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Is Political Correctness a Clear and Present Danger?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/...
httpwww washingtonpost comwp-dyncontentarticle200911

Medicalizing mass murder
Friday, November 13, 2009



What a surprise -- that someone who shouts "Allahu Akbar" (the "God is great" jihadist battle cry) as he is shooting up a room of American soldiers might have Islamist motives. It certainly was a surprise to the mainstream media, which spent the weekend after the Fort Hood massacre playing down Nidal Hasan's religious beliefs.




This Story



  • Medicalizing mass murder


  • Failing the troops at Fort Hood


  • In plain sight?


  • This Story



    • Maj. Hasan's worst offense


    • Medicalizing mass murder


    • In plain sight?

    • "I cringe that he's a Muslim. . . . I think he's probably just a nut case," said Newsweek's Evan Thomas. Some were more adamant. Time's Joe Klein decried "odious attempts by Jewish extremists . . . to argue that the massacre perpetrated by Nidal Hasan was somehow a direct consequence of his Islamic beliefs." While none could match Klein's peculiar cherchez-le-juif motif, the popular story line was of an Army psychiatrist driven over the edge by terrible stories he had heard from soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.


      They suffered. He listened. He snapped.


      Really? What about the doctors and nurses, the counselors and physical therapists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who every day hear and live with the pain and the suffering of returning soldiers? How many of them then picked up a gun and shot 51 innocents?


      And what about civilian psychiatrists -- not the Upper West Side therapist treating Woody Allen neurotics, but the thousands of doctors working with hospitalized psychotics -- who every day hear not just tales but cries of the most excruciating anguish, of the most unimaginable torment? How many of those doctors commit mass murder?


      It's been decades since I practiced psychiatry. Perhaps I missed the epidemic.


      But, of course, if the shooter is named Nidal Hasan, who National Public Radio reported had been trying to proselytize doctors and patients, then something must be found. Presto! Secondary post-traumatic stress disorder, a handy invention to allow one to ignore the obvious.



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      And the perfect moral finesse. Medicalizing mass murder not only exonerates. It turns the murderer into a victim, indeed a sympathetic one. After all, secondary PTSD, for those who believe in it (you won't find it in DSM-IV-TR, psychiatry's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), is known as "compassion fatigue." The poor man -- pushed over the edge by an excess of sensitivity.


      Have we totally lost our moral bearings? Nidal Hasan (allegedly) cold-bloodedly killed 13 innocent people. His business card had his name, his profession, his medical degrees and his occupational identity. U.S. Army? No. "SoA" -- Soldier of Allah. In such cases, political correctness is not just an abomination. It's a danger, clear and present.


      Consider the Army's treatment of Hasan's previous behavior. NPR's Daniel Zwerdling interviewed a Hasan colleague at Walter Reed about a hair-raising grand rounds that Hasan had apparently given. Grand rounds are the most serious academic event at a teaching hospital -- attending physicians, residents and students gather for a lecture on an instructive case history or therapeutic finding.


      I've been to dozens of these. In fact, I gave one myself on post-traumatic retrograde amnesia -- as you can see, these lectures are fairly technical. Not Hasan's. His was an hour-long disquisition on what he called the Koranic view of military service, jihad and war. It included an allegedly authoritative elaboration of the punishments visited upon nonbelievers -- consignment to hell, decapitation, having hot oil poured down your throat. This "really freaked a lot of doctors out," reported NPR.


      Nor was this the only incident. "The psychiatrist," reported Zwerdling, "said that he was the kind of guy who the staff actually stood around in the hallway saying: Do you think he's a terrorist, or is he just weird?"


      Was anything done about this potential danger? Of course not. Who wants to be accused of Islamophobia and prejudice against a colleague's religion?


      One must not speak of such things. Not even now. Not even after we know that Hasan was in communication with a notorious Yemen-based jihad propagandist. As late as Tuesday, The New York Times was running a story on how returning soldiers at Fort Hood had a high level of violence.


      What does such violence have to do with Hasan? He was not a returning soldier. And the soldiers who returned home and shot their wives or fellow soldiers didn't cry "Allahu Akbar" as they squeezed the trigger.


      The delicacy about the religion in question -- condescending, politically correct and deadly -- is nothing new. A week after the first (1993) World Trade Center attack, the same New York Times ran the following front-page headline about the arrest of one Mohammed Salameh: "Jersey City Man Is Charged in Bombing of Trade Center."


      Ah yes, those Jersey men -- so resentful of New York, so prone to violence.


      letters@charleskrauthammer.com

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  • flaca BN-0 2009/11/20 22:13:49
    flaca BN-0
    +1
    The documentary last night on Mumbai incident said a lot about this. People with questionnable self-esteem, and very maleable, will believe (and do) anything if they think some higher power is speaking divinely.
  • RayG 2009/11/20 11:38:01
    RayG
    +1
    As usual, Charles Krauthammer is right on target. PC is going to be the death of this once great Nation.
  • Jerry (Iron Priest)☮ R ☮ P ☮ 201
    +1
    it's really stupid that our society find it nessessary to label our violent enemies as victims. Where in the world do they get that from? The Muslim religion teaches that it is good to kill those who do not believe in it. It's like a modern day "Inquisition." Our leaders had better open their eyes and ears.
  • Sherry ... Jerry (... 2009/11/14 06:19:24
    Sherry Mowery, My Cowboy suffers no longer...
    +3
    They can't, their leader is a muslim.
  • Jerry (... Sherry ... 2009/11/14 06:30:32
    Jerry (Iron Priest)☮ R ☮ P ☮ 201
    Point taken. Why does he tell us he's Christian?
  • Sherry ... Jerry (... 2009/11/14 06:38:26
    Sherry Mowery, My Cowboy suffers no longer...
    Don't ask me I won't judge someones faith, but, I do question what faith would he be?
  • Winnel 2009/11/14 06:02:18
  • Sherry ... Winnel 2009/11/14 06:19:43
    Sherry Mowery, My Cowboy suffers no longer...
    +1
    He is!
  • zlgriff~PWCM~JLA 2009/11/14 06:00:01
    zlgriff~PWCM~JLA
    +2
    yes, it is, i cannot stand the pc crap. oh don't want to offend anybody even if they are out to kill us, their feelings are more important.....phooey to that junk
  • Sherry ... zlgriff... 2009/11/14 06:20:03
  • Sherry Mowery, My Cowboy su... 2009/11/14 05:57:58
    Sherry Mowery, My Cowboy suffers no longer...
    +3
    Political Correctness has always been a part of the fascist agenda, it is part of their game plan, nothing new about it. Most just follow along and assume they are doing the "right thing". PC is nothing more than a tool to control and brainwash the social structure to pave the way for complete control over every aspect of life or Communism. What does it take to wake people up? A jihadi terrorist sheltered by PC so he can murder 13 people and wound 42 more? I am waiting for this country to produce some politicians that will stand up and act like Americans with some back bone and put American interests first for a change. Someone who will call a spade a spade and not worry about hurting someone's feelings or stepping on someone's toes. It is time that our government started putting its citizens first and drop the PC crap.

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Sherry Mowery, My Cowboy suffers no longer...

Sherry Mowery, My Cowboy suffers no longer...

Granbury, TX, US

2009/07/22 12:48:46

It has been one year, I miss you Cowboy!

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