Fracture Lines and Confusion

gaps are widening..   gaps are widening..     

Coming out of the Fort Hood massacre, we’ve heard words like “heroism”, “terrorism”, “combat disorder”, “fear”, “Muslim”, “hate”, and “harassment”. The thing that is frightening to many however, isn’t that these words are used, but what each of them are describing and what they are being used to justify. I’d like to take a short look at what several aspects of this case seem to indicate about the state of our hearts and minds in America today.


Major-Nidal-Malik-Hasan-008Overview of Incident

At approximately 13:30 Sierra (local time) at Fort Hood, TX a lone gunman jumped onto a desk in the Soldier Readiness Processing Center and began firing shots into a mass of hundreds of soldiers who were involved in outprocessing for deployment. There are conflicting reports on what the suspect did before the shooting, whether or not he shouted anything, and what he may post on various radical web sites, but we do know that he is Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, age 39. The shooting ended when Kim Munley, a Ft. Hood police Sgt. (and others) responded and shot the suspect. Mrs. Munley was hit three times, twice through the left leg and once in her right wrist, Hasan was hit four times, both survived the shooting. 13 people died and 30 or more were wounded in this tragedy.

Munley ShootingHonor and Courage

Kim Munley is being hailed as a “hero” and cited for bravery because she arrived quickly, faced the gunman, and shot him while taking fire. It is a practical assumption that she fired on the gunman after she had already been hit. I think that she would counter that claim with, “I was doing my job”, but deep down, most of us know that what she did was ‘right’, it was ‘good’, and that the heart that motivated that action should be held up as a goal for all. There is another place in this story where the word ‘hero’ was used however, and that was – allegedly – a posting by Major Hasan referring to contemporary suicide bombers as morally and ethically equal to a soldier who throws himself on a grenade to save his comrades. Many would assert that the only difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist is the victor; the person who records the history of the event. Why then do we – deep down where no-one sees the other – know that she [Munley] was heroic and that Hasan’s alleged deeds were certainly not? While I would assert that the Lord has placed in us each a sense of who He is, and thus a clear sense of right and wrong, I think that when we act or speak – over time – in a way that is contrary to what we know is right, that this discontinuity breeds discontent and guilt. When we know a thing is right, and we pass it off or over in deference to ‘political correctness’ or to avoid conflict, we lose a piece of our collective integrity. Moments such as Kim’s action serve as a split-second to celebrate the right, but they also make us confront the fact that we cover the wrong all too often.

I have heard it stated that Maj. Hasan was suffering from a ‘pre-traumatic stress disorder’, and that is what prompted his action. First of all I find that to be highly unlikely, but in the event it is partially true, let me share with you what that politically correct phrase really means; Maj. Hasan was scared. Here’s my question; when did the fighting men and women of this nation begin to let fear rule their actions!? Don’t you think that every solider goes through some fear when getting called up, deployed, and each time they begin a mission? Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it is the ability to control it and move forward in the face of it. Praise the Lord that our fighting men and women are not all made of the same weak and rubbery stuff that Maj. Hasan seems to have at his core!

muslim-smallChurch and State

Regardless additional information on the topic, there will continue to be speculation that Hasan’s Muslim faith had something to do with the shooting. It has been alleged that he shouted “Allahu Akhbar” before shooting, and whether or not that is true, he certainly was a practicing Muslim. While there are many peaceful Muslims, I find it intellectually annoying that we are not ‘allowed’ to talk about the fact that most present-day terrorists are Muslims, certainly not without prefacing the word “Muslim” with “radical”. If course it is radical, it involves murder! I know I’ll get blasted by some for saying that his faith had something to do with his actions, but if your faith doesn’t change who you are, is it useful at all? Shouldn’t your religion, your “faith”, affect who you are and what you choose to do? For all those that defend the fact that we have radical Muslim mullahs in this country, practicing their hatred and training a new breed of terrorist, would you defend a Christian who stood outside an abortion center and detonated an explosive vest preceded by a shout of “Jesus is Lord”!?

Military and Operations

I am personally embarrassed by the process whereby our politicians choose to engage the enemy and – indeed – the method whereby we define “enemy”. It is certainly the case that some of the conflicts in which we’ve been involved recently, that there is no reasonable way to say that we were “protecting our national security”. If we are to be the world’s policemen, let us do that, policing everyone and everywhere, following Ann Coulter’s tongue-in-cheek maxim, “Let us invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity”. We must do this then with the Russians, the Chinese, and the North Koreans… everyone, no matter how powerful they are. On the other hand, we could pursue a policy of isolationism, policing no one and defending our shores with rock-solid defense. Regardless our choice, we must have an honorable course charted, and follow it with integrity, rather than going to fight in little places where we think we have a chance of success.

On that note, how can our world-class military lose in places like Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan!? It’s been said that this is a new kind of warfare, with people who don’t care if they live or die, guerilla fighting techniques, etc just cannot be matched by our large fighting force. Really!? Americans have been defined, for 234 years, by their ability to recognize, adapt, and overcome, and even though the military machine is a huge bureaucracy that can slow almost anything down, isn’t it far more likely that the reason we cannot win is the same as it has been since the Vietnam War? When American fighting men and women cannot emerge victorious, it is because politicians refuse to turn the war over to those with experience fighting it. If we followed Sun Tzu’s advice, and avoided war at almost all costs, but when war became necessary we gave it over to the military for prosecution, I am convinced that we would emerge victorious in every conflict we entered.

Almost all of what we feel and discuss where this tragedy is concerned brings to light the bare and glaring fact that Americans say and do things that are no longer backed by a moral underpinning. We do not endeavor to find what is right, do what is right, or tell others why we act the way we do. If there is any good news, it is that – on the rare occasion that we see someone do the right thing – we recognize it when we see it, and we celebrate it. I pray that we will recognize this trend away from what is right, that we will reverse it, and that actions of integrity will become the ‘norm’ once again.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 8th, 2009 at 16:32 and is filed under Faith, Liberty. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply