Saturday, November 07, 2009

"There is absolutely no political lesson to be learned from this."

Via Megan McArdle, who reports on an eyewitness account of the slaughter:

There is absolutely no political lesson to be learned from this. Gun control would not have stopped a commissioned officer from obtaining guns. Barack Obama had no power to stop this. Infectious PTSD is a lousy theory. And nations certainly do not--and should not--shape their foreign policy around the possibility that a random psychopath will start shooting up a crowd. Evil people do evil things. That's all.

And from the letter from the eyewitness referenced in her post:

But please, no one use this politically! The Army is not "broken", PTSD doesn't turn people into killers, most Muslims aren't evil, and whether we should stay or go in Afghanistan has nothing to do with this.

Indeed. I mean, there still serious questions to be asked about the motives of this murderer, the role his alleged anti-war views or feelings of persecution played in this. There are questions about his supposed mental state. The thing is, this has been politicized already to the point of stomach-turning, by the usual suspects, and it's ridiculous.

ADDED: An uncomfortable number of people, even some who you'd think would know better, have been politicizing this tragedy in order to take cheap shots at the President. I'll have to mull this over, but it appears that the President may have committed a foul, by using this incident as a rallying cry of health care reform. I'm withholding judgment....

AND: Here's what he said:

“Sacrifice is not casting a vote that might lose an election for you; it is the sacrifice that someone makes when they wear the uniform of this country and that unfortunately a number of people made this week,”

Not as bad as it's being spun, but he shouldn't have said it. The Fort Hood massacre is not a rallying cry in order to pass legislation, even if it's legislation you believe in. If John Boehner had said something the effect of "vote no for freedom, the same freedom that those slain at Fort Hood fought for," he'd be committing the same foul, and it would be wrong.

Foul by the President.


Richard Landes said...

"anti-war" views? what are you talking about? he was pro-war, just on the other side. he had no problem with jihad -- that's what he was doing when he went in to kill randomly any american soldiers that he could -- he had a problem with american infidels fighting jihad.

this inability of ours to recognize this crucial difference was also on display in the allegedly "anti-war" rallies of 2003, where demonstrators carried big posters of such peaceniks as Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat. (see Nick Cohen, What's Left? on the subject.)

the president's foul is not in his segueing into a discussion of health care, but his immediate insistence we not jump to conlcusions about the matter (motivations of the killer)... and about which he continues to remain silent.

not that he had to (or could) respond directly to the reports of Hassan's "allahu akhbar" performance. but he could have said something along the lines laid down by Victor Davis Hanson for Obama:

“All Americans have had it with these mass murderers, whether formal terrorist plotters or individual assassins. I promise you we will find out what motivates a Major Hasan — and do my best to ensure that there are no more Major Hasans in our future.”

Rafique Tucker said...

As to your first point, I get the distinction totally, Richard. At the time of my initial post, I didn't realize the extentthe extent of his pro-jihadist views.

And yes, there is a difference between being anti-war, and being pro-war, yet on the other side. Most sincere anti-war people are excatly that, yet there are those who openly pledge support for the "liberation struggle" of the terrorists against America. Good rule of thumb: If you rooting for Americans to die, you're not anti-war. You are in fact rooting for the other side.

It crucial not to draw those lines carelessly however.