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Opening Arguments

Why we blinked at Fort Hood

Getting beyond the "political correctness" argument for what happened at Fort Hood:

The most-heard reason for the possible failure is political correctness. No doubt. But Sen. Lieberman's committee should avoid making this its main line of inquiry, because that is a problem without a policy fix. It minimizes the real problem.

The problem is confusion. The combatants at each end of the spectrum in the war over the war on terror know exactly what they think about surveilling suspected terrorists. But if you are an intel officer or FBI agent tasked with providing the protection, what are you supposed to make of all this bitter public argument? What you make of it is that when you get a judgment call, like Maj. Hasan, you hesitate. You blink.

Now everyone thinks the call was obvious. But it wasn't so obvious before the tragedy. Not if for years you have watched a country and its political class in rancorous confusion about the enemy, the legal standing of the enemy, or the legal status and scope of the methods it wants to use to fight the enemy.

In war, uncertainty gets you killed. It just did.

Now that we're almost a year into a new administration, maybe some people can get over their Bush-Cheney hatred long enough to acknowledge that we really are still in a war with enemies that still do wish us great harm.


Thu, 11/12/2009 - 11:38am

The question is "who are the enemies?" That passage seems to assume without saying that Muslims are our enemies. But that's not the case, it's a particular subset of Muslims; and it's a subset that doesn't seem to include very many American Muslims.

It's not "political correctness" that causes uncertainty. It's the difficult problem of separating needles from haystacks.

Kevin Knuth
Thu, 11/12/2009 - 11:46am

Doug is 100% correct.

tim zank
Thu, 11/12/2009 - 6:13pm

Not much of a needle in haystack considering what they knew about this guy.

For those of you that don't subscribe to the PC theory, consider this. Let's say he had a swastika tatoo on his arm, a confederate flag bumper sticker, and casually (and often)mentioned to colleagues that race-mixing was against Gods law and his e-mails were to and from The Creativity Movement (formerly known as World Church of the Creator).

He'd have been bounced from the Army faster than congress can spend a million bucks. (that's really fast)

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 1:10am

Muslims in the U.S. have adopted the familiar meme that they are the victims of the Fort Hood shootings, never mind 13 dead and 30 wounded, none Muslim except the shooter. Now the government-controlled media is contemplating that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan acted alone and had a serious mental problem.

I invite all PC liberals to remember this when in a public place facing an Arab shouting "Allahu Akbar, MF" and shooting unarmed peeps. We are at war against these terrorists and this war is global and this war is being conducted by jihadists in the name of their god.

As Victor Davis Hanson points out:

Every few months either an Islamic-inspired terrorist plot will be foiled, or a young Muslim male will shoot, run down or stab someone while invoking anger at non-Muslims.

In other words, the attack on Fort Hood happened on schedule. It was the rule, not the exception. And something like it will occur again - soon.

Sat, 11/14/2009 - 4:02pm

Tim and Gadfly are absolutely correct. Our society is under attack by these enemies and it is only reasonable that we protect ourselves against them.
Fear not, I have a Plan.
First, we make them wear some sort of identifying mark. A yellow crescent perhaps. No, this is America. A yellow star. Then we build camps - for their protection, of course.
After that, I really don't know. I'm sure there's a solution. A final solution, so to speak.
I'll have to get back to you after I give this some more thought. That should give me a few days to grow a stylish, narrow mustache...

tim zank
Sat, 11/14/2009 - 6:13pm

I guess I can see how you'd find it humorous Littlejohn, me and Gadfly are probably reading waaaay tooo much into this.
I mean, what are the odds another Muslim Jihadist will go off the deep end again blow something up, shoot someone, or slit a throat? Probably just a one time thing. It's not like it happens all the time eh?