« Major Hasan's Alienation | Main | Recommended Viewing on Islam »

07 November 2009

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F5F5F5

Anybody remember Sirhan Sirhan, the killer of RFK?
Palestinian-born, bat-crazy,a murderer, and a christian.

I do believe religion is a factor, but islam or even radical islam as such isn't at all.

Any such paranoid loon turning nasty will twist any faith into a justification of his bloody "revenge". He certainly has his own personal islam, just like killer mormons have their own jesus.

All sorts of dirty and criminally insane buggers join the military every day.

To me Major Hasan is no different from the many postmen shooting their co-workers, or emo goth kids shooting their classmates.

J

Colonel,

There seems to be more questions than answers regarding doctor Hasan.

Patrick Lang

f5f5

"All sorts of dirty and criminally insane buggers join the military every day." What absolute crap! You don't have a shred of proof for that statement. what you are spouting is just a reflection of your ideological dislike of soldiers.

As for the assertion about religion not being relevent here, that also is PC crap.

You must be an academic.

Islam, because it lacks clergy or hierarchy provides an easy vehicle for all sorts of little groups or individuals to come to their own version of Islam and then to act on it. What do you think Al-Qa'ida is? It is basically an "ijma'" group formed up behind the excesses of people like Qutb.

Go learn something about Islam beside the pathetic pleadings of groups of Muslims who want to persuade you that their Islam is the only Islam. pl

N.Z.

Radical secularists are equating conservative Muslims with radical Muslims, this is a simplistic approach by the media .

The outcome of what took place in Fort Hood,Texas is equivalent to September 11-the bing bang- as far as Muslims and Arabs are concerned .

President Obama reconciliation message to the two groups have been undermined by world's news coverage that shapes public opinion, namely Major Hasan shooting spree .

The occupation of Palestine- the West Bank and Gaza- are central to how the West view Muslims and Arabs and vice-versa.

Muslims are back to square one, September 2001, back on the defencive, and this might be an overture for another preemptive war on Iran .

The American agenda is hijacked, a war on Iran is eminent.

Amir

http://www.truthout.org/11050912

I thought you might find the link above interesting, and yes I am from Iran.

Dick

I agree with you, Colonel. F5f5f5 is rambling some nonsense, as most military recruits are honorable young men and women with undeniable sense of right and wrong. And Islam IS a factor here, if only because those we are fighting in the GWOT just happen to be that. Ponder, if 9/11 were perpetrated by Christain radical Serbs, IRA, or whoever. And we have since then been involved in a global war on "them." There would probably be some "twisted Christians" causing occaisional havoc like suicide bombings and massacres. Okay, you can argue not Christians because of this or that. And it is hard for me to imagine, too. But f5f5f5 also seems to imply this.
What I'd really like to put forth here is this article from HuffPost, by Kamran Pasha. If nothing else, it offers hope that Islam is not in itself a breeding ground for terrorists. Rather, it seems to me that the combination of history, Arab culture, AQ's actions (9/11), and other factors is. Unfortunatley, this one psychopath's actions has done harm well beyond the victims of his murderous derangement.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kamran-pasha/a-muslim-soldiers-view-fr_b_348973.html

Amir

Recently, a somewhat similar murderous situation took place inside the British military:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/afghanistan/091105/british-military-helmand-ambush-soldier-NATO

I happen to have a friend whos brother is serving in the Belgian detachment, they basically are only there in name and refuse to participate in any ground opperation by coming up with all kinds of excuses. I think the whole problem is one of cohesion.

mac nayeri

In my opinion, the attack was terrorism.

I understand the argument that he was simply deranged, but to ignore the location, his alleged battle cry and yes, his personal background requires a measure of cognitive denial that the plain facts rebut.

F5F5F5

Colonel

Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I realize my choice of words was very bad indeed. I was just trying to keep it short.
I am far from being an academic or even left-wing, I do have experience in the military(engineering), and I lived in muslim countries.

I did read about islam, and I also went to lectures and conferences on radical islam and terror with people like Gilles Kepel and Gerard Challiand in Paris.

I am not saying the military's crawling with psychopaths.
Some people do join the military with dangerous psychological tendencies, and/or extreme political or religious views. It cannot always be detected. And these tendencies can also surface only after some time.

I do not think Major Hasan's killing spree was politically or religiously motivated.
Religion was the vehicle of his madness, not the other way around.

