community with policy and personnel changes. The sense of urgency is gone, and he’s made it uncool to call the war on terror a war at all. If he wants to treat terrorism like a criminal act, rather than an act of war, we should not be surprised when the results look a lot like the bureaucratic foul-ups that happen all the time in law enforcement. He gutted the Homeland Security Council coordinating role, he diluted the focus of the daily intel brief, he made CIA officials worry more about being prosecuted for doing their jobs than capturing terrorists. … He’s made it his business to turn much of the national security apparatus set up by Bush and Cheney upside down and has succeeded …
Richard Clarke was a thorn in the side of President Bush for years after 9-11. He was in the Clinton Administration on the National Security Council. He is also quite accurate in his assessment of what happened inside the Obama Administration that led to these incidents (Ft Hood Massacre and Flight 253):
“It points to something fundamental,” said Richard A. Clarke, a former top counter-terrorism official in the Bush and Clinton administrations. “No matter how good your software is or how good your procedures are, at the end of the day it comes back to people. And if people think that this is a 9-5 job and they’re not filled with a sense of urgency every day, then you’ll get these kinds of mistakes.”
That is the distinction between fighting a war and the job of investigating crime. That is the difference between being rewarded for extra effort instead of scrutinized and threatened for it. Same tools, different attitude. Are we surprised in the different results?
A couple of days ago I heard the news that George and Laura Bush paid a private visit to the wounded soldiers at Fort Hood. They specifically requested that the base commander not inform the media of their visit. They came. They comforted the wounded soldiers and the Fort Hood community for a couple of hours. And then they left. And they never had their pictures taken saluting the troops or holding their hands.
When I heard the news, I felt this pain that hasn’t gone away. It’s a pain that I have been feeling fairly often since last November. ...
For all that he disappointed me, I miss George W. Bush. I really do.
In his Fort Hood speech (the one that gave Marc Ambinder goosebumps), Barack Obama graciously complimented the slain American soldiers, but he did it implicitly at everyone else’s expense.
“In an age of selfishness, they embody responsibility. In an era of division, they call upon us to come together. In a time of cynicism, they remind us of who we are as Americans.”
The president is implying that the rest of us, who fail to be serving in the US military at the present time, scamps that we are, have managed somehow to make our current age, era, and time: selfish, irresponsible, divisive, and cynical.
Quin Hillyer thinks the Chosen One has a lot of nerve throwing around these accusations.
What era does Obama live in? The America I know, that we all know, in 2009, is not an America that is suffering from an age of selfishness, an era of division, a time of cynicism. Mr. Obama can speak for himself. This is not a land nor an epoch of selfishness and cynicism, and the divisiveness is not extraordinary or even terribly bad—and it often comes from Obama himself. But somebody should look the president in the eye and say “WHo are you calling selfish and cynical, Kemosabe?” I look around me and see idealism, love of country, generosity. I see the incredible outpouring of church groups and other citizens in aiding the victims of Katrina. I see people volunteering hither and yon for all sorts of good causes. And yes, I even see TEA partiers who are out there of their own free will, at their own expense, trying to defend the freedoms they love for the sake of their children, for the sake of posterity.
It is way past time for this president to stop telling us that the general state of affairs is cynical, selfish, angry, and benighted (and, tacitly, that he and his circle are the only light that offers hope amidst the darkness he describes). Enough is enough. Mark Hyman today on our main site writes that this president despises America (except for the America he would remake in his own image). Perhaps so. He certainly apologizes for our flaws far more often than he actually specifies our strengths and the things that make us admirable. Either way, though, Mr. Obama’s act as moral judge of the supposed cynicism and selfishness of others, indeed of society in general, is an act that is well beyond tired. It is a tired act, an unpleasant act, an unnecessary act. And it just isn’t true.
David Brooks is enough of a liberal himself that he dutifully identifies Islamicism as a fringe feature of the Muslim world. That fringe tends to do awfully well whenever opinion polls of Muslims get taken.
But even Brooks thinks the epidemic of political correctness following the Fort Hood massacre got out of hand.
(A) malevolent narrative has emerged… on the fringes of the Muslim world. It is a narrative that sees human history as a war between Islam on the one side and Christianity and Judaism on the other. This narrative causes its adherents to shrink their circle of concern. They don’t see others as fully human. They come to believe others can be blamelessly murdered and that, in fact, it is admirable to do so.
This narrative is embraced by a small minority. But it has caused incredible amounts of suffering within the Muslim world, in Israel, in the U.S. and elsewhere. With their suicide bombings and terrorist acts, adherents to this narrative have made themselves central to global politics. They are the ones who go into crowded rooms, shout “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” and then start murdering.
When Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan did that in Fort Hood, Tex., last week, many Americans had an understandable and, in some ways, admirable reaction. They didn’t want the horror to become a pretext for anti-Muslim bigotry.
