Thursday, November 19, 2009

Death by Political Correctness?

In the aftermath of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas committed by a single gunman,
U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, many people are wondering as to whether the
military and the government were too slow to recognize and react to the warning
signs of potential danger in Hasan, who killed 13 people and wounded at least 29
others before being shot (not fatally) by a civilian police officer, or were following a
protocol of political correctness. There were many signs that Hasan was trouble waiting to erupt, yet was allowed to complete his training to give treatment to
soldiers in combat zones suffering from combat stress; Hasan, trained in psychiatry,
was soon to be deployed to Iraq and was most upset about it.

For starters, Hasan openly called himself a Muslim first and an American second.
During army training he was very vocal in this regard, also stating that he held
Shari'a law above the U.S. Constitution. Shari'a law is a strict code which the most
radical Muslims adhere to, prescribing harsh penalties (including death) for trans-
gressions of its provisions. When asked about his stance by fellow officers, Hasan
would become sweaty, nervous, defensive, and belligerent.

Second, Hasan gave a PowerPoint presentation he titled "Why the 'War On Terror' Is
a War on Islam" at a public health seminar(!).The officer in charge of the event
astonishingly had approved Hasan's chosen topic. What made that officer think that
Hasan's topic was relevant to the purpose of the health seminar? And wouldn't that
presentation, under any circumstances, be detrimental to the morale of the troops?
Usually all branches of the U.S. Military forbid expressions of such substance in
both times of peace and war. Why was an exception made here?

Third, Hasan openly praised the murder of a U.S. soldier by a Muslim at an Arkansas
recruitment center. So much for loyalty and comradeship. Why wasn't Hasan court-
martialled or discharged from the U.S. Army?

Fourth, Hasan was caught corresponding via e-mail with a radical imam, Anwar Al-Awlaki, from Yemen. Al-Awlaki had called upon all Muslims to kill American
soldiers in Iraq. The imam is well known to U.S. Intelligence. It is only now, after
the tragedy, that Hasan's computer is being "scrubbed" --- examined for all e-mail
correspondence between Hasan and Al-Awlaki.

Fifth, Hasan cleaned out his apartment near the base shortly before the shooting,
giving away all of his possessions to his neighbors. He obviously was not planning
to return.

As a "by the way" there is the fact that Hasan was considered a mediocre student in
his army training for his position and a lazy worker to boot. This avered by the
doctors and staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Services
University of the Health Sciences, the latter a military medical school.

So the burning question: Why was Nidal Malik Hasan allowed to go through U.S.
Army training as a combat health professional and given promotions all the while,
despite all the bells, buzzers, and whistles? The U.S. Military has been instructed by the government to practice and emphasize more diversity and inclusiveness, especial-
ly concerning personnel of Muslim faith.But did it go too far by turning a blind eye
toward an angry, resentful soldier of that faith for the sake of that diversity? While it
is fine and commendable to provide opportunities to serve our country to all Amer-
icans of all social, religious, and ethnic groups, performance and loyalty --- espec-
ially the latter! --- must never be sacrificed for the sake of achieving and maintaining
diversity. Both our security and sovereignty depend upon maintaining certain stan-
dards. If our president and Congress do not agree or understand this, then we should
clean house in the 2010 and 2012 elections!


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