Religious/politically-motivated attacks are stereotyped. You kill innocent people you don't know for publicity.

What Hasan did was revenge against his co-workers out of attention-seeking.

I am not an islam or PC advocate. I look at events coldly, putting aside emotions and knee-jerk reactions.

Hralambos

At the risk of adding off topic information, I will say that I was a ROTC scholarship student more than 40 yrs ago and left the program after one year at Norwich University. I was academically, athletically and militarily (highest company rating, 12 demerits all year)near the top of my class. I resigned my scholarship when I realized after my first year, the Tet offensive, my military science course in which the RA Major told us the Vietnamese could feed much of SE Asia if there was no war ongoing that there was nothing we could do to improve the situation. I now have virtually no option but to buy New Balance running shoes made in Viet Nam.

The current issue regarding the horror at Ft Hood and its perpetrator have left me with many questions raised after Col Lang's presentation of the bits of information.

How did someone manage to be funded for 10+ yrs in "academic" programs without any active deployment beyond the named facilities?

What school in California was he enrolled in?

Did he receive language instruction while in CA?

I have several others, but I will leave it to the more well-informed regarding recent and current military policy to clarify these.

I close with an atheist's deepest condolences and respect for your loved-ones' sacrifice.

Patrick Lang

hralambus

Seems to me that I would have known if there ROTC scholarships in 1968 or 69. I don't remember that to be the case.

He is a medical officer that the Army educated. Medical school + internship + residency + fellowship in psychiatry = a long time.

Language. Not that I know of. I presume that he speaks Arabic.

The California college? It is in the papers. I read that in the Washington Post this AM.

Wat's with the condolence business? pl

Jose

"All sorts of dirty and criminally insane buggers join the military every day."

Like any large entity, the Army attracts a few undesirables that only serve to smear everyone else. Sort of like blaming 911 on Saudi Arabia for the crimes of a few Saudis or blaming all Muslims for al-Qaeda or using this to blame all Muslim soldiers of dual-loyalties. Most undesirables are selectively removed via UCMJ as soon as the Army identifies them or they identify themselves.

Col, see Wikipedia for the best bio out there so far on Major Hasan.

Looks to me like he was under DCP, not ROTC at Va Tech.

Patrick Lang

All

Hasan's educational experience was at Barstow Community college near Ft. Irwin where the school has an on-post program. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

"his own Islam"

Yes, this may the case. News reports indicate that he was not considered extremist in his religious views over the years by those who knew him. Pious but not extremist. Then a change at some point in more recent time.

Only over the past several years does there seem to have been a radicalization of some kind, according to present press reports. This observed change combined with the stress of his particular job can help explain the violent turn of events.

A lone wolf terrorist, but still a wolf and a terrorist it seems (so far). His use of internet, whether he posted anything or not, could indicate visiting radical-extremist-jihadi websites which contributed to his radicalization. So he may have felt himself a virtual member of the global jihadi realm and then turned active (quite possibly on his own with no prompting)in a clearly methodical and premeditated way to seek martyrdom through violence and death.

He could have done the explosive vest thing and just sauntered into the crowded center and blown himself and many others up. But this would have required some back up from folks who know how to set these up. I expect we will experience this in the future states side and I do not doubt for a minute there are people here in this country today with these skills.

According to a report today from a medic witness, his cargo pockets were "full" of clips. So at 30 rounds each (or 20) he had plenty with him to do a lot of damage. One report today says he jumped up on a desk and started to shoot. This elevated position would have facilitated his op and also stray shots hitting the floor at an angle could have developed some ricochet effects. Also there were dividers outlining cubicles or certain areas and they probably were easy for stray rounds to go through. So the single shooter scenario and damage from that would seem reasonable from present info in the press. I can see that he might have calculated his back up revolver could be used in a finale if his primary weapon jammed.

If his cargo pockets were full of clips he expected an extended period of time in which to shoot and conduct his op.It is not clear to me why he left the building and went running outside where the female policewoman then was then able to spot and engage him. The time period of his shooting is said today to have been about 4 minutes and the overall elapsed time of incident about 10 minutes.

Haralambos

With all due respect Col Lang, there were ROTC scholarships at the time you reference. Mine was awarded in 1966 - 1967; I enrolled at Norwich in Sept. 1967. My cousin had an NROTC scholarship two years earlier, which he undertook at U So Carolina.

