Free Markets, Free People

Ft Hood: I Think This Is About Right

Steven Taylor says it:

It strikes me at this stage that trying to generalize from this event about a particular class of persons is no different than taking the Oklahoma City Bombing and assuming that because a right-wing white male was the perpetrator that there ought to be some blanket assumptions that could automatically be made. Or, perhaps a better analogy, those who have tried to blame things like abortion clinic bombings or anti-gay violence on conservative Christianity. In the absence of an actual organization directly advocating and planning specific violence, the responsibility for an event like this falls squarely on the shoulders of the person who engaged in the violence, and blaming others (based on religion, ethnicity or anything else) is blatantly unfair.

And yet, people are making wild assertions about the event, as if we really can know much of anything less than 24 hours after the event.

I’m not saying that there isn’t an “actual organization directly advocating and planning specific violence” (I don’t know), but until and unless that can be proven, it seems to me that the same broad brush we all condemn when, as Taylor points out, people try to make the same sort of unfounded assumptions about “right-wing” groups, etc is being used by some in this case.

Sometimes a nut is just a nut. And I think we all agree this guy is an absolute scumbag.  But, in reality, given what happened today in Orlando and what we know about Hasan, you could argue that we have seen two disgruntled employees who happened to be mentally unstable try to settle their scores with lethal violence. Unfortunately we have a long and rich history of such events.  We call it “going postal” from all the incidents of disgruntled postal employees shooting up their places of work.

Bottom line? Let’s not make more of this than it is until we have more proof. And no that’s not being politically correct – it is being factually correct.  If he’s a radical Islamist jihadi directed by an al Qaeda master (or some like scenario), then I’ll be the first to point that out and condemn it.

But at the moment, he seems more like a nutjob who went over the edge and acted out violently. Until I learn more about him and what caused him to do what he did, I’ll continue with that tentative conclusion. Because that’s the only conclusion supported by the evidence right now.

That said, my heart and prayers are with the victims of his rampage. And a special word of thanks to Sgt. Kimberly Munley who heroically stepped into harm’s way and an insane situation and ended it with a few well places shots. She was wounded in both legs and her hand. I wish her a speedy and complete recovery so she can be up and about to testify when they try this scumbag and send him to his just reward.

HT: Below The Beltway

~McQ

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96 Responses to Ft Hood: I Think This Is About Right

  • On one site, quite a few people were guessing “religion of peace” before the shooter’s name or religion was announced. Turns out, they were right.

    This guy may or may not be a lone nut, but he’s also Muslim, he shouted “Allah Akbar” just before he started shooting, he argued that nonbelievers could be beheaded at a professional conference, he made a varity of comments justifying Islamic violence against American soldiers.

    Even if he is a lone actor, his motive and reasons seem clear.

    • And, of course, that’s not at all the point of the post.

      Hint: “Broad brush”.

      The fact that he yelled “Allah Akbar” doesn’t mean he isn’t a nut acting out something from a paranoid fantasy, does it? At this point, we just don’t know. If we find out the shooter in Orlando yelled “Jesus is Lord” before he shot, can we roll that up into a condemnation of right-wing fundamentalist Christianity? Or will we assume he’s just a nut until proven otherwise?

      • There is a long list of statements from this guy indicating, clearly indicating, that Islamic faith was a key motive here. It played a part, if he was a nut or not. Frankly, the nut claim has less evidence, so the only reason to adopt it is to be PC.

        If Christians regularly did this sorta thing, then a Christian shout might be a similar indicator. But they don’t, so I’d be more cautious on that. But if you start throwing in the other stuff said (in a Christian version), then you would start to wonder about this guy’s Christian teaching.

        Sometimes you have to make a best guess, since you don’t have all the facts. You make a best guess based upon what you know. Oh, and usually you don’t have anything close to all the facts.

  • When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras …

  • Brian -
    If there was a religious and/or historical context for Christians killing people while screaming ‘Jesus is Lord’ than … YES.
    However, no such religious or historical context exists because Christ was meant to be the last sacrifice. Human sacrifice was possibly not as common in Mediterranean cultures as in say, Inca or Mayan, but is was practiced.
    Jihad was practiced by Islam’s founder; has been practiced historically in Africa, Asia, and Europe by sects of Muslims against each other as well as against Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists; has been practiced by both groups of Muslims and individual Muslims, and most importantly the killing of infidels is an act of religious worship – rewarded above all others.
    If someone is sincere or devote in thier religious beleifs, I am supposed to think that they wouldn’t obey God’s commandments as they understand themselves to be commanded?

    • Adrian – I’m Bruce, not Brian.

      And I suggest a book or two on the Inquisition or the Crusades for examples of precisely the “historical context” in which such religious cries were quite common. The conquest of central and south America also provide some pretty stark examples of the same, speaking of the Incas, etc.

      So it certainly wouldn’t be out of context for someone to shout “Jesus is Lord” given Christianity’s real, and not imagined, history, would it?

      And I think we both know that how a disturbed person chooses to interpret “obeying God’s commandments” is a crap shoot at best. Jim Jones demonstrated that quite well a few years ago, wouldn’t you say? I’m sure he thought, at the time he was doing a bang up job of it. I certainly don’t hold Christianity at fault for his actions or interpretations – do you?

      • Even Christianity has moved beyond the Inquisition as a proper response to much of anything.  And while I’m sure there are a couple of wackos out there who want new Crusades, they simply aren’t done anymore.  They are history, not part of the current realm of the land.  Christianity has out-grown them.
        Islam seems to have a problem that it can not evolve.  Muslims will tell you it is forbidden.  The Quran has not changed in centuries (or at least that is what is believed).  Being the “word of Allah” (as told to Muhammed), it can not change .. it is forever perfect.

        • No one is doubting that Christianity has moved on, but to claim that there is no historical context for what I wrote is simply not true.

          And the Bible hasn’t changed a word in centuries either, but some interpretations have. I think we all know, using politicians as an example, that they can all read the same sentence and not one of them will interpret it completely the same. Finally, if you don’t understand that the words of Jesus are considered just as perfect in Christianity, you haven’t been to church lately.

          • I have seen Bibles with different wording. For example, “Thau shall not murder” vice “Thau shall not kill”.

            It is my understanding that the Bible is not considered literally God’s work, but rather God’s revelation to faulty humans who transcribed it. By contrast, the Koran is literally written by Allah, and perfect. An English translation is not a real Koran.

          • Well then you’ve not hung around any Southern Baptist churches (and many other) where the Bible is considered to be both infallible and the literal word of God.

          • Bruce -
            please explain.  Are Southern Baptists who believe the Bible is infallible and the literal word of God insane?
            yes|no, as simple or as in context as you care to write  …

          • I’m not the one claiming someone who has certain religious beliefs is insane, Adriane. I’m saying that every nut who might be religious isn’t necessarily a nut because he’s religious or because of his religious beliefs. I’m not sure how you got that mixed up. As I said, sometimes a nut is just a nut and should be considered as such until we know otherwise

            In fact, that was the entire point of the post.

