Streetwise Professor

November 8, 2009

“Sick With Political Correctness”

Filed under: Military,Politics — The Professor @ 8:14 pm

Ralph Peters is extremely PO’d at the US Army for its complicity in the Fort Hood carnage:

When the terrorist posts anti-American hate-speech on the Web; apparently praises suicide bombers and uses his own name; loudly criticizes US policies; argues (as a psychiatrist, no less) with his military patients over the worth of their sacrifices; refuses, in the name of Islam, to be photographed with female colleagues; lists his nationality as “Palestinian” in a Muslim spouse-matching program, and parades around central Texas in a fundamentalist playsuit — well, it only seems fair to call this terrorist an “Islamist terrorist.”

But the president won’t. Despite his promise to get to all the facts. Because there’s no such thing as “Islamist terrorism” in ObamaWorld.

And the Army won’t. Because its senior leaders are so sick with political correctness that pandering to America-haters is safer than calling terrorism “terrorism.”

. . . .

But Hasan isn’t the sole guilty party. The US Army’s unforgivable political correctness is also to blame for the casualties at Ft. Hood.

Given the myriad warning signs, it’s appalling that no action was taken against a man apparently known to praise suicide bombers and openly damn US policy. But no officer in his chain of command, either at Walter Reed Army Medical Center or at Ft. Hood, had the guts to take meaningful action against a dysfunctional soldier and an incompetent doctor.

Had Hasan been a Lutheran or a Methodist, he would’ve been gone with the simoon. But officers fear charges of discrimination when faced with misconduct among protected minorities.

Now 12 soldiers and a security guard lie dead. 31 soldiers were wounded, 28 of them seriously. If heads don’t roll in this maggot’s chain of command, the Army will have shamed itself beyond moral redemption.

There’s another important issue, too. How could the Army allow an obviously incompetent and dysfunctional psychiatrist to treat our troubled soldiers returning from war? An Islamist whacko is counseled for arguing with veterans who’ve been assigned to his care? And he’s not removed from duty? What planet does the Army live on?

For the first time since I joined the Army in 1976, I’m ashamed of its dereliction of duty. The chain of command protected a budding terrorist who was waving one red flag after another. Because it was safer for careers than doing something about him.

If the stuff about Hasan’s arguing with his patients is true, how can you possibly explain this statement by one of his superiors?:

[A]t Fort Hood, Kimberly Kesling, the deputy commander of clinical services, remarked: “Up to this point, I would consider him an asset.”

There are none so blind.

But what is the Army’s first response?  A review to see if more force protection is required! I kid you not:

Army Chief of Staff George Casey has asked Army leaders across the country to review force protection measures after the shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, left 13 people dead.

Unless “force protection” is defined to include “eliminating the deliberate obtuseness  induced by excessive political correctness  to clear and present dangers,” this exercise will be a joke and 13 soldiers will have died in vain.

Not that I am surprised to hear this coming from Casey.  He was one of the primary architects of the disaster that loomed in Iraq pre-Surge.  (Force protection and cultural sensitivity were his mantras there too.)  In an unbelievably stupid move, emblematic of George Bush’s misplaced sense of loyalty, Casey was kicked upstairs to the Army Chief of Staff job, where he proceeded to interfere with Petraeus at every turn.  This latest action in response to the Fort Hood murders provides additional evidence that Casey is the flag officer of (unflattering) stereotype: an unimaginative careerist CYA pro.

What happened at Fort Hood demands an unblinkered, soul-searching evaluation of the institutional failings that led up to it.  And to be quite blunt about it, (a) people like General George Casey are almost certainly not the ones to do that, and (b) the Obama administration will have almost no interest in doing so, for reasons too numerous–and too obvious–to mention.  Hence, I expect this event to be buried in a blizzard of therapeutic obfuscatory gobbledygook that will add insult to the injury that those soldiers suffered at the hands of a man who should have been dishonorably discharged–or worse–long before.

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    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — November 8, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

  2. So…. You’re telling me that the US Army is clueless and risk-averse? Nothing new here. One must merely look at the experience of a previous Chief of Staff, GEN Shinseki, to observe the consequences for being “politically incorrect” in doing some actual thinking, and then reporting the results of that thinking at the request of Congress.

    Comment by rkka — November 9, 2009 @ 5:50 am

  3. “But he turned into an angry critic of the wars America was waging in Iraq and Afghanistan and had tried in vain to negotiate his discharge.
    He counselled soldiers returning from the front line and told relatives that he was horrified at the prospect of a deployment to Afghanistan later this year – his first time in a combat zone”

    My intuition is that this guy is a coward and unstable and the stress of an impending deployment snapped him. As a psychiatrist, he probably knew the stories of tons of army men who regretted having signed up and screwed up their lives. And I guess his anti war sentiments were probably his way of trying to get a discharge and the bosses might have thought that they saw thru his charade.

    A long peace time might have made a lot of people sign up to enjoy the benefits of a scholarship and opportunities without facing danger. I remember that SWP was in West Point and opted out of being an officer – may be you saw how things worked in the army up close and made the wise choice….

    Comment by Surya — November 9, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

  4. PS. Just noticed…

    Hence, I expect this event to be buried in a blizzard of therapeutic obfuscatory gobbledygook that will add insult to the injury that those soldiers suffered at the hands of a man who should have been dishonorably discharged–or worse–long before.

    Like sending him to Guantanomo?

    It’s official. SWP believes in freedom of speech. It’s just that some speeches are more free than others.

