Associated Press image
Palestinian-American Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who joined the U.S. military before Sept. 11, 2001 (and pictured above in 2007), apparently struggled to reconcile his Muslim faith and Arab background in an anti-Muslim and anti-Arab environment. Ultimately, Hasan, a military psychiatrist, rather ironically, shot up Fort Hood. Of course, we’ll blame everything on him, because that’s what we always fucking do, because we seem to love these tragedies on some level, given the fact that we perpetuate rather than prevent them.
Not again! my boyfriend has been lamenting in the wake of the news that a Muslim Arab American shot up his comrades at Fort Hood in Texas yesterday.
My fully Americanized boyfriend, you see, is half Arab — half Syrian and half Anglo but born in the United States and raised as a Catholic (the Catholicism didn’t take, because he’s somewhere around agnostic to atheist) — and he still recalls well the shit that he had to go through at airports in the aftermath of 9/11 because of his Arab surname.
I told my boyfriend not to worry. He won’t be threatened with any body cavity searches at airports, but I do feel sorry for those Muslim and Arab Americans who are in the armed forces right now.
There’s a lot that we don’t know about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the 39-year-old Army psychiatrist (!) who is accused of having shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood and shot and injured 30 others. He was shot himself, but he survives.
My guess is that Hasan took an awful lot of shit for being an Arab and a Muslim in the U.S. armed forces. After all, it has been Arabs and Muslims that the U.S. armed forces have been slaughtering since 2001 — far, far more of them slaughtered than the number of Americans who were slaughtered on Sept. 11, 2001, not by a nation such as Iraq or Afghanistan, but by 19 individuals, 15 of whom were from Saudi Arabia and not one of whom was from Iraq or Afghanistan.
The war profiteers need an enemy, because if there’s no war they don’t profit, and since the Cold War ended, the Arabs and Muslims have been a great enemy for the military-industrial complex.
The wingnuts too, who are fueled on ignorance, fear and hatred, also need a perpetual enemy, a la the brainwashed masses in George Orwell’s 1984, lest they start to examine their own shortcomings and wrongdoings.
And of course the corporatocrats and the plutocrats want the common American to have a plethora of false enemies, such as gay men and lesbians who want equal rights, Mexican immigrants who want better lives for themselves, and Muslims — because otherwise the common American might wake up and realize that the real enemy, the real threat to the nation and the real reason that the common American’s life really sucks ass right now, is the corporatocrats and the plutocrats.
Since July, The Associated Press notes, Hasan has been based in Texas, and it’s the Texans and other red-staters who have loved to call our president “B. Hussein Obama” — or “Osama” (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!). Anyone who claims that there hasn’t been anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiment in the United States for the past several years must have been living in a cave. Like Osama/Obama.
Of course, once a Muslim/Arab American finally snaps and shoots the place up, everyone will vehemently deny that he ever was the victim of bigoted remarks or acts. Because that would be to admit some responsibility. And we can’t have that, because being an American means never having to take any fucking responsibility for anything and never having to say that you’re sorry.
We are to just buy that Hasan is just a nutcase and that he just snapped, that nothing precipitated his actions, but I don’t buy that bullshit. Not for a second.
According to The Associated Press, Hasan joined the military before 9/11, which answers my question why any Arab or Muslim American in his or her right mind would have joined the U.S. military after 9/11.
The AP also notes:
Hasan recently was involved in a spat with another Fort Hood soldier residing in his apartment complex, apparently related to [Hasan’s] Muslim beliefs.
The manager of the complex, John Thompson, said the other soldier, John Van de Walker, allegedly keyed Hasan’s car and also removed and tore up a bumper sticker that read “Allah is Love.”
Thompson said Van de Walker had been in Iraq and was upset to learn that Hasan was Muslim.
A report filed with Killeen police on Aug. 16 indicates that Hasan’s vehicle, a 2006 Honda Civic, had been scratched by an unknown object, causing an estimated $1,000 worth of damage. The report indicates that Van de Walker, 30, was arrested on Oct. 21 and charged with criminal mischief. The matter has been referred for prosecution, according to the report….
In an interview with The Washington Post, Hasan’s aunt, Noel Hasan of Falls Church, Va., said he had been harassed about being a Muslim in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and he wanted to get out of the Army. She said he had sought a discharge for several years, and even offered to repay the cost of his medical training.
Um, yeah, so let’s not pretend that all of Hasan’s colleagues at Fort Hood were fucking angels and that Hasan acted in a God-damned vacuum.
The U.S. military is chock full o’ “Christo”fascists who believe that it’s their duty to slaughter Muslims for what they call “Christianity,” and my money is on the probability that that is the toxic environment that Hasan found himself in — especially in George W. Bush’s Texas, for fuck’s sake.
It was the members of the U.S. military (including their “leaders,” of course) who brought us the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors, remember, so let’s not dismiss the likelihood that Hasan took more anti-Muslim abuse than just the keying of his car by a Muslim-hating colleague who surely considers himself to be a great fucking Christian. (Hey, key a Muslim’s car for Jeeeeezus!)
We have lessons to learn from the Fort Hood massacre, but we’re Americans, so of course we won’t learn those lessons, but we’ll continue to act like assholes, only ensuring that even more such “senseless” tragedies occur in the future. (We love that word, “senseless.” It absolves us of all guilt, gives us the illusion that our actions and/or inaction never contribute to any tragic outcome.)
The lesson that we should learn, but that we won’t learn, from the Fort Hood massacre is this: The U.S. military should not be about waging an external or internal war between Christianity and Islam.
The U.S. military is paid for by the American taxpayers, which means that it is illegal for the U.S. military, by action or inaction, to endorse any one religion over any other religion, and the U.S. military is to be used for the defense of the nation, not for coverting Muslims to “Christianity” by dropping bombs on them — despite Ann Cunter’s September 2001 proclamation that “We should invade [Middle Eastern] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” (Because Jesus Christ was all about killing people for their own good!)
Lest you think that I’m an “Islamofascist” for refusing to believe that Hasan is just Satan incarnate and that everyone else at Fort Hood is a fucking angel who couldn’t possibly have contributed to yesterday’s events, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I think of the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) as Gangs for God, since the members of these rival gangs like to kill each other so much.
I reject all three of the Gangs for God — Judaism, Islam and Christianity — and when all of humankind wakes up and sees our unity instead of seeing false divisions based upon bullshit belief systems, the bloodbaths will finally fucking stop. (Most of them, anyway.)