In the dictionary next to the word “coward” is a picture of Malik Nidal Hasan.
Yesterday Malik Nidal Hasan opened fire on unarmed American soldiers. He used two handguns to kill 13 people including a civilian police officer and wounded at least 30 more. Today he is himself on a ventilator after being shot during the attack, purportedly by the police officer he killed.
Reports came fast and furious after the shooting. Two other men were brought into custody as suspects, then released. Reports were intiailly that Hasan had died of his wounds. The President called the killings a “horrific act of violence.” Local schools remained locked-down until 6:30pm local time, and the base was finally released from lock-down about 45 minutes later according to televised reports at the time.
Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered all flags to fly at half-staff today as the investigation into the murderous rampgage began. Officials have already begun searching Hasan’s home and reports are that he blogged as “NidalHasan” and expressed sympathy for suicide bombers for some time.
On his blog, Hasan expressed feelings of sympathy for suicide bombers, comparing them to soldiers who throw themselves on grenades to save their comrades. Fox News Channel interviewed retired Colonel Terry Lee last night via telephone. Lee had worked with Hasan at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland and stated that Hasan expressed his belief that the people of Iraq should rise up against the “aggressors,” by which he meant the United States military.
Hasan was born in the United States. He attended Virginia Tech where he was involved in ROTC. He is of Jordanian descent and is a Muslim but his family has been living in the United States since before his birth. Initial reports that he had recently converted to Islam were false. His cousin, also in an interview with Fox News Channel, expressed his family’s feeling of shock at the incident. He stated Malik Nidal Hasan was like any other American growing up.
Hasan had been scheduled for a tour of duty in Afghanistan treating soldiers for Post-Traumatic Stress and other psychological issues. He spent the last several months attempting to have those orders changed.
Malik Nidal Hasan is the only one who can say exactly why he did what he did, but his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were apparent. His openness with his viewpoint that suicide bombers were heroes shoud have, in itself, disqualified him for service in the Middle East theater. For whatever reason, the Army felt it was appropriate to assign him to work there.
One thing is for certain, however: Malik Nidal Hasan was weak. His attack on unarmed soldiers was an act of cowardice. Had he attacked armed men, that might have at least indicated some courage, but he did not. He chose the easy, unarmed target, just as the terrorist thugs do. That he is being given the necessary medical care to keep him alive is a testament to the professionalism and compassion of the men and women he so openly and desperately opposed.
Perhaps Hasan thought he was making himself a martyr. Perhaps he just did not want to go to Afghanistan. Perhaps he was just acting out his anger the way a small child breaks things when upset. We just don’t know yet.
What we do know for sure is that he will get far better treatment from the medical professionals treating him and from our military justice system for what he did than he would ever get from the terrorists he called “heroes.”
Originally posted at The Minority Report.