    I wonder how he lives with his hypocrisy.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — November 9, 2009 @ 6:46 pm

  5. How do you fix the problem of those who act weird to get discharged from the military? I am sure many are at a point where even a dishonorable discharge is O.K. with them. But in crunch times, the army does want the people it trains to actually fight. If Hasan’s tactics resulted in a discharge, it could encourage many more to go the same route.

    This from an article in 2003:

    Deserters are generally free to run until local civilian authorities happen to detain them, often for traffic violations, and warrant checks identify them as military fugitives. A large number turn themselves in. Others are given up by parents or spouses.

    Sooner or later, most deserters face the music, Pentagon officials say. The tune is typically an administrative discharge on less-than-honorable terms, which can disqualify deserters for federal jobs as well as government-subsidized home loans and tuition grants. That doesn’t seem enough to gung-ho types like Thomas. They say deserters, at minimum, should be required to finish their tour, preferably in an undesirable assignment. ”You join the Army to serve your country, and now that it’s time to serve, you’re going to leave?” said Peter Cormier, 30, Thomas’s supervisor.

    Cormier was walking through the provost marshal’s station, a cinderblock maze that houses the lockup at Fort Irwin. MPs in camouflage fatigues milled about. The words ”loyalty,” ”duty,” and ”respect” were painted on the walls of a holding cell — scoldings for a captive audience.

    The only prisoner was a young soldier who had been AWOL for two weeks. He surrendered at the front gate and was awaiting transport to Fort Lewis in Washington state, the post he fled. The man, whom MPs would not allow to be interviewed, sat in the cage with his head bowed.

    Soldiers are usually classified as deserters when they have been absent without leave for 30 days and show no intention of returning. Last year 3,800 Army soldiers deserted, meaning that the Army’s desertion rate was one-sixth of what it was during the Vietnam War, when it totaled 5 percent of the rolls.

    A 2002 study by the Army Research Institute found that about 70 percent of deserters left during their first year of duty. They tended to be younger than the average recruit and more likely to come from broken homes. Many had been in trouble with the law before. The majority cited either family problems or a ”failure to adapt” as the reason they deserted.

    This one is an update from 2007:

    According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier. Overall, 4,698 soldiers deserted this year, compared to 3,301 last year.

    The increase comes as the Army continues to bear the brunt of the war demands with many soldiers serving repeated, lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Military leaders — including Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey — have acknowledged that the Army has been stretched nearly to the breaking point by the combat. Efforts are under way to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps to lessen the burden and give troops more time off between deployments.

    Not sure what the current stats are. Perhaps that explains the reluctance to throw away someone quickly…..

    Comment by Surya — November 9, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

  6. Good point and I would agree with it, but there is slight difference between “anti-war sentiments” and praising suicide bombers, Surya. I guess Army should simply ask every Muslim that would like to enlist: Will you be able to kill other Muslims if situation requires it? And immediately reject them if they answer negatively.

    By the way, SWP – do you think Obama has high chances to be reelected, if you consider recent elections in few states, his socialist approach to economy, naive foreign policy and his position towards this massacre?

    Comment by Deith — November 10, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  7. In a hypocricially neocon fashion, Ralph Peters has downplayed Islamic extremism when it’s geared towards Russia and Serbia.

    Here’s an article relating to this point:

    Comment by Avenger — November 10, 2009 @ 10:02 am

  8. Deith–a lot depends on whether he makes a mid-course correction, a la Clinton. The 94 blowout chastened Clinton, and his desire to survive politically led him to tack furiously to the center. So far, Obama shows no signs of conceding to popular outrage. I think that he is much more ideological than Clinton, and hence is much more likely to pursue his agenda into the teeth of intense popular opposition. His rather bizarre approach to the massacre (notably, his mentioning it almost as an afterthought in the middle of a hack political speech) is just another piece of information that will raise doubts. So, I think that the odds of him going down in flames in 2012 are greater than was the case with Clinton in 1996.

    But there are also things outside of his control that will have a great impact. Personally, I think that the prospects for a robust recovery are dim–especially if the health care monstrosity passes, and especially especially if cap & trade passes too, but even if they don’t due to the tax burden and the dodginess of the banking system. The huge overhang of high powered money injected into the system has tremendous inflationary potential (as the spiking price of gold and the plummeting dollar attest.) Moreover, his utter foolishness on foreign policy is already becoming abundantly apparent. Hell, even Tom Friedman, ass clown of the century, recognizes that a Middle East peace settlement is a pipe dream. Add to that Afghanistan, the farce of the Russia “reset”, mounting turbulence in Latin America fomented by Chavez (whom Obama has never criticized), and especially Iran, the potential for multiple foreign policy disasters is high indeed.

    So . . . if I had to choose between Obama=Clinton and Obama=Carter, I’d pick the latter. The sad part about it is, that the costs to the country will be extraordinarily high if that comes to pass. And there is no credible alternative leadership to reverse the situation.

    As I’ve written many times before, (a) we really better hope that Bismarck was right about that special Providence for fools, children, drunkards and the USA, and (b) that we will test just how much ruin there is in the United States, and we also better hope that Adam Smith was right that there is a lot of ruin in a country, because we’ll need every last bit of it.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 10, 2009 @ 9:46 pm

  9. Thanks a lot for your time and answer. Sorry for something so short after you wrote so much, but I just wanted to know opinion of someone who lives there and not to start discussion.

    Comment by Deith — November 11, 2009 @ 7:53 am

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