06 November 2009

Amoklauf Aftermath

A lot of people on television last night talked as if they had a personal stake of some kind in the details of yesterday's killing rampage at Fort Hood. On CNN, during the Larry King program, a former POW and advocate for PTSD sufferers argued bitterly with a former JAG as Dr. Phill looked on perplexedly. The JAG was inclined to dismiss any suggestion that the shooter (then still thought to be dead) might have been suffering from PTSD or even some vicarious form of it acquired from treating sufferers. He was more inclined to believe that the amoklauf was a religiously motivated terrorist attack. The PTSD advocate was outraged that the JAG would not allow the possibility that the shooter had mental issues, while Dr. Phil thought the JAG's speculation on terrorist motives was unfairly provocative. On Fox News Sean Hannity was at least talking to someone who knew the shooter, a colonel who elaborated on the information that the major was resisting deployment to Iraq. Hannity was interested in learning to what extent the major had spoken out against the war itself. This was a fair line of inquiry, but there's something about Hannity that made me suspect that he was trying to build a case against the entire anti-war movement as the enablers of the shooter's fury. But another of his guests reined him in by noting that many thousands of people, both military and civilian, have denounced the war without taking up arms against the military. The guest's suspicion was that the motivation for the attack ran much deeper than anything politics could explain. At the same hour on MSNBC Rachel Maddow was pretty much in plain reporter mode, but an hour earlier Keith Olbermann had led, not with the shootings, but with the "Kill the Bill" rally in Washington so he could accuse Rep. Bachmann of inciting violence against the government. I guess there was no way to turn the Fort Hood story against the Republicans, so it had to get somewhere back in line of Countdown's priorities.

As I write this afternoon, the media report a "High-Rise Rampage" in an Orlando office building. The early word is that a shooter has killed one person and wounded several others, and may still be at large in the structure. The beat goes on....

1 comment:

hobbyfan said...

On the surface, the Ft. Hood incident has spawned at least one copycat. The guy in Orlando is still at large as of this writing (2:30 ET) and was fired from his job in that same building 2 years ago. He waits until now to act? It's a crime of opportunity more than one of those "amoklauf" rampages. Lord knows there've been enough of those already this year.

As for Maj. Hassan, it seems to me he took the "amoklauf" route as a means of getting attention. If he was so adamant about not accepting his assignment to Iraq---and I would venture a guess and say it might be for "religious reasons"---why couldn't a compromise be reached before this? At least he & Jason Rodriguez, the Orlando shooter, are still among the living. For now.