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Tuesday, November 10, 2009     GET REAL

After Fort Hood massacre, political correctness has become a life and death matter

By Ed Koch

The U.S. Army and President Barack Obama are understandably seeking desperately to prevent U.S. public opinion from reaching any conclusion with respect to the motive of Major Nidal Malik Hasan who killed 12 soldiers and one civilian, and wounded 28 soldiers and one civilian last week at Fort Hood in Texas. In the court of public opinion, subject to change based on hearings to be conducted on the subject by U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, Major Hasan has been found guilty of engaging in a terrorist act. Many factors have brought the public to that conclusion.   

According to The Wall Street Journal of November 9:

    “Maj. Hasan, a U.S.-born Muslim of Jordanian and Palestinian ancestry, was slated to deploy to Afghanistan in November. Some witnesses told investigators that he shouted ‘Allahu Akbar,’ Arabic for ‘God is great,’ before he opened fire on the unarmed soldiers waiting for medical treatment Thursday.”

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That is often the cry of Muslim suicide bombers.

The New York Times of November 9, in examining the actions of Major Hasan, provided the following description regarding what took place after he entered the hall where he began shooting.

    “He bowed his head for several seconds, as if praying, stood up and drew a high-powered pistol. ‘Allahu akbar,’ he said – ‘God is great.’ And he opened fire. Within minutes he had killed 13 people.”

    “Major Hasan bought the gun used in the massacre last summer, days after arriving at Fort Hood.”

    “In recent years, he had grown more and more vocal about his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and tortured over reconciling his military duties with his religion.”

    “He complained bitterly to people at his mosque about the oppression of Muslims in the Army.”

    “Around 2004, Major Hasan started feeling disgruntled about the Army, relatives said. He described anti-Muslim harassment and sought legal advice, possibly from an Army lawyer, abut getting a discharge.”

    “Federal authorities were looking into whether there was any interaction between Mr. Hasan and an American-born imam known for giving fiery speeches at a mosque in Northern Virginia that Mr. Hasan attended in 2001. Mr. Hasan attended the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., when Anwar Al-Awlaki was the imam there, but it is not clear what influence Mr. Awlaki’s rhetoric may have had on Mr. Hasan. ”

    “During his time at Walter Reed and the uniformed Services University, Major Hasan also became increasingly vocal in his opposition to the wars. He knew much about the harsh realities of combat from having counseled returning soldiers, and he was deeply concerned about having to deploy. But over the past five years, he also began openly opposing the wars on religious grounds.”

    “A former classmate in the master’s degree program said Major Hasan gave a PowerPoint presentation about a year ago in an environmental health seminar titled, ‘Why the War on Terror Is a War on Islam.’”

    “But he was still wrestling with the quandary of being a Muslim officer in an Army fighting other Muslims. He invited Osman Danquah, the co-founder of the mosque, to dinner at Ryan’s restaurant and asked him how he should counsel young Muslim soldiers who might have objections to the war.”

    “The night before the shooting, he had dinner with Mr. Reasoner and said he felt that he should not go to Afghanistan. ‘He felt he was supposed to quit,’ Mr. Reasoner said. ‘In the Koran, it says you are not supposed to have alliances with Jews or Christians, and if you are killed in the military fighting against Muslims, you will go to hell.’”

I believe the burden of proof has shifted to those in and out of government who believe the public should withhold its opinion on whether Hasan was a terrorist or simply deranged. I have concluded that he was a terrorist.

I also believe that the U.S. Army should allow Muslims, who consider fighting other Muslims a violation of their religious beliefs, to opt out and be sent to other regions and combat zones. In Word War II, I believe Japanese American soldiers were sent to the European Theater of Operations. It is noteworthy that Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran have no religious problem in killing each other. They do it every day, sadly in large numbers. Muslim women and children are also injured and killed by Muslim suicide bombers entering local markets before blowing up themselves to wreak the most havoc.

The eight-year war between Iraq and Iran left an estimated million deaths and serious injuries. Sunni killed Shiites and Shiites killed Sunnis. They also killed one another on holy Muslim holidays like Ramadan while western countries like the U.S. and Great Britain were importuned to delay their attacks out of respect for Ramadan.

The Times of November 10 pointed out:

    “The imam whom Major Hasan made contact with is an American citizen born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents. He wrote on Monday on his English-language Web site that Major Hasan was ‘a hero.’ The cleric said, ‘He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people’”

Finally, the same Times article made the point that the radical imam lied with his comments on prior terrorist acts:

    “After the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Awlaki was quoted as disapproving of such violence and was portrayed as a moderate figure who might provide a bridge between Islam and Western democracies. But since leaving the United States in 2002 for London and later Yemen, Mr. Awlaki has become, through his Web site,, a prominent proponent of militant Islam.”

He surely is not the only terrorist to similarly so lie.

U.S. public opinion is far too intelligent to jump to a conclusion, but it is also intelligent enough to understand when it is being conned by our own government.

It seems to me that political correctness has reached the point where the FBI and the U.S. Army have allowed it to influence their investigations in life and death situations.

Edward I. Koch, who served as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, is a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave.

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