GUEST COMMENTARY: Killings shift focus from real problem
Picking up The Daily Cougar Nov. 9, I expected to find a piece that discussed the events of the weekend at my former duty station, Fort Hood.
The horrendous slaughter of unarmed soldiers came as a shock to me. But the backlash was not surprising. In no time, the mainstream media was already shaping the thoughts of susceptible young minds.
For the sake of full disclosure, I am a former counterintelligence agent with the U.S. Army and served at Fort Hood and in Iraq.
First, ‘Allahu Akbar’ is not in any way a Muslim ‘Alamo’ cry, and therefore cannot be taken as evidence for terrorist motives. Literally, it means ‘God is Great,’ as in ‘God is good, God is great; let us thank him for our food.’
Any of Timothy Mathis’ Muslim friends could have done that fact checking for him. In fact, commercial pilots on Islamic airliners say this over the intercom before takeoff and landing. It only means, ‘I am not in control of everything. God plays his part, and God is great.’
Second, Mathis’ claim of post-traumatic stress disorder is ludicrous. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was a mental health physician at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Fort Hood, the most heavily deployed base in the contiguous U.S.
He listened to more firsthand reports of war atrocities in a day than Mathis has ever heard. It was Hasan’s job to convince these soldiers that these atrocities, while tragic, were in the soldier’s line of duty and in no way should affect future performance on the battlefield.
If anyone wants evidence of this, please research U.S. soldier suicide rates in Iraq and their correlation to the anti-psychotic drugs prescribed to them. The fact that Hasan had full access to these drugs has not been mentioned, though the media has reported fairly from his current and prior chain of command officers, who all said that he performed his duties exceptionally.
Third, the Army takes counter-terrorism and force protection’ quite seriously. I can speak from experience that if a soldier at Fort Hood raised suspicions about Hasan, he would have been fully investigated. And his lifestyle and religious practices would not have escaped their notice.
There are ways to work around racial profiling when it comes to report writing and investigating. No one who works in the area of military intelligence is really that stupid.
The real tragedy is that Hasan was not fired upon and killed immediately by the room full of combat-ready soldiers. On Army bases, soldiers are not allowed to carry personal weapons. Personal weapons must be kept at a soldier’s unit armory.
While this might make sense to some, only law-abiding people listen to such laws. Criminals do not.
A similar situation happened in Temple 18 years ago at a Luby’s. A person drove through a restaurant wall and began firing on people.
One of the survivors, Suzanna Hupp, saw both of her parents gunned down, but was unable to act because she had followed the law and left her handgun in her car’s glove compartment.
Hupp reportedly stated that she felt like it was her fault for following the law. She later became a member of the Texas House of Representatives and challenged laws that threatened the Second Amendment.
So, please, let’s stop the hate-mongering. Whether Hasan was distressed about the deaths of Muslims because he was Muslim or because he was mentally disturbed is something that may never be known.
What we do know is that this tragedy and others, such as the Luby’s massacre, Sept. 11 and the Virginia Tech killings, can be avoided in the future only if we respect the Second Amendment. Laws restricting the Second Amendment protect criminals, not the innocent.
Ike Renner is a mechanical engineering technologies junior and may be reached at [email protected]