          • Yeah? well I have Bruce, I came out of that enviroment, and while I eventually disagreed and left the Southern Baptists, I NEVER, and I mean EVER! came across anyone who would advocate killing in the name of Jesus.  In fact any mention of that in any context would have been met with universal opprobrium.

          • Well anecdotally, neither have I. But that certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t done. And it certainly has been done during Christianity’s history.

          • Don - It is my understanding that the Bible is not considered literally God’s work, but rather God’s revelation to faulty humans who transcribed it.

            Perhaps its a small but important distinction, but many denominations (including mine – Lutheran) beileve and teach that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, written by men through the influence of the Holy Ghost.  A copy of the Bible is not generally considered sacred, though (of course!) it should be treated with due respect and reverence.  I believe that Islam, in constrast, holds any copy of the Koran to be sacred in the same way that many Christians would hold a sanctified communion wafer to be sacred.

            If somebody can throw more light on this, it would be appreciated.

        • NeoIslam seems to have a problem that it can not evolve.  Muslims will tell you it is forbidden. 

          This is unquestionably true for SOME Muslims.  However, it is not true for all and perhaps most.  Our VP of sales is an Indian Muslim.  Dr. S is also female, married to a white Methodist, has a PhD, dresses like one would expect a female American business executive to dress, and otherwise acts like any other educated, classy American woman with the exception of politely declining to eat pork.

          My brother was a peace keeper in Bosnia and was suprised to see Bosnian Muslims routinely skipping mosque, eating pork, and drinking liquor.  When he actually asked a few about this, they explained that, yeah, well, they weren’t SUPPOSED to do that sort of thing, but they weren’t Saudis, you know.

          A Muslim friend of mine in grad school sneered at American Muslim converts who, in her opinion, were interested in Islam solely because they thought that it made women sexually subservient to them.  I should add that Mogden was one of the most smokin’ women I’ve ever known, and she experienced this first-hand.  I also add that she dressed and otherwise behaved like the rest of the women on campus: no burqua or hijab for her (for which I am eternally grateful!).

          Another friend of mine in grad school had a Saudi friend who went drinking with us one evening.  Had I not been told that she was Saudi AND Muslim, I never would have guessed: dyed blonde hair, shaved arms (!), and dressed in the height of fashion.

          Another Muslim coworker was married to an American woman.  I have known few men more henpecked than he was.  Perhaps it might not be quite right to say that this is “evolved” behavior, but it is certainly much different than the picture of Muslim behavior we get from the militant types who treat their women like cattle.

          Islam “evolves” like any other religion.  Just as otherwise good Catholics will eat meat on Friday or skip Mass, or otherwise good Baptists will drink a beer while watching the game, so otherwise good Muslims will live normal lives like the other people around them.

          I do not blind myself to the threat posed by islamofascists, but I try to take good care to remind myself that they are as much a minority among Muslims as klansmen are among my fellow Southerners.

          • I would suggest that what you mention is not so much a matter of Islam evolving as it is individual Muslims adapting to a different secular culture, which seems to include modifying some  of their religious beliefs.

      • The is a interesting phenomenon about the Quran.
        It seems that whenever a Quran is copied to replace an aging Quran, the old Quran is destroyed once the copying process is complete.
        Well a few years back there was a 400 year old Quran found at a mosque.  Some German scholars took some pictures of parts of this Quran, and then it was destroyed (as it should have been long ago).  Well there has been nothing about this story since.  Given the uproar of the Muhammed cartoons, I can imagine the outcry if the old Quran didn’t match the current Qurans in circulation.

      • The best indication of the problem that Islam presents today is the “bloody borders” phenomenon. It’s pretty much the same all over the world. From Chechnya to China to Nigeria. Ask an Indian about Islam and see what you get. Mention Ft. Hood to him and he would say, “We deal with it every day.”

        Down at the level of the individual fanatic, you have a situation where jihadism steps into a Muslim’s pre-existing commitment to Islam and the Islamic idea that it is at war with all of the world that has not yet submitted to Islam.

        Looking back to the Crusades, they were initiated because the Byzantine emperor pleaded with the Pope to help him fight back against the siege from Islam. In that era, Europe had finally overcome enough of its other challenges to turn its attention to a threat like that posed to its Byzantine twin by Islam and to the Islamic conquest of the southern Mediterranean world, including the Holy Land, which became the focal point of the Crusades.

        Today the jihadist impulse is fed a steady diet of encouragement throughout the Islamic world. There are Islamic terrorists active all over the place in relentless conflict.

  • I agree with the idea that this guy is way outside the “normal” region on the “bell curve,” even for Muslims, but the reasons that have come up for his behaviour are simply unbelievable.
    For far this seems to be the best in the unbelievable category ..
    Pre-deployment PTSD or Second-hand PTSD
    Somehow this psychiatrist has managed to acquire PTSD before ever getting to the battlefield, apparently by second-hand exposure to those who have PTSD.
    While I might believe that some family members who have to deal with the effects of PTSD might be said to have a form of “second-hand PTSD,” I find it hard to believe that a trained doctor, a psychiatrist would be overcome.

    • I agree. And that goes to my point – that’s pure speculation that has no basis in fact. It is an assumption that media types are very willing to quickly make anytime they see a story about a violent service member.

      • The “nut” theory has less basis in fact. He said and wrote sufficiently to indicate an Islamic nexis. Perhaps “nut” played in with that, but that is pure speculation.

        • Yeah, because normal people do this sort of thing all the time.

          • Offhand, the only active shooter I can recall who had verified mental problems was the sniper at Texas A&M back in ’66.

            Cho failed to score with an escort, so I have my suspisions about him as well.

  • As a former Army Officer myself I’m not too upset about linking this guy to the Religion of Peace.  Sorry McQ, can’t get all bent out of shape about that.

    I am bent out of shape wondering how this guy, given what we think we now know, was still an Officer?  THAT upsets me.

    • Well as a former officer and if you understand that the military paid for all of his medical schooling, you now know why he was still an officer. Of course, given his last OER, you also know he was well on his way to not being an officer for long. But he had an obligation to pay back and that’s why he was still an officer. Secondly, words aren’t deeds – something we often talk about here when government control types talk about hate crimes (i.e. thought crimes).

    • I really amazed that the media, who have no problem linking any level of extremism under the sun with Conservative Christians, continue to have this problem with Muslims.
      Mind you. I’m not saying that all Muslims are nuts, but just like the Christians and Jews who have their assorted fruits and nuts, the Muslims have their nuts too, and for some not too odd reason, their nuts tend to be even more violent.

      • I’m not sure why, in a general sense, the media has such problems either except perhaps for their institutional bias and the ravages of political correctness. On the other hand, they certainly have a “fairness” problem – if they’re going to automatically include the religion of nuts who are Christian, why shouldn’t they automatically include the religion of all nuts when they describe them and imply the same things they do about Christians of nuts who are a different religion? Maybe they ought to add that stipulation to their style books.

  • I’m going to stick with my comment from the open thread:

    Let’s hope this is “another anomaly” and not some sort of a sleeper jihadi activated by an external outfit. Though one has to ask the question as to whether the jihadist impulse is so well matched to implicit human violence that it can turn that key in any given Muslim at any given time.

