Today is Veterans Day. I watch all the pomp and circumstance, and never tire of listening to the National Anthem. For many of us of another generation, we have an inbred pride relating to this country, and the Principles of Freedom upon which it was founded.
Two particularly interesting events in the past week: One was the execution of J. Allen Muhammad, the 48-year old Washington sniper who went on a gun-shooting rampage in 2002 and killed ten people, randomly, and wounded several others. As I understand it, he was ex-military, and was executed by lethal injection in a Virginia prison.
The second major event centered around Army Major Hasan, who walked into a Fort Hood, Texas, army base facility and opened fire with two weapons, killing eleven and injuring 30 plus others. He is a doctor, a psychiatrist, educated by the government, and had only recently been transferred to Fort Hood, after a six-year tour of duty in Washington, counseling scores of returning veterans at Walter Reed hospital. He was born in Virginia, 39 years old, unmarried with no children, slated to go on a tour of duty in Iraq or Afganistan. A professed Muslim, who was trying to get out of the next assignment through legal counsel.
I have another article posted on my blog-site which I wrote just a few hours after Hasan’s killing spree.
There are some similarities in these two men. They both have arabic or Muslim names, Muhammad and Hasan. One 38 years old and one 39 years old. One born in Virginia and one executed in Virginia. One on active duty in the military, and one ex-military. One not married and one either divorced or separated. One killed eleven innocent victims and the other killed 10 innocent victims. Both injured a number of others. Both acted in terrorist-like killings.
There seems to be reluctance by some to call them terrorists, however in my personal opinion they are nothing less than terrorists.
Yesterday we listened to and saw televised services honoring the fallen at Fort Hood, Texas. The President of the United States was there and gave one of several speeches he has given about the Fort hood killings. He warns “Not to jump to conclusions.” And in the speech at the ceremony he said the event was “incomprehensible,” relating to the “twisted logic that led to the tragedy, too hard to comprehend.”
Just before Hasan started shooting, he yelled out an Arabic term, “allahu akbar,” intrepreted as meaning “God is Great.” It’s reported he told a neighbor just before leaving for Fort Hood, the day of the shooting, “I’m going to do good work for God.” It’s reported he attended a Mosque religious facility in Falls Church, Virgina, whose principal preacher was Anwar Al-Awlaki, who spoke praise for victims of jihad or holy wars. It’s reported Hasan spoke of “infidel killings of good Muslims by Americans” and wanted to die a martyr. It’s reported that fundamentalist Muslims of this religious mind-set value death over life.
If these reports are true, my question is, Why is it difficult for anyone to comprehend the henious acts of Hasan? It’s certainly not incomprehensible for me, and I’m not the commander-in-chief, nor in the military. Reason and rationale suggest to me, it is highly likely one with the behavioral background of Major Hasan, very well might act upon this fundamental belief in martydom to kill and die, stemming from a religion whose fundamental tenets, and those who preach it in a moslem, express this openly without compunction nor any uneasiness.
Beyond that, whether or not we like to admit it, the military trainees are taught to kill.
In this country of basic Christian beliefs, we are taught it is wrong to kill. But apparently many in the Muslim faith are taught otherwise and not only is it okay to kill, but some believe it is a high honor to kill and be killed. As atrociously wicked as those of the Christian faith may view this mind-set, it exists in a different religion. Inasmuch as it does exist, and particularly since 9/11 there has been much in the news about this belief and mind-set. Therefore why is it so difficult to comprehend?
When one enters military service they take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and protect this country from foreign and domestic enemies. Despite the fact this country was built upon religious Freedom, no-one is endowed with some kind of special belief privilege which permits destruction of others. And when one, a member of the military, openly expresses such devout leaning towards a religious belief which supports so-called honor killings, which results in such a massacre as at Fort Hood, the question this nation deserves an answer for is, How and why was it allowed to happen?
As I recall the years I spent being married to a military officer, military personnel were told what to do, how to do and when to do according to a code of military conduct. I have to wonder what has happened in the intervening years which has changed so much, which causes those in higher echelons to be so squeamish about offending a particular group, or religious sect, that they tolerate the kinds of practices of Major Hasan’s as reported in recent news articles? If the reports are true, there’s no mistake that those above him in rank knew about his leanings, which were contradictory to the oath he took. The things he said and his behavior clearly contradicted the oath to which all the members of the military swear allegiance.
From reports in the news, his conversations were anti-American, and his objections to orders of re-assignment to Afganistan were so strong, he sought legal counsel to be relieved of military duty. A man this country had spent millions on to educate to be a doctor in the military, then reneged and rebelled against his duty to fulfill. This should have been a red flag warning.
Now after he perpetrated the worst killing spree ever on a military base, lying in a hospital, recuperating from his injuries, it’s reported he has refused to say anything or offer any explanation for his actions, and demanded a lawyer. Now he seeks legal protection from a representative in this country. A country and its military personnel he so hated, he went on a killing spree of young unarmed military personnel. What is so “hard to comprehend” about all of this? Now that he has acted on his belief system? What was so difficult in the higher chain of command, to comprehend and act upon, based on his history and behavior, before he went on the killing spree? Why was he not confronted and action taken?
Inasmuch as Dr Hasan had a job in the military counseling returning war veterans, was there some kind of tin god syndrome attached to his position, which pre-empted any action to review his status, despite the fact he openly verbalized anti-American rhetoric?
As saddened as I Am over the merciless murders, I’m equally saddened over the state of affairs in this country which is so lax in oversight of those trained with guns to protect this country of 300 million-plus, from enemies within its borders and beyond, such as the act which took place last week at Fort Hood, Texas.
Instead of looking upon it as something “incomprehensible,” it appears to me the logical, rational thinking should be concerning its predictability, based upon prior behavior and verbalized beliefs.
LET FREEDOM RING