From the very beginning of the Fort Hood shooting story the media went into Muslim Apologist Mode. After watching reporting on Fox News for a while, I tuned into World News Tonight and was treated to glaring examples, including Brian Ross’ need to pass along the claim that the shooter had been called a “camel jockey”. Over the course of the next 24 hours we all saw several other reporters lament (and then repeat) that they were sorry that the shooter’s name was not Smith. In the media’s desperate attempt to call it anything other than muslim-related terrorism we were even introduced to the preposterous notion that the shooter actually had Pre Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
As Stuart Smalley (the only funny thing that so-called comedian ever did) said, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt”.
There is no shortage of people who immediately called this what it was: a terrorist attack. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters typically did not mince words in his analysis:
But to call this an act of terrorism, the White House would need an autographed photo of Osama bin Laden helping Hasan buy weapons in downtown Killeen, Texas. Even that might not suffice.
Islamist terrorists don’t all have al Qaeda union cards in their wallets. Terrorism’s increasingly the domain of entrepreneurs and independent contractors. Under Muslim jurisprudence, jihad’s an individual responsibility. Hasan was a self-appointed jihadi.
Yet we’re told he was just having a bad day.
But too many reporters immediately rushed to treat us all like adolescent potential KKKers. Proving the old adage about the acorn-finding blind squirrel, even NYT columnist David Brooks got this one right when he wrote of A Rush To Therapy:
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.
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.
That patronizing attitude seems to be par for the course from the American media. But that is not the point that needs making, which is simply that this level of feel-good political correctness has no place in the US Army. Col. Peters also points out some disturbing affirmative action programs in the Army that could have played a role in this officer’s promotions in the face of obvious problems and bad reviews.
A dirty big secret in our Army has been that officers’ promotion boards have quotas for minorities. We don’t call them quotas, of course. But if a board doesn’t hit the floor numbers, its results are held up until the list has been corrected. It’s almost impossible for the Army’s politically correct promotion system to pass over a Muslim physician.
But the public statement that shocked me the most and has stayed in my mind came straight from the mouth of Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, who actually said “what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here”. Seriously, he actually said that the deaths of 13 people would be less of a tragedy than damage to the beloved D-word.
“what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” – Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey
Both articles close with indictments. Brooks says of America’s initial reaction:
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.
And Peters is even more blunt:
Just as we’d expect the Army to get rid of a disruptive white supremacist, we need to cashier anyone who espouses violent Islamist extremism — as Maj. Hasan did, again and again.
We won’t. Because Islamist terrorism doesn’t exist. Just ignore the dead and ask our president.
Read Brooks’ Op-Ed here and Peters’ Op-Ed here.
UPDATE: Brent Bozell wrote a good article on this as well, reminding me of Bob Schieffer’s attempt at drawing moral equivalency between this act and some nameless Christian “nuts”. Read Bozell’s take on it here.