Emerging Bias: Newsweek Claims Fort Hood Shooter Exposed Overstretched 'Military on the Brink'

In a case of trying to find liberal angles on a tragic shooting, switching the focus of blame and judgment from the mass murderer to the military, Newsweek's Andrew Bast asked on the magazine's blog The Human Condition: "Is Fort Hood A Harbinger? Nidal Malik Hasan May Be A Symptom of a Military On the Brink."So the shooting is the Pentagon's fault? And they may inspire more shootings to come? Newsweek is going there:

Details remained murky, but at least 13 are dead and 30 wounded in a killing spree that may momentarily remind us of a reality that most Americans can readily forget: soldiers and their families are living, and bending, under a harrowing and unrelenting stress that will not let up anytime soon. And the U.S. military could well be reaching a breaking point as the president decides to send more troops into Afghanistan.

It’s almost humorous to watch Bast write "details remain murky," but I’m going to venture forth and start spinning the MoveOn.org anti-war line:

It's hard to draw too many conclusions right now, but we do know this: Thursday night, authorities shot and then apprehended the lone suspect, Major Nidal Malik Hasan. A psychiatrist who was set to deploy to Iraq at the end of the month, Hasan reportedly opened fire around the "Readiness Center" at Fort Hood, where troops are prepared for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. And though this scene is a most extreme and tragic outlier, it comes at a time when the stress of combat has affected so many soldiers individually that it makes it increasingly difficult for the military as a whole to deploy for wars abroad.

Bast isn’t being very subtle. Our warmakers are causing our soldiers to kill themselves, and others:

Hasan's perspective is unknown. He had yet to fight abroad. But the accusations against him can't help but bring to mind the violence scarring military bases all over the country after the duration of two long, brutal wars.

It’s also not too early in the story for Andrew Bast to mock conservatives as "morally bankrupt" for their speculation:

And yet, some are already suggesting that Maj. Hasan's lack of combat experience precludes us from assuming the crimes were at all influenced by the stress of war. "They weren't in Iraq," author Dinesh D'Souza said on television Thursday night, analyzing the culprit. "They were living a normal, everyday life." But he is wrong. In the midst of two wars, those living as military and military family experience a different, often more distressing, everyday experience of 'normal.' And forgetting that, either in understanding this singular case, or making a decision about more deployments, is dangerous at best, and morally bankrupt at worst.

To Bast, conservatives are merciless in "pushing a thumb down on an already stressed-out military" and guaranteeing a repeat of the "homegrown terror on display" in Texas:

The U.S. is drawing down troops in Iraq at a quick clip, but General Stanley McChrystal has requested tens of thousands more to fight in Afghanistan. Though President Obama has made no decision about the way forward, some suggest that as many 80,000 more could be sent in as reinforcements. That would put nearly 150,000 American soldiers in country for at least the foreseeable future, pushing a thumb down on an already stressed-out military. Of course, the vast majority of those under that stress, no matter how brutal, will not pick up a gun and shoot indiscriminately, like Hasan did. But the situation is bad, and getting much worse. From there, it isn't much of a leap to argue that the to further tax our military would do as much as anything to guarantee that the homegrown terror on display today could well repeat itself in the future.

This is just another case of an anti-war blogger pretending they're for "the troops" because they want them removed from war zones.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis