ENEMY AMONG US
November 11, 2009
“Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” --Alexis de Tocqueville
American’s tragic flaw is our unbridled fairness. That inherent fairness has been corrupted by the cancer of political correctness to the point we put our selves at risk rather than create even the perception of prejudice.
Sometime after the VOLAR (all Volunteer) Army, the military veered from the “yes sir, yes sir three bags full” blind adherence to all orders to the concept of refusing “unlawful orders” and that was ostensibly a good thing. However, the uniformed services does not set or get to pick and choose foreign policy. The civilian leadership sets foreign policy…the U.S. military enforces it…with a big honking combined arms stick.
Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (retired) has been one of the rare pundits with the stones to target the “culture of political correctness” in leadership of the military. In at least two interviews on Fox, Peters (correctly) blamed the culture of political correctness for the Army’s diffidence to take action against Hasan in the wake of knowledge of the problem.
There are established mechanisms for dealing with matters of deep conscience short of killing those one might think disagree with in principle.
However, it is not prejudice to discriminate based on threat facts in evidence. Refusal to act judiciously for fear of a tainted perception is just plain dumb.
It is not racial profiling to suspect young black men in high crime
areas where the preponderance of crime is committed by young black men.
• It is not racial profiling to target young Hispanic men in high crime areas where the preponderance of crime is committed by young Hispanic men.
• It is not Islamaphobia to suspect Muslims who act and speak anti-American vitriol.
Notwithstanding the articulated fears of the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of Homeland Security, the case of Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan was an epic mistake. A mistake founded on political correctness and sustained by diffidence that cost the lives of innocents.
Reportedly, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware (months ago) that Major Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda. He spoke openly to too many people about his angst and misdirected sympathies. He was apparently a poster child for suspicion, and the Army failed bigtime to intervene.
“It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al Qaeda figures, the officials said.” But you damnbetcha they SHOULD have done so.
Investigators want to know if Hasan maintained contact with a radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen and runs a web site that promotes jihad around the world against the U.S.
In a recent blog posting titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hasan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."
Increasingly we are told people who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to have gradually become more radical in his condemnation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subordinates and superiors had a responsibility to flag the inappropriate rhetoric and they apparently did not. The fear to speak out is a symptom of the PC disease fueled by recriminations and implied threats of discrimination…a fear that indirectly resulted in mayhem.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman said, "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," and despite the ring of shutting the barn door after the horse got out, he is right.
Army Chief of Staff General George Casey Jr is concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Hasan, could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” He’s right…but such a backlash would be a direct result of the failure of command…not prejudice.
When confronted with whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs, General Casey replied that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican of South Carolina, and Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat of Rhode Island (both veterans), took pains to say that Muslims have served honorably in the military and at risk to their lives.
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“At the end of the day this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim,” Senator Graham said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” But, hey, it is (kinda/sorta) about religion (when the FBI says 10% of American Mosques preach jihad)…at least from a risk analysis perspective.