Political correctness: Obama’s fear for semantics

Obama premio nobel: ¿bueno o malo?

It’s ten days after the Fort Hood massacre. Putting aside the political correctness and the fear to semantics, it was a clear act of terror. Last week, Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Texas’ Army Base mass shootings.

Shouting “Allahu Akbar” [God is great], Hasan, 39, opened fire at a soldier processing center at the Army base in Killeen, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding about 30 others, Nov. 5, when he fired about 100 rounds at his comrades filling out deployment paperwork.

Hasan was charged and will be tried in the military’s court-martial system, which makes him eligible for a maximum sentence of the death penalty, while the minimum he could face is life in prison. Although this has been classified as the worst mass shooting on an American military base, the charges do not include the word ‘terrorism’, thus far.

Communications and wiring money to terrorist groups, belligerent, defensive and argumentative attitude, frequent discussions about his Muslim faith, are some of the evidence and lines of investigation being considered. However, his defense is preparing to argue fear of his imminent deployment to the war in Afghanistan and potential psychiatric problems, caused him to snap.

On his part, the FBI has said they provided the Army with information stating Hasan was exchanging e-mails with an Al Qaeda recruiter in Yemen, but the Army has denied it.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has trouble defining Hasan’s actions as a terrorism act, under the argument that it could be seen as demonizing Islam.  In fact, mainstream media has followed that trend. The Culture and Media Institute found that evening news reports on the broadcast networks following the massacre, mentioned the Muslim faith of accused shooter Nidal Hasan, in just 29 percent; while 93 percent of the stories did not mention the word ‘terror’ or ‘terrorism’. Overall, media referred to a possible terrorism link, just seven times in 48 reports.

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No doubt. Semantics are now the fear of the White House. During what was supposed to be a speech addressing the Fort Hood massacre, Tuesday, President Barack Obama went nearly two full minutes before mentioning the unfortunate event, giving a shout-out about Native American rights, first.

It results truly strange when in the middle of a national tragedy, a leader chooses to divert the core subject in such manner. The appropriate expression of sympathy and solidarity with the victims and the families was absent.  Moreover, after speaking about a different issue before addressing the terrorist slaughter, he was very direct on advising the country to not jump to any conclusions. Again, political correctness. Despite Obama’s recommendations, with the information available about Hasan, is not difficult to get to the conclusion that he is, in fact, an extremist.

A sharp approach on terrorism and political correctness -which I also refer to as fear to semantics- was made last week on The Wall Street Journal. Author Daniel Henninger said the following:

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“The reason we erect an apparatus of surveillance and intelligence in what some don’t want to call the war on terror is to avoid this death and unfathomable grief.

“In our time, nothing was bigger than the nearly 3,000 killed on September 11 (…) The most-heard reason for the possible failure is political correctness. (…) The problem is confusion. The combatants at each end of the spectrum in the war over the war on terror know exactly what they think about surveilling suspected terrorists. But if you are an intel officer or FBI agent tasked with providing the protection, what are you supposed to make of all this bitter public argument? What you make of it is that when you get a judgment call, like Maj. Hasan, you hesitate. You blink.

“Now everyone thinks the call was obvious. But it wasn’t so obvious before the tragedy. Not if for years you have watched a country and its political class in rancorous confusion about the enemy, the legal standing of the enemy, or the legal status and scope of the methods it wants to use to fight the enemy.

“In war, uncertainty gets you killed. It just did.

“Everyone has seen the pictures of inconsolable grief amid the coffins of Fort Hood. Only one person can resolve the confusion that let this happen: the president.

“This is the president who told his attorney general to decide if the CIA officers who water-boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be held criminally liable.

“But two weeks ago, Mr. Obama met 18 coffins returned from Afghanistan. Whatever he decides about the Afghan troop deployment, what won’t change is that over there or here at home, they will keep trying to kill us.

“To give us better odds of protection than we had last week, President Obama should do two things: Call off the CIA investigation. Then call in the guys who didn’t make the right call on Hasan and ask why not. Then, whatever set the bar too high, lower it. His “base” won’t like it. So what? What he saw in Texas was worse.

 

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The massacre at Fort Hood was not a crime, nor the action of a victim of stress; it is an act of terror carried out by a domestic terrorist because of Jihad, the Muslim holy war.

The president can continue to act in political correctness, but it is a fact that fanatical Muslims will continue to plan plots to kill innocent Americans and other so-called ‘infidels’, as true as they believe it is their mission in life. The warning evidence and alarm bells heard months before Hasan’s massive attack should have been enough to prevent the Fort Hood’s massacre. But it wasn’t due to the ‘political correctness’ dictated from the highest sphere of power in the nation. The aftermath of this tragic event should also be a warning sign for the White House to depart from their pre 9-11 mentality.

Aurelia Fierros
Acerca de Aurelia Fierros 33 Articles
(Spanish version after this) Aurelia Fierros has lived in the Los Angeles area for nearly 10 years. During her journalism career years, she has been a reporter, script writer, producer and host for TV and Radio newscasts, as well as columnist and article writer for print media in Mexico City. After her arrival to the US in 2000, Aurelia has worked as a freelance reporter, as a corporate communications specialist and as a translator. She has extensive experience and a natural ability for dissecting political and current general issues. Aurelia obtained a Bachelor Degree in Communications Sciences from the University of Sonora, in Hermosillo, Mexico. Locally, she has completed several courses of the Certificate Program in Journalism with concentration in Print and Broadcast Media, at UCLA. *** Nació en Hermosillo, Sonora, México. Ha sido reportera, guionista, productora y conductora de noticieros de TV y radio; articulista y columnista de medios impresos en su país natal. Presenció desde “adentro” la corrupción de la política mexicana cuando al formar parte de la cobertura de la campaña presidencial de 1994, asesinan a Luis Donaldo Colosio, candidato por el entonces partido en el poder, el PRI. A partir de su llegada a los Estados Unidos, en el año 2000, Aurelia se ha desempeñado como periodista independiente, especialista en comunicación corporativa y traductora. Egresada de la facultad de ciencias sociales de la Universidad de Sonora como Licenciada en Ciencias de la Comunicación. Localmente, ha acreditado diversos cursos del Programa de Certificación en Periodismo con concentración en medios impresos y electrónicos de UCLA.