11 November, 2009

Obama’s Own Twisted Logic

A comment in Barack Obama’s speech at the Fort Hood memorial shows that he can pander with the worst of them.
"It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy."
Damn right it’s hard to comprehend. We don’t even know what the true motive was yet so how can we possibly comment on the comprehensibility of it?
Then things got worse with the follow-up:
"But this much we do know -- no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. For what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice -- in this world, and the next."
Surely this is the kind of talk that prejudices trials. Not only do we have vague talk about “facing justice,” a comment deliberately designed to be whatever you want it to be, just as we had from W after the September 11th attacks, but we also have pre-emption of the Almighty’s view of the situation.

Obama certainly knows how to work to an audience and this was certainly not the place to talk about understanding what causes a man to snap. Be that as it may, it’s not much of a leap to interpret this comment as pandering to anti-Muslim sentiment. That’s bad enough on its own, but it’s doubly disappointing coming from a man who himself has faced prejudice because of his “Muslim name.”

All we know about Major Hassan’s motives is that we don’t know what they were. All further comment at this point is completely irresponsible. There was a lot of twisted logic that led to this tragedy. There is the twisted logic of victimising a man who volunteered to serve his country just because of his religion. There is the twisted logic of sending the same man to the front line after he had helped dozens, perhaps hundreds, of his comrades deal with post traumatic stress and would have inevitably taken on some of that trauma himself. There’s the twisted logic of assuming that only those in active combat are really fighting the war. And there’s the twisted logic of assuming that because a man has a certain name or belongs to a certain religion, then that must have motivated his crimes.

I am not for a moment seeking to minimise what he did. Nothing excuses his crimes, but we can look at what might explain it. Obama the thinker surely knows this, but instead chose over-simplification. Twisted logic is everywhere.


  1. Post traumatic stress disorder is now an airborne virus? He was consulting troops pre-deployment.
    The least we could have got out of our president was a he acted "stupidly." ;-)

  2. I wasn't aware of that and to be honest, I'd be surprised if they were organised enough to have separate counsellors for outgoing and incoming, but let's go with that:
    Of all those who he consulted pre-deployment, how many never came back? Of those that did, how many came back with bits missing? Even if he never knew the names, it doesn't take a genius to read the numbers. What could that do to a man's psyche? That's not a question of smart or stupid.

    There is compelling, though not conclusive evidence that this was more a case of "going postal." To immediately assume it's terrorism is twisted logic indeed.

    But it's nice to know where the line is now. Those teabagging idiots are legitimate criticism but this comment is too much? Good to know. ;)

  3. Sorry you lost me on the teabagging thing.

    As for assuming whether its terrorism or snapping it could be both. Guy tries to contact Al-Qaeda (how are we spelling that this week?) and gets rejected. That could make him snap. The guy has Soldier of Allah on his Military business card and the FBI rejects further investigation, that could of made him snap. Ultimately the guy was nuts. No argument there. But there is plenty of evidence out there to look into the terror aspect. 13 counts of PREMEDITATED murder supports it. A "soldier of Allah" shouting out "Allah aktbar" supports it. The worse thing we could do is allow political correctness to cloud the inquiry. It is beginning to appear it may have had a role in preventing this massacre.

  4. I agree with your last statement but not for the reason you think.

    If the dreaded "political correctness" had prevailed and put a stop to his so-called comrades making his life hell because of his religion, then yes, it may have had a role in preventing such a massacre.

    You have to remember that radicals are made, not born. So if, and I stress IF, he had been radicalised, you have to ask yourself how it happened. Was he a radical when he joined up? If so, why would he join? If he was radicalised during his service, then how could that have happened? These are all very big IFs.

    What if his card had said, "Soldier of God"?
    Would that be better?
    It means exactly the same thing.

    But if he says "Allah," then we're supposed to suspect terrorism? Because hey, if he's a Muslim, it must mean he's one of them, right?

    I agree that on the question of terrorism or brain snap, it could be either or both. That's why it should be left to the investigation. For the president to pre-empt the findings of any such investigation is a disgrace.

    Here's something worth pondering:
    If thirteen US soldiers were shot and killed in Iraq, that would be considered a pretty rough day for a Thursday and little more comment would be made. Their comrades would have to accept that it's a part of what they signed up for, and grieve privately when they got the time to. Little, if any, mention of it would be made on the news. And if any news program dared to honour them, as Newshour and This Week do, they would be accused of anti-American bias.
    What's the difference?

  5. Obama's been pandering for years. At least the 2 years we've heard of him. Remember that endless campaign? I don't know why his disciples thought he'd be different.

  6. I disagree that it's all been pandering. I think Obama made more of an effort than most to break down the us-and-them mentality. This speech seemed to deliberately dismantle some of that. I particularly hope that he wasn't being completely opportunistic and is quietly thinking, 'Let them call me a secret Muslim now!'