  • I would like to point out that Timothy McVeigh was an anarchist and not necessarily a right wing nut job–he was a hybrid nut job.
    Your point about the broad brush is well made though I believe a bit overly cautious.  We may never be able to make a connection to al Qaeda (or another terrorist network) with this guy, but there is often an absence of firm association between Islamic terrorists and an organization.   That the guy is a nut job is undisputed by just about everyone.  What is disputed by many but in my opinion equally true, is that Islamist/jihadist/wahhibist theology is an incubator to this sort of violence.   Put a real live nut job in that culture dish and we can expect violence.

    • That may be Roughman, but at this point we have absolutely nothing that associates him with any outside group nor do we know if his religion was the primary motivator (or instead an excuse) for his actions or maybe the fact that he didn’t want to deploy and wasn’t having any success in avoiding it. And that’s the point of the post.

      While I agree McVeigh was an anarchist you’ll remember he was immediately broad brushed into the “right-wing” which was then blamed for the violence (remember the “right wing talk radio is the cause” bit?) with little to support the contention.

  • Well we now know eno0ugh to ask these questions from the Army?  Why were there not more armed MP’s nearby? When I lived on an Army base thirty years ago there was an MP literally on every major corner.
     
    Next question is Did those people die due to political correctness. If you had some indication that this guy was not right, why was he not removed, And if there was doubt about him then why not at least not deploy him?  Was it only because the policy is to not offend a moslem?
     
    We need those questions answered.

    • I grew up on Army bases and rarely saw MPs.

      I think the question of political correctness is one that does need to be investigated but in a wider context than just the Army or military.

      But I have to note that this was a muslim that was actively seeking a way out of the Army according to reports I’ve read. So it seems unlikely he was being kept in or not removed because of his religion.

      • maybe the way things were done in the past is not good enough, maybe there needs to be more armed personnel on military bases.  It is always said that Generals err in trying to fight the current war with the tactics of the last.
         
         

    • Apparently, the whole thing went down in about 4 minutes.
      That’s 4 minutes from the first “Allahu Akbar” to Sgt Munley shooting this “harassed psychiatrist” 4 times.

  • Well said Bruce.  Spot on.  The world is full of right b@stards some of them crazy.

  • Bruce -
    apologies for calling you Brian, no apologies for arguing that there is no historical context for Christian murder in the name of Christ.
    I can kill KKK members (or even fat, white guys named Bubba of any political persuasion) in the name of Martin Luther King, Jr but does anything in the speeches or writings of Dr. King suggest that he would approve of such actions?
    That you cited the Crusades is not unexpected but is historical ignorance  writ large.  The Middle Eastern survivors of over 400 hundred years of Muslim jihad asked European Christians for military aide to DEFEND the Christian kingdoms that were left.
    Christians neither initiated the wars nor claimed on an individual scale that the individual murder of Muslims was a worthy imitation of Christ’s teaching.  That the Bible is not a suicide pact is part of the Catholic teaching of ‘Just War’.
    The victims in the Fort Hood Massacre were worthy victims of Jihad, according to Jihad, as none of them were Muslim and they were citizens of a country fighting Islamic domination.  Since the shooter clearly felt obligated by the tenets of Jihad, he killed as many as he could in an act of religious piety.  His actions have the approval of other (present day) Muslims and the historical approval of previous Islamic teachers and schools of Islamic though back to the founder of Islam.
    That you and I disagree with his definition of religious piety, does not negate that he was so motivated.  We would hardly agree that the building of bamboo towers and sea shell runways are acts of religious piety but it motivates Cargo Cult devotees. We would hardly agree that burning widows is an act of religious piety but it still happens in India, although thankfully, not on the pre-Raj scale.
    Muslims in Pakistan actively teach that it is an act of religious piety to not vaccinate your children against polio.  That way, the child’s fate is left to the hands of Allah. They also believe that predicting earthquakes is an abomination as only Allah should know the future and they have destroyed seismic equipment.
    In subscribing to the ‘lone nut’ theory, you are, in my opinion, simply advancing the arguement that all relgious people who definitions of piety disagree with yours are insane.  You are certainly free to make such an argument, but please be honest about it.

    • I can kill KKK members (or even fat, white guys named Bubba of any political persuasion) in the name of Martin Luther King, Jr but does anything in the speeches or writings of Dr. King suggest that he would approve of such actions?

      Are you suggesting violence and killing are antithetical to Christianity? You are familiar with the Old Testament I assume. It is a part of Christian theology and revered by believers. And I would hope you know that there are an incredible number of examples that point to both violence and killing – in fact indiscriminate killing – being the will of God.

      For instance – Ezekiel 9:1-7, where Ezekiel claims that God appointed men to punish Jerusalem for its “abominations.” The Lord told them to “kill without pity; spare no one. Kill and destroy them all, old men and young, girls, little children and women. . . .”

      Or Isaiah 13:13-20, where Isaiah reports that on the day of the Lord’s anger against Babylon: “All who are found will be stabbed, all who are taken will fall by the sword; their infants will be dashed to the ground before their eyes. . . .”

      And inJeremiah 48:10, Jeremiah denounces those who won’t do the killings demanded by God. He declares: “A curse on him who is slack in doing the Lord’s work! A curse on him who withholds his sword from bloodshed!”

      So, since you brought up the KKK, given just those three cites, would it be out of the question if they drew on them to justify attacking anyone they decided God would think was an “abomination” (such as blacks) and killing them “without pity”?

      By the way, if you’re going to try the “but that’s the Old Testament” defense, read Revelations. You’ll recall that the book of Revelation states that in the end times, heavenly power and a sword will be given to a rider on a horse. He will be allowed to make men slaughter one another. Revelation 6:3-4

      Another rider will be granted similar divine authority, including power to kill with the sword over a quarter of the earth.[ Revelation 6:7-8] Later, four angels and their cavalry of 200 million will go forth to slay a third of mankind. Revelation 9:14-16

      This destruction is preliminary to Christ himself coming on a white horse, leading the armies of heaven. A sharp sword will extend from his mouth to smite the nations, whose armies will be killed by the sword. Revelation 19:11-21

      Last, but certainly not least, probably the least quoted passage in the New Testament – Matthew 10:34 – in which Jesus tells his followers he came “not . . . to bring peace, but a sword.”

      Again – do you see anything that might be used by someone who claims to be a Christian that would justify – at least as they interpret it – violence against what he or she would classify (for whatever reason) an enemy of God or Christ?

      And, skipping the Inquisition or how Christ was used to justify the slaughter of the Incas and Aztecs, you choose to focus on the Crusades and say:

      That you cited the Crusades is not unexpected but is historical ignorance writ large. The Middle Eastern survivors of over 400 hundred years of Muslim jihad asked European Christians for military aide to DEFEND the Christian kingdoms that were left. Christians neither initiated the wars nor claimed on an individual scale that the individual murder of Muslims was a worthy imitation of Christ’s teaching. That the Bible is not a suicide pact is part of the Catholic teaching of ‘Just War’.

      I can only assume you’ve not read much about the Crusades. The first Crusade had nothing to do with aiding or defending “Christian Kingdoms” that were left. It was an attempt to heal the schism between the eastern and western churches. It provided Pope Gregory IV a reason to send armed troops into the east, ostensibly to aid Alexis in Asia Minor – (i.e Constantinople – I don’t recall Constantinople ever being considered a part of the “holy land”). It was actually Urban II who ended up doing so whipping up the popular Christian myth of barbarian muslims slaughtering everything in sight. In fact, that wasn’t the case at all. It was a pretext to introduce Christian forces into the east and give knights something to do other than kill each other and ravage the lands in the West. In fact, Urban II made that point in his speech at the Council of Cleremont :

      What are we saying? Listen and learn! You, girt about with the badge of knighthood, are arrogant with great pride; you rage against your brothers and cut each other in pieces. This is not the soldiery of Christ, which rends asunder the sheep-fold of the Redeemer. The Holy Church has reserved a soldiery for herself to help her people, but you debase her wickedly to her hurt. Let us confess the truth, whose heralds we ought to be; truly, you are not holding to the way which leads to life. You, the oppressors of children, plunderers of widows; you, guilty of homicide, of sacrilege, robbers of another’s rights; you who await the pay of thieves for the shedding of Christian blood; as vultures smell fetid corpses, so do you sense battles from afar and rush to them eagerly. Verily, this is the worst way, for it is utterly removed from God! If, forsooth, you wish to be mindful of your souls, either lay down the girdle of such knighthood, or advance boldly, as knights of Christ, and rush as quickly as you can to the defense of the Eastern Church. For she it is from whom the joy of your whole salvation have come forth, who poured into your mouths the milk of divine wisdom, who set before you the holy teachings of the Gospels. We say this, brethren, that you may restrain your murderous hands from the destruction of your brothers, and in behalf of your relatives in faith oppose yourself to the Gentiles. Under Jesus Christ, our Leader, may you struggle for your Jerusalem. . . . But if it befall you to die this side of it, be sure that to have died on the way is of equal value, if Christ shall find you in His army. God pays with the same coin, whether at the first or the eleventh hour. You should shudder, brethren, you should shudder at raising a violent hand against Christians; it is less wicked to brandish your sword against Saracens. It is the only warfare that is righteous, for it is charity to risk your life for your brothers.

      They were quite the Christians too:

      Meanwhile, the main body of the army was besieging the great city of Antioch which was finally conquered after seven months. Antioch became the second crusader state under Bohemond. The other crusaders then took Jerusalem by assault in July 1099, followed by the wholesale slaughter of Muslims and Jews, men, women, and children, an event recorded by FULCHER OF CHARTRES.

      The first “crusader state” was carved out in Turkey – hardly the holy land, but certainly a part of the Byzantine empire.

      As the Catholic Encyclopedia points out:

      The idea of the crusade corresponds to a political conception which was realized in Christendom only from the eleventh to the fifteenth century; this supposes a union of all peoples and sovereigns under the direction of the popes. All crusades were announced by preaching. After pronouncing a solemn vow, each warrior received a cross from the hands of the pope or his legates, and was thenceforth considered a soldier of the Church. Crusaders were also granted indulgences and temporal privileges, such as exemption from civil jurisdiction, inviolability of persons or lands, etc. Of all these wars undertaken in the name of Christendom, the most important were the Eastern Crusades …

      Or said more simply – the Crusades were Christian imperialism and the excuse to go to war was the need to “free” the holy land from the “infidels”, or as Pope Urban II described them, “an accursed race, a race utterly alienated from God …”

      So you can try to claim they were something they weren’t if you wish, but even a cursory reading of the history of the era will disabuse you of the validity of your version of events.

      The victims in the Fort Hood Massacre were worthy victims of Jihad, according to Jihad, as none of them were Muslim and they were citizens of a country fighting Islamic domination. Since the shooter clearly felt obligated by the tenets of Jihad, he killed as many as he could in an act of religious piety.

      Prove it.

      This is all pure speculation on your part, as is the rest of your comment. Prove your points – evidence would be nice. You’ve made your claim – now provide a basis other than your opinion for what happened.

      Otherwise, you prove my point.

      In subscribing to the ‘lone nut’ theory, you are, in my opinion, simply advancing the arguement that all relgious people who definitions of piety disagree with yours are insane. You are certainly free to make such an argument, but please be honest about it.

      I’m not sure where that logical leap came from but it is a fallacious argument. I’ve never even hinted that those advancing an argument that all religious people who’s definitions of pieity disagree with mine are insane. I’m simply applying Occam’s Razor and saying that since his actions aren’t the actions that most of us attribute to a normal person, perhaps the simplest explanation is the best explanation.

    • Frankly, I’ve always thought that the Almighty Lord should do his/her own killing, if necessary.
      It always seemed quite presumptuous to think that I would know the mind of the Almighty.

      • Heh … yet here you are doing that, Neo. Being presumptuous I mean.

        • But not of the Lord Almighty.
           
          I always find that man’s narcissism keeps trying to put himself at the same level as the Almighty.  Whether it’s killing or AGW .. man keeps trying to push aside or deny the existent of the Almighty so he can be the “top of the food chain,” I ones “in control.”   The day a comet or such comes along and flattens everything of Earth will be the day that the whole notion of “in control” evaporates, literally.

  • We know the guy was (or rather is) A.) a violent nutbar and B.) a Muslim.  While I agree with McQ that it’s far too soon to be making definitive statements about how much part B. rather than A. may have played in what he did, it leaves some questions unanswered.
     
    Is there a link between A. and B.?  Are there more violent nutbars per Muslim capita than, say, per Presbyterian capita?  If so, why?  Are violent nutbars disproportionately attracted to Islam or does Islam turn normal people into violent nutbars in some way Presbyterianism doesn’t?  Some combination of the two?
     
    I think much suspicion/anger/frustration stems from the perception that not only are the powers-that-be not interested in asking even that first question, but they’re actively discouraging anybody else asking it, as well.  (I’m not accusing you of that, just noting that the problem exists).  The more they avoid doing so, probably fearing that the answer is yes, the more people assume that the answer is yes.  It may be, it may not, but giving the impression that you rate political correctness higher than people’s lives is playing with fire.
     

    • Maybe it has nothing to do with religion per se and more to do with the same problem the nut in Orlando had – he was a disgruntled employee and he took it out on those he worked with (or formerly worked with). The fact that he was of a particular religion that we’re not especially fond of right now doesn’t – defacto – mean that was the primary motivator for this crime. And at this point, we don’t know if, in fact, it was.

      • The religion seems to be the driving factor for not liking the job.

        He got in some trouble for pushing Islam on patients. He said outragous anti-American things. He claimed he was bullied, but that sounds like a strange charge for a late 30s major. I suspect–this is my guess based upon what I know of people (and granted could be wrong), that whatever bullying occured was precipitated by his anti-American talk.

