« In Northern Virginia politics it is still 1997. | Main | Major Hasan's alienation - part 2 »

06 November 2009

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Lysander

I don't understand the "he had to go" part. Of course he did not have to! He could have refused. He could have went AWOL. Or fled to Canada. There would be consequences I'm sure, but probably not as severe as murdering 12 comrads.

No, this man was making a statement. He wanted to kill people. Only god and major hasan will ever truly know why.

Clifford Kiracofe

Still trying to do some math and visualize the crime scene. News reports this evening are now saying that apparently two guns were used: an FN 5.7 and a S & W 357 Mag.

So the FN could have an initial capacity of 20 rounds in the clip plus one chambered thus 21. Or using an extended clip 30 plus one in the chamber thus 31 rounds.

So with two standard clips we would arrive at 21 plus 20 equals 41 rounds. Or with one extended and one standard we arrive at 31 plus 20 equals 51 rounds. Or with two extended we get 31 plus 30 equals 61 rounds. So 41 to 61 rounds with one clip change.

The S&W 357 revolver could either be 6 or 7 round configuration depending. He could have had a speed loader too but not sure how likely as reports say the 357 was carried but not used.

Reports are now emerging that some of the victims did have multiple wounds including the female police officer. And the numbers seem to be 13 dead and 31 wounded this evening thus a minimum of 44 rounds necessitating at least one clip change. But some had multiple wounds. So this would leave the difference between 61 rounds max with the FN alone and single clip change and 44 rounds for victims. So say 17 rounds from the FN for multiple shots at single targets. And what about stray shots?

Maybe he was carrying enough to inflict all this damage on his own but it is still not clear IMO.

TR

As the man's history and recent actions begin to become clearer, the question becomes more urgent: What warning signs could/should others have observed and protectively acted on? It seems to me that the debate over fundamentalist Islam's inherent characteristics, and their alleged effects, should take a back seat to resolution of that issue, and then perhaps resume.

Paul Escobar


If the United States respected its enemy, as a serious fighting force & culture, few would have a hard time viewing the obvious: Muslims don't handle humiliation well. They have short fuses. They need to be watched closely.

Instead, we view them as a joke: brown skinned hillbillies. The "crazy" ones are up in the hills & caves. While the ones in Beverly Hills can be "civilized" & teach their backward cousins.

We get ridiculous discussions where the left sounds like Zell Miller decrying the racism against hillbillies, & the right sounds like snobby country club members decrying their smell.

There's no sense of history. The history of the United States intefering in Muslim heartlands, & the history of Muslims ready to fight for the most hopeless & ridiculous causes.

There's no sense of culture. An understanding that the slightest sense of dishonour turns an educated 40 year old Muslim engineer into a 20 year old L.A. Crip seeking revenge in Blood.

These childish forms of racism prevent us from seriously discussing solutions: whether it's the application of American brute force...or changes in American foreign policy.

Redhand

Where have we seen this before? "Alienated" Islamist nutjob snaps and starts killing people at random. Airports, Jewish community centers, and in various theaters of the GWOT. I too am reminded of the Islamist NCO, Hasan Akbar, who killed a couple of his fellow soldiers in 2003 and wounded 14 others. He got the death penalty, and should be executed, IMO, or imprisoned for life to contemplate his crimes. I'm not sure which; I haven't figured out whether the Timothy McVeigh treatment or life behind bars to prevent "martyrdom" is a better outcome for a Muslim.

I do fault the military for not seeing the warning signs and figuring out that this man was a timebomb. His threats and utterances should have been taken at face value as the dangerous warning signs they were. Why he wasn't evaluated as a psychiatric risk long before he started shooting is a mystery to me, especially since he was a shrink himself.

Mike

It doesn't matter what he shouted. Muslims, even secretly militant ones, can have psychotic breaks. This fits the typically American pattern of a disturbed, intelligent loner snapping due to, yes, alienation in part and lashing out in a violent outburst. it happens nearly annually in this country. Perhaps his islam contributed to his alienation, but alienated he clearly was. Does the colonel deny that?

f

All:
very much worth reading.
http://exiledonline.com/fort-hood-massacre-a-brief-history-of-american-violence/

mo

Colonel,

This does not strike me as the actions of an objector. If he merely objected to the wars and his deployment he could have made a honorable and principled stand through legal channels.

