Focusing on Ft. Hood Killer’s Beliefs an Easy Out to Avoid Deeper Reasons for the Massacre

Posted: 6 November 2009 by Editors in Political Science
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“It is possible that having been at Walter Reed and having heard all these stories and been an Army psychiatrist and then knowing that he was going to deploy, that all of that caused him to snap,” said Aaron Glantz, editor of New America Media who focuses on the effects of the Iraq War on U.S. military personnel, to Amy Goodman at Democracy Now!.

by Mark Ames

6 Nov 09 | AlterNet

That alleged killer Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is a Muslim is not enough to explain the motive for the attacks.

It’s hard to pinpoint what’s the most shocking thing about Major Malik Nadal Hasan’s shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas. I’ll start with this: there’s nothing all that ground-breaking about it. Happens all the time, it’s just that we’re a nation of amnesiacs who forget all the unpleasantries, and refuse to learn the valuable lessons.

For starters, Fort Hood is located in Killeen, Texas—where one of the deadliest rampage shootings in American history took place in 1991, when an unemployed ex-Navy enlistee, George Hennard Jr., crashed his pickup into a popular cafeteria, pulled out two handguns (Hasan also used two handguns), and murdered 23 people before taking his own life. The day before the massacre, Hennard was eating a hamburger in a local restaurant watching the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and, according to the manager, “When an interview with Anita Hill came on, he just went off. He started screaming, ‘You dumb bitch! You bastards opened the door for all the women!’”

So yesterday’s Fort Hood shooting isn’t the worst or most deranged mass-killing in Killeen’s history—not by a longshot. The mainstream media is enabling the screaming about the Muslim traitors in our midst, but Hasan killed far fewer Americans than the white, racist George Hennard. And they were bested by the federal government in nearby Waco Texas, in 1993, when federal forces slaughtered some 75 men, women and children in the Branch Davidian compound.

But in what may seem like a strange coincidence, Maj. Hasan and Killeen are connected to another American shooting rampage. Killeen held the record for America’s worst shooting massacre until 2007, when Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 33 fellow students. And Malik Nadal Hasan graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997. Both Hasan and Cho were bullied and harassed—Hasan’s cousin told reporters that after 9/11, his military comrades regularly abused him, calling him “camel jockey.” But the cousin insisted that Hasan’s opposition to the war didn’t grow out of the bullying, but rather from the stories he heard while interning as a psychiatric counselor to veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Hasan even hired an attorney to try to come to a settlement with the US government and leave the service, but they wouldn’t settle for a deal and instead forced him to deploy. He apparently fought it up to the day before his deployment—and instead of going to the war, he brought the war to the US military.

Read the full article

Read more of Mark Ames at eXiledonline.com. He is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond. Listen to his interviews with Scott Horton on AntiWar Radio.

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