So immediately the coverage took on a certain cast. The possibility of Islamic extremism was immediately played down. This was an isolated personal breakdown, not an ideological assault, many people emphasized.
Major Hasan was portrayed as a disturbed individual who was under a lot of stress. We learned about pre-traumatic stress syndrome, and secondary stress disorder, which one gets from hearing about other people’s stress. We heard the theory (unlikely in retrospect) that Hasan was so traumatized by the thought of going into a combat zone that he decided to take a gun and create one of his own.
A shroud of political correctness settled over the conversation. Hasan was portrayed as a victim of society, a poor soul who was pushed over the edge by prejudice and unhappiness.
There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.
This response was understandable. It’s important to tamp down vengeful hatreds in moments of passion. But it was also patronizing. Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and intolerant thoughts. If public commentary wasn’t carefully policed, the assumption seemed to be, then the great mass of unwashed yahoos in Middle America would go off on a racist rampage.
Worse, it absolved Hasan — before the real evidence was in — of his responsibility. He didn’t have the choice to be lonely or unhappy. But he did have a choice over what story to build out of those circumstances. And evidence is now mounting to suggest he chose the extremist War on Islam narrative that so often leads to murderous results.
The conversation in the first few days after the massacre was well intentioned, but it suggested a willful flight from reality. It ignored the fact that the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the central feature of American foreign policy. It ignored the fact that this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.
It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.
Marc Ambinder thought Obama’s Fort Hood Speech was his best since the Inauguration, possibly his best ever. It was so wonderful that Ambinder admits that he experienced a classic Obamagasm.
I guarantee: they’ll be teaching this one in rhetoric classes. It was that good. My gloss won’t do it justice. Yes, I’m having a Chris Matthews-chill-running-up-my-leg moment, but sometimes, the man, the moment and the words come together.
Dry Valleys, an English commenter on a posting by the Anchoress, was sympathetic to the One’s efforts, but detected a note of personal unease.
I think Obama is a bit like me, he feels uncomfortable around the sort of hard, assertive, no-nonsense types you find in the military. We are neither of us very “manly” in that regard, so he might feel a bit uneasy, suspect that they are better men than him, he couldn’t do that, etc.
That would explain a bit of awkwardness.
Not everyone found the president’s remarks above criticism. Andrew McCarthy has a serious problem with Obama’s failure to recognize the reality of the character of Islam.
President Obama at Fort Hood today: “It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know — no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor.”
McCarthy then quotes Andrew Bostom’s survey of Islamic theological opinion, which starts with Nidal Malik Hasan himself, who back in June of 2007 delivered to Army doctors, not a medical lecture which had been scheduled, but instead a lecture on Islam and the religious perspective of Muslims serving in the US Military.
Nidal Hasan’s June 2007 presentation concludes, in full accord with classical (and unrepentant, let alone unreformed) Islamic doctrine regarding jihad war, (slide 49):
“Fighting to establish an Islamic State to please Allah, even by force is condoned by (sic) Islam.”
Our immediate, urgent task is to understand the extent to which Nidal Hasan’s orthodox vision of Islam is a shared vision—and by which Muslims, in particular.
The seat of Sunni orthodoxy Al Azhar University—which functions as a de facto Vatican of Sunni Islam, repeats in “Reliance of the Traveller” its widely distributed manual of Islamic Law, which “conforms to the practice and faith of the Sunni orthodoxy,” circa 1991,
“ Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and, is etymologically derived from the word, mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion [of Islam]…The scriptural basis for jihad is such Koranic verses as ‘Fighting is prescribed for you’ (Koran 2:216); ‘Slay them wherever you find them’ (Koran 4:89); ‘Fight the idolators utterly’ (Koran 9:36); and such hadiths as the one related by (Sahih) Bukhari and (Sahih) Muslim [NOTE: cited in slide 43 of Hasan’s 6/7/07 presentation] that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: ‘I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And the final reckoning is with Allah’; and the hadith by (Sahih) Muslim, ‘To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it.’ ”
Even more concrete evidence that this classical formulation of jihad is very much a living doctrine today is apparent in the openly espoused views, and sound Islamic arguments which conclude the contemporary work “Islam and Modernism,” written by a respected modern Muslim scholar Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani. Mr Usmani, aged 66, sat for 20 years as a Shari’a judge in Pakistan’s Supreme Court (His father was the Grand Mufti of Pakistan). Currently Usmani is deputy of the Islamic Fiqh (Jurisprudence) Council of the Organization of the Islamic Conference—the major international body of Islamic nations in the world, and serves as an adviser to several global Sharia-based Islamic financial institutions. Thus he is a leading contemporary figure in the world of mainstream Islamic jurisprudence. Mr. Usmani is also a regular visitor to Britain. During a recent visit there, he was interviewed by the Times of London, which published extracts from Usmani’s writings on jihad, Saturday, September 8, 2007. The concluding chapter of Usmani’s “Islam and Modernism” was cited, and it rebuts those who believe that only defensive jihad (i.e., fighting to defend a Muslim land deemed under attack or occupation) is permissible in Islam. He also refutes the suggestion that jihad is unlawful against a non-Muslim state that freely permits the preaching of Islam (which, not surprisingly, was of some concern to The Times!).
