Friday, November 06, 2009

Ft. Hood

Predictably and following in the footsteps of thousands of blog tongues wagging at the moment, this post is about the Ft Hood shooting. It was a horrible act by an obviously deranged man whose motives have yet to be completely understood. It is one thing to mourn a soldier's death from war, a much different matter when they are victim of totally senseless violence. My sympathies of course go out to the families and loved ones of those shot. I cannot even imagine they were prepared for something like this.

What strikes me at this point though is the absolute deluge of misinformation, partial information, and no information that has fueled the knee jerk responses I have been reading here in Blogotopia. Honest Partisan actually said it better than I, but then he always does. - "However natural such an impulse might be, it's also worthwhile to withhold any application of today's shooting spree to the political narrative one lives by (at least until more facts are in), especially with a topic as fraught as this one in post-9/11 America. I doubt that will happen in large part, though." He was right on target.

It is understandable for us to make assumptions in the backs of our minds. But clear thinking people will do this and then give that first knee jerk response a chance to settle down as we look for more information to finally make up our minds. I will admit my first thought when I caught my first word of this tragedy, "Jeez, I hope the shooters/shooter were not Muslim. A terrible situation can only be made worse if this is so." You see, I made an assumption even if it was in the form of a wish it weren't so kind.

Unfortunately it appears the main suspect is a Muslim. "Here we go", I thought. And so far my worse case scenario is playing out as predictably as I hoped it would not.

I read more than a few right of center blogs. I do this not because I am Right of center, but because they often have insights and opinions that I find interesting and challenging to my own take on how things are. I am still capable of changing my mind and cutting them out of my loop seems wrong. After all, I was raised in a Right of center family.

Of the first four Right-ish blogs I read, only one seemed willing to wait and see what really went down and why. The other three were off and running at their mouths about how Muslims are untrustworthy, dirty lousy losers who should never be allowed in the military in the first place. Each had their own special knee jerk response, but the rush to judgement had been made. It just had to be religiously based violence.

The New York Times has to this point the best background information I have heard or read. Reading it raises more questions about this sad incident than it answers. But at least I know more about the person who is accused of this crime.

I guess the reason I have even posted this is to maybe offer what little condolences I can and to notify those who rush to judge, they are not helping the situation by their inaccurate portrayal of a situation even the authorities admit they have yet to completely sort out.


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sunshine said...

I ALWAYS cringe when I hear about these types of things too.
My niece is married to a very nice man. A Muslim. Their 7 year old son, my great-nephew, is being raised Muslim.

My stomach just turns over what happened.
I think that a lot people forget that there is good and bad people in every religion, race, etc.
You're always going to have fanatic's and wack jobs.

My hearts go out to the victims families as well. What a shame. :(


Übermilf said...

I come from a conspiracy-crazy family. They're talking about the fact Hasan was a Virgina Tech graduate.

Virginia Tech... some guy opening fire... are they spawning Manchurian candidates at Virginia Tech?

While they're not a more valuable source of actual information, they're at least more entertaining.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Thoughtful and kind, your post is rational and informed... which y'all gots to remember, the Right-ish tends to dis-consider.
Most importantly, all of the good citizen Muslims who live in our communities must not be blamed nor harmed over something like this. Community support extends that way... the chances are that Maj. Hasan was a "retro-victim" of PTS via his counseling and became manic over deployment into such brutality.

Good post! :-)

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

I am certainly in agreement that we ought to let the authorities get to the bottom of this. What we are hearing so far, though, is very disturbing - if it's accurate:

- The shooter expressed sympathy for jihadis.
- The shooter was sympathetic to suicide bombers.
- The FBI had been watching the shooter for a period of several months due to comments he made on the internet (somewhere), regarding the above two points.
- His opinions regarding jihad and his wish to see Muslim nations rise up against the American military are reported to have been known to his superiors in the Army.

I completely agree that it is utterly wrong to paint all adherents of one religion with the same brush, based on one person's actions. My worry, though, is that there is a significant enough number of individuals in the US military who are sympathetic to a radical Islamist agenda, and that the investigation underway will paper over this issue in an effort to remain sensitive and politically correct.

Hopefully all the foregoing is rumour, and I can eat some crow later for believing it too easily. But more than right-wing blogs are reporting these findings, so I have a feeling the information is accurate and I fear the discussion to follow is not going to address the facts.

MRMacrum said...

sunshine - At this point my anger and sorrow is muted just so I don't go overboard and allow my feelings towards religion to take over. No group should be judged based on the acts of a few, but this struggle we seem to be in feeds the animosity each has for the other.

Ubermilf - Odd you should mention Virginia Tech. That connection crossed my mind also.

Gwen - to be fair here, Of the first four Right leaning blogs I read, I could predict their response. Now many hours later, I have seen and read more reason on other Right-ish blogs/sites.

El Cerdo Ignatius - Since I wrote this more than a few hours ago before much of the information we have now was out, I would have to agree that the tid bits are indeed disturbing. But like anything, there needs to be context added and more information to make a reasoned judgement. I would suggest you listen to the Phone interview with the cousin. It can be found on Fox. Not so much revealing by it's content, but more so from the tone. The cousin I think is as surprised as anyone. One question that keeps popping up in my mind is if this guy has been on the Fed's radar for so long, why was he being deployed? At this point the information coming out creates more questions about the whole mess and what was going on prior to the shootings.

Demeur said...

Between this and what's happened in Orlando it makes me wonder what it is that's the final straw. When at the end of ones rope what is that last thing that pushes someone over the edge? I've been in enough stressful situations in the last 20 years. More than you could shake a stick at yet never felt compelled to do anything like that. And I don't consider myself overly strong.

Randal Graves said...

I blame the Cleveland Browns.