Monday, November 16, 2009

Fort Hood, Obama, Congress, and Getting a Job Done

Depending on your point of view, the American Congress is nobly concerned with what appears to be a serious SNAFU that led to the Fort Hood shootings: or eager to have a three-ring Congressional Hearing so they can get on camera and explain why if only they'd been in charge, Major Nidal Malik Hasan wouldn't have shot all those people.

Or, how:
  • Only more federal spending in their state will prevent another tragedy
  • It's 'obvious' that the Fort Hood shootings are the result of
    • Racism
    • The military-industrial complex
      • Maybe not: This one's getting a bit old
  • Like everything else, it's the fault of
    • The Bush Administration
      • Either one
      • Or both
    • Republicans
    • Democrats
    • Right-wing extremists
    • Whatever
One bogey man I'm pretty sure wouldn't be proclaimed by a member of Congress is 'the commies.' As I wrote yesterday, blaming commie plots for problems is seriously out of fashion these days.

This Blog isn't Political

I'm not - putting it mildly - in full agreement with many of President Barack Obