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:

  • Muslim
  • terrorist
  • militant
  • extremist
  • religion
  • 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.


  1. Do you remember this one? A military jury at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, gave Sergeant Hasan Akbar the death penalty for killing two officers and wounding 14 others in Kuwait in 2003.

    I notice that no one has mentioned this case with the current Ft. Hood murders….

  2. Hmmmm. Maj Hasan wants to go back to some old-fashioned jihad? Then let’s give him some old-fashioned death penalty in return. After he’s been found guilty, hang him in a public broadcast execution. Then leave the body hanging until it rots and falls off the rope.

  3. Things will take their course, and we’ll get a better understanding of the circumstances and motivation behind Hasan’s rampage.

    One thing is becoming clear, there were a lot of clear warning signs popping up well before he started shooting, and nobody took any action.

    There could be a lot of reasons for this, one of which is that the Army is hurting for qualified Psychiatrists and counselors to fill deployment slots. If that’s the case, and it was decided at higher levels to ignore these signs because of expediency, then they need to hold some of these foks accountable for this lapse in ensuring the safety and security of the troops they lead.

    Ultimately, though, the responsibility for the shooting lies with Hasan alone.

  4. When, many years ago, I used to read Newsweek, it was a good magazine. Now, like most of our MSM, they are as incompetent as the FBI and the Army who should have taken action long before this happened!

    There was most certainly MORE than enough evidence to justify his being kicked out of the Army.

    I am going to send Newsweek a letter I am sure they will not like receiving.

  5. The man was firing and everyone was defenseless, Burnette said. They had no weapons.

    Burnette noticed some soldiers throwing chairs at the shooter, whom he called “the combatant.” Combatant is a soldier term typically reserved for enemy forces. This man, in the same uniform as Burnette and his buddies, turned into a combatant.

    Burnette decided to do something. He stood up and threw a folding table at the shooter.

    The shooter aimed at him and a bullet tore through his left hip, his abdomen and upper and lower intestines. Burnette took another bullet to his right hip. It’s still there.

    He didn’t know if or where he was shot and tried to stand up. More bullets came and he got hit in the left elbow, knuckle and pinky finger. Burnette fell again and crawled to a nearby cubicle.

    He was there for a few minutes and heard the shooter move to the opposite side of the room. The shooter reloaded, Burnette said. The man was “very quick, very tactical.”

    Burnette and two other soldiers – he wishes he could remember their names – decided to get out of the building. The other two helped Burnette up and they began to move. Burnette fell. He couldn’t run.

    He finally made it to the front door and low-crawled five meters up a hill to another building. Burnette made it to the front door, and a staff sergeant – he wishes he could remember his name – grabbed him by the collar and dragged him into an office. The staff sergeant locked the door and performed first aid. Burnette could still hear gunshots. – Killeen Daily Herald

  6. The international version of Newsweek once had a cover showing the US flag in a garbage can. I couldn’t care less what they think now.

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