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Friday, November 13, 2009


Shortly after 9/11, there was a lot of talk about how no one would ever hijack an American airliner ever again – not because of new security arrangements but because an alert citizenry was on the case: We were hip to their jive.  The point appeared to be proved three months later on a US-bound Air France flight. The “Shoebomber” attempted to light his footwear, and the flight attendants and passengers pounced. As the more boorish commentators could not resist pointing out, even the French guys walloped him.

But the years go by, and the mood shifts. You didn’t have to be “alert” to spot Major Nidal Hasan. He’d spent most of the last half-decade walking around with a big neon sign on his head saying “JIHADIST. STAND WELL BACK”. But we (that’s to say, almost all of us; and certainly almost anyone who matters in national security and the broader political culture) are now reflexively conditioned to ignore the flashing neon sign. Like those apocryphal Victorian ladies discreetly draping the lasciviously curved legs of their pianos, if a glimpse of hard unpleasant reality peeps through we simply veil it in another layer of fluffy illusions.

Two joint terrorism task forces became aware almost a year ago that Major Hasan was in regular email contact with Anwar al-Awlaqi, the American-born but now Yemeni-based cleric who served as imam to three of the 9/11 hijackers and supports all-out holy war against the United States. But the expert analysts in the Pentagon determined that this lively correspondence was consistent with Major Hasan’s “research interests”, so there was no need to worry. That’s America: Technologically superior, money no object (not one but two “joint terrorism task forces” stumbled across him). Yet no action was taken.

On the other hand, who needs surveillance operations and intelligence budgets? Major Hasan was entirely upfront about who he was. He put it on his business card: “SOA.” As in “Soldier of Allah” – which seems a tad ungrateful to the American taxpayers who ponied up half a million bucks or thereabouts in elite medical school education to train him to be a Soldier of Uncle Sam. In a series of meetings during 2008, officials from both Walter Reed and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences considered the question of whether then Captain Hasan was psychotic. But, according to at least one bigwig at Walter Reed, members of the policy committee wondered “how would it look if we kick out one of the few Muslim residents”.  So he got promoted to Major and shipped to Fort Hood.

And 13 men and women and an unborn baby are dead.

Well, like they say, it’s easy to be wise after the event. I’m not so sure. These days, it’s easier to be even more stupid after the event. “Apparently he tried to contact al Qaeda,” mused MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “That’s not a crime to call up al Qaeda, is it? Is it? I mean, where do you stop the guy?” Interesting question: Where do you draw the line?

The truth is we’re not prepared to draw a line even after he’s gone ahead and committed mass murder. “What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,” said General Casey, the US Army’s Chief of Staff, “but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” A “greater tragedy” than 14 dead and dozens of wounded? Translating from the original brain-addled multicult-speak, the Army Chief of Staff is saying that the same fatuous prostration before marshmallow illusions that led to the “tragedy” must remain in place. If it leads to occasional mass murder, well, hopefully it can be held to what cynical British civil servants used to call, during the Northern Irish “Troubles”, “an acceptable level of violence”. Fourteen dead is evidently acceptable. A hundred and forty? Fourteen hundred? I guess we’ll find out.

“Diversity” is one of those words designed to absolve you of the need to think. Likewise, a belief in “multiculturalism” doesn’t require you to know anything at all about other cultures, just to feel generally warm and fluffy about them. Heading out from my hotel room the other day, I caught a glimpse of that 7-Eleven video showing Major Hasan wearing “Muslim” garb to buy a coffee on the morning of his murderous rampage. And it wasn’t until I was in the taxi cab that something odd struck me: He was an American of Arab descent. But he was wearing Pakistani dress – that’s to say, a “Punjabi suit”, as they call it in Britain, or the “shalwar kameez”, to give it its South Asian name. For all the hundreds of talking heads droning on about “diversity” across the TV networks, it was only Tarek Fatah, writing in The Ottawa Citizen, who pointed out that no Arab males wear this get-up – with one exception: Those Arab men who got the jihad fever and went to Afghanistan to sign on with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In other words, Major Hasan’s outfit symbolized the embrace of an explicit political identity entirely unconnected with his ethnic heritage.

Mr Fatah would seem to be a genuine “multiculturalist”: that’s to say, he’s attuned to often very subtle “diversities” between cultures. Whereas the professional multiculturalist sees the 7-Eleven video and coos, “Aw, look. He’s wearing … well, something exotic and colorful, let’s not get hung up on details. Celebrate diversity, right? Can we get him in the front row for the group shot? We may be eligible for a grant.”

