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Paul Hayden

Political Correctness and Needless Insanity

November 9, 2009

The gruesome slayings of 13 Army troops at Fort Hood, Texas last week by a fellow "soldier" could have been avoided if the warning signs this man provided had been heeded. Instead, not only were his pleas to be released from military service ignored, he was awaiting an assignment to Iraq—the last place the Army should have been sending a malcontent who had a lousy performance appraisal on top of his personal issues with the war on terror.

But this is where the culture of political correctness takes us, because with it, simple concepts of right and wrong are blurred, obfuscated, and glossed over until many people lose sight of the truth. Whatever else this man Major Nidal Malik Hasan was, he certainly was not a victim, no matter how mightily the mainstream press will try to make him into one.

Unfortunately, PC can push some of us so far that we call for draconian measures that make no more sense than the PC itself. I'm not saying that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in our Armed Forces. Many do, and with distinction. However, this individual was clearly showing signs that he was not on our side, and he was not challenged on his anti-American statements. In a recent Fox News article, a classmate said Hasan once gave a jarring presentation to students in which he argued the war on terrorism was a war against Islam, and "made himself a lightning rod for things" when he felt his religious beliefs were challenged. How on earth could the Army have been so ignorant as to what this man believed, to the point that they ordered him deployed to Iraq, the situation that he detested and spoke out so strongly against?

In my opinion, the Army has no choice but to conduct a thorough in-house investigation of this incident and everything that led up to it, and let the chips fall where they may. The Inspector General and the Army's Criminal Investigation Service should be given free reign to ask the tough questions and get to the truth of why Hasan's controversial statements were overlooked, as was his apparent desire not to be deployed to one of the focal points of the war on terror. Unfortunately, a real and honest investigation may never happen. Why not? Well, to do so would surely open up the Pandora's Box of recommending what the liberals would consider as "profiling," or singling out troops because of their religion for special attention, whether or not that was the real intent. Their hyperemotional arguments of discrimination, whether or not that has any part to play in proposed future policies, will overcome any common sense solution, no matter how justifiable it may be.

All the talking about Hasan's motives and fears about deployment miss the bigger issue—the ambivalence about and division because of the war on terror. Never before has our nation so straight-jacketed itself in fighting a mortal enemy, due to PC considerations. And, with the possible exception of Vietnam, never before have our people been as divided about the justification for the fight, at least in part because of the PC culture in which we live.

Taking the political considerations aside, it cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars to send Hasan through medical school and many thousands more for his pay and benefits as an Army officer. However, I would gladly have seen Uncle Sam eat that cost to discharge Hasan when it became clear that he was a conflicted if not disloyal American, even though he allegedly offered to repay the cost of his education. In a PC world, that was probably the best-case scenario—get rid of this guy before he became a cancer, and get the money back from him if you can. However, in the pre-Vietnam world that I was born into, we would have had a simple word for Hasan's actions—treason. And in acting out his simmering anti-American feelings by cold-bloodedly murdering innocent soldiers—fellow soldiers—his ultimately treasonous agenda came to the surface. The real "tragedy" here is that in a world that more clearly saw right and wrong and held people accountable for their actions, Hasan never would have gotten this far.

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