I assume that as a medical graduate that the man is not stupid.

Therefore I cannot for a second believe that he enlisted without being in the full knowledge that there are "issues" between the Muslim/Arab world and the US and that therefore one day he would be required to be part of an Army that would be fighting Muslims/Arabs.

And so, I can only assume that any religious/nationalistic fervor for Islam and/or Palestine is something that has come about more recently.

If that is so, and I were the investigator, I would be inclined to find out what caused this change and more importantly if there is a "who" behind this change.

On another point:
"Palestinians foolishly think that the world is going to come to its senses some day and see that it would be fair for them to be given back Palestine."

Hamas and Hizballah are in agreement with you on this. The only disagreement is that they do not accept that they should concede the point as a result.

Idrees

"For Palestinian Muslims the recovery of their land is a religious duty."

Yes, otherwise they would just 'pack their tents like an Arab' -- as the saying goes -- and wander off to a new oasis. What attachment could a Palestinian possibly have to the land of his forefathers?

Cold War Zoomie

Here's my two cents, whatever it's worth.

He probably joined thinking he'd get a free education, do his time, get out and start private practice with plenty of real experience and no debt. Sounds like a pretty good deal, especially since playing Army as a psychiatrist would be a much more cushy gig than other officer slots. Sure, it would require a lot of work up front, but compared to the civilian route it is very enticing.

And why should he not think that way since, apart from the Marines, the armed forces advertising campaigns during the '90s centered heavily on joining for personal gain?

Then 9/11 came along and he might have to go "fight" his Muslim brothers. Uh, how exactly is a psychiatrist "fighting" his brothers in Iraq? This reminds me of the national guard and reserve folks who opposed Gulf War I because they had joined to get educational benefits, not fight wars.

To me, the key point is whether or not he ever spoke with his chain of command about his "reservations," or if he just sat around stewing in his own juices about how the Army had wronged him.

Looks like the latter.

And for everyone talking about the "strains" and "pressures" he was under...come on! The guy was a psychiatrist working in an institution that tries to weed out those who are not mentally capable of handling the job. That's why, typically, the suicide rate in the armed forces is lower than the population as a whole. I'd be much more understanding if he had been a field surgeon patching up victims of IEDs for months and months on end, and then snapped.

And what about all the civilian psychiatrists working with people who have severe, chronic mental illnesses? How many of them have "snapped" under the strain? To me, working with soldiers who are dealing with a "situational" mental illness, which typically is acute rather than chronic, would be less stressful than working with chronic patients and the constant ebbs and flows of those illnesses. Plus, in the civilian world, folks with chronic mental illnesses are usually very isolated. The military culture is probably more conducive to recovery than outside. So I argue that this guy had *less* strain than many of his civilian counterparts.

Nope, the guy decided he got a raw deal somehow and decided it was time for revenge. And most likely used the Muslim angle as his own rationalization.

It may be more complicated than that, but my view is probably a component of this guy's thinking.

Cold War Zoomie

After further contemplation, I have decided to revise my initial assessment:

An asshole slipped through the system.

Simple.

Patrick Lang

All

I really like these guys like Idrees and another character named "matter" whom I banned a couple of days ago.

They show up here after a Google search on an event like the Hood shootings and then emote all over the internet on the basis of their politics and ignorance. They do not of course take the time to fimd out what I have previously written on these subjects. pl

Patrick Lang

Mike

Hey! I'm the guy who said he was "alienated." Remember?

What you and a lot of these people are missing is the multifaceted nature of Islam. Go listen to my lecture on the subject on TA. pl

DE Teodoru

We East Euros have quite a strange flash-back to our roots, as I saw through the Cold War parochialism. But Muslims have a faith-ethnic tie (one that does not stop them from invoking "Allah's Will" in cutting eachother's throats) that explodes in violence and the concequences be damned. It is hard to attribute this to faith and not to emotional disinhibition, sme midbrain hereditary trait associated with consanguity per a study in the Saudi J. of Psychiatry, as I recall. More often it is suppressed or manifest in more benign ways. But how could Maj. Hasan sit there listening to edless array of stories spilling hate and ridicule at Muslim from combat returnees and not be affected? If because of 9/11 you can't empathize, imagine a Jew and his bond to Israel (in most cases of American Jews this is weak but in Ashkenazis and Mizrahis that never came here, you would, and at times have had, the same problem. It is pitiful and one more reason to get out of all these areas where we aggressed before we better train our people so they don't go in intel blind, language deaf and culture dumb.

