Posted by: adoseofliberty | December 4, 2009

Fort Hood: Retrospective

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA officer and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote a critical piece in the Wall Street Journal analyzing the Fort Hood massacre by Major Nidal Hasan.  He makes the surprising comparison of anti-terror tactics of the United States with the counter-terror effort in Europe, a place known for being on the vanguard of “diversity” and “multiculturalism.”  He states that “most Europeans are far less circumspect and politically correct when discussing their Muslim compatriots than are Americans.”  Although he doesn’t cite specific examples of anti-terror success in Europe, Gerecht does make quick work of the U.S. failure to stop the Hasan slaughter:

[Hasan] combines all of the factors—especially his public ruminations about American villainy in the Middle East and his overriding sense of Muslim fraternity—that should have had him under surveillance by counterintelligence units. Add the outrageous fact that he was in email correspondence with Anwar al-Awlaqi, a pro-al Qaeda imam well-known to American intelligence, and it is hard not to conclude that the FBI is still incapable of counterterrorism against an Islamic target.

He goes on to criticize the FBI for being too sensitive to religion, highlighting the stark difference between operations today and 30 years ago, by postulating how the Bureau would have handled the situation had Hasan been a Soviet sympathizer during the Cold War.  Liberal America, he argues, does its best to provide an impenetrable ideological shield around Muslims and their practices and beliefs, despite the fervent claims by terrorists and terrorist groups of the past several decades that they are participating in Islamic jihad.  Even President Barack Obama, he notes, exercises great effort to omit Islam when discussing terrorism.  Gerecht explains:

Thoughtful men should certainly not want to see a U.S. president propel a “clash of civilizations” with devout Muslims. However, clash-avoidance shouldn’t lead us into a philosophical cul-de-sac. The stakes are so enormous—jihadists would if they could let loose a weapon of mass destruction in a Western city—that we should not prevaricate out of politeness, or deceive ourselves into believing that a debate between Muslims and non-Muslims can only be counterproductive.

Discussing openly the critical issues that revolve around one of the world’s largest and fastest growing religions should not be insulting nor offensive.  Muslims are capable of thinking on their own, Gerecht states, referring to the ideas trumpeted by Iranian revolutionary Abd al-Karim Soroush.  Intelligent and pointed debate is the lifeblood of autocratic societies, democracy the end result of weeding out the bad ideas and refining the good ones.  The author offers some key questions in light of the present event:

But Westerners could certainly benefit from Mr. Obama underscoring something else he touched on in his Cairo speech: Muslims should stop blaming non-Muslims for their crippling problems. He could ask, as some Muslims have, why is it that Islam has produced so many jihadists? Why is it that Maj. Hasan’s rampage has produced so little questioning among Muslim clerics about why a man, one in a long line of Muslim militants, so easily takes God’s name to slaughter his fellow citizens?

Had Mr. Obama asked this, we might now be witnessing convulsive debate among Muslims. He missed the opportunity to start this conversation before what is clearly the first Islamist terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. He will probably get another opportunity.



  1. Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe!🙂. I’ll go and read some more!

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