Death in These United States

Fort Hood, Thursday.

There’s only one relevant question regarding Major Nidal Malik Hasan: Did he act alone?

That was the lingering question Thursday afternoon, when the news talked of “multiple suspects” in the Fort Hood shootings. Big difference between a sole sorry nutjob and a conspiracy.

But when the potential conspiracy evaporated — the other suspects were cleared — well, folks went on looking for one anyway. There are books to move, after all.

Absent a formal conspiracy, it’s still reasonable to consider influence. We do it all the time. A disgruntled ex-employee who shoots up an office building isn’t a political actor. A man who shoots up a church while a copy of Bernard Goldberg’s hit list rests on his coffeetable is. So is a man who assassinates an abortion doctor because he’s an abortion doctor.

A gun is just as dangerous in the hand of a militant jihadist as that of a militant racist or a militant fundamentalist. Especially when the gunman swims in a culture of real or metaphorical violence.

And that’s what we’re not yet seeing here. It’s not like we’ve just lived through months of Muslims using violent imagery at public protets. It’s not like we’ve seen Muslims carry guns to Presidential events. It’s not like Muslims stormed the Capitol on Thursday, egged on by Keith Ellison’s revolutionary rhetoric.

Instead, we know little more this morning than we did Thursday night. Hasan was nice to his neighbors. Hasan argued with fellow soldiers about whether the War on Terror was a war against Islam. Hasan’s car was keyed by a fellow soldier who didn’t like his religion. Hasan was a poor counselor during training. Hasan was an excellent counselor at Fort Hood. Hasan spent most of his life in and around Virginia. Hasan was moved to Texas in July. Hasan was married to the military. Hasan wanted out.

The known facts suggest that Hasan was an adult human being. They tell us nothing else, unless you think “and he fired fifty rounds, killing thirteen people” changes everything.

The Scribd post by “NidalHasan”? Read it, and tell us whether you think he was defending suicide bombings, or explaining them in context. (Never mind that we also don’t know whether the poster is the shooter.) The reported shouts of Allahu Akbar as he started firing? Hasan is a devout Muslim. Could very well be a battle cry. Could also be something else entirely.

All we can say with certainty right now is that the shooting was premeditated. But with Hasan in a coma, and his computer confiscated, nobody in public has a fucking clue why.


That seventh ‘graph reads like Ellroy. Love it.

This is going to go so wrongly, and so sadly. I’m so sad by the air surrounding this. And I think I’m already exhausted by it as well.

My own experience with wingnuts and yours tells us that they won’t listen. Once they get a damn idea stuck in their head they won’t let it go. A large chunk of that is the inferiority/inadequacy/ignorance issues they have.

Based on the profiled race and religion of most mass murders, I should be extremely afraid of white Christians.

It seems that these folks are very quick to excuse similar folks sins (in particular those that agree with them) and quick to pin the blame on others. As a minority, I’m more aware of this all too human behavior than I should be. I hate it when I hear “Arr U Asians Rook Arike” and I get pissed when my Asian “cousins” and real relatives bitch about whites and other minorities in the same way. We are individuals, but we are quick to slap on labels.

In one of the quirks of Canada City, one of my neighbors is a West Indian Christian Fundamentalist and the other neighbor is a Secular Muslim from Pakistan and, shockingly, I like them both. Unfortunately, a good friend of mine pissed me off when he visited and was shocked to learn that my Muslim neighbor wasn’t a Islamoterrorist and why I wasn’t paranoid of him. My good friend is a RWer (but not one of the totally stupid ones but he, sadly, still has his moments) and sheltered in a white bread upper class neighborhood all his life.

Oh well. The only nice thing about wingnuts I can say about them is that they’re soooooooooo predictable in their behavior.

Kos’ over sincerity annoys me, but there are times when he hit Tancredo’s sore spot and bitchslapped the ironically named (ends with a vowel) racist hard.

“Tom, I’m a veteran. Okay?” Moulitas responded. “I did not get a deferment because I was too depressed to fight a war I supported in Vietnam. I’m a veteran. They want a more effective V.A. …”

“You’re not going to do that. You’re not going to try to insult me that way and then pretend like we’re just going on and talk about that. You either apologize …” When Moulitas did not apologize, Tancredo simply took out his earpiece and walked away.

As a Republican student activist, Tancredo spoke out in favor of the Vietnam War but did not serve.

Why should he apologize?

Speaking of wingnuts, we have the first call for Americans to reject (oh dear) SOCIALISM on the house floor. 9 minutes into the day, even. (Of course, it is the one-minute speeches — where crazy reigns supreme.)

ManchuCandidate: It was a bit Michael-Mooreish of Kos to ambush Tancredo like that; Tom did open the door, but it was a suckerpunch during an…

Oh, screw it. Any day that racist, xenophobic pile of goo gets what’s coming to him is a GOOD FUCKING DAY.

Hey folks, been away for awhile, anything new in the world? No? Okay then, carry on.

@Just Nabisco: Lefty’s roundups are the best, but it’s not even 7 am in Arnie Land. So, no interwebs where youse at, or you didn’t want to be looking at stinque in that place?

Stillers v Broncos Monday night. Denver on the rebound after being sent to the glue factory last week?

From a fellow member of his mosque in Killeen:

“When a white guy shoots up a post office, they call that going postal,” said Victor Benjamin II, 30, a former member of the Army. “But when a Muslim does it, they call it jihad.

“Ultimately it was Brother Nidal’s doing, but the command should be held accountable,” Mr. Benjamin said. “G.I.’s are like any equipment in the Army. When it breaks, those who were in charge of keeping it fit should be held responsible for it.”

“In other news, 3,699 to 13,999 Muslims serving in the U. S. military didn’t go on a shooting spree yesterday.

“It’s not the religion. It’s not the guns. It’s the crazy. And no one group has a lock on crazy. ”

And . . . “As an Islamic terrorist, he sucks.”
via, via

Nice roundup of right-wing Hasan insanity here.

@chicago bureau:

Anybody with a “service” record like Tancredo should have known better that to start bringing up “veterans want this, blah blah” with an ACTUAL veteran of the war he was too chicken to fight. I’d think that was day 1 of Debate 101: “don’t set up your opponents counterattacks for him”.

@redmanlaw: A little of both. Most of the week I was without access to a compu, and without time to even glance at my phone. Threw my back out which kept me from doing much outside of business hours except for liquid painkillers. From tomorrow I’ll be in West by God Virginia where I’m not even sure if they have landlines let alone internet.

@blogenfreude: On the drive back yesterday I had the misfortune of tuning in Michael Savage. He knows it was an act of terruh, and had the batshit wingnuttery to prove it. The mil types I was with this week pretty much agreed that it was the crazee that got to this guy, not his being mooslem.

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