Watching several days of commentary on Nidal Hasan’s (no, I will not call him “Major Hasan”) Fort Hood massacre was painful. Evan Thomas of Newsweek turned it into something about “right wingers.” Sally Quinn, widow of Ben Bradley who writes a “Faith Column” for the Washington Post, wasn’t sure what she thought, but was pretty sure we should not “jump to conclusions.” Fox News actually congratulated itself, through Bill O’Reilly, because the “Fox All-Stars” on Special Report were not negative on Obama’s eulogy. Chief of Staff for the Army, George Casey says,
“As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
I don’t know how the Ottoman or Roman Empires started to go south, but when a nation’s intelligentsia become so lost in mindless constructs, it can’t be a good sign. When quantum physicists attempt to translate their measurements and mathematical deductions into everyday language, they produce what appears to be an irreducible paradox which can say of an object– “it is both here and not here”– at the same time. Physicists had a choice to make. They could spend all their time philosophizing about this seeming impossibility, or simply use a probably imperfect model to make predictions. They of course chose observable measurements over hypothetical ruminations and as such we have microchips and Hubble space craft.
We cannot be inside the head of Hasan, or Castro, or Ahmadinejad. We will never know what “really” motivates them. Nor can we be inside the head of our own leaders. If a president cannot deliver a good eulogy, then it truly is all over. Do we actually need to ask “how he did” and be self-congratulatory for vague praise? As irritating as that was, it pales in comparison to the initial “anything except what was observed” interpretation of Hasan’s murderous spree.
A Muslim man walks into a room with two pistols shouting “Allahu akbar” and begins killing and wounding people. Wouldn’t a reasonable response be “I wonder if there are other Muslims in the military thinking the same thing” or “might this be part of a larger conspiracy?” Instead, the reaction was not to wonder anything at all, but to declare every conceivable counter-factual as the probable cause. Post traumatic stress syndrome, the all-purpose just “snapping,” Bob Schieffer’s remarkable “Christians do it too” defense, the stress of treating patients, and of course the ever-present Muslim discrimination defense. These are all counter-factual statements. The one “factual” observation was ignored. I believe political correctness is simply repressed bigotry. But that is a topic for another day.
A satisfactory investigation is unlikely to be conducted. Any administration which thinks it’s sane to change the term “terror” to “man-made disaster” is itself a man-made disaster. The solution to this problem begins in 2010, when we can start electing new people into office, at least in the Congress.