Andrew Bast has a story on the Newsweek blog asking Is Fort Hood a Harbinger?
Of course, being Newsweek, the worry is that Nidal Malik Hasan May Be a Symptom of a Military on the Brink.
It’s hard to draw too many conclusions right now, but we do know this: Thursday night, authorities shot and then apprehended the lone suspect, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. A psychiatrist who was set to deploy to Iraq at the end of the month, Hasan reportedly opened fire around the Fort Hood Readiness Center, where troops are prepared for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. And though this scene is a most extreme and tragic outlier, it comes at a time when the stress of combat has affected so many soldiers individually that it makes it increasingly difficult for the military as a whole to deploy for wars abroad.
Hasan’s perspective is unknown. He had yet to fight abroad. But the accusations against him can’t help but bring to mind the violence scarring military bases all over the country after the duration of two long, brutal wars.
So after spending some time making the case that soldiers who have spent too much time in the combat zone on repeated deployments are close to the breaking point, he finally mentions that Hasan has never deployed.
He then goes into the whole “transferred PTSD” thing. Sure, we get it. Counselors are not immune to the horrible stories they hear.
None of the following words appear in the article:
- I gave up trying at that point
And no mention is made of reports that Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!”, confirmed or otherwise.
He concludes by suggesting that by deploying more troops to Afghanistan like Gen. McChrystal has requested, the military may be inviting more shooting rampages.
Of course, the vast majority of those under that stress, no matter how brutal, will not pick up a gun and shoot indiscriminately, like Hasan did.
The “vast majority.” Is he saying that 9 in 10 won’t become mass murderers? 99 out of 100? 99,999 out of every 100,000? Hmm. Let’s see. How many troops that have deployed so far have become mass murderers? Only one?
Oh, no. That’s not right either, is it?. So far NO US troops that have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan have become mass murderers. Zero. “Vast majority” my ass.
But the situation is bad, and getting much worse. From there, it isn’t much of a leap to argue that to further tax our military would do as much as anything to guarantee that the homegrown terror on display today could well repeat itself in the future.
Whoa, buddy. If we’re going to talk “isn’t much of a leap,” there are a few other leaps that should be in the conversation. Leaps involving religion. Leaps involving diversity policies and political correctness concerns that allowed a guy with what appear to have been fairly obvious issues to stay in the system. Leaps involving self defense on military installations. Leaps involving people seeming to hope for another Timothy McVeigh homegrown terrorist. Leaps involving the media actively working to distort the facts.
As I noted earlier somewhere, if this turns out to be a simple case of a PTSD case “just snapping”, it will be used as a broad brush to paint the entire military as a bunch of loose cannons “on the brink.”
If, on the other hand, this turns out to be a simple case of religious jihad, it will be portrayed as one lone nutjob and anyone who thinks otherwise is probably a racist and a bigot.