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Obama salutes Fort Hood shooting victims

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“A lot of folks are angry because they feel this could have been prevented,”

Of course it should have been. But then why would you expect the terror-industrial complex to waste their time on an insane Islamic extremist army psychologist. No money in that. They are too busy fingerprinting and searching old ladies, examining Canadian passports, and rounding up AWOL grunts so they can sent back for their fourth or fifth tour and be housed, fed and clothed by the friendly neighborhood government contractor. In fact they won't be unhappy about this incident at all. Reminds everybody that the Muslim bogeyman is everywhere and is coming to get you. Great for business.

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When Christians go on shooting sprees in America, their religion is not worthy of mention. But a Muslim goes nuts and it's suddenly a religious problem? I think this guy was in psychological tatters from all the trauma he'd experienced and flipped out. Not every Muslim hates America.

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A shopping spree with mangers and robes and all those holy things? Count me in!!

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@cow76

When Christians go on shooting sprees in America, their religion is not worthy of mention. But a Muslim goes nuts and it's suddenly a religious problem?

Yes it is a religious problem. You need to see the slides of a presentation he gave to senior army doctors during what was supposed to be a discussion of medical issues. This was a year and a half ago.

Please see the slides here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/09/AR2009110903618.html?hpid=topnews

If a Christian gave a presentation on the religious justification for killing non-Christians a year and a half before killing 13 non-Christians I think it would be reasonable to conlude a link between belief and behaviour.

I think this guy was in psychological tatters from all the trauma he'd experienced and flipped out.

He had never been in warzone. Any "trauma" he experienced was by proxy.

The fact that his religious beliefs influenced his behaviour, while uncomfortable, is too important to ignore. That's the plain truth.

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It was Obama’s moment to take on the job of consoler-in-chief

Obama shows up six days after the worst Islamoterrorist attack on American soil since 9-11. Heh, more like he was finally shamed into visiting Ft. Hood.

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Saw his Fort Hood comments on FoxNews. Noticed he had to use a teleprompter there, too.

Just words, just speeches.

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Mayuki: The fact that his religious beliefs influenced his behaviour, while uncomfortable, is too important to ignore. That's the plain truth.

I agree. His religious beliefs did influence his behavior. But it's important to point of that the type of Islam he was following isn't one practiced by a majority of people in the world. So while it's relevant to point of the link between his actions and his religion, it's also important to point out that the religion he practices is a minority view. The question is why one specific religion is producing those who follow radicalized forms in greater numbers than others.

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I appreciate that President Obama would take this Veteran's Day and use it to be at Fort Hood and provide comfort and support for the families there.

Thank you Mr. President.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/09/AR2009110903618.html?hpid=topnews Interesting but does not tell us much about the guy.

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The question is why one specific religion is producing those who follow radicalized forms in greater numbers than others.

It is simply because a kind of "suicide bomber" culture has become a fad in the countries where Islam is practiced; the M.E.

This guy was a sucker for the fad, and got that confused with Islam. In fact, many posters here are also similarly confused, they are just on the other side of the fence.

There are also plenty of Christians confused about Christianity. Some of them swear they hear the voice of God and they start radical militant sects. Think of the Branch Davidians. All they believed was based on Christianity, but who calls the Christians?

Regretably, Muslims do not denounce similar fools who claim to be Muslim enough. We need to help them snap out of that mistake rather than make our own mistake of blaming Islam. We need to appeal to their shame, not take pot shots at the religion they hold dear.

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I think that people start to suspect more Islamic American people. There are about 35000 Islamic American soldiers. I don't think they are all bad but they do believe Islam is the best as Muslim. I think they could not be not good partners in squads. That is a problem. The best way is all american soldiers go home from Afghanistan.

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“And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice—in this world and the next.”

Well, Mr. President, the fact is that we do not know about the next world, although many like to pretend they do. That is the problem with people who, knowingly or unknowingly, involve themselves in evil acts.

People who have a basic grasp of the impact of wars in this world -- particularly unjust wars where so many innocent lives are ruined through death, injury or displacement -- will not be too shocked by this event. Minds will snap and all sorts of collateral damage will follow.

