Kind of reminds me of that old Saturday Night Live skit on “The Shooting of Buckwheat.” You know: “What was he like?” “Nice guy, quiet, kept to himself.” “Are you surprised he shot Buckwheat?” “Oh, no — it’s all he ever talked about.”
Given the above facts, would you be surprised to learn that as of the time of this post, the L.A. Times story on the shooting has no mention of the shooter’s religion, his alleged rants against U.S. involvement in Iraq, his alleged approval of suicide bombings, or the allegations that he was shouting something in Arabic as he shot?
Now, keep in mind my first injunction above. This is a breaking story, and we don’t know for sure what his motivations were. Don’t jump to conclusions. However, I do note that the L.A. Times saw fit to spend a couple of paragraphs talking about suicides at Army bases due to deployments to the war:Base personnel have accounted for more suicides than any other Army post since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with 75 tallied through July of this year. Nine of those suicides occurred in 2009, counting two in overseas war zones.
Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, has been leading an effort to reduce the number of Army suicides, which has climbed sharply this year, possibly as a result from long and repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Somehow, this is relevant, even though Hasan was never deployed to the war, even once. But his religion? His rants against the war? His desperate attempts to avoid deployment? His alleged shouting in Arabic? His alleged approval of suicide bombings? There is not one word about any of that.
Regardless of what Hasan’s motivation turns out to be, this information is relevant to the overall assessment. It could turn out that Hasan’s motivations have nothing to do with the war or Islam. Based on what I’m reading tonight, that appears unlikely . . . but I’m not jumping to any conclusions.
But the fact that we don’t know his motivations yet with crystal clarity is no excuse for burying the facts I have just related to you. As we try to figure out what’s going on, those facts matter. If you read Hot Air (or this site) you’re learning those facts. If you read the L.A. Times, they are being hidden from you.
And it’s quite clear why: political correctness. The L.A. Times will bury this as long as they can — probably until they’re embarrassed into revealing it due to its clear relevance. They will applaud themselves for being sober and cautious — something they would never do if the shooter were an aficionado of Rush Limbaugh instead of Allah and anti-American rants.
And so, a large news organization pats itself on the back for its correct beliefs — as its readers have no idea what’s going on.
Die, Big Media. Die already.
VDH comments on an Obama Administration statement:
I do not quite then understand our official government statements thatMore VDH:'the attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has (sic) led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust.'In theory this sounds magnanimous and serious. In fact, I would like to see examples of 'some' and serial incidents where very many Americans out of unwarranted furor have helped breed 'fear and mistrust'.
On the other hand, one could instead see Hasan in a long line of killers and would-be murderers of the last decade that in some loose way express an Islamic anger at either American culture or the United States government or both, as a way of elevating their own sense of failure into some sort of legitimate cosmic jihad.And more VDH:
Prior to 2009, there have been at least 20 terrorist plots broken up after September 11, 2001—aimed at subways, malls, military bases, airports, bridges, and synagogues. Those foiled cabals are in addition to more common scattered murdering by freelancing angry killers, who in some very general way either evoked radical Islam, their own faith, the Palestinian cause, al-Qaedistic Islamism, or solidarity with worldwide Islam (from the Beltway sniper to the UNC and the San Francisco car murderers), and a number of lethal attacks on Jewish centers and temples resulting in numerous deaths (from the LAX attacks to the San Francisco and Seattle shootings).
In reaction officials and news people often opt for therapeutic exegeses—stress, often of the postraumatic sort, ill-feeling and bias shown Muslims, family problems, or brain-washing by nefarious outside actors—to explain the cold-blooded nature of the murdering…Die, narrative of therapeutic exegesis. Die already.
In other words, the narrative after 9/11 largely remains that Americans have given into illegitimate “fear and mistrust” of Muslims in general, rather than there is a small minority of Muslims who channels generic Islamist fantasies, so that we can assume that either formal terrorist plots or individual acts of murder will more or less occur here every 3-6 months.
At some point, if both these organized plots (see the most recent in Boston) and isolated acts of lone gunmen and homicidal drivers continue, and if the prevailing theme continues to be fears of American intolerance and unfairness to Muslims after 9/11, I think the public will resent the disconnect between what they are told to think and what they believe, on the basis of some evidence.
I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all of the facts.John at Powerline:
I think it's safe to predict that President Obama will never reach those conclusions, let alone jump to them.