Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Republicans Trying to Use Ft. Hood Tragedy for Political Gain
A more complete picture of the Ft. Hood shooter has come to light over the past week. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan appears to have been driven by a sort of perfect storm of motivations for a mass killer. He was the worst kind of ticking time bomb IMO.
It appears that Hasan's actions were driven in part by mental issues as well as by disaffection for his Country and at least some sympathy for an extremist Islamic ideology. A terrorist? Sure, but anyone who commits mass murder is a terrorist to me.
Republicans have seized on this massacre, not because they are concerned with the safety of U.S. troops. Most of these GOP cowards couldn't care less about American soldiers. What they have been concerned about mostly is the word "terrorism". Why? Because officially calling it a terrorist attack would fit the narrative that they have all been waiting for. Once this incident is called a terrorist attack, it gives the GOP the opportunity to attack President Obama, and call this the first terrorist attack since 9/11 (which it isn't by the way). They will be able to feed certain talking points to American voters...like "we told you so"...."we told you this would happen if Obama became President". It falls right into their phony argument that Obama and Democrats are weak on Terror.
Republican Party Spokesmen Blaming Obama (as predicted)
Hear Sean Hannity blame the White House.
Republican leader Rush Limbaugh was even less subtle.
Michael Savage has been the most vile so far. No surprise there... this is the same coward who was banned from the UK for his hate language. He wasted no time trashing the President...
As if that's not enough, Savage stated on his 11/10/09 program that our "soldiers were suicidal maniacs"..... if they support Democrats. He just attacked at least 40% of the U.S. Army. Idiot!
And the attacks have been coming fast and furious since the Ft. Hood massacre...from all corners of Republican Talk radio....and of course the politicians are now taking their marching orders from their Republican media masters (ie. McCain, Conservative Lie-bermann, Graham, etc, etc).
This is one of the most disgusting displays of American politics that I have ever seen...and one of the most disingenuous efforts by Republicans. I mean... are they serious? The fact of the matter is.... Hasan has been in the Army for upwards of 15 years. Most of his strange behavior was observed during his time at Walter Reed, before Obama even became President. Yet, Republicans are hoping to cash in on this tragedy by painting the picture that most of the red flags came only in the last few months during Obama's time in office. Republicans are counting on the short memories of Americans (which is legendary) in order to pull off this slight of hand. Americans would have to forget when Obama became President (less than a year ago); they would also have to forget all of the red flags that were missed over the past several years; they would have to forget the strain and shortages placed on the military that led the Army to hold on to Hasan and who caused that strain on the military; and they would have to be oblivious to how many red flags were ignored particularly by the FBI...and its Bush appointed director.
I mention this not to point fingers....but to show just how disingenuous the Republicans are; especially closet Conservative Joe Lie-bermann. Joe Lie-bermann wants to capitalize on this tragedy as well. His pledge to "investigate" is less about any genuine concern for troops, and more about his desire to show Conservatives that he's tough when it comes to national security, and to show Israeli special interests groups that he's no friend of Muslims and he will push their agenda vis-à-vis the Palestinians, Terrorism, the Middle East, Iran, Lebanon, etc.
Memories of Ft. Hood
This story brought back memories of my time in the Killeen/Ft. Hood Community. I lived there in the early 1990's. The area actually consists of at least 7 or 8 different cities and towns over two Counties.... with the main cities being Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Ft. Hood, Belton and Temple. But Ft. Hood, Copperas Cove and Killeen are the heart of the community.
I graduated H.S. in that community, father took his last breath in that community, worked my first job in that community, learned to drive in that community (I still recall driving on base for the first time w/ my permit and my step-mother...a soldier...in my ear, lol), saw parents go off to war in that community, learned a lot about life in that community....and have a lot of memories there of all sorts of experiences....good and bad (racism too)....although the bad probably stands out more unfortunately. My life there was a mixed bag. But the point is.... Ft. Hood is etched in my brain forever. (learn more about Ft. Hood from this 2007 posting).
For some reason the Ft. Hood area is no stranger to mass killings and soldier suicides. The Luby's massacre was my introduction into crazy land....this new America where mass shootings would become part of the cultural fabric in a twisted sort of way. It showed me just how cold and evil the human spirit could be....although I had already seen and experienced all sorts of unspeakable evil on the streets of St. Louis.
But on the positive side... a place like Ft. Hood always endures. Partly because of all the past tragedies. The strength of the people there and the sense of community make that possible.
Hear a more detailed discussion about Hasan and the attack from NPR. (unfortunately the guests and the host seemed to miss a few big points. They seemed to concentrate on the combat stress of soldiers, even though this was not really an issue for Hasan, at least not directly, because he had not been in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan... so they completely blew it on that point....but there is still good information and commentary from this discussion).
A response to this post from The Daily Kos really sums it up:
The unfortunate truth...
is found somewhere between the rightwingers attacks on Obama and the left doing all they can to avoid characterizing this as what it was: a jihadist act of terrorism. That islamist cells exist and mean to perpetrate serious mayhem in this country should be a given. We have seen the attacks, we have broken up some cells and you have to live in fantasyland to not believe that more radical islamic attacks are in our future. This insane political warfare between the wingnuts who see a terrorist behind every tree and naive politically correct leftists who don't believe a problem exists will be the death of us. The fact that a horrendous event like that at Fort Hood does not bring the Nation together for even a day is disconcerting to say the least.
-- by peregrinus on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 08:05:30 PM PST
Posted by Brian at 1:58 PM