The Hole

Mark Steyn:

Thirteen dead and 28 wounded would be a bad day for the U.S. military in Afghanistan and a great victory for the Taliban. When it happens in Texas, in the heart of the biggest military base in the nation, at a processing center for soldiers either returning from or deploying to combat overseas, it is not merely a “tragedy” (as too many people called it) but a glimpse of a potentially fatal flaw at the heart of what we have called, since 9/11, the “war on terror.” Brave soldiers trained to hunt down and kill America’s enemy abroad were killed in the safety and security of home by, in essence, the same enemy – a man who believes in and supports everything the enemy does.

And he’s a U.S. Army major.

And his superior officers and other authorities knew about his beliefs but seemed to think it was just a bit of harmless multicultural diversity – as if believing that “the Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor” (i.e., his fellow American soldiers) and writing Internet paeans to the “noble” “heroism” of suicide bombers and, indeed, objectively supporting the other side in an active war is to be regarded as just some kind of alternative lifestyle that adds to the general vibrancy of the base.

Jeffrey Goldberg noticed the same hole:

I am not arguing, of course, that American Muslims, as a whole, are violently unhappy with America (I’ve argued the opposite, in fact). But I do think that elite makers of opinion in this country try very hard to ignore the larger meaning of violent acts when they happen to be perpetrated by Muslims. Here’s a simple test: If Nidal Malik Hasan had been a devout Christian with pronounced anti-abortion views, and had he attacked, say, a Planned Parenthood office, would his religion have been considered relevant as we tried to understand the motivation and meaning of the attack? Of course. Elite opinion makers do not, as a rule, try to protect Christians and Christian belief from investigation and criticism. Quite the opposite. It would be useful to apply the same standards of inquiry and criticism to all religions.

This hole, this blind spot, is not a good thing. While I certainly do not advocate condemning every member of any group for the actions of a few, turning a blind eye to those bad actors is not intelligent. In fact, it is ultimately suicidal. Excessive tolerance is pathological.

This entry was posted in War. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Hole

  1. gary gulrud says:

    All over the web, from every quarter, authors are lamenting the fact that this disturbed, sick individual could have be assigned to the theatre and duty he most loathed.

    Get a clue pipple, he’s a psychiatrist, he’s not shell-shocked, insane or under-employed. He’s committed to doing you and yours harm, fools.

  2. John Strauss says:

    Regarding the comparison to the “Christian right” not only would this insanity not be excused it would be expected.

    Firing on a roomful of unarmed civilians is murder whether or not a person’s ideology makes this morally acceptable or politically expedient to them or to others who would excuse such behavior

    To then color that differentiation based upon a perception or impression of a religion by injecting personal political biases removes the debate from any rational arena. The debate then proceeds on emotional lines alone. That emotional debate is exposed in the various statements available in the media.

    If that debate is internalized, there is, eventually, no opposition to action, which then proceeds with all the terrible consequences of Oklahoma City or Ft. Hood.; and so should the consequences to the perpetrators.

    In the end, he could have just quit his job in the Army if it bothered him so much rather than making other people pay with their lives for his inability to obtain relief.

  3. Peter says:

    The biggest problems to this horrible blind spot on the part of the media and government are the danger of an even bigger attack that the on on 9/11/01, or almost as bad, enough smaller attacks to bring about vigelante justice. Since vigelantism almost always gets out of hand and ends up with many innocent people being killed one would think that government and media would try to make sure that not only is justice done but justice be seen as getting done.

  4. ropelight says:

    How about the psychic violence this Islamic terrorist did to vulnerable soldiers in need of help. He abused the Dr/Patient relationship to argue with returning soldiers against their war time service.

  5. Aresay says:


    “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse,” Casey added on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” We want to give, as many different people as possible, the chance to slaughter our young men and women. Why should our troops only be killed over seas? They should be in just as much danger over here. I mean it’s only fair.”

  6. ropelight says:

    The following is from the Sunday Telegraph
    11/08/2009 by Nick Allen

    Fort Hood gunman had told US military colleagues that infidels should have their throats cut

    Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at America’s Fort Hood military base, once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats.

    He also told colleagues at America’s top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire. The outburst came during an hour-long talk Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, gave on the Koran in front of dozens of other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington DC, where he worked for six years before arriving at Fort Hood in July.

    Colleagues had expected a discussion on a medical issue but were instead given an extremist interpretation of the Koran, which Hasan appeared to believe.

  7. ck says:

    How is a literal interpetation of the koran extremist?

Comments are closed.