The brain-addled “diversity” of General Casey will get some of us killed, and keep all of us cowed. In the days since the killings, the news reports have seemed increasingly like a satirical novel the author’s not quite deft enough to pull off, with bizarre new Catch 22s multiplying like the windmills of your mind: If you’re openly in favor of pouring boiling oil down the throats of infidels, then the Pentagon will put down your emails to foreign jihadists as mere confirmation of your long established “research interests”. If you’re psychotic, the Army will make you a psychiatrist for fear of provoking you. If you gun down a bunch of people, within an hour the FBI will state clearly that we can all relax, there’s no terrorism angle, because, in our over-credentialized society, it doesn’t count unless you’re found to be carrying Permit #57982BQ3a from the relevant State Board of Jihadist Licensing.

Ezra Levant, my comrade in a long battle to restore freedom of speech to Canada, likes to say that the Danish cartoons crisis may one day be seen as a more critical event than 9/11. Not, obviously, in the comparative death tolls but in what each revealed about the state of western civilization. After 9/11, we fought back, hit hard, rolled up the Afghan camps; after the cartoons, we weaseled and equivocated and appeased and signaled that we were willing to trade core western values for a quiet life. Watching the decadence and denial on display this last week, I think in years to come Fort Hood will be seen in a similar light. What happened is not a “tragedy” but a national scandal, already fading from view.

© Mark Steyn 2009

Click here to email your elected representatives.


Avatar for Colonel Neville

No comments? Well, this is just an outrage. Preposterous. Humbug. What a typical cool point of Mark’s that people always laugh at those “inhibited” old Victorians. Oddly, they rightly used euphemism to hide the ever present crude and tawdry stuff of life, yet unlike now, they had no problem dealing crushingly with mortal and existential threats and calling them what they are. We could do with some Victorians now. THEY beleived in themselves and their empirically superior world. Good old Steyn. Always on the money.

Colonel Robert Neville blogspot com. [RTD blogger.]

Colonel Neville on November 14, 2009 at 04:24 am
Avatar for Colonel Neville

Hey, “Soldier of Uncle Sam” spells sous, like the French small coin also known as chump change. There’s something in there…

Dig hep cats, in a Sydney Australia high school a few weeks ago?, the son of Greek immigrants was abused and beaten up for eating salami during Ramadan a ding dong by er, um, gee, golly, my, my, AUTHENTIC MUSLIM TEENAGERS. So it has more than begun, sports. Sydnistan and Melbournistan grow like The Blob meets Invasion Of The Body Politic Snatchers. No really. It’s great to be voiceless and unarmed under the threat of the law. I have a trench shovel, a vacuum cleaner and some bon mots.


Colonel Neville.

Colonel Neville on November 14, 2009 at 04:35 am
Avatar for Ed Lancey

Well it takes the dreary old saw, beloved by the left, about free speech to new heights. Apparently you can behaviour in the most treasonous manner in the most public fashion right up until you burst into the proverbial theatre and open fire instead of just shouting fire.

Ed Lancey on November 14, 2009 at 05:57 am
Avatar for Colonel Neville

Dear Ed Lancey. Exactly.

We must always defend every word and action of any authentic Muslim until they murder everyone, and then we must defend instantly that they were apparently not authentic Muslims after all…and without being rude. No really. Wah hey! This is how dissonantly suicidal and treasonous the dhimmie leftard control freak phony is today.

I think you’ll agree that in my brilliant post titled “Derek and Clive tackle a conundrum”, pretty much surgically hammers it.


Colonel Neville.

Colonel Neville on November 14, 2009 at 08:47 am
Avatar for WAKE UP

Muslims, like rust, never sleep; and like rust, they have nothing to do but destroy their surroundings.

WAKE UP on November 14, 2009 at 09:25 am
Avatar for Matt Huisman

But, according to at least one bigwig at Walter Reed, members of the policy committee wondered “how would it look if we kick out one of the few Muslim residents”.

Based on current reporting trends, I doubt they’d have much to be concerned about.  The likely headline would read, “Local resident leaves program.”

Matt Huisman on November 14, 2009 at 11:12 am
Avatar for Poissoin Mou

As the possessor of an MA degree in Bilingual/Multicultural Education (sought purely because it helped me get a better job), and as a career history teacher, I can tell you with absolute certainty that Mark Steyn is correct on this point: “Multiculturalism” is, first and foremost, a rationalization for ignorance. I’ve worked with a lot of ‘em for a lot of years. They know nothing of other cultures, and they run screaming from the hard thought and difficult moral judgments that truly learning about other cultures requires. After all, if you don’t believe that there are real differences between cultures, why bother learning about them?

Poissoin Mou on November 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm
Avatar for JD

‘Political Correctness’ is not what the Founders had in mind when they framed the First Amendment.  Imho.  Thanks again Mark.

JD on November 14, 2009 at 01:01 pm
Avatar for TWoPolitics

It’s obvious that General Casey is no follower of General George Patton who was more interested in winning wars than sitting around quivering in his boots hoping he didn’t step on some liberal toes.

