I only heard the very end of President Obama's address to the ceremony today at Fort Hood, the memorial service for the victims of the shootings of last week. In fairness to a President for whom I have very little respect or accolades, I must say he did a respectable job. He seemed to be honestly trying to offer comfort to the families and the victims present.
President Obama was able to make the distinction between the enlisted Muslims and the "twisted" Muslim ideologue who killed his fellow soldiers and a civilian. "No faith justifies murderous and craven acts."
The glaringly obvious fact in all of this press coverage is the fact that no one in the military or in elected office, except for a precious few, is able to utter the truth - this was an act of terrorism and as more facts emerge, this is a Muslim member of our military hell bent on jihad. This was a domestic act of terrorism. Period.
Senator Lieberman was the only politician brave enough to point to the obvious on the Sunday morning talk shows. He named this tragedy for what it is - a Muslim blinded by his own extreme ideology, committed to not carrying out his impending deployment overseas and voicing his distress over America being at war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This was no starry-eyed kid. This is a 39 year old man who is being handled with kid gloves solely because of his religion. How is that any more justifiable than the people who arrived at the correct conclusion - that his crime was committed because of his religious beliefs?
Evan Thomas of Newsweek says he "cringed that he (the shooter) is a Muslim" and that it would inflame the "right-wing". So much for journalistic professionalism. It is standard knee-jerk response of the left in this country to go to the stereotype of those on the right side of the political aisle. To the left, conservatives are all knuckle dragging hillbillies without educations or common sense. The knuckle draggers will go berserk and take matters into their own hands. Only the left elites would continue to coddle those most in need of help and intervention.
And, blame ordinary Americans, not the criminal.
President Obama, as candidate Obama, went out of his way to tell Muslim voters that he would always "stand with you" in the event of any backlash within the community. President Bush was the same way. After the attacks of 9/11/01, he went out of his way to embrace Muslims, which is so conveniently forgotten by the left. The left truly believes they have the market on compassion.
The disturbing part of the whole event also points to the coldness in the President's personality. He has a stony lack of empathy that is expressed in speeches. Immediately after the tragic event at Fort Hood, Obama was speaking at the Department of Interior to a group of Native Americans. He began his speech with a full two minutes of banter with the audience, even giving a "shout out" to a member of the audience. It was surreal. Instead of immediately opening with comments about the shootings, he chose to be Mister campaigner-in-chief. It was undignified and offensive.
It is a relief to be able to compliment President Obama on his words delivered today. He is not a warm man. He had his ever present teleprompter. After eight years of the emotions of George W. Bush, it is a stark contrast. Obama is not smooth or sophisticated in his off the cuff remarks.
The first sentences out of the mouths of elected officials and military officers was the plea that no one jump to any conclusions. All the touchy-feely elites were too busy giving cover to the fact that this was brought on by a different kind of extremist - not the 'right wing' conservative Republican. Apparently there are good extremists and bad extremists and those on television interviews get to choose sides.
David Brooks writes in The New York Times, "The conversation in the first few days after the massacre was well intentioned, but it suggested a willful flight from reality. It ignored the fact that the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the central feature of American foreign policy. It ignored the fact that this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar. If denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn't the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation."
General Casey said on a Sunday show, "You know there's been a lot of speculation going on, and probably the curiosity is a good thing, but we have to be careful, because we can't jump to conclusions no based on little snippets of information that come out." Jump to conclusions? It's called connecting the dots, General Casey. And, there is plenty of evidence growing that the Army superiors of the murderer chose to turn their collective heads away when folks like Army doctor Val Finnell alerted higher-ups about the murderer's anti-American rants.
Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote a thoughtful piece for The Wall Street Journal: "What is hard to ignore, now, is the growing derangement on all matters involving terrorism and Muslim sensitivities. Its chief symptoms: a palpitating fear of discomfiting facts and a willingness to discard those facts and embrace the richest possible variety of ludicrous theories as to the motives behind an act of Islamic terrorism. All this we have seen before but never in such naked form. The days following the Fort Hood rampage have told us more than we want to know, perhaps, about the depth and reach of this epidemic."
Rabinowitz points to another quote from General Casey: "This terrible event would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty." Stunning.
This attitude is what silences people, people who witness suspicious looking behavior, or hear utterances that are disturbing. We are no better off in this aspect than we were before 9/11/01. Political correctness tied the hands of our military and the unbelievable event of mass murder by a U.S. soldier - a trained psychiatrist who didn't see deployment himself - on the largest military installation in the world. The mass murder that was the worst domestic terror attack on our soil since 9/11/01 happened right before their eyes. This guy wasn't even the usual "gosh, he was so quiet" type who shocks others with an unexpected attack on others. This guy ranted about attacks on fellow Muslims, about the wars being fought overseas, about perceived harassment because of his faith. He hired a lawyer and was trying to be discharged. Red flags, anyone?
We Americans don't want to believe the ever increasing threats on our country right here in our everyday life. The Bush administration was successful for seven years in keeping us safe at home, for breaking up developing plots at home. The tide has turned. Will we allow our current leaders to do anything short of the same?