Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fort Hood Massacre:
Jeffrey Goldberg on the See-No-Evil elite

When "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" strikes, there is a curious incuriosity in some quarters:
A consensus seems to have formed here at The Atlantic that the Ft. Hood massacre means not very much at all. Megan McArdle writes that "there is absolutely no political lesson to be learned from this." James Fallows says: "The shootings never mean anything. Forty years later, what did the Charles Whitman massacre 'mean'? A decade later, do we 'know' anything about Columbine?" . . .
It seems, though, that when an American military officer who is a practicing Muslim allegedly shoots forty of his fellow soldiers who are about to deploy to the two wars the United States is currently fighting in Muslim countries, some broader meaning might, over time, be discerned, especially if the officer did, in fact, yell "Allahu Akbar" while murdering his fellow soldiers, as some soldiers say he did. . . .
The whistling-past-the-mass-graveyard reaction Goldberg discerns is quite striking among the opinion elite, if we contrast it to their reactions in other cases.

Remember when Andrew Sullivan fretted about "Southern populist terrorism" in the death of Kentucky census worker Bill Sparkman? (Investigators now believe it to have been suicide.) Remember how Frank Rich interpreted the NY23 special election as "nothing less than a riotous and bloody national G.O.P. civil war," demonstrating how "the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult"?

The tendency of elites to leap to hysterical, far-fetched interpretations when dealing with phenomena associated (rightly or wrongly) with the Right is counterbalanced by their "nothing to see here" reaction when confronted with events that implicate pet causes of the Left.

The nature of elite reaction is not strictly a matter of the potential political ramifications of events. There is also the matter of complexity and nuance, which are specialties of the intelligentsia. When events seem to teach a simplistic liberal lesson, there is no need to seek out any mitigating factors. Yet when the simple lesson would seem to favor a conservative argument, there is a frantic search for mitigation, or else the event is dismissed as meaningless.

The murder of Matthew Shepard was interpreted as evidence of mass homophobia induced by Christian conservatism, even though the murderers were a couple of two-bit hoodlums with no known ties to the Religious Right. Yet here we have Nidal Malik Hasan reportedly screaming "Allahu Akbar" while gunning down U.S. troops and . . . well, this means nothing.

So instead of a search for meaning, the elite engage in a search for non-meaning. The Fort Hood killer attended a radical mosque? Meaningless!

What is most amusing is how the elite assume that the rest of us are so stupid as not to notice the pattern.

UPDATE: Phyllis Chesler observed Saturday:
Quickly, reflexively, without waiting for more of the facts to emerge, the mainstream print media has already decided that Major Hasan is a tormented “innocent” who must have snapped under alleged conditions of extreme provocation and humiliation. The mainstream media assures people that there is no such thing as jihad; that the Ft. Hood massacre has nothing to do with Islam or with violent jihad; that if there are any victims here, it is not the dead and wounded soldiers . . . but the man accused of their mass murders.
Michelle Malkin wonders, "Why do we have to read British papers to get Ft. Hood jihadist news?!" Meanwhile, Donald Douglas notices that anyone who thinks Islam had anything to do with the Fort Hood massacre has been declared guilty of anti-Muslim "bigotry."


  1. In this case, having the perp alive is going to mean something when it gets to court.

  2. I'd guess that the mass murders at ft. hood mean even though we are not at war with islam, some practioners of islam are most certainly at war with us.

    "you never need a firearm,until you need it badly"


  3. Well as a "meandering cat", as David Brooks describes independent voters, you'd think I would be waffling over this shooter's motives. No! His own words reflect that he was tainted by radical Islamic beliefs. Add that to an already unstable personality (someone with "issues") you get what we have here. As a Muslim co-worker of mine said yesterday:

    "Houston, we have a problem in Islam."

    She even pointed out that Major Hasan's shout of "Allahu Akbar" (God Is Great) basically summed up that he was motivated his faith. And that's from a Muslim woman. Look, we have to stop lying to ourselves. There are a sizable amount people practicing a religion that are using that religion to commit and perpetuate violence. It's just a fact. I've work with the mentioned Muslim co-worker of mine for over 12 years. And she's always talking about her faith's problems. And when I here it direct, I just can't dismiss it. I am not calling for crusades against Muslim-Americans, but there has to be some deadly serious scrutiny when Muslim-Americans want join the armed forces. It's the lay of the land. Makes me uncomfortable at times but it is what it is.

  4. What those unfamiliar with the military are also missing: the betrayal aspect and the magnitude of it.

  5. [So instead of a search for meaning, the elite engage in a search for non-meaning. The Fort Hood killer attended a radical mosque? Meaningless!]

    Of course the "opinion elite" have already been geared to overlook something as telling as the killer's background... after all, they overlook the Rev. Wright's anti-American rants that were sucked up by one particular parishioner for over 20 years! Nothing to see here, folks. Indeed!

  6. Just a reminder of what happened when a couple of white supremacist soldiers murdered a black couple in the 90s.....

    "Although service regulations differ in wording, most guidelines on participation in extremist organizations are the same. Service members must reject participation in organizations that:
    o Espouse supremacist causes;
    o Attempt to create illegal discrimination based on race, creed, color, gender, religion or national origin;
    o Advocate the use of force or violence or otherwise engage in efforts to deprive individuals of their civil rights."

