Well. I had planned to keep the Tale of the Tigers post at the top for a couple of days longer but yesterday’s Fort Hood, Texas murder spree perpetrated by Major Nidal Malik Hasan demands commentary—especially since I sort of predicted that such events would occur and are, in fact, being encouraged by the president’s vacillation regarding Afghanistan.
Hasan, 39 and a military psychiatrist whose medical education was paid for by the U.S. Army of which he is a member, is a native-born American and a Muslim. According to reports today, he walked into a Readiness Center at the fort, got up on a table and began firing. This Readiness Center is the place where soldiers who are about to deploy get counseling to assure that their home affairs are in order before they go to places like Afghanistan, or anywhere out of the country, for that matter. Fort Hood’s Readiness Center has cubicles in it, so when Hasan was shooting, he was firing at the tops of heads. The result: 12 dead yesterday, one more dead today and 30 wounded. Some of the dead and wounded were shot in the back.
One of the wounded is local civilian DOD police officer Kimberly Munley, who exchanged fire with Hasan and stopped the increase of his body count. Both survived, but Hasan is unconscious and on life support. According to reports this morning, Hasan yelled “Allah u Akbar” as he fired.
It’s difficult to fight the impulse to hatred and vengeance for this one.
More than that, this incident takes us back to when another Muslim called Hasan turned on his fellow soldiers. Recalling that, I began to wonder how often U.S. military have turned their weapons on those who trusted them most.
I can’t recall any others but these two incidents but I would appreciate it if someone would point them out.
In the meantime, I hope that this particular Hasan lives to face those whom he has betrayed--those who survived, that is.
[A retired colonel who worked with Hasan at the Fort Hood psyche ward] heard Hasan say that “maybe the Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor” in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also heard Hasan comment that he was “almost sort of happy” about a shooting at a Little Rock recruitment center.
The colonel confirms that Hasan was about to be deployed but did not say whether it was to be to Iraq or Afghanistan.
UPDATE: Sergeant Kimberly Munley, civilian police officer, Heroine.
Munley, who had been trained in active-response tactics, rushed into the building and confronted the shooter as he was turning a corner, [Lt. General Bob] Cone said.
"It was an amazing and an aggressive performance by this police officer," Cone said.
Munley was only a few feet from crazed Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan when she opened fire.
Wounded in the exchange of gunfire, Munley was reported in stable condition at a local hospital.
Someone at Ace's mentioned that it's a bit of poetic justice that this particular Islamist (yes) was taken down by a woman. I concur.