Another terrible slaughter has hijacked our thoughts and refueled our fears. So far the information points an idealistic motivation. I’m sure Major Hasan expected to die as he carried out his mission and is surprised to be alive. Speculation will continue until it is overwhelmed with the actual facts. We’ll have to wait for the full story.
One matter is beyond speculation: the consequences. Here are a few that come to mind:
- Increased terror. Isn’t that the objective of all terrorist activities? No ground is won, no hills taken, no booty is accumulated. Instead, fear is generated by bombing, shooting, torturing, kidnapping and executing.
- Increased vigilance. We are quickly becoming a nation nervously looking over her shoulder for the bad guys. “Report anything suspicious,” we’re told. Long, drawn-out airport security checks, warrant-less wiretaps, ubiquitous security cameras, etc.
- Racial profiling. It will be difficult in the days ahead for those who look Middle Eastern or have Arabic sounding names. It will also be more dangerous when traveling to look European.
- Religious stereotyping. Peace-loving Muslims will be lumped together with extremists and jihadists – a tragedy.
- Increased calls to end the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why should our youth be sacrificed to prop up corrupt regimes? Why should those who fought and died for their own liberty foist democracy on countries that will no doubt descend into sectarian and tribal violence as soon as the coalition forces have gone home?
Every action has a reaction. Every decision has results. Long after other events distract us, the consequences of Major Hasan’s murderous actions will continue to haunt us.
Long ago and far, far away some soldiers with crosses on their shields and murder in their hearts slaughtered untold thousands in the name of Christianity. Those who know that Jesus Christ would strongly condemn such ungodliness still live with the consequences.