        If all we knew now was that he is Muslim, you would be right. But we need more. Granted, we don’t have all the facts, but I doubt we ever will. Right now the facts point toward the Islam connection. It is not like we are the jury.

        Cops tend to think “dad” when something bad happens to a little child. Sometimes they are wrong, but they do so for a reason.

    • I think the problem here is the difference between motivation and justification.
      Clearly, there is no link, and there probably never will be, between the motive for this act and Islam.
      That said, when I guy is running around killing at random while yelling “Allahu Akbar“, it’s pretty clear in my mind that he is using Islam as a justification for his acts.

  • Regardless of any opinion, this guy acted out like every other suicide enemy and this one was a traitor to top it off. Until we know better something needs to be done to insure no other Islamist can fulfill his “calling” in this fashion. That’s prudence, taking into account a track record and nothing else should be read into that.

  • I suppose and expect we can label the thing cultural, since that’s more inclusive of all the elements at hand, including religion.
     

  • Bruce -
    you are showing willful blindness on the subject of motivation.
    Is a man insane for killing his wife for insurance money?  Or is he just a greedy bastard?  Neither you nor I will ever agree with his justification, but would you claim that a man acting from greed is insane?
    Is a man insane for killing another man slowly burning to death with no chance of rescue?  Or is he doing a horrible act of mercy?
    I do not believe murder, in and of itself, is a sufficient justification for labeling a person “sick” or “insane”.
    The man was described by the people who knew him as a devoted Muslim.  None of the people who knew him describe him as insane.  No evidence has been offered that he suffered from psychotic episodes, heard voices, had nightmares or periods of sleep deprivation, slashed his wrists, took mood altering drugs, or had other traits or symptoms normally associated with the mentally ill.
    Is a person mentally ill for denying their child a polio vaccine?  Is a person mentally ill that spends his waking hours building bamboo towers and sea shell airports for planes from God that never land?  Is a person mentally ill for taking a vow of chastity or silence or living as a hermit with maybe 2 or 3 human contacts during the entire year? Is a person mentally ill for not eating lettuce because God commands it?
    The world is full of religious motivations that neither you nor I will understand, sympathize with, or relate to …
    But the people who know Major Hasan all state that he was a religious man and was motivated to keep the tenets of his religion.
    So why isn’t his religion a good a starting place as any for analysis or clues to his behavior?
    If the Orlando shooter had screamed ‘Jesus is Lord’ while shooting, the Florida police would be negligent for ignoring that he might have belonged to a Christian end time cult or the like.
    I dispute that a person screaming ‘Jesus is Lord’ is a member of a mainstream Christian religion because there are no teachings from Christ that advocate killing.  Who did Christ kill?  Name names.  Who did Big Mo kill? Jews, Christians, people traveling in the caravans that he raided, people that had money or land that he wanted, captives that already had their hands tied behind their back, boys old enough to have the first fuzz of pubic hair, slave girls whose owner had them sings mocking songs about him.  {Dang, that Christ guy needs to get going with that sword he carries around if he wants to catch up with Big Mo …}
    Major Hasan belong to a religion that advocates the killing of apostates, the natural superiority of Muslims over Christians, that killing the enemies of Allah is the greatest calling of jihad and worth so much that a jihadist not only wins paradise for himself but can ask God to forgive any and all sins of his family members as well.
    Any Christian churches you have names for assure their followers that killing of Muslims and Jews will allow them not only to go to heaven but promises them they can take their family members with them?
    Muslim leaders of today, not Pope Urban of yesteryear, have repeated the authority of Islamic teaching that the rape of captured women is OK, suicide bombing is OK, killing of apostates is OK, that anyone who says that Islam is a religion of peace is a fool, and yes, that jihad remains the highest aspiration of Muslims today.
    That neither you nor I believe in the religious piety of jihad does not prevent millions of other people from doing so.  Why would I find it hard to believe that a man is capable of doing things I find abhorrent due to his religious beliefs?
    Are all African Muslims who mutilate their daughter’s clitori, insane? Are all the Muslims in Sudan who whip women wearing pants insane (or women that wear bras in Somalia)? Are the Egyptian Muslims who kidnap Coptic teenage girls insane?
    You, not me, are the one making statements without proof.  Show me any evidence the Major Hasan was mentally ill. The people who knew him have already vouched for my position – he was a devoted Muslim and Islam rewards the slayers of infidels.
    No one has come forward to describe him as a mad man…

    • I’m not showing willful blindness at all – I’m saying I don’t know enough yet to come to the conclusion you have. You, on the other hand, say you do – I’ve simply asked you to lay your proof (not your opinion) on the table. To date, this comment included, you’ve provided nothing but more rationalization for holding an unfounded opinion.

      You’ve also, again, tried to put words in my mouth I’ve never said or implied.

      I’ll ask you to reread the post – when we have proof of your contentions I’ll certainly be glad to acknowledge it. I have no reason not too or problem doing so. But at this point the only thing that is positive is some nut job shot up his place of employment and tragically killed and wounded a number of people. Ironically that happened in Orlando too. And while there are indications his religion may have played a part, we’re not sure, are we? When we are, there’ll be plenty of time to condemn that, wouldn’t you say?

      The fact that “no one has come forward to describe him as a mad man…” again makes my point. It is very early in all of this for such a determination to have been made, isn’t it?

  • The shooter is a muslim. He sees Iraq and Afghanistan as muslim countries. He sees the muslims in those countries as his brothers. He sees US military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan as a crime against the innocent people who live there. He sees the US military in those countries killing and torturing innocent muslims (this is a fact; only whether it is a pattern is debatble).
    He is a PTSD expert, hearing the confessions of thousands of returning vets, many of whom are traumatized by the horrors they have witnessed inflicted against civilians–and some they themselves inflicted.
    He is confronted by his deployment orders with the reality of his participation in the military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He does not want to set foot in those muslim countries as a military occupier.
    So he sets about killing as many soon-to-be-deployed soldiers as possible. Every person he killed will not be in Iraq or Afghanistan next month, and neither will he. He achieved his goals.
    You might not like hearing any of that, but you’re just blowing smoke up your own ass if you don’t consider its truth.

  • Its not either/or.
    You can be a crazy jihadi.
    If you are a shy loner who doesn’t like women and maybe has trouble fitting in, wouldn’t a religion that says you should be wary of women, etc. be perfect for challenging your problems away from yourself onto society, unbelievers, etc?
    These could be self-reinforcing.
    I also think the reason the Catholic church has/had so many Pedos is because pedos who want to control themselves try the priesthood. I have also met celibate gays who were christians, and AA members also use religion this way.
    I suspect this guys deployment was messing with this coping mechanism in some way. Maybe he wouldn’t feel special in an Islamic country and then his “secrets” would be revealed?
    Of course this is all speculation, and even if you are crazy jihadi – keep in mind there is that Jihad sitting right there next to crazy.  Martyrdom might be the psychic reward that pushes fantasy into action.
    He was also a Redskins fan, but he didn’t try to kill the Dallas Cowboys, did he?

  • why are my comments appearing in the middle of the comments instead of at the end?