My condolence "business" as an atheist was meant to acknowledge that one without a religion can feel empathy and appreciation as well as understand those who have fervent passion for theirs. Sorry if I expressed it poorly,
Haralambos

Andy

I think I screwed-up my initial post, here's most of it again:

Some more info:

Hasan attended high school in VA only in his senior year and graduated in 1988. People who knew him are saying he was a loner even back then. He attended Virginia Western Community College from 1990-92 and graduated with an associates degree. His parents are both dead - his father died in 1998 and his mother in 2001, she was only 49.

It looks like he probably did enlist after high school :

After graduating from Fleming, Nidal Hasan studied at Barstow Community College in California through a location at Fort Irwin, a nearby U.S. Army base.

"Our records indicate he was an enlisted soldier," college spokesman Maureen Stokes said.

If he did a two year enlistment (I'm assuming here that 2-year enlistments were available in the late 1980's) at Ft. Irwin (where Barstow has a campus on post) that would put him back in VA in 1990 and able to finish his associate degree. Since he wasn't in ROTC at VT he probably joined the Army under a med officer program in 1997 after completing his BS on his own in 1995. It looks like he was commissioned as a Captain only after completing his doctorate at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Some basic details of that commissioning route :

Obtain your MD while receiving full pay and allowances at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences School of Medicine. Graduates of this program earn a medical degree and receive a commission as captain in the Army Medical Corps. Requirements include:

* A baccalaureate degree
* Coursework in biology, organic and inorganic chemistry, physics, English and calculus
* A letter of approval, if you are currently a member of the U.S. Army



If all of that is accurate it still leaves a lot of gaps. He might have worked at the restaurant or store his family owned during the intervening years. Hard to know since he was a loner.

Patrick Lang

haralambus

Hey. I'll take your word for it. I graduated from VMI in 1962 and there was nothing like that then. pl

Patrick Lang

andy

It sounds like he got a hell of a free ride from the Army.

pl

Andy

Col. Lang,

Indeed. As a psychiatrist he also received $20k a year incentive pay in addition to his regular pay and benefits.

Ramojus

This incident reminds me of the 2004 movie "The Assassination of Richard Nixon".

The Sean Penn character was a disaffected, divorced furniture salesman.

Hassan sounded disaffected as well, but for a different reason.

The Wikipedia post states that Hassan's weapons were a FN Five-seven semi-automatic and a .357 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver. The shooting "lasted for about 10 minutes with the shooter reportedly firing about 100 shots".

With a revolver and a semi-automatic that comes with a ten or twenty shot clip? Even if "a bunch of clips" were found in his cargo pants pockets, this still doesn't sound right.

Ramojus

My apologies....

Just read Mr. Kiracofe's comments, regarding Hassan's weapons capacity, in the previous post. I was being redundant.

My movie analogy remains....

Patrick Lang

Andy

Annoying isn't it? It's like flight pay for aviators. It shoud be divided up and given to the infantry. pl

VietnamVet

Colonel,

The Major was seriously conflicted First Generation American Muslim. He used the system to get training and rise in grade for free but now the system was going to use him in Afghanistan. He used his training to talk about the Holy War in the Middle East but in the end there was no resolution to the contradictions within himself nor any way to save himself or his patients. No one listened to him.

He chose death by others.

He is much like Tim McVeigh, he had his own loners ideology. War pushes these people over the edge.

War is Crazy. That is Catch 22. If you recognize that war is insane, by definition, you have to be sane.

Lysander

Whatever the truth is, the narrative will be Muslim terrorist. Too many people have an incentive in it. If you want escalation in Afghanistan here is your talikng point. If you are "al Qaida" here is your chance to pretend to be a global network. I'm waiting for the new bin laden video on this.

I have no idea how many Muslims serve in the millitary. Wonder how this will play out between them and their fellow servicemen.

Walter

Hasan never would have done what he did if he had been accepted politely by his soldier peers. The anti-Muslim bigotry by certain Fort Hood soldiers who pushed this guys buttons need to man-up and accept some of the responsibility here .... we must always look at cause and effect ... like the bullying in American schools that causes kids to feel rejected and alone which has contributed to the school shooting epidemic in America.

We need to be more kind to the weak, different, outcast in our society just like Jesus' example.

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