    I think we need a similar response from the Army now......

  7. After the JFK assassination, LBJ did everything he could to play down the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist. Why? To avoid a right-wing backlash at the polls. The same thing is going on here. The Democrats and the media are trying to downplay any and all Jihad activity in the United States.

  8. OTOH, finding "meaning" is what those people are doing in Richmond about the gang rape of that girl.

    Most of the "finding meaning" that I've seen referenced to about the Fort Hood massacre amounts to "finding excuses" and trying to manage the narrative so it's *not* about a crazy wanna-be jihadist loser being enabled and supported by intemperate religious teaching and fellow believers who can't bring themselves to clearly condemn him.

    Do we really need to "find meaning" in this? Do we need to discuss the murderer's pre-post traumatic stress, his coworkers failure to defer to his religious evangelizing, the inherent violent danger lurking in every soldier...

    The "meaning" is right up there, front and center.

    A dangerous, crazy man, social loser, Islamic radical was allowed to continue in the Army most certainly because no one dared to risk their own career by "harassing" or "persecuting" a Muslim officer.

  9. Wake up, America- back to reality for you!

    What was this obvious Jihadist still doing in the military... and promoted to MAJOR?

    WTF??!!! Just when you thought the Obama era couldn't wreck military morale any more- now they have to worry about something like this.

    These victims' families need to sue the Army for zillions and FORCE them to place innocent patriots' lives before some ludicrous fear of offending anyone... now that we can all see this PC crap -and pandering to insatiable malcontents- can KILL you.

    And Obama's response shows you he's the very model of the problem... so don't expect any solutions from him- rather, he's another naive enabler- the best one they could ask for, a dream come true for these vermin.

  10. My heart and prayers go out to all the victims, the victims family and friends.

    From all the news reports it appears this Major is a career military man and that in his current position for less than a year and was not going well. He did not want to be deployed and in fact wanted out of the Army, so he paid back his military student loans and hired an attorney.

    The reason may have been that he was being harassed and called names like “camel jockey ”. I guess all that sensitivity training for those with bigotry tendencies are all for not. (Can training real change the way you were brought up?)

    Another reason is called PTSD by proxy, the stress of treating PTSD in other soldiers make you go a little crazy yourself. Its even more stressful because most of the higher ranks don’t even believe in such thing as PTSD. Their denial prompts them to tell suffering soldiers to “drink it off.” Some civilians in the defense dept feel the same way no doubt IMO, it’s why hardly anything is mentioned of PTSD until one of these violent episodes occurs. These people see PTSD as a cop-out or an excuse. First we need to have an understanding that PTSD actually is real before we can ever hope to help treat it (does anyone believe that being shot at or killing your fellow man is not going to affect you in some way either then or in the future?). I guess with the high soldier suicide rate before and after deployment kinda takes care of the complaints from coming in (so those who said he should have just killed himself, well that’s already happening ). What real ticked me off when I heard that the military was trying to say that some soldiers coming back from this war with PTSD or other psychological disorders had “Pre-Existing Conditions” and that the military would not pay to treat them, I think it has been corrected but what a bunch of asses they break you and don’t want to pay.

    The final issue is why does the military want to keep people in their ranks that no longer want to be there is it just sheer number? I mean is it ten percent, twenty percent. Is it that it is the only contract in the US that you can’t get out of unless to kill yourself or kill your fellow soldiers? It does not make any sense to me.

    I guess the Major could just be another wacko like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nicholas, of course McVeigh was executed and apparently because Nicholas became a Christian he received a life sentenced. I real think if he gets that far the Major will get the former and not in a million years the latter.

    This is so messed up, hopefully they will make some changes that make sense.

  11. Malik Nidal Hasan as a career military man, could have retired from the armed forces any time, as he undoubtedly had served the required amount of time. But he stayed in for the express purpose of committing cold-blooded murder and treason as acts of jihad. His act of jihad has made it clear that absolutely NO Muslim can be trusted, period. With any individual Muslim, the odds of him taking seriously his "religious duty of jihad to establish Islam and Sharia "law"" or supporting those who do has got to be around 50-50. Hasan needs to be court martialed, convicted, and executed by firing squad using pig-blood soaked bullets, with the whole process being filmed, and then distributed all over the Middle East. Followers of Islam will not miss the significance of a Muslim dying while "contaminated" by a pig. Islam needs to be humiliated and discredited in every way possible. When Muslim organizations complain of activities that "humiliate" Islam, then we need to escalate and do even MORE of those activities. We are in a war with Islam, whether we believe it or not, whether we want to be or not, and similar to Harry Potter's received prophecy about Voldemort, "neither can truly live while the other one survives." We need to choose wisely about whether our civilization derived from the Enlightenment is going to survive, or whether the forces of cruelty, barbarity, and brutality is going to survive. It will not be both.

  12. Fuad Kamal of Anaara Media is an explosives expert and martial arts expert. His radical Islamic extremist views have made him somewhat famous, but he is a dangerous man with threatening links to other radical Muslim organizations.