For Mr Usmani, “the question is whether aggressive battle is by itself commendable or not.” “If it is, why should the Muslims stop simply because territorial expansion in these days is regarded as bad? And if it is not commendable, but deplorable, why did Islam not stop it in the past?” He answers his own question as follows: “Even in those days . . . aggressive jihads were waged . . . because it was truly commendable for establishing the grandeur of the religion of Allah.” Usmani argues that Muslims should live peacefully in countries such as Britain, where they have the freedom to practice Islam, only until they gain enough power to engage in battle.
Liberals insist that violence, intolerance, attacks on unbelievers, and aggression are not characteristic of mainstream Islam in defiance of reality precisely because of liberalism’s own internal theology.
From the viewpoint of liberalism, the only possible sort of evil that can exist is the evil of the rejection of liberalism, racist rejection of liberal egalitarianism, fundamentalist rejection of liberal secularism, reactionary rejection of liberal social welfarism. Muslims are typically persons of color, a protected class which cannot be criticized or disliked. Additionally, Muslims are typically citizens of Third World nations and consequently additionally privileged and protected as victims, victims of economic underdevelopment and victims of Western Colonialism.
A protected class like Muslims cannot possibly be the enemy of the liberal, so the liberal will perform any amount of conceptual gymnastics necessary to “prove” that violence and terrorist acts are only representative of a small atypical minority, and were probably provoked by something we did.
The Roanoke Times offers background on the Army psychiatrist who ran amok yesterday at Fort Hood, killing 13 and wounding 30 others.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of shooting 12 people to death and wounding 31 others at Fort Hood, Texas, on Thursday, was the son of Roanoke merchants and restaurateurs, lived in Vinton and graduated from Virginia Tech.
Hasan was born in Arlington to Palestinian immigrants from near Jerusalem who later settled in Vinton.
Neighbors on Vinton’s Ramada Road remembered him as a “studious” boy who went by “Michael.” ...
Hasan’s father, Malik Awadallah Hasan, immigrated from Palestine to Virginia in 1962, when he was 16, stories in the Times’ archives show. He moved to Roanoke in 1985, with his wife, Hanan Ismail “Nora” Hasan, following in 1986. Neighbors on Ramada Road said they moved to the Vinton neighborhood in the early 1990s.
The Hasans ran the infamous Capitol Restaurant on the Roanoke City Market from 1987 to 1995. It was a dive beer hall and diner with a bad reputation and a lot of down-and-out regulars. The Hasans closed the Capitol to open the short-lived, Mediterranean-themed Mount Olive on Jefferson Street.
The Hasans also owned the Community Grocery Store on Elm Avenue in Roanoke. ...
Hasan’s father died in 1998. Neighbors on Ramada Road said he died of a heart attack in the house. Hasan’s mother died three years later. Neighbors said she had kidney disease.
The Garlicks said Nidal Hasan went to Virginia Western, and The Roanoke Times archives show he graduated from Virginia Tech in 1995.
He went on to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., where he finished in 2003. He did his residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., through 2007.
He was also a fellow at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Bethesda military medical school, where he was a fellow in disaster and preventive psychiatry.
The Associated Press reported he commissioned in the Army as a captain and was promoted to major in May. ....
“He would tell us the military was his life,” Hasan’s aunt, Noel Hasan of Falls Church, told the Post. He “did not make many friends.”
He was unmarried and had no children. Colleagues at Walter Reed reported he shied away from contact with women.
He remained a devout Muslim, praying daily at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Md., sometimes arriving in his Army fatigues.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the aunt said, he had been harassed about his Muslim faith and sought to be discharged from the military.
He went as far as retaining a lawyer to see if he could get out of the Army before his contract was up, The Associated Press reported.
While an intern at Walter Reed, Hasan had some “difficulties” that required counseling and extra supervision, said Dr. Thomas Grieger, who was the training director at the time. ...
Others reported Hasan was plain-spoken about his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He told a former Army colleague, Col. Terry Lee, “Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor,” Lee told Fox News.
Hasan was also deeply distressed by his impending deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan, family members said.
While he worked to aid people scarred by war, that work in turn scarred Hasan.
“He must have snapped,” Noel Hasan said. “They ignored him. It was not hard to know when he was upset. He was not a fighter, even as a child and young man. But when he became upset, his face turns red. You can read him in his face.”