In Hasan's case, there were clear warning signs that were passed off or ignored through wishful thinking. The conceit of the Army was to have a high-ranking officer who is a devout Moslem who would counsel others who are having their doubts about their involvement with the killing of innocent people in wars of choice.

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Mayuki, thanks for the post. It shed some light on the situation and I now agree with you that religion was probably a factor in this particular case. However, not every Muslim murderer kills for religious reasons and I caution against over-generalisations.

I realise the guy had never been to a war zone but treating victims day after day has got to warp your morale a little.

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May God Bless and embrace them. My thoughts and prayers go out to thier families...HOOAH.

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However, not every Muslim murderer kills for religious reasons and I caution against over-generalisations.

Yes, I know that. I didn't suggest that that was the case, did I? I didn't advocate over-generalizations, or even generalizations. I think that people are so terrified of acknowledging an Islamic motivation for this massacre that they feel the need to qualify their every statement on the matter. Why?

I realise the guy had never been to a war zone but treating victims day after day has got to warp your morale a little.

Not according to another psychiatrist, even one who writes for the Huffington Post!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-mendelson-md/major-hasan-did-not-catch_b_349911.html

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Are there instances of other psychiatrists killing after counseling people through horrific ordeals? Surely there would be a large enough pool of people to sample. You not only have other military psychiatrists, but others who work in prisons with violent offenders on a daily basis, for example. Or perhaps those who spend every day working with abused children. Is there enough evidence to establish a link?

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Are there instances of other psychiatrists killing after counseling people through horrific ordeals? Surely there would be a large enough pool of people to sample.

The sample would have to include only those who are counseling people who feel guilty about committing actions that both parties strongly sense are morally wrong -- such as taking part in killing innocent people -- and where the counsellor must come up with some rationalization to try to turn wrong into right, so that the patient can feel "well enough" to go out and help to kill some more.

Psychiatrists who aren't practicing under those specific conditions would have to be excluded.

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yabits

The conceit of the Army was to have a high-ranking officer who is a devout Moslem who would counsel others who are having their doubts about their involvement with the killing of innocent people in wars of choice.

The sample would have to include only those who are counseling people who feel guilty about committing actions that both parties strongly sense are morally wrong -- such as taking part in killing innocent people -- and where the counsellor must come up with some rationalization to try to turn wrong into right, so that the patient can feel "well enough" to go out and help to kill some more.

So the soldiers returning from deployment that Hasan saw were all individuals who had moral misgivings about their experiences in the Middle East? What a bunch of crap. What, if you have PTSD it automatically means that you have ethical/moral issues with war you're fighting in? Right. There may have been some who fit into that category but the majority of patients were treated for PTSD and combat-related disorders, not ethical issues. You make it sound as if Hasan's job was to counsel soldiers who had moral misgivings about their actions in combat when in reality most of them didn't have moral issues with what they did and saw in combat and were seen by him to get medical help in coping with their PTSD symptoms. Hasan's job wasn't to reprogram soldiers having doubts or to justify the war or their actions in it as you would have us believe.

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Yabits: The sample would have to include only those who are counseling people who feel guilty about committing actions that both parties strongly sense are morally wrong -- such as taking part in killing innocent people

Hasan intentionally murdered 13 innocent people, yet your sample only wants to include doctors who feel intentionally killing innocents is morally wrong. So you're trying to choose doctors who are actually the exact opposite from Hasan. It doesn't add up.

Personally, I don't think his job was the cause. Remove radical Islam from the picture and keep his job and I think he's unlikely to kill. Remove his job but keep radical Islam in the picture and I think he's likely to kill or at the very least continue to promote the killing of innocents as morally right.

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Mayuki

Your 01:09 PM JST post and your 10:05 PM JST post were spot on.

.

SuperLib

Kudos to you as well.

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numbskull

"Regretably, Muslims do not denounce similar fools who claim to be Muslim enough."

From many Americans' point of view, this is one of the major problems that many to have negative views of Islam as a whole.

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lead

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What, if you have PTSD it automatically means that you have ethical/moral issues with war you're fighting in? Right.

You came up with that false association all by yourself. Nowhere did I suggest such a thing.

