The massacre comes at a time when President Obama looks more like his predecessor and the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are far from deescalating.
That said it should also be expected that much will be made about the alleged shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan (39), who is said to be an American born Muslim of Palestinian/Jordanian descent.
Major Hasan is suspected of taking 13 lives and wounding 30 others, as of this writing.
Though the story is still unfolding the Guardian reports that Major Hasan, a military psychiatrist, has in recent months grown increasingly "unhappy" in his career and has even been seeking to be honorably discharged.
The report says in part:
Unusually for a soldier, Hasan appeared to have little taste for violence, at least up until yesterday. His cousin, Nader Hasan, said: "He was someone who did not enjoy going to the firing range." That may have been a consequence of the stories he had heard in the hospital wards from the returning soldiers.I expect that as Major Hasan, who is still alive according to a news report, is put on trial his co-accused will be all Muslims, particularly those living inside the US.
Hasan became an unhappy soldier as his career progressed, according to his family and colleagues.
Nader said his cousin, though born in America, had suffered harassment from fellow soldiers who questioned his loyalty to the US and commented on his Middle East ethnicity. As a Muslim, he was upset at the killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Nader confirmed that he had been resisting deployment in either war zone.
He had been scheduled for deployment to Iraq at the end of the year and had told colleagues repeatedly he did not want to go. He felt trapped, looking at ways to buy his way out, even going to the extent of hiring a lawyer to see if he could leave military service honourably.
Racist questions about the compatibility of Islam inside American democracy and culture will resurface.
And from inside Muslim communities there will be persistent voices who will seek to demonstrate their loyalty to America over their misgivings about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I dare add that even as more Muslims were killed in American drone attacks in Pakistan yesterday the fixation will be on situating the US as the victim of Islam and its terrorists.
In addition to the horror that this massacre represents it is necessary to see the US inside of the absolute violence that it has perpetrated in the Middle East.
I have said it here before, Islam is not at war with the US, rather it is the US that is at war with Muslims (Islam).
And that war is not about ideology or even religion. It is about resources. Oil in short!
I left the US in 2005 after 23 years, most of my life. A big part of my decision was the fact that I could not live inside of, and pay taxes to, a state that was at war with innocent people who looked like me and mine.
I absolutely refused to adopt an apologetic silence/posture while the noise about Islam and terrorism was all about me.
Don't get me twisted though. I am not even trying to defend what happened today at Fort Hood. Nor am I trying to agitate that all Muslims have no option but to leave the US.
It should be said that there are many Americans of every persuasion who abhor and resist what the US government is doing in the Middle East and elsewhere.
I am, however, pressing the (my) reality that I could not continue to live with conscience, and pay taxes, to an ever expanding and warmongering empire.
At one early stage in my life I was drawn to the idea of America. But as I looked closer I saw that the idea never really passed being more than just an ideal.
As Satre said, America is a brute and brutal.
There is a lot more of a fallout to come and innocent lives will continue to be spent.
And so the brutality of America/US continues ... one undoing dialectic at a time.
You simply can't run from your history ...