Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fort Hood and the Costs of War

The Horrible Incident at Fort Hood, in which at least 13 service members died and 29* were wounded is unquestionably a Terrorist Attack. And the perpetrator, Nidal Malik Hasan, appears to be a Sleeper Agent.
If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory.
That comment and his extremist posts lauding muslim suicide bombers now seem to be advance warning of a plan to conduct an attack from within on Americans for the faith. An acquaintance, Colonel Terry Lee alleges Hasan stated, "Muslims should stand up and fight the aggressor and that we should not be in the war in the first place." And that Hasan said he was "happy" when a US soldier was killed in an attack on a military recruitment centre in Arkansas in June.

How does this incident factor into the current American wars? Well, strategically as far back as the Punic Wars Generals have realized the most effective way to undercut deployed troops is to stage attacks back on their homes instead of on the actual deployed army. This had the effect of dividing their attention and undercutting their morale.

Scipio Africanus engaged in such slash and burn tactics forcing the Carthaginians to recall Hannibal from the Italian Peninsula and into direct combat with his Scipio, leading to the Roman Victory over Hannibal at Zama.

Sherman's March to the Sea and the devastation it wrought pulled the Confederate forces from the fight up north not only through the material destruction and interruption of the South logistics but through the psychological impact on the Southern soldiers.

Now, we have this... tragedy. American soldiers unsafe on base in CONUS and unsafe with a Doctor who was, ostensibly charged with, helping them cope and adjust.

Another cost of war... Another calculation Chicken Hawk Punk Ass Bitch Warmongering Neo-Conservatives merely put down in the "it's worth it" side of the cost/benefit analysis warfare ledger... This one, single attack is a terrorists' best weapon as it will shake and disrupt US society profoundly. Although I'm certain Sean Hannity and Liz Cheney are delighted as they will no doubt try and use this to blame Obama somehow...

As for Hasan, after his trial and conviction, his execution by firing squad or hanging needs to be done the same day.

I am struck by two incidents which are to me somewhat comparable. First the infamous Columbine Massacre. One theory purports Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold committed the slaughter in retaliation for the alleged rampant bullying they were subjected to in school and there are allegations Hasan was subjected to slurs and harassment for being a muslim post 9/11.

The second was recounted by Howard Zinn in A People's History of The United States,
A twenty-year old New York City Chinese-American named Sam Choy enlisted at seventeen in the army, was sent to Vietnam, was made a cook, and found himself the target of abuse by fellow GIs, who called him "Chink" and "gook" (the term for Vietnamese) and said he looked like the enemy. One day he took a rifle and fired warning shots at his tormenters. "By this time I was near the perimeter of the base and was thinking of joining the Viet Cong; at least they would trust me." ~ pg. 495-496.

However, in no way do these comparisons justify or mollify the murderous actions of Hasan.


TRUTH 101 said...

The actions of this creep don't bode well for those of us that want the Patriot Act dismantled Gene. Although this Hasan punk looks to have left enough clues to what he was about that warrented investigation, either the ball was dropped or never picked up. Were do we go from here Bro?

TomCat said...

Hi Gene. I would prefer life without possibility of parole, because I oppose capital punishment on principal. There can be no excuse for what he did. However, the better we understand his motivation, the more opportunity we will have to prevent a future occurrence.

Grung_e_Gene said...

I am against Governments having the Power to put their "subjects" to death. Throughout history it has been used to cow dissent or against those falsely accused of made-up crimes (witchcraft)

But, I could never forgive an extremist murderer such as Hasan (or everyday mass murderers). They can not be forgiven their crimes. Never. Nor can I ask victims families to allow their father's or child's murderer to live on.

The trouble is The Extremist Right focus on this incident and label it terrorism (which it is) while ignoring their ideological brethren who have committed similar terrorist acts.

Fox News, Michelle Malkin et al disavowed and attacked anyone who pointed out Richard Poplawski, is a Right Wing Extremist Terrorist, who murdered 3 Pittsburgh Police Officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle, and Paul Sciullo III, and shot a fourth Timothy McManaway, in the hand because he believed the Extremist Right's propaganda about Obama the Gun Grabbing Islamo-Hitler.

Just as Hasan appears to have attended Mosques which expose Islamic Terrorist ideology and absorbed their extremist views.

However, Sgt. Kimberly Munley deserves the Medal of Honor. I don't care if she's never served in the armed forces her actions at great risk to her own life are MoH worthy and a special dispensation needs to be made for her actions.

w-dervish said...

I disagree. While nothing is known for certain yet, this appears to NOT be a case of terrorism.

Hasan enlisted in the military before 9/11. After 9/11 he became the victim of harrassment by his fellow soldiers due to his ethnicity and religious views. He attempted to get out of the military, offering to partially repay what had been spent on his education. He did not want to go to Iraq where people who shared his faith were being killed.

The military refused and he snapped.

I'm not excusing what he did, but we should be clear that it was not terrorism. The right wingers are going to be spinning this story in that direction, to be sure. To pump up fear and hatred for Arab-Americans.

It isn't illegal to practice the islamic faith in the US, although I'm sure the radical right wingers wish it was.

Grung_e_Gene said...


Thank you for posting an opposing view comment. I don't share your viewpoint.

Hasan's actions are equivalent to Scott Roeder's murder of George Tiller and Poplawski's assassination as I previously mentioned.

Anonymous said...

What scares ME is that Hasan was in a Homeland Security think tank for a while.