Saturday, November 28, 2009

Will Hasan's murders lead to the end of PC? Don't count on it.

Mark Steyn answers what he calls the "twaddle" coming out of the left in Canada who argue that hate speech can lead to "unspeakable crimes." As he points out Nidal Hasan's murderous rampage at Fort Hood is a prime example of how political correctness created an environment where Hasan could give off all the stink of wanting to kill non-Muslims, but everyone was afraid to say or do anything about it.
Major Hasan couldn’t have been more straightforward about who and what he was. An army psychiatrist, he put “SoA”—i.e., “Soldier of Allah”—on his business card. At the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, he was reprimanded for trying to persuade patients to convert to Islam and fellow pupils objected to his constant “anti-American propaganda,” but, as the Associated Press reported, “a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal written complaint.”

This is your brain on political correctness.

As the writer Barry Rubin pointed out, Major Hasan was the first mass murderer in U.S. history to give a PowerPoint presentation outlining the rationale for the crime he was about to commit. And he gave the presentation to a roomful of fellow army psychiatrists and doctors. Some of whom glanced queasily at their colleagues, but none of whom actually spoke up. And, when the question of whether then-Captain Hasan was, in fact, “psychotic,” the policy committee at Walter Reed Army Medical Center worried “how would it look if we kick out one of the few Muslim residents.”
Just think if, instead of making statements sympathizing with jihadists who kill Americans, he'd been making the exact same statements about neo-Nazis who kill blacks, or even Israelis who kill Palestinians. The Army would have been all over such statements. But political correctness throws a blanket of protection on the exact group who is most voluble about their desire to kill Americans and our allies.
And even when the slaughter had happened, much of the media found it easier to slander both the U.S. military and the general populace than to confront the evidence. The Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano professed to be most worried about an “anti-Muslim backlash” from the knuckledragging bozo citizenry she has the forlorn task of attempting to hold in check. This is the Jennifer Lynch argument: the priority is always some hypothetical atrocity waiting to happen, no matter how many times we ace that test: there was no “anti-Muslim backlash” after 3,000 corpses on Sept. 11, or after Bali, Madrid or London. Muslims have certainly been murdered in New York and London but by their co-religionists on 9/11 and 7/7 rather than by any “Islamophobes.”

As for the military, well, obviously, they’re a bunch of Bush-scarred psychos who could snap at any moment. Newsweek called the mass murder “A Symptom of a Military on the Brink”: “A psychiatrist who was set to deploy to Iraq at the end of the month, Hasan reportedly opened fire around the Fort Hood Readiness Center,” wrote Andrew Bast. “It comes at a time when the stress of combat has affected so many soldiers individually that it makes it increasingly difficult for the military as a whole to deploy for wars abroad.” No mention of the words “Islam” or “Muslim,” but Mr. Bast was concerned to “get at the root causes of soldier stresses.” As in post-traumatic stress disorder. Operative word “post”: you get it after you’ve been in combat. Major Hasan had never been in combat.

Until Nov. 5, PTSD was something you got when you returned from battle overseas and manifested itself in sleeplessness, nightmares, or, in extreme circumstances, suicide. After Nov. 5, PTSD was apparently spread by shaking hands and manifested itself in gunning down large numbers of people while yelling “Allahu akbar!”

This is your brain on political correctness.
The only question is whether we've gone so far down the road to a state of PC-induced preemptive surrender that we can protect ourselves against future Hasans.
Instead, asked “Who ya gonna believe—The Celebrate Diversity Handbook or your lyin’ eyes?”, more and more of us plump for the former, if only for a quiet life. Commissar Lynch has it exactly backwards: it’s the craven submission to political correctness, the willingness to leave your marbles with the Diversity CafĂ© hat-check girl, that leads to death—real death, with real corpses, from Texas to Ontario. And when the guy’s on the table firing wildly and screaming “Allahu akbar!”, the PC enforcers won’t be there for you.
If the Army adopts General Casey's concern that an even bigger tragedy than the Fort Hood shootings would be if there were a backlash against "if our diversity becomes a casualty here." It's one thing to be proud of Muslim soldiers who perform nobly in the armed forces. It's another thing to willfully close our eyes to murderous intentions simply because those threats are coming from a Muslim. And with an attitude like General Casey's don't expect any changes to come about except perhaps a directive that any psychiatrist who makes power point presentations praising jihad should be watched extremely closely. Just don't expect the next guy to be so kind as to telegraph his intentions quite so obviously. Not all future mass murderers are so considerate.