Casey’s statement dishonors the dead and wounded. If his leadership represents the Army’s higher echelon mentality then we have more problems than previously known.

TWoPolitics on November 14, 2009 at 01:08 pm

You don’t know how lucky you are in having this paper and website, and many similar, more traditional, outlets-Fox News, etc.Here in England we have the Establishment BBC viewpoint followed by a docile and unquestioning press.Our press quickly got rid of Mark Steyn when they realised he was a little,shall we say, different.Even if a decent right wing media outlet did arise we have the strictest libel laws in the Western world to keep them quiet. Yet we still have those who maintain that Britain has the freest speech and media in the World. Of course they are wrong, because the USA holds that distinction.Michael, Birmingham England.

foxgreen on November 14, 2009 at 01:31 pm
Avatar for Jamie MacMaster

It’s a wierd virus, this politically correct bug.  Three parts cowardice and one part assumed superiority.

The cure? The same as the inevitable results.

Jamie MacMaster on November 14, 2009 at 02:18 pm
Avatar for Grant

Were Major Nidal Hasan to have been Japanese during WWII rather than a muslim in the sensitive multicult world of today, he would have been dealt with very swiftly and probably never heard from again.

But that was when there were adults in charge. Now leaders are trying harder to demonstrate the positive results of their Sensitivity Training and now everything, including the security of the United States and its people, will take a back seat to that.

Grant on November 14, 2009 at 04:54 pm
Avatar for Pete Loomis

So, GEN Casey says diversity is important for the army. Duh.  The exact opposity is what’s important—uniformity.  Why in hell does he think soldiers all dress the same (uniforms)?  Soldiers eat the same food, follow orders and march in step.

The best speech I ever heard about “diversity” was delivered on the first day of Basic training by our Hispanic drill sergeant.  He said:  “I don’t care if you are black, white, brown or yellow.  You are all olive drab to me.”  End of discussion.

Pete Loomis on November 14, 2009 at 06:09 pm
Avatar for Sally Morris

One of our problems is our idiotic system of education.  We start by dropping the kids off in daycare at 2 months of age, where they begin learning about Barney the disgusting purple dinosaur.  It all goes downhill from there.  No storybook reading at home, no discussion at the dinner table (what dinner table?), no American cultural context whatever.  Eventually they will learn no history, either.  They will not understand what it takes to win a war, or to establish a safe community.  They will learn instead, that whatever is culturally “American” is inferior to whatever tribal chants or festive native dress or exotic customs (including abuse of women and child brides) is superior, purer, more desirable, than our own culture which has created the greatest civil society in history.  We should all take out kids out of school and teach them PROPERLY, to be Americans.

Sally Morris on November 14, 2009 at 06:22 pm
Avatar for Stergeye

The only requirement for being a “multiculturist” is to maintain a deep and abiding ignorance about all cultures, starting with your own.

Stergeye on November 14, 2009 at 06:58 pm
Avatar for James Healy

At some stage we’re going to have to unite to put a stop to this. We’re going to have to assert ourselves as the establishment. It’s not a given that we have to be governed by appeasement oriented idiots.

James Healy on November 14, 2009 at 09:00 pm
Avatar for Kevin

If the West continues to go down the path of appeasing everyone to avoid confrontation and hurting other people’s feelings, then the West is done.  Islam is confident and strong and their numbers are growing every day.  The West is collapsing economically, politically, and socially.  Unless America can lead the way again, unless our government and her people can find the guts to do what is right, and unless Western peoples can stop being a bunch of whiny atheist cultural relativists that believe in nothing, we are doomed within the next century.

Kevin on November 15, 2009 at 12:57 am
Avatar for Bill Dodson

England is dead.  The US is dying.  Our only hope is for someone to come running with the paddles and give us a shock.  I fear that the shock will not be Major Hasan’s murderous rampage, but something far worse.  Something more like 9/11. Even then, there’s no guarantee we’ll abide the doctor’s strict advice.  We may go back to our old ways and kill ourselves like Brittain.

Bill Dodson on November 15, 2009 at 03:09 am
Avatar for Stergeye

I though AlGore was just being stupid back in ‘93 when he defined “E Pluribus Unum” to a roomful of fatuous college students as meaning “Out of one, many.”
But that is precisely the aim of the “diversity” which is so important to General Casey. 
Soon the US military will be as encumbered as the Austro-Hungarian army of the 19th Century, with every unit weighed down with a baggage train of interpreters, diversity consultants, and grievance couselors.

Stergeye on November 15, 2009 at 03:10 am
Avatar for Revnant Dream

The Turtle of Multiculturalism squeezes deeper into the shell of our civilization.
Barricades have never worked, nor Castles to keep a foe away. Real or not. The first & foremost rot arises in the breast of the Polity itself in most cases.
You have to face the problem in earnest.
Islam plays a role, but by far where our worst enemies by appeasement to totalitarian principles disguised as Religion.

