Commentary Magazine


It’s Good for Diversity!

Eugene Robinson tries his best to provide a modicum of common sense on Fort Hood, but alas he is forced to dress it up in the gauze of diversity. He first declares:

There’s a difference between sensitivity and stupidity. If there were indeed signs that Maj. Nidal Hasan, the alleged Fort Hood mass murderer, was becoming radicalized in his opposition to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army had a duty to act — before he did.

So far, so good. Let’s see if the self-deluded liberal scribes intent on ignoring the obvious have the nerve then to lump Robinson in with the “bigots” in the right blogosphere who’ve been saying this for a few days now.

But Robinson feels compelled to tread carefully here. Why is it that we should have acted? Well, to help Maj. Nadal Hasan and Muslims more generally, you see. There was plenty of evidence of Hasan’s radicalized religious views, Robinson advises:

All this should have been enough to prompt an urgent intervention by Army brass, regardless of Hasan’s religion. That it did not is unfair to the thousands of Muslims who have served in the military, and continue to do so, with honor and distinction.

And really, Hasan was a victim here, believing, says Robinson, that “his faith was under assault.” So Robinson assures his fellow liberals that it really was OK to intervene:

Had authorities learned in advance of any link between Hasan and radical Islam — as opposed to the mainstream Islam practiced by more than a billion people worldwide — they could have moved immediately to ensure that Hasan could not hurt others or himself. That wouldn’t have been an act of bigotry, it would have been an act of prudence, even compassion.

Well, it’s better than what Gen. Casey was spewing out. But the laborious effort to defend the need for intervention and the convoluted justification for focusing on Hasan’s infatuation with radical Islam reveal the depth to which the Left has become paralyzed by political correctness. They can only defend Americans as part of a mental-health or  diversity-outreach campaign.

This is nonsense, of course. The purpose of intervention would not have been to secure the reputations of other Muslims. It would have been to prevent Hasan from slaughtering innocents. National security need not be justified as a diversity program. It’s a life-saving program.

It is the diversity obsession and the give-no-offense mentality that, we fear, allowed Hasan to avoid a stringent inquiry. I suppose Robinson can satisfy himself and those like-minded, squeamish souls who can’t bear to think they’re trampling on the sensibilities of anyone. But let’s be clear: the Army didn’t fail the “Muslim community”; it failed 43 wounded or slain people and their families. And to prevent it from happening again, we need to get over the diversity fetish (which imagines that Americans are too dumb to distinguish between nonviolent Muslims and those who’ve adopted a murderous ideology) and get on with the business of fighting a war against those who want many, many more Fort Hoods.