Friday, November 6, 2009

News Talk Online November 6, 2009: President Cautions Against Rush To Judgment Over Fort Hood Shootings

By GARY BAUMGARTEN in New York
With additional reporting from JAMES HICKMAN in Texas
Paltalk News Network

President Obama says it's too early to know exactly what motivated yesterday's shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House, the president cautioned about "jumping to conclusions."

Obama emphasized that this was the act of one individual and said he has ordered flags at all government facilities lowered to half staff from now until Veteran's Day.

Thirteen people are dead, 30 others wounded, as a result of the shooting spree, allegedly by an Army psychiatrist. One of the dead is identified as a civilian, the others are soldiers.

Authorities now say they are certain that the suspected gunman, Maj.Nidal Malik Hasan was working alone and that the weapons he allegedly used were his personal guns. They are declining to speculate on a motive but will release it once the investigation is completed.

The police officer who shot Hasan and was, herself, wounded, is in stable condition in a hospital, as is Hasan and as are the others who were shot in the spree.

Investigators are trying to determine if the guns that were used were properly registered.

"Soldiers are allowed to maintain privately owned weapons," Col. John Rossi said this morning at a briefing from Fort Hood. "We are looking now to see if it was registered on the post." Rossi said random checks are made on vehicles coming through the gate but, "in this case he could have just brought it onto the base."

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed his condolences to the families of those who were killed. “I am deeply saddened by the tragic events today at Fort Hood," he said. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen, the wounded, and all those touched by this incident."

Organizations like the Council on American Islamic Relations are expressing concern about questions that are being raised about the loyalties of the alleged shooter who is a Muslim. Witnesses report that the gunman shouted "God is great" in Arabic while opening fire.

An active-duty Marine, interviewed on News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network, who has served in Iraq and Africa said that his commanding officer is a Muslim-American and he can't think of anyone he'd rather follow into battle.

Paltalk News Network's James Hickman reports from Texas that Hasan, had recently been transfered to Fort Hood after six years at Walter Reed and was about to be deployed. He reports that Hasan received poor performance reviews while at Walter Reed.

Military sources say that Hasan objected to his deployment orders.

Fort Hood which is one of the largest military bases in the world was on lock down until 6 p.m. central time Thursday along with schools in the area. Agents from the ATF and FBI responded to the post. The base is near Killeen, Texas where in 1991 a gunman shot and killed 23 people at a Luby’s restaurant.

Speaking in Washington, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad condemned the shootings, terming them a "cowardly act." Awad said that Muslims are just as enraged and saddened about what happened as others in the United States.

“No political or religious ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence," he said. "The attack was particularly heinous in that it targeted our nation’s all-volunteer army that includes thousands of Muslims in all services."

Awad cautioned about speculating about the motive for the shootings. "We urge all Americans to remain calm in reaction to this tragic event and to demonstrate once again what is best about America - our nation’s ability to remain unified even in times of crisis. We urge national political and religious leaders and media professionals to set a tone of calm and unity."

But Awad also advised American Muslims to "take appropriate precautions to protect themselves, their families and their religious institutions from possible backlash."





3 comments:

Anonymous said...

As more and more news comes out, we discover a connection to a terrorist and that Dr. Hasan was not "mentally ill." Gary, all of your assumptions about this guy were wrong. And, to make it worse, you presented an improper analysis. He in no ways suffered "transference". I believe what you were trying to say was he suffered "Countertransference" however, he was examined mentally and physically in Sept. and found fit for duty.


-LD McLellan

Brizter said...

A couple of days before this incident, an Iraqi police officer opened fire on British soldiers who had taken off their armour and were resting in the shade, killing 5 of them.
Thousands of Iraqis are being trained by the military in order for a smooth transition of power to take place just as thousands of muslims serve in the US military.
Individuals do go crazy and do wicked things.
To extrapolate the actions of those individuals as some kind of organised plot is irrational and bordering on hysteria.

(Can you add me back to your list please Gary -thanks)

Anonymous said...

part one: DIVERSITY IS NOT COHESION

The military has, at least since the beginning of the 20th century, been at the forefront of creating a diversity within it's ranks. This isn't to say there were no instances of bigotry, but a look at the record tells us that attempts were made towards racial and ethnic integration in the military long before it became popular in the greater society.

In both WWI and WWII, Native Americans served in integrated units. The exception to this standard were the Navajo Code Talkers, an elite unit with a specialty. In WWI there were some 10,000 Native Americans serving in integrated units and by WWII, the number swelled to more than 25,000.

Prior to WWII, black Americans served in segregated units. However, it should be noted that said segregation often led to more interracial conflict rather than less. By the end of the Korean War, some 90% of African Americans served within integrated units in the military.

Japanese Americans served in segregated units in WWII. A poll December of 1945 showed that ¼ of Americans polled believed we should have dropped more bombs on Japan. This was in spite of the fact that one of the most decorated units to serve in WWII, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (otherwise called the “Go for Broke” unit) collectively were awarded more than 30,000 distinctive military honors, including a Medal of Honor, 53 Distinguished Service Crosses, 588 Silver Stars, 5,200 Bronze Stars and 9,486 Purple Hearts.

However, by the time the Korean war rolled around, Korean Americans had gained integration within the military. This was due, in part, to the KATUSA program. The KATUSA program was a specified outreach to the Korean community by the military. Fully titled the Korean Augmentation to the US Army program, KATUSA took Koreans, who had thus far served in segregated units and were at best, poorly trained, and turned them into better soldiers.

So when General Casey, the Army's top officer, wrings his hands and bemoans a potential loss of “diversity” because of the Fort Hood tragedy, he seems to have a case. After all, isn't the military all about “diversity?”

The clear answer is NO. The military is not about diversity. The military is about necessity and cohesion. In ALL of the above instances, the participating minority group put duty to country and their fellow soldiers first. This is what the military demands. This is why they issue uniforms. This is why they receive the same training. This is why they're called “soldier” or “sailor” or “marine” instead of Tom, Dick or Harry.

Some would argue that all of the aforementioned group integrations simply prove that we need to toss caution to the wind where adherents to the Islamic faith are concerned. I would argue that is simply ludicrous. None of the aforementioned groups belonged to a religious belief system which called for death to it's non-adherents. None of them belonged to a religious system which called them to place their religion over their military duty, either. Please bear in mind that Japanese Americans during WWII were not adherents to the practice of Emperor worship, which had become common in Japan during that era. Rather, most were either practicing Buddhist or Catholic or had no particular religious bent.