  • challenging your problems away = channeling your problems away

  • For those who imply or state that Islam makes people somehow more prone to violence, I answer that plenty of murders are committed in our country every day by people who are ostensibly Christian. 

    Yes, there is a segment of the Muslim world, inculcated with a vicious, expansionist, uncompromising ideology, that has no problem with mass murder in the name of that ideology.  Seventy years ago, there was a segment of the Christian world, inculcated with a vicious, expansionist, uncompromising ideology, that had no problem with mass murder in the name of that ideology.

    I think that McQ is dead-on when he say that we don’t know enough YET about this whack-job to know what was going through his twisted mind, and we should reserve judgment until we do.  If I may offer a personal anecdote, I was a grad student when the OKC bombing occured.  Some of my lab students were Muslim, and, in fact, Iranian (ex-pat families).  Like most people in the early days after OKC, I felt certain that Muslims had done it.  I also felt certain that my students were just as horrified as I was, and that I would not tolerate anybody bullying them in a misguided effort to get some revenge for what had been done to our fellow Americans.  I still feel that way.

    My view:

    1.  Absent further information, I am putting Hasan down as a lunatic who happens to be Muslim.  It is my fond hope that he is hanged for what he did.

    2.  The FBI and Army need to answer some hard questions about why this guy was allowed to run around loose.  That, of course, leads to other hard questions for all of us about what we want to do about people who we SUSPECT might be violent but haven’t actually broken any laws or made any direct threats.

    3.  IF it is shown that this SOB was acting as part of a group, then we need to make every legal effort to destroy that group.  IF that group was supported or directed by a foreign power, then that country needs to payDEARLY for what its minion has done.

    4.  The DoD needs to rethink its weapons policies on posts and bases.

    As for MiniTru’s tip-toeing around Hassan’s religion, that wouldn’t be a problem but for their obvious bias: had he been one of (for example) Fred Phelps’ brain-dead flock, I’m sure we’d have heard all about it.

  • McQ’s skeptical thesis as to whether Hasan’s murdering was authentic jihadism:
    “But, in reality, given what happened today in Orlando and what we know about Hasan, you could argue that we have seen two disgruntled employees who happened to be mentally unstable try to settle their scores with lethal violence. Unfortunately we have a long and rich history of such events.  We call it “going postal” from all the incidents of disgruntled postal employees shooting up their places of work.
    Bottom line? Let’s not make more of this than it is until we have more proof.”

    Well, how much more proof would you need:
    1. He was demonstrably Muslim and ideological (i.e., Islamist) in his political view.
    2. He prepared in advance for the murders (i.e., he did not “snap”).
    3. He shouted “Allah is great” during the attack.

    4. Where is the case that this is just another disgruntled M.D.? It’s not like the guy was a janitor. On the other hand, M.D.s seem to be disproportionately represented among jihadists, and there could be some explanation for that, such as the training being so crucially technical that it creates a vacuum for meaning and the jihadist impulse can rush into that.

    Yes, you can take every jihadist everywhere and strip the cause down to something deeper than Islam–the intrinsic human capacity to murder, which is forestalled in most by certain moral structures of character and/or society (punishment). We know that sociopaths don’t have or don’t pay attention to those structures. But this man was not a sociopath. He was an observant religious man. My contention is that the jihadist impulse can turn the key to the intrinsic human capacity to murder, and that that is what this looks like.

    Hence my concern that this man was a “sleeper” of some sort, as opposed to self-activated.

    • 1. He was demonstrably Muslim and ideological (i.e., Islamist) in his political view.

      And that may end up being irrelevant to the situtation.

      2. He prepared in advance for the murders (i.e., he did not “snap”).

      So did the guy in Orlando.

      3. He shouted “Allah is great” during the attack.

      Which could have been no more than someone else yelling “God help me” before attacking others.

      4. Where is the case that this is just another disgruntled M.D.?

      I didn’t say he was a “disgruntled MD”. I believe the word I used was “employee”. This guy was actively trying to get out of the military, to include using a military lawyer to help him do so.

      Hence my concern that this man was a “sleeper” of some sort, as opposed to self-activated.

      Something you can only assert since there doesn’t seem to be – at this point – a scintilla of proof to support your conern.

      Anyone yet figuring out what I’ve been saying over a post and 56 comment?

      • Yes, of course, all of the immediate facts about who this man is could conceivably be irrelevant to his deliberate decision to murder a dozen people.

        Like I said, you can strip all of the implications of jihadism away and take it down to intrinsic human violence, if that is your inclination.

        You did say “disgruntled employee,” but he was employed as an M.D., and that in itself has necessary implications. He is an officer and a professional, i.e., he has premium skills, not a dead-end job.

        And I didn’t “assert” that he was a “sleeper,” I said that it was a “concern,” as it must be a concern, i.e., something that cannot be ruled out, even if it cannot be ruled in. It is a necessary concern.

        And I quoted what looked like your thesis statement, which was legitimate skepticism about reaching conclusions, and asked you how much proof you would need.

        • As MG Bob Scales said, he was of the “privileged class” when it comes to officers. He’d actually been an officer for a little over a year (MDs get direct commissions, usually at the rank of CPT – but since this guy was sent to medical school on the Army’s dime and he was going to school with the rank of CPT at the time). So the fact that he was an MD doesn’t change the fact that he was a disgruntled employee. He was actively seeking a way out of the Army to include paying the Army back for his education to get out of his contract.

          My point about “privileged class” is being a major does not make him “an officer and professional” since he wasn’t trained nor did he advance in the typical manner of almost any other military officer.

          As to your “concern”- in this particular case, I don’t share it. If he were a “sleeper” seems to me he’d have accepted deployment, done this overseas (assuming this was why he was a “sleeper”) and made an even bigger impact. Seems a rather long route to get this guy in a position to do what he did – medical school, become an officer, shoot ‘em up. Why not the easy way – join the army as an enlisted guy, find the same situation and do your thing.

      • just another disgruntled M.D.
        Now here’s a thought ..  perhaps our poor “harassed psychiatrist”was in fact upset that his short-term future was to a war he didn’t want any part in, and his long-term future was being destroyed by politicians in DC trying to pass ObamaCare.
        Wow, it’s not only Bush’s fault, but it’s also Obama’s, Reid’s and Pelosi’s fault.

    • “3. He shouted “Allah is great” during the attack.”

      So every time someone yells “Holy Sh*t!” in a moment of stress it proves they are Turd worshippers?

      • If there was a Church of the Sacred Shit whose members had a history of attacking constipated infidels while yelling “Holy Shit”, then  … YES!

        • But you’d wait until it was confirmed he was yelling that before jumping to that conclusion, right Adriane?

          Soldiers reported that the gunman shouted “Allahu Akbar!” — an Arabic phrase for “God is great!” — before opening fire Thursday, said Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the post commander. He said officials had not confirmed Hasan made the comment.[link]

          Again, the very point of the post

          • Bruce -
            I promise you … if it turns out that seconds before the shooting started Major Hasan was online buying life insurance policies with TBD typed in for the name of the insured … I will sign in to apologize for believing that religious people might be motivated to act upon religious beliefs.

