Report: Hasan Snapped Under Weight of Bullying, Anxiety Over Deployment
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It goes without saying that the usual suspects would view the tragic events at Fort Hood as an act of terror inspired by "jihadism." A soldier, a Muslim of Palestinian descent, reportedly shouted "God is great!" before opening fire on soldiers awaiting deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.
If one is already inclined to see terrorists lurking beneath one's bed, naturally that's a neat end to the story, and supports whatever simplistic notions about Islam and terrorism one might hold.
Yesterday, as the first sketchy reports started filtering in, I thought that an organized act of political terror was about the least likely scenario to have gone down. (This didn't prevent me from thinking, 'oh, this is not going to go well' when the Major's name was released.)
And as it turns out, unless you're reading Right-wing blogs this morning, it does in fact appear to be a case of an individual snapping under a variety of stresses.
Fort Hood shooting suspect, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, wanted out of the Army after being constantly harassed by others in the military and was called a "camel jockey," his family said.
As Hasan was about to be deployed to Iraq, he was suffering from some of the same stresses that he was trained as an Army psychiatrist to treat.
Although the 39-year-old had just been promoted to major in May, his family says he had hired a lawyer to help him get out of the Armed Forces.
...After the 9/11 attacks, his cousin says he was the target of constant harassment from others in the military. His tormentors called him a "camel jockey," said his cousin, Nader Hasan. He wanted out of the Army, so he paid back his military student loans and hired an attorney.
While the bullying irritated Hasan, Nader Hasan believes his upcoming deployment is what set him off. The cousin said, "My mom is his mom… and we didn't know he was being deployed until we heard it on the news today."
The whole thing is obviously an incredible tragedy. But as Mark Ames -- who wrote the book about this kind of rage-killing -- points out on the front, this was anything but an isolated incident. All kinds of people "go postal."
That this one happened to be a Muslim and a soldier with strong feelings about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan only gives those who were already so inclined an opportunity to use a profound tragedy to impugn an entire faith.