However, if one is suffering from PTSD due to battle conditions, the road to mental health is likely to be long and steep IF the moral underpinnings of the violence they are engaged in are shaky. Therapy, after all, does involve talking about the issues at the core of the human condition. Those issues are likely to involve things of a moral-ethical-spiritual nature. Common sense, right?

What you appear to be claiming by converse is that mental conditioning has nothing to do with one's effectiveness under fire. Of course, we all know that is absurd. That is why so much time and efforts are spent trying to dehumanize the enemy or attempting to build up the "right-ness" of the cause.

A person who can go through extreme violence and remain morally unaffected is either a highly enlightened being or a very sick one.

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I'm pretty sure Yabits just made up all of the above to talk around a very good point made by UNSinJapan2.

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Yabits

You should consider going to law school; you'd do well chasing ambulances.

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Hasan intentionally murdered 13 innocent people, yet your sample only wants to include doctors who feel intentionally killing innocents is morally wrong. So you're trying to choose doctors who are actually the exact opposite from Hasan. It doesn't add up.

The sample is of doctors or counselors who have a deep sense of the wrongness of destroying innocent life AND who must counsel military fighters to "feel OK" about doing just that. When the counselor is "successful," and the patient feels ready to take part in the destruction of life again, it is not too difficult to imagine the moral quandry the "healer" is placed in.

People who "feel OK" about traveling to the other side of the world to take part in unjust wars and the killing of others can not be declared to be innocent in the way that an unarmed civilian is innocent. Hasan could have taken his own life, and I believe that his act was an intent to commit suicide. But it appears to me that he was looking to take out as many "killers" as he possibly could before he was taken out. Being military combatants, they were not "innocent" as you claim.

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As USNinJapan2 said, most of the soldiers don't have a moral quandary. You're the one injecting your own moral quandaries into the soldiers heads because you have a moral quandary. Whether you personally feel the wars or just or unjust it has no impact on the soldiers minds. They'll make up their own minds based on their own experiences no matter how you feel sitting behind a computer. And personally, thinking that US soldiers share any of the thoughts that are in your head is something that even the most naive person would have trouble believing. Your thoughts are better suited for Al Queda's website, not as a blueprint for the moral compass of a US soldier.

If everything you're saying is true, if it is self-evident that the wars are unjust, or if it's beyond debate, and if Muslims would justifiably feel anger about it, then would you recommend, at the very least, keeping a close watch on Muslim soldiers or isolating them entirely until the US pulls out of both wars?

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As USNinJapan2 said, most of the soldiers don't have a moral quandary.

Well, you are essentially indicting "most soldiers" as being less than fully human. No moral quandary whatsoever about killing other human beings? Were I to buy into that, it would make Hasan's action a lot easier to accept -- in the sense that he thought he was taking out unquestioning, amoral killing machines. (But I don't buy that, and neither would any thinking person. It is tragic that Hasan apparently did buy it.)

Whether you personally feel the wars or just or unjust it has no impact on the soldiers minds.

Thank you for the laugh!! This is wishful thinking on your part. A great many people know that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq fall heavily on the unjust side of the scales. A Marine captain who I was working with confided to me back in the fall of 2002 essentially that "If we invade Iraq and don't find any weapons of mass destruction, it will put the US in a morally indefensible position." Well, right he was.

The concept of preemptive war was presented back in the 1950s by some nutty conservatives to then-president Eisenhower, who rightly rejected it as completely immoral and opposed to every principle that America supposedly stands for.

It is the task of amoral reprobate to reason away what is clearly wrong and make it into something that can sold as "right" to the naive and gullible. Of course, that is easier to do for those who stand to enrich themselves through the killing of others. As with the immorality of preemptive war, a lot of Americans now appear to accept war profiteering as completely acceptable. If the millionaires and power crowd who pushed for these latest wars knew that they would personally have to sacrifice their own fortunes and lives of their loved ones, they never would have been started. Count on it.

And personally, thinking that US soldiers share any of the thoughts that are in your head...

