Fort Hood

It’s hard for me to know what to say about atrocities like Fort Hood, other than the obvious; I pray for the people of Killeen, the troops in the First Cav and the Third Armored Cav and the 41st Artillery and the other units stationed there.  Getting shot at in a combat zone is something they train for and expect; getting shot at on home turf, allegedly by one of their purported own, is not.

Like I said, it’s hard for me – but it’s not for Victor Davis Hanson.

I think on the one hand we will see the familiar therapeutic exegesis, in which we hear of traumatic stress syndrome, justified and principled opposition to the Iraq and Afghan wars, generic mental illness, anger at being deployed overseas, or maltreatment from fellow soldiers due to his Muslim faith and various other efforts to “contextualize” the violence. (I am watching Major Hasan’s cousin on the news right now [I think], on spec, explain that the otherwise normal killer was a victim of bias and was ill at ease with firearms (after shooting over 40 victims and surviving the carnage). I cannot imagine the trauma of family members of the dead hearing such sentiments aired, or knowing that the killer apparently had voiced prior extremist sympathies.

There are times I think America’s fixation on the therapeutic culture is itself a disorder.

On the other hand, one could instead see Hasan in a long line of killers and would-be murderers of the last decade that in some loose way express an Islamic anger at either American culture or the United States government or both, as a way of elevating their own sense of failure into some sort of legitimate cosmic jihad.

“But wait – don’t be ripping Islam!  It’s an isolated incident!”

I’m not – and it irritates me to have to clarify this, since if I don’t someone will accuse me of anti-Moslem bias – bagging on Islam.  Many Moslems, including many of my neigbhors, are loyal Americans.  Many serve this country, and not a few have died in action.  

But it is, unfortunately, not all that isolated:

Prior to 2009, there have been at least 20 terrorist plots broken up after September 11, 2001—aimed at subways, malls, military bases, airports, bridges, and synagogues. Those foiled cabals are in addition to more common scattered murdering by freelancing angry killers, who in some very general way either evoked radical Islam, their own faith, the Palestinian cause, al-Qaedistic Islamism, or solidarity with worldwide Islam (from the Beltway sniper to the UNC and the San Francisco car murderers), and a number of lethal attacks on Jewish centers and temples resulting in numerous deaths (from the LAX attacks to the San Francisco and Seattle shootings)…In this year alone, aside from the recent mass murdering at Ft. Hood, there have been four more terrorist plots uncovered. Colorado resident Najibullah Zazi was recently indicted for conspiring to use explosives in the U.S., apparently as part of a plot to let off a bomb in New York on the anniversary of 9/11. In addition, North Carolina residents Daniel Patrick Boyd and Hysen Sherifi were arrested and charged with conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel at Quantico, Virginia. In Texas, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi—a 19-year-old Jordanian citizen who was in the U.S. illegally—was arrested and charged after he placed a would-be bomb near Fountain Place, a 60-story office tower in downtown Dallas.

Most recently in Boston, a Massachusetts man was arrested in connection with terrorist plots that included attacks on U.S. shopping malls and on two White House officials. Tarek Mehanna, 27, of Sudbury, Mass, was charged with plotting with other terrorists from 2001 to May 2008 to carry out overseas and domestic terrorist attacks— including killing shoppers and first responders at malls.

Read the entire piece.  And send whatever your worldview calls for – prayers, hopes, karmic imprecations or whatever – to the folks at Fort Hood.  And, while you’re at it, for the Moslems in this country who did come here for a better life, and found it, and are as loyal to this country and what it stands for as any of us, and who are going to put up with all manner of (I say this with clinical precision) raving bullsh*t today.

And of course, for the people out finding the real terrorists, of whatever worldview, at home and abroad.

6 thoughts on “Fort Hood

  1. I feel sorry for any Muslims in the military today. If this guy, who had spent his whole adult life in the military went off, a young soldier is going to get a second look from his comrades and that’s not a good thing for anybody.

    I agree with VDH’s original point, that the family comments, especially about the firearms are laughable and obviously false but it’s not much different from what you’d see in a shooting in Minneapolis. The family members will say pretty much anything to put their relative in a good light or explain their heinous crime, especially if it mitigates their own sense of guilt or complicity. In this case, the guy seemed rather estranged from his family anyway and questions have to be asked about his superiors about why they didn’t step in when the guy was showing signs of being off.

  2. Sad for the families of those lost, but also surprised it took so long. A US military base is the world’s largest gun-free zone.

    I’m serious. The MP at the gate has a sidearm. Guys on the firing range are using guns for an hour or two before they go back to the Armory.

    But the overwhelming majority of people on a military base work in the hospital, motor pool, personnel and payroll office, cafeteria, grounds crew . . . and they do NOT carry their guns on duty. Why would they need them? The only people allowed on base are trusted members of the military, civilian contractors, families, etc., all of whom are thoroughly vetted. The system works fine until it doesn’t; then it’s Columbine all over.

    .

  3. And as further evidence that I’m right about gun-free zones:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,572574,00.html?test=latestnews

    The shooter was brought down by a civilian police officer, a woman assigned to work at the base, who responded to the call.

    When the Army can’t even stop a killer operating on its own base but must rely on the civilian cops for help; well, that’s just about the dumbest thing I ever heard. The Marines must be laughing themselves silly.

    Not to mention the Taliban.
    .

  4. Nate – yep.

    One of the scandals in the attack on USS Cole was that the guard at the taffrail had a pistol. With one round in the pipe and another in the magazine. Two shots. To defend a destroyer at anchor in a dubiously-friendly part of the world.

    Another note: Robert Kaplan in Imperial Grunts noted that at the time the US counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan were “paralyzed” by the US military’s focus-to-obsession on “Force Protection”. That may have changed overseas (it had to, for the Surge to occur as it did), but apparently it’s not an issue stateside.

  5. Yes, but the lesson of the Cole has been learned. When I toured Norfolk naval base (by water) there was a line of white bouys around all of the ships. Our guide informed us that this was the no-go zone. If you crossed it, automatic cannon fire would turn you to smoldering ruin in seconds, no human interaction involved.
    Perhaps there may be some similar measures taken on bases.

  6. And once again, the shooter knew that his targets would be unarmed, and also knew (because of his position) exactly where they’d be most concentrated. I wonder if Camp Ripley has those little signs by the gates saying “The U.S. Army bans guns on these premises.”

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