Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Asleep at the switch again

In the wake of the outrage at Fort Hood, we have learned that Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s connection with radical Islamic elements was previously known to the authorities. In fact intelligence agencies intercepted communications last year and this year between the murderous military psychiatrist and a radical cleric in Yemen notorious for his incendiary anti-American teachings.

Yet the federal authorities dropped their inquiries into the matter after deciding, preposterously, that Hasan’s messages did not suggest any threat of violence. It was concluded that no further action was warranted, government officials acknowledged on Monday. “There was no indication that Major Hasan was planning an imminent attack at all, or that he was directed to do anything,” one senior investigator said. This credulousnesss recalls the standard question on US immigration forms: “Do you plan to assassinate the president of the United States?” What potential assassin would say yes?

Oh. but there is good news. Officials said the F.B.I. and the Defense Department would be reviewing their earlier assessment of Major Hasan to determine whether it was handled correctly. No doubt we will learn, many months later, that, ahem, “mistakes were made.”

And what of the Yemeni cleric with whom Hasan had these “harmless” exchanges? On Monday Anwar al-Awlaki praised the major on his Web site, saying that he “did the right thing” in attacking soldiers preparing to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq. The imam whom Major Hasan made contact with is an American citizen born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents. So much for the notion that American Muslims are different from their angry counterparts in Europe.

The cleric further stated, “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.” Then Awlaki added, “The only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the U.S. Army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.”

Supposedly, Awlaki’s radicalism developed only since he left the US in 2002. Yet according to the New York Times (Nov. 10), “[i]n 2000 and 2001, Mr. Awlaki served as an imam at two mosques in the United States frequented by three future Sept. 11 hijackers. Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi attended the Rabat mosque in San Diego, where Mr. Awlaki later admitted meeting Mr. Hazmi several times but ‘claimed not to remember any specifics of what they discussed,’ according to the report of the national Sept. 11 commission. Both Mr. Hazmi and another hijacker, Hani Hanjour, later attended the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Va., after Mr. Awlaki had moved there in early 2001. The Sept. 11 commission report expressed ‘suspicion’ about the coincidence, but said its investigators were unable [sic] to find Mr. Awlaki to question him.”

The conclusion is clear. No Muslim should be permitted to serve in the United States armed forces if this person has a primary loyalty to another cause that would incline him to betray his commitment. There should be no reluctance about conducting--and concluding--thorough investigations to root out such individuals. In the Hasan case, though, there clearly was such reluctance--with the tragic results that we know.

Why then did our intelligence agencies and the Army drop the ball?

The root cause is the intellectual disease of multiculturalism, the notion that all cultures are equally valuable. Then there is the corollary of guilt over colonialism and imperialism.

We must get over these delusions. And we must also stop being frightened by the spurious slur of "Islamophobia." There are valid historical reasons for being wary of Islam, with its virulent intolerance, misogyny and homophobia, and aggrieved triumphalism.

In other postings on this site I have discussed the fables that pass for historical accounts of the origins of Islam. These fables are uncritically recycled by such “useful idiots” as Karen Armstrong and John Esposito. Here we have freedom of inquiry. Yet hobbled by political correctness, few are inclined to pursue it. In Islamic countries there is no such freedom, even theoretically; no one is permitted to question the established narrative.

On this blog I have presented the findings of scholarly work, which is massive, that does in fact question these accounts. I am currently editing these contributions into a larger whole.


Blogger Burk said...

Right- next thing, the US should be Muslimrein.

How effective would it be to tell every one who has had the least suspicion aroused through a surveillance dragnet that: a. they are being watched by big brother, and b. they can't serve in the armed forces? I think it would have the opposite effect from what you intend, generating intense embitterment in individuals that their privacy is being violated and their motives suspected, and weakening the open-ness of our institutions whose strength lies in meritocracy and diversity, not in McCarthyite witch hunting. People should only be pulled over when investigators have quite a bit to go on, which they didn't here.

I'd agree that we need some better mechanism to suppress instigators of hate-filled mosques, web sites, and the like, perhaps using laws against treason and insurrection, etc. But trying to cleanse the government of unstable one-off disaffected people is not something we can or should take to extremes. Think of the postal service!

2:34 PM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

One may reasonably debate whether the anti-Western attacks stem a) from a fringe jihadist element that is unrepresentative of Islam as a whole; or b) from certain well established strands of Muslim history, practice, and collective character. It seems to me that one cannot exclude the possibility of b) a priori. Hence "Islamophobia" or at least Islamo-wariness is not impermissible.

What should not be in dispute is the right of Western societies to defend themselves--sometimes proactively--against this aggresssion. Not to do so places our own citizens at enormous risk and emboldens the attackers in their belief that the West is hopelessly decadent and ripe for toppling by a continuing crescendo of violence.

Of course the multicultis do not want us to take any such protective action. Let the crescent ascend over our lives, as we settle into the langor of perpetual dhimmitude. That is their program, and it must be solidly rejected.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Burk said...

I'll take some of my comment back.. it seems as though there were plenty of warning signs, not perhaps from sigint, but from colleagues on the ground.

I'll agree also that Islam is violent from the very core, so the state is justified in extending its ideology a relatively short leash, as it should to private militias and other violent fringe groups, when they show signs of violence and frank insurrection. Some of the teabaggers come to mind(!). I sympathize with the hard line that France takes against the veil, as well.

But one has to keep in mind that the crescendo of violence that jihaddis and muslims historically are so enamored of, while effective in the ancient setting of Islam and the ancient conquests, {where knowing which way the wind (of power) blew was the core survival skill}, is really not such a turn-on to those of us in the West living in strong states, and is unlikely to win "hearts and minds".

So I think that alarmism about our "weakness" and "decadence" remains quite out of place. We have ample resources, political and military, to discourage violent extremism, as the record of such violence in the US indicates. Pakistan is a much more interesting case- more divided in loyalty and on the knife edge of legitimacy, for/against jihadism.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Onlooker said...

The Moslem concept of Taqiyya seems to be unknown to many in the West. It concerns the right, amounting to an injunction, to lie to a non-Moslem individual or group (e.g. a court of law) if that lie should further the interests of Islam, or save the liar from punishment by non-believers.

10:49 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home