The thought in my head is the hope that US soldiers will always be human enough to consider moral issues and the possibility of doubt as the Marine captain did, rather than being the mindless automatons who never give rise to a moral qualm and who simply "follow orders." (As you try to paint them.) Of course, that's how things like Dachau, My Lie, Abu Ghraib, etc. come about. I happen to believe that most of our soldiers are better than your low estimation of them. Better human beings, that is.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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You're hopeless.

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No moral quandary whatsoever about killing other human beings?

What, did you think I would forget your constant inclusion of "unjust wars" and "killing innocents" as the reason behind the moral quandary? How could I? You're obsessed with that angle. Revising your statement this late in the game and pretending you were only talking about the act of killing in war alone shows you're willing to lie to yourself to hold on to your beliefs. USNinJapan2 even made a post as a result of your very specific reasons behind the moral quandary which conveniently disappeared in your previous post.

A great many people know that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq fall heavily on the unjust side of the scales. A Marine captain who I was working with confided to me back in the fall of 2002 essentially that "If we invade Iraq and don't find any weapons of mass destruction, it will put the US in a morally indefensible position." Well, right he was.

Now you're stating your opinion as an absolute, and the only evidence you offer is an anecdote involving one soldier. Dishonest and sloppy overall.

You didn't answer my question from before. If the wars are unjust and if that's not open to debate, and if Muslims would rightly feel anger about it, what should be done about the Muslim soldiers in the military until the time that the US removes itself from the region? Should we view them as potential enemies because of our own actions? Or should we hope that they would abandon their religion and willingly side with an unjust war killing their own people? I mean, that's what a Muslim serving in the US army is, right? A traitor to his religion?

Or is it time to shift your position again?

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Revising your statement this late in the game and pretending you were only talking about the act of killing in war alone shows you're willing to lie to yourself to hold on to your beliefs.

The only revision of my statement has been in your imagination, and your accusations are clearly your projections.

Now you're stating your opinion as an absolute, and the only evidence you offer is an anecdote involving one soldier. Dishonest and sloppy overall.

Anyone who understands the meaning of the word "absolute" and sees how you have misused it here will share in a good laugh.

If the wars are unjust and if that's not open to debate, and if Muslims would rightly feel anger about it, what should be done about the Muslim soldiers in the military until the time that the US removes itself from the region?

Since this more closely relates to the Fort Hood shootings and is therefore less likely to be removed from the board as being "off-topic", let's take a look at that highlighted passage above.

Were I to take the position that all Moslems would "rightly" feel anger about anything, that would mean accepting the absolute position that you are falsely trying to project on me. I decline.

I am absolutely certain that one can find many Moslems among those who serve who have made the decision to place their country and their service before their faith. But that doesn't mean that all them have, or that people will always believe in the way that their government expects them to. What should be done? How about talking to folks and listening to find out what their genuine views are? Hasan was pretty open with his deep misgivings. His chain of command ignored them.

It is likely that soldiers who have deeply held religious views will look for support from their religious community. If actions they are involved with are viewed with a great deal of moral controversy within that community, it can only lessen the feeling of support and reassurance that they can expect to receive. And therefore heighten the doubt and tension.

But it also means approaching people with respect and genuine concern for their point of view, and a willingness to accept that not ALL people will feel the same way about an issue. And if the issue involves something as historically morally objectionable as preemptive war, it is far MORE likely that there will be a wider gulf between pro and con views. The Marine captain I spoke of wasn't even Moslem...

The only thing that I can find that comes closest to an absolute in this discussion is your apparent position that it is somehow impossible for the United States to engage in wars that are evil and unjust. (Wars whose main purpose is to secure hegemony and control over others are almost always so, as are wars of preemption.)

I can understand the great repugnance that would come about through the mere act of screening of soldiers who, we might find, have troubling questions and concerns about the morality of what they are ordered to engage in.

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To add some support for a widening acceptance of wrongdoing by the U.S., one can refer to the recent topic on JapanToday where the noted historian, Francis Fukuyama, has weighed in with his belief that the U.S. has misused its power and has greatly overreacted to the events of 9/11.

Fukuyama has been considered a supporter of conservatives, but not to the extent where it has clouded his ability to perceive right from wrong, thank goodness.

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