Major Hasan’s Three-Minute Rampage at Fort Hood: Thoughts and Implications
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(Shoshanna Johnson, BTW, is the first African American woman soldier captured as a prisoner of war in Iraq. And Phil McGraw never looked less a media whore than he did in this Larry King segment.)
Right now Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s treachery on Thursday is running neck and neck with unemployed Jason Rodriguez’ Orlando, Florida office rampage on Friday. The MSM has really won the trifecta this week, with slayer Anthony Sowell, and now these two. The wingnut bunch, led by Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck and their ilk are certainly postering for the cameras and for their own homemade videos. One of those homemade videos I’ve seen on Google insists that there is an al Qaeda terrorist cell in Texas. (They wish.) However, I think that Hasan’s actions are related to Rodriguez’, but have far more import.
Out of all the stories I have heard of the dead and wounded–some barely in their twenties and out of high school–I’m in horror and mourning for that Latina servicewoman, Pvt. Francheska Velez, pregnant with a wanted child, who was returning from her deployment in Iraq. Eventually, she would have been on her way back to Chicago for the holidays and for maternity leave.
Instead, she and her unborn baby are dead, murdered by Major Nidal Hasan.
[…] A friend of Velez’s, Sasha Ramos, described her as a fun-loving person who wrote poetry and loved dancing.
“She was like my sister,” Ramos, 21, said. “She was the most fun and happy person you could know. She never did anything wrong to anybody.”
Family members said Velez had recently returned from deployment in Iraq and had sought a lifelong career in the Army.
“She was a very happy girl and sweet,” said her father, Juan Guillermo Velez, his eyes red from crying. “She had the spirit of a child.”
Some of the wounded had already been wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan. In other words, they’ve been wounded twice.
Lt. General Robert Cone, the base commander, ominously offered that several soldiers heard Major Hasan shout “Allahu Akbar!” or “God is great!” in Arabic, before opening fire. Cone also said officials had not confirmed that Hasan shouted it, but it is certainly being bandied about in the media as if he did. It is indeed incendiary if Hasan yelled that out, because certain Muslims have been known to shout “God is great” during political demonstrations as well as terrorist attacks. Until it’s been confirmed independently by others that Hasan said this, I’m inclined to give the fish eye to this claim. It’s too pat. As National Public Radio said yesterday:
Perhaps soldiers in the mayhem of the moment only imagined Hasan said “Allahu Akbar.” FBI investigators aren’t sure Hasan really did say those words before he started shooting.
Why? Because I think people need to tread light on the whole idea of Major Nidal Malik Hasan being an Islamic terrorist in the vein of al Qaeda or the Taliban. No doubt, Hasan was upset that President Obama wasn’t pulling out of Iraq or Afghanistan fast enough for his taste. No doubt, Hasan was being imitative of suicide bombers and terrorist groups that he came to admire. But imitation is not the same as actually being a indoctrinated stealth terrorist. Some people are really trying to fan the flames.
What comes up for me is that (1) Hasan seems more to me like a fearful, disgruntled employee of the U.S. government than an active affiliate of these groups; (2) President Obama is still pondering his options about our presence in Afghanistan, and an extreme act like this is tailor-made for him to tip farther in the direction Bush-era generals want him to go; and (3) this horrendous incident points once more to a broken military, desperate to keep even malcontents in whom they have invested in the Armed Forces because they are unable to find qualified replacements and/or to equip them adequately.
Hasan is in a coma now; some reports say he may be permanently paralyzed as a result of his wounds. I’d rather see him alive, responsive, and in a wheelchair at the docket of justice to explain himself rather than dead.
Some of you may be wondering how many loyal Muslims are serving in the armed forces of our country. There are between 3,000-15,000 of them, but some will not and are not required to disclose their religious affinity. They include native-born American Muslims, African Americans who convert to conventional Islam, and the children of Middle Eastern immigrants who have grown up in this country.
Muslims in the United States have been quick to jump into the media discussion, from the relatives of Hasan to the rather problematic CAIR (The Council on American Islamic Relations) to explain themselves once more to Americans and to disassociate themselves from the violence. It’s almost become a knee-jerk response for them, and I can well imagine how crazy-making this whole episode can be. To explain yourselves for the umpteenth time to your already hostile neighbors, and then to brace yourselves for retribution from those who just won’t understand that one or a few fanatics do not speak for an entire group.
As for the wounded, it is touch and go for some who may not survive. Your prayers are needed for their recovery, more than just sentiment, jingoism, nationalism, or hate.
Other military sources said Staff Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, and Russell Seager, 51, of Mount Pleasant, who were killed in Thursday’s shootings, were members of the 467th. So were Spc. Grant Moxon, 23, a mental health specialist from Lodi, who was shot in the leg, and Dorrie Carskadon, a social worker and the team leader working at the Madison Vet Center, who was also injured, they said.
Late Friday, a Sauk County family said their son, Sgt. John Pagel, 28, also was among the wounded.
Pagel, of Denzer, also was with the 467th Medical Detachment. He is married, has three children and works for a frozen food company, according to his stepmother, Marilyn Clifford.
Pagel was shot in the chest and the left arm during the shooting. Pagel was treated and released from a hospital, his family said.
Pfc. Amber Bahr, a nutritionist from Random Lake who was shot in the back, had been at Fort Hood about a year and apparently is not attached to the 467th.
And again it was a woman who brought someone to ground by their actions. Sgt. Kimberly Munday is being roundly lauded for her heroism for shooting Major Hasan down and saving the lives of others. But she too is not out of the woods. This young woman, the mother of two, lost so much blood, the medics first thought she would die. Her first words were, “Did anybody die?” It could mean that two things, did she stop the assailant, or did anyone die from the shootings.
She did stop the assailant. And she did stop further carnage.
I’ll probably say more about all this later. President Obama is delaying his visit to Japan to attend the funerals of the 13 servicepeople. Former President George W. Bush, that opportunist who helped to create this current mess, is also visiting the wounded. But as one commenter put it, this story is going to be hard to sort out, and people thinking that this is an open-and-shut case of Muslim-inspired terrorism are going to have to get rid of the simplistic view rather fast.