What Can We Learn from the Ft. Hood Massacre?
During Word War II we interned many Japanese and German Americans into camps to prevent the effectiveness of however many spies and espionage agents that those two countries may have had in our country at the time. These days, however, we are not doing anything like that. Not that we should be interning Arab Americans in camps while we are involved in this war against radical Islam, but the Ft. Hood incident should at least serve as a warning sign that we are too lax when it comes to acting on warning signs we se in individuals within our Arab American community.
It is widely held that we should welcome diversity and not stoop to such a level anymore. Our society now insists upon political correctness to a fault. We are a nation of people who are walking on eggshells when it comes to how we talk or write about people and things these days. A pox upon us if we offend anyone. We are also way too cautious in how we deal with bonafide threats to our national security.
How many more incidents like the one at Ft. Hood must the American public endure before we get serious about our defense. When citizens take the oath upon enlisting in the military, they swear to protect the country and the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. (I did notice, however, that this particular phrase was missing from the Presidential oath of office during the last inauguration.)
We are dealing with a very different enemy now than we were dealing with during World War II. Our current enemy strives to maximize civilian casualties and uses our diverse societal structure against us. Laugh at Homeland Security if you wish, but it must be taken seriously. Take the massacre at Ft. Hood, for example. The gunman, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, is not only a devout Muslim, he had displayed behavior that raised red flags with his superiors and government officials, yet they failed to act upon this information.
News reports revealed that Hasan had belonged to a radical mosque in Falls Church, VA. According to the Telegraph.co.UK website, the Dar al-Hijrah mosque had also been attended by two of the September 11 highjackers. Also, the FBI knew that Hasan had been in contact with the radical former leader of the mosque, Anwar al-Awlak, whom the Telegraph website identified as an American born Yemeni imam.
In this day and age the American population has Muslims everywhere. Some are in plain sight and openly supportive of Islam and the jihad and others are posing as Mediterranean types or even South Americans. Those just mentioned would be worthy of our hard scrutiny. While it is true that there are many innocents among the American Muslim population, we cannot afford to be less than vigilant just to be politically correct. That Hasan was not only a Psychiatrist but an American army officer in a position of high trust only proves that we must not let our guard down for any reason. However, it does seem quite stupid on our part that we didn’t even bother to profile this killer. All of the signs were there, and they were blatant.
Here again, we are in the political position nationally where we are making serious mistakes with our national security in favor of political correctness. With the profiling tools currently at our disposal we have no one to blame but our own incompetence for overlooking simple facts such as the ones found in the Hasan case. And given what we know about how Islam is preached and what its goal is, we would be foolish not to realize there are people who are serious threats all over the country who are worthy of being placed under the microscope. More to the point, once we have suspects under watch we should know that watching someone to see if they will lead us to al-Qaeda or the Taliban has risks and that those risks need to be tightly managed. At this point it doesn’t matter whether Hasan acted alone or on orders. Thirteen dead and 42 wounded is still 13 dead and 42 wounded.
But rather than play the blame game we should focus on preventing incidents like this one from happening again. We really need to wise up to the fact that our penchant for political correctness and the cries against profiling are creating huge gaping weaknesses in our ability to protect our country from enemies like who we are now at war with. And realizing that war is no game and that we cannot play at it as though it were, we should also consider that there may be very real benefits to changing our rules of engagement for our war against radical Islam.
We should focus on winning and not be as concerned as we are with how we intend to accomplish the victory we need. Sun Tzu once said that the general who is more concerned about his own integrity will lose. America should wake up and realize that we have not won this war. We should also be mindful that pulling out of the Middle East will not necessarily end it. Our troops may be over there–but the enemy is definitely over here. And any refusal to admit this to ourselves is simply naive at best, and dangerous if not fatal at worst.
Major Hasan may have succumbed to the pressure and cracked under stress, but that is unlikely. As a Psychiatrist he should have been above the inability to manage stress to the degree that would result in a shooting spree. He had been in contact with a radical, anti-American Imam. He attended the same mosque as some of the 9-11 highjackers. He was shouting “Allahu Akbar” while remaining calm during a shooting spree that left 13 dead and up to 42 injured. And according to the Telegraph, he stated at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., “during an hour-long talk he gave on the Koran in front of dozens of other doctors,” that “infidels should have their throat cut.”
According to the same Telegraph article, published on November 5, “One of Hasan’s neighbors described how on the day of the massacre, about 9am, he gave her a Koran and told her: ‘I’m going to do good work for God’ before leaving for the base.”
According to one civilian police officer who was interviewed, Hasan was “hiding behind a telephone pole and shooting fellow soldiers in the back as they were trying to get away. Many writers in the Media have taken the wrong tack by labeling this a hate crime. What this really was, was an act of war. This attack was clearly carried out with intent. This was no mistake on Hasan’s part, and there was clearly premeditation here. With these pieces of information at hand, it certainly does not look like someone who was simply overcome by stress.
The Ft Hood Massacre was preventable. It was also as much the result of our political correctness as it was Milik Hasan’s radical inclinations.