Abu Sinan

The Muslim world is a very diverse place. Some Muslims think it is a duty to reclaim former Muslim lands, others would laugh at the idea of trying to reconquer Spain.

As a Muslim it is clear that this guy thought this was about religion. I also think the reality of it is that the man himself was mentally unstable and his interest in radical/political Islam was probably one of the manifestations of this.

If he wasnt a Muslim he might have ended up killing 13 people in the name of Charles Manson or the energizer bunny.

There are many Palestinians who work for the government, I know many of them whom I work with who were born and raised in the Middle East and now hold supervisory positions. Despite their deep pain over what Israel has done to their people, and by extension US support for Israel, they dont go on rampages and murder people.

Colonel, I liked your comment about how the Israelis are glad you are not Palestinian. I am an American from a military family, members fought in WW1, WW2 and Vietnam, and I have seen first hand what it is like to go through an Israeli checkpoint.

I think the Israelis must thank God every day that the best and the brightest of the Palestinians travel abroad to live and work. If the Palestinians I know stayed back home and fought I think the tables wouldn't be so uneven.

Back to his guy, my dad was a psychologist, like he said, most people who get into this field do so originally to try and help them deal with their own mental health issues.

Patrick Lang

mj

How true. pl

Patrick Lang

mj

You will have noticed I am sure that we have a few surgeons in the Army.

How many surgeons in the US Marine Corps? pl

mikeyes

From my contacts and from my experience, Hasan was just not a good doctor nor a particularily good officer in the medical corps. He hired a lawyer to try and get him out of his deployment. I had a similar experience when I was deployed to Iraq with a Reserve hospital during Desert Storm. Three of the physicians in the unit, one of whom was Active Duty, successfully managed to get out of the deployment: two by being discharged for missing a movement and one by faking a heart attack and having an active duty peer certify that he could not go over.

In my opinion, all three were depressed, but so was I at the time. Going to war is not fun and games.

My spies tell me that his OERs were poor not because he failed to grasp medical information but because he was not good at his job, was late and did not answer his pager when he was on call. That would probably get him fired in the civilian community and it put him on the edge at Walter Reed. (Apparently there are miles of red tape to get rid of a bad doctor in DC.)

His deployment was routine, in fact I am surprised he didn't go sooner - perhaps because his supervisors thought he was not ready until recently.

It would be remiss for me to evaluate or diagnose MAJ Hasan without seeing him first, but I think those are the correct facts. I doubt that his being a Muslim or Arab had anything to do with his bad OERs. That was all based on his performance. And since he has been in the service a combined 16 years, he should have known what he needed to do to get a decent OER as a physician.

(By the way, you don't make O-6 anymore in the Medical Corps by being above room temperature for 20 years, you have to punch all the tickets. When I was selected after Desert Storm I was one of 14% selected. I had C&GS school by that time.)

Patrick Lang

mikeyes

Wolf Blitzer? Military knowledge - none. A nice guy but not a clue on military things. Chris Matthews. Thas draft dodger still does not know the difference between officers and non-officers. pl

DE Teodoru

The Muslim World is indeed a diverse place. But there are a few things one might see a lot more of there than here. On the other hand, we Balkans are much the same. The real issue is leaving people alone to live life as they would. This we found impossible because we had to support our cheap oil sources and thus installed our troops on their land. And still, how they reacted is much how we would react. We connect Hasan's act of rage with his Muslim roots but we don't connect the Muslim roots of all those Muslims we pass by every day without any problem. Our brain is a big quantitative comparison machine we use to predict the odds of a repeat of previous experiences. Alas, with an N=1 we are deciding waht to do the next time we see a Muslim. Ironically, passing a Korean in the street we do not expect him to pull out a couple of revolvers and shoot up the street. Could we be under bias influence from our media? For the answer look back at Lang's favorite public servant: Doug Feith and see how he was trying to influence our cerebral predicitve computations!

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28            
Blog powered by Typepad