Most people only know the Disney version of fairy tales. Grim oral teaching by an illiterate culture that spawned these cautionary tales for the education. If not survival of their progeny. Have been re-written into syrup with no moral or lesson except a secular sordid view of a Utopian end.
Our culture cannot even bare anymore even its Myths that have morality. Its not a purple World of Barney. Its become Peewee’s Playhouse.

Revnant Dream on November 15, 2009 at 05:38 am
Avatar for drew chatterton

As George Jonas said- Roosevelt would have been considered totally mad if the day after Pearl Harbour, he had visited a Shinto shrine, now it just seems normal- the droll headline ” Muslims worry about backlash from tomorrows train bombing”  seems more and more not funny at all.  Expect to seem some lawsuits agaist the Army brass and the officials at Walter Reed who were supposed to protect the public from psychotic would be psychiatrists, but instead protected themselves from possible criticism from the cult of multi cult.

drew chatterton on November 15, 2009 at 08:55 pm
Avatar for Scared Senior

I have an idea for a novel. 

Imagine there’s a group of Americans who call themselves, “The Base.”  They blog about threats they see to the United States and our way of life—before we started buying into moral-cultural relativism. 

These folks start posting pieces stating that good Americans ought to take “direct action” against those who are enemies of America—both foreign and domestic. 

The next day, the offices of several Hamas-front organizations in Dearborn, MI burst into flames.  Fortunately, they were empty. 

What happens next?

Scared Senior on November 15, 2009 at 10:14 pm
Avatar for Demo

The WAR of wars has started. It is a demographic war to destroy our European civilizations, and even to bring our biological extermination. While our generals are fighting with the last war weapons, they usually do, our enemies are using new age weapons. Their weapons of aggression are invasion/immigration and proliferation. Aliens cast their bloody eyes on our lands and our women under slogans of diversity and multi-cult. While our generals are loosing the fights in alien lands, our politically correct idiot politicians at home betray us. It is high time to get rid of the appeasement idiots as one reader suggested. This is one war we cannot afford to loose.

Demo on November 16, 2009 at 01:49 am
Avatar for lt_scrounge

What would happen next is the idiots in the DoJ would be searching for the people who burnt the offices down and ignoring the fact that cases of illegal fully automatic AK-47s, RPGs, mortars and handgrenades were found in the basement. They’d also be subpoenaing every possible bloggers list of visitors and issuing cease and desist court orders against anyone who might be conservative. If you haven’t noticed, the Obama administration’s idea of the first amendment ONLY applies to Liberals, communists and other anti American types. The rest of us are not supposed to express our opinions, and/or are criticized and belittled for doing so. When over a million people from across the country converge on DC and they belittle them for their efforts, it’s time to change the politicians.

lt_scrounge on November 16, 2009 at 02:15 am
Avatar for staghounds

Difficult, annoying, and dangerous a they are, the Moslems can’t make us change our appeasement direction. Their pinpricks and slaps, open sourced as they are, present no good target for opposition. Or at least, no target (RIYADH) that our masters are willing to confront and actually punish.

staghounds on November 16, 2009 at 10:57 am
Avatar for Reddsparks

Please, take me back to the good ole days when we were a “melting pot.” Now we have become what the liberal multiculturalists call a “salad bowl,” and therein lies our problem. We are no longer one country of Americans. The country is expected to assimilate to its immigrants, legal or otherwise, rather than the other way around. I don’t expect that newcomers to this country should give up their heritage. Quite the contrary; variety is the spice of life. But in the melting pot, the spices all contributed to one tasty American stew. In the salad bowl, the ingredients are all trying to assert themselves and overpower the flavor of the dish.

Reddsparks on November 16, 2009 at 07:10 pm
Avatar for Barry

Bill Dodson on November 14: “England is dead.  The US is dying.” 

Not quite - we have the BNP, which the media have been unable to put down. Large areas of the UK (and don’t forget Scotland, Wales and N Ireland) are still largely monocultural and getting angry.

I don’t see an “ANP” yet - you’ll need one.

Barry on November 18, 2009 at 10:34 am
Avatar for Mary McBrien

Remember the movie Brazil? Terrorists blew things up regularly as people pretended not to notice.  In restaurants waiters would bring out screens to shield the other diners from the carnage so they could continue their meals.  It seemed so bizarre at the time.

Mary McBrien on November 19, 2009 at 11:36 am
Avatar for Tony

This is going to be a problem for a long time. We are made to feel guilty when we don’t accommodate every other religion yet we can’t even say the Pledge of Allegiance in school anymore. Bad things are going to happen until we decide to take back this country.

Tony on January 18, 2011 at 05:10 pm
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