It’s been less than a week since the Fort Hood massacre, and the country is still struggling to understand why Army Maj. Nadal Malik Hasan allegedly killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded 30 more.
We know Hasan yelled “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) as he commenced his heinous crime, that he was in frequent e-mail contact with a radical Imam, and that he posted lengthy defenses of suicide bombing on the Internet. We also know the Fort Hood tragedy was the second instance this year of a jihadist Muslim killing American soldiers at a U.S. military compound. In June, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot two soldiers outside a Little Rock, Ark., recruiting station.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said on “Meet the Press” that “speculation” about Hasan’s motives could lead to an even greater crime. “Our diversity, not only in our Army but in our country, is a strength,” Casey said. “And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
This is patent nonsense. The strength of a fighting force requires assimilation and following orders. To the extent that diversity in uniform is beneficial, American soldiers gladly testify that they serve with colleagues with Muslim beliefs who perform their duties with distinction.
Unfortunately, when military brass natters nonsense, it gives others license. Since the Vietnam War, elitist voices have portrayed military service as dehumanizing and hazardous to one’s mental health. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times’ initial report of the Fort Hood massacre said nothing of Hasan’s religion, but it devoted two paragraphs on suicide rates in the Army.
The newspaper followed up with a report headlined “Fort Hood tragedy rocks military as it grapples with mental health issues” and a third story fretting about the “rising caseload of damaged or suicidal veterans.”
Despite the obvious indicators of Hasan’s jihadist motivations, thousands of stories have portrayed him as either mentally ill or a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder, even though Hasan had seen no combat and was himself a mental health professional.
America’s veterans deserve better than this. Department of Labor data indicate Vietnam veterans are more stable and prosperous than their civilian peers. And today’s all-volunteer military is better educated and has demonstrably higher levels of professionalism.
Still, Hollywood and the liberal media doggedly portray our soldiers as head cases with guns. Such portrayals have no more connection with reality than politically correct rationalizations of Hasan’s terrorism.