          • And I’ll do the same if he’s found to be a jihadi – but at the moment I think we’d have to agree that the only thing we know for sure is he wasn’t a happy camper and he shot a lot of people.

      • No, yelling “Allahu Akbar“ means that you are an “harassed psychiatrist” who has listened to too many PTSD patients and are now randomly killing anyone who even vaguely looks like they might be a potential future patient.

  • Real quick experiment for the defenders of Islam:
    If the level of evidence on a world wide basis doesn’t convince you there is a problem needing to be addressed, the question becomes; What level of evidence would be required before you could accept the religion played a part in this violence?
    Most of the comments so far, play to willful blindness than to an actual defense.  Quoting past sins of Christianity does not excuse current violence on the part of Islam.  Christianity did play a  role in that violence.  Islam plays a role in the current violence.

    • Hey John, who is defending Islam?

      You too might want to spend a moment re-reading the post.

      As for the “quoting past sins of Christianity”, it’s always useful to understand the context of the quotes before remarking – something you obviously missed.

      As for your last statement – prove it.

      While it may indeed end up being the case, at this point it is simply an assertion.

      And that, sir, was the entire point of the post.

      • Me prove it?  Why not just listen to the people who are committing the violence?  Good dodge on the question by the way.  Again, the question is:  What level of evidence would be required before you could accept the religion played a part in this violence?

        • So you’re not interested in proving your point? You think an assertion stands here?

          Fair enough.

          Don’t be surprised when you’re ignored.

          I’ll answer your question with a question – what level of evidence constitutes proof? That’s what I’m talking about.

  • But at the moment, he seems more like a nutjob who went over the edge and acted out violently.
    Bruce – these words did not write themselves …
    Please support your opinion that this man was a nutjob, with something other than ‘well he killed 13 people so he had to have been crazy…’
    As I have argued there are many reasons for murder including greed or mercy … or jihad.
    That no one has come forward to call Major Hasan a mad man does not support your opinion.  Mental illness has signs and symptoms, none of which Major Hasan demonstrated.

    • He shot a lot of people in an act of extreme violence that is not at all unknown in this country – before we all got infected with the “everyone is a terrorist” bug, we considered those sorts acts to be those of people with disturbed minds -”nutjobs” – like the guy in Orlando who did the same thing a day later. Tell me, was the Orlando guy a jihadi or do you consider him to be a “nutjob?” Did both of them have job related grievances? Hmmm…you know there might be another explanation other than “he’s a jihadi”.

      • I don’t consider the Orlando shooter a nutjob.  I consider the Orlando shooter a person who decided to take revenge on people that he felt wrong him by killing them.  That makes him a murderer, not insane.
        The Fort Hood Shooter I consider a jihadi because he decided to take revenge on people that he felt wronged him and members of his religion by shooting them; and the murder of outsiders of that religion is a religiously prescribed and honored act according to that religion and murders so motivated have a special religious name and that name is jihad.
        If there was a religion that honored men who killed their wives for money and a man who known to be a devoted member of that religion killed his wife for money, I would say that that man was religiously motivated, despite the fact that other men without religious motivation also kill their wives for money.
        Major Hasan is not everyman.  You are motivated to write and maintain a blog and he is not despite both of you being Americans.  Sigmund Freud wrote a book and Major Hasan did not dispite both of them being psychiatrists.  Religion played a much greater part of Major Hasan’s life – according to the people who knew him best – and therefore, I expect from him actions based on that religion.  For example, dietary laws, prayers, fasting during Ramadan, and (unfortunately) acceptance of jihadi teachings.
        I don’t expect those things from you at all, not because you are incapable of following the dietary laws of your (or any other religious tradition) but because you have never written or blogged about how a religion that has dietary laws is a major part of your life and a major motivation for the actions that you take each day.

        • I don’t consider the Orlando shooter a nutjob. I consider the Orlando shooter a person who decided to take revenge on people that he felt wrong him by killing them. That makes him a murderer, not insane.

          He’s a nutjob – rational people don’t act that way. BTW, irrational doesn’t necessarily mean “insane”.

          Major Hasan is not everyman. You are motivated to write and maintain a blog and he is not despite both of you being Americans. Sigmund Freud wrote a book and Major Hasan did not dispite both of them being psychiatrists. Religion played a much greater part of Major Hasan’s life – according to the people who knew him best – and therefore, I expect from him actions based on that religion. For example, dietary laws, prayers, fasting during Ramadan, and (unfortunately) acceptance of jihadi teachings.

          I don’t expect those things from you at all, not because you are incapable of following the dietary laws of your (or any other religious tradition) but because you have never written or blogged about how a religion that has dietary laws is a major part of your life and a major motivation for the actions that you take each day.

          Obviously Hasan is not “everyman” unless everyman is an irrational killer – like the guy in Orlando. Religion may have played a very big part in Hasan’s life, but at this point we still don’t know if it was the motivator for his killing spree or if it was a much more mundane motive – like revenge (see Orland) for deploying him against his will – that cause the spree.

          You, however have concluded his religion is the prime motivator. I’d like to know what proof you have that it was that and not the other – or something completely different that we don’t even know about)? You seem to have the crystal ball – lay it out there.

          • He’s a nutjob – rational people don’t act that way.
            So were back to anyone with motivations I can’t relate to is a nutjob.
            You can not relate to getting you and your entire family into heaven for killing other people, so anyone who does – must be a nutjob.
            You can not relate to taking revenge by killing people, so anyone who does – must be a nutjob.  I don’t relate to people taking revenge on other people by killing them either, but taking a quick survey of the world: wars, tribal disputes, family feuds, jilted lovers, drug deals gone bad, ethnic cleansing … gosh golly, all of them seem to involve the killing of people by other people and many of them are motivated by a sense of revenge for being wronged.
            As a religion, Islam (which the Orlando shooter was not a devote member of and the Fort Hood shooter was) quantifies not forgiveness of wrongs done by infidels but revenge and revenge by way of such terror until they feel humiliated or subdued.
            Again, why does religion apparently only play a part in how a man dresses or when a man prays or what a man eats but never an important decision such as how does a man deal with a personal sense of being wronged by people he believed are inferior to him.
            The people that knew Major Hasan best all say the relgion was a major part of his life.  How is it that you who never met the man feel free to say that it wasn’t?

          • So were back to anyone with motivations I can’t relate to is a nutjob.

            Are we? I wouldn’t know. I simply wrote a post saying it’s a little early to be rushing to judgment. You, of course, have it all figured out. So why are you asking me?

            Of course you’re perfectly free to have all the theories in the world. But having them doesn’t make them so. Why don’t we just hold off and find out what really happened.? Remember, so far we’ve been told a) 3 shooters were involved, b) automatic weapons were used c) the shooter was dead d) he was a convert to Islam e) it was confirmed he’d yelled “Alluh Ackbar” before he shot. None of those are true.

            But feel free to put forward the “truth” in this matter because obviously you know much more about it than anyone else.

  • It might be good to remember that correlation is not causation. 

  • I don’t blame Obama for his inappropriate “shout out” or using the shooting to advance his political agenda. Or going to Camp David instead of Fort Hood… I blame the Amercan people who voted him into office and giving him the power to do so.

  • There are two dominant hypotheses concerning Hasan:
     
    1. He had psychological problems: alienation, stress, loner-syndrome, professional failure, fear of combat (zone), etc.
     
    2. He was motivated by Islam/Islamism to wage jihad on American troops.
     
    I’d suggest that it may be both.
     
    Reading about jihadists on American soil I generally find that alienation and personal failure encourages a return to religion. In the case of Islam, this may make the person susceptible to the jihadist message. I’ve seen this pattern in many cases. This possibility should be kept in mind as the facts come out.
     
    The circumstantial evidence suggests that his view of Islam and his sympathy for the jihadist enemy (including suicide bombers) played an important part. We’ll see as the evidence mounts exactly how all the pieces fit. But let’s remember, it may be both psycological and political.

  • Ralph Peters doesn’t hold back. He also holds the army responsible for its PC policy that turns a blind eye to the danger within. Not having served, I wondered what you guys that have more experience in this matter think.

    • I think he was well on his way to being given his wish. He had gotten a bad OER which is career limiting. And, at some point, he’d have found himself in a situation where he was encouraged to resign. However, one thing has to be remembered. This guy had only really been in the Army for a year or two – I’m talking about the Army, not his medical school. He was a major because he became board certified.

      Medical rank is the same as the rest of the army, but it isn’t awarded for the same things. In reality it is a completely separate career channel and trying to relate that to the rest of the army is a waste of time. Had this guy been an infantry officer he’d have never made captain. Perhaps not even 1LT. He’d have been career killed in his first OER, shuffled off to some make work job and encouraged to resign and find another field of work. Trust me – the rest of the Army is pretty darn good at making that happen. Med field is a whole ‘nother ball game.

      So don’t make the mistake of reviewing his rank and thinking the Army had plenty of time to get this goof out of there. Ralph Peters knows all this but it doesn’t make good copy. It appears that the first OER he got was bad, which means his last supervisor had noted some things about his duty performance he or she didn’t like. That’s how the system works. But his next supervisor doesn’t get to read that OER. Sort of a “clean slate” philosophy. Go there and do better, etc. There seems to have been no apparent knowledge of any violent tendencies so they were letting the system work. But you also have to remember he had a service obligation to the Army for the cost of his schooling. That complicates things significantly (in fact he had a contractual obligation to serve in return for his education).

      Certainly some things need reviewing, but unlike Peters, I’m not about to go off the deep end and say it is as cut and dried as he would like to make it.

      • Thanks, McQ, for a clear picture of how things work in the army. This isn’t made clear by Peters or the media in general. We civilians don’t quite know how it works. Given his age and rank, most would assume a very different picture.

        • Yup – and I’m seeing a lot of that. MG Bob Scales said it best when he said doctors are a sort of “privileged class” in the military. They have a completely different set of rules for rank, etc. Trying to compare them to, say, an infantry Major is a complete waste of time. Hasan had been serving on active duty for maybe a couple of years (he most likely held the rank of CPT while he was in school but never had to function as a CPT). For the most part he has no idea what it means to be an officer. When you see an infantry MAJ, he’s most likely been around for 12 or so years (it may be shorter now since the Army is at war – it usually shortens promotion times) and trust me – he’s earned his rank or he wouldn’t have it.

          But as you say, when you see his age and rank, if you don’t know any better, you tend to make some assumptions that aren’t true.

  • Bottom line? Let’s not make more of this than it is until we have more proof.
    By one metric there have been 14,434 terror attacks conducted by Islamic jihadists since 9/11. By another, more than 270 million non-Muslims have died as the result of Islamic expansionism (aka conquest) since the days of Muhammad.
    Therecan be little doubt that MAJ Hassan is a Muslim who committed a terrorist act as the result of his exposure and commitment to Islamic militant jihad. I can reasonably make that claim based on the following analysis:
    1. The Qu’ran is eternal and immutable. As the word of Allah, it cannot be changed or ignored without risking apostasy.
    2. MAJ Hasan by all acoounts was a good Muslim
    3. He encountered Anwar al-Awlaki Wahabbist cleric in a Virginia mosque. An avowed anti-American (and anti-West in general), he was a mentor to several of the 9/11 terrorists. He has been barred from the UK for his hate filled speeches and ideology and now lives in Yemen where is dispenses his poisonous litanies via the internet (check him out on Facebook).
    4. The Qu’ran compells Muslims to fight until “the religion is God’s” or until Allah alone is worshiped (2:193). Also, from 2:216, 3:157, 9:5 (the so-called sword verse) and 9:29 non-Muslims are afforded three options: convert to Islam, submit and pay jizya be engaged in warfare (as in die).
    5. In order for peace to ever occur, Islam must be reformed as occured in Christianity and Judaism.
    The only remaining unknown is whether MAJ Hasan was attempting to martyr (Qu’ran 9:111) himself, an act which is anathema to either Christianity or Judaism.
    While the above is not PC, we will to continue to be subjected to recurring attacks until we properly identify who and what the enemy is.
     
     
     
     
     

  • Sometimes a nut is just a nut. And I think we all agree this guy is an absolute scumbag.  But, in reality, given what happened today in Orlando and what we know about Hasan, you could argue that we have seen two disgruntled employees who happened to be mentally unstable

    If we cannot look at the many instances of jihadist behavior and conclude jihadist beliefs were responsible for jihadist behavior then wouldn’t it be just as speculative to label the Major as a nutbag or mentally unstable until he has undergone a mental evaluation?

  • This lunes relative called him a good American.  How can anyone think this terrorist is a good American?   I hope they fry this guy.  I chose to wear the uniform along with the responsibility that comes with it.

  • <blockquote>Anyone yet figuring out what I’ve been saying over a post and 56 comment?</blockquote>
     
    I believe I did, but perhaps I was unclear.  Let me restate.  The failure of the Army/FBI to head this off aside, two questions need to be asked.
     
    <i>All else being equal, </i>would this guy have done what he did if he hadn’t been Muslim?  In this context, it doesn’t matter whether Islam was motive or justification (not that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive).  Despite Ariadne’s impassioned arguments to the contrary, we don’t have enough evidence to say one way or the other.  It’s not definitively yes, it’s not definitively no.
     
    Regardless of the answer to that, we also need to ask if he’s an exception or indicative of a larger rule.  <i>All else being equal, </i>are Muslims in general, due to their religion, less likely to be able to cope with the hard realities of life and/or are they more likely to act out violently when they aren’t?
     

    • All things being equal yes, he might have done what he did simply because he didn’t want to deploy and it appeared the Army was going to make him do so. Again, we don’t know. Had he been left in the US or given what he wanted (the ability to get out of the Army) would this have happened? My guess is “no”.

  • U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.

    Spinning this into the PTSD storyline will be interesting.  The “broad brush” technique does seem to work well when applied to homegrown terrorists seeking to affiliate with al Qaeda.

  • Bruce,

    His motivation is becoming increasingly clear, and it was what most of us thought it was.