Moral seriousness and the Fort Hood massacre

Glancing back on my earliest posts, I see that I cited David Brooks on occasion.  Eventually, his indirection and half-measured tone got to me, and I came to read him less and less.  After the NYT opinionators went behind the Times Select wall, I lost sight of him, and once that particular wall came down, I had no interest in reading his columns again.

By chance, I happened to look at this piece by Brooks.  Titled “The Rush to Therapy,” it deals with the disgraceful portrayal in MSM of the Fort Hood killer as some sort of victim – of harrassment, of the wars we are waging, of second-hand traumatic stress, of whatever apology will serve to avoid calling this mass murderer what he appears to be:  an ideological co-religionist of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

I had no intention of posting on this assault on our military, but I found Brook’s piece compelling.

With their suicide bombings and terrorist acts, adherents to this narrative have made themselves central to global politics. They are the ones who go into crowded rooms, shout “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” and then start murdering.

When Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan did that in Fort Hood, Tex., last week, many Americans had an understandable and, in some ways, admirable reaction. They didn’t want the horror to become a pretext for anti-Muslim bigotry. [. . .]

The conversation in the first few days after the massacre was well intentioned, but it suggested a willful flight from reality. It ignored the fact that the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the central feature of American foreign policy. It ignored the fact that this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.

It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.

Well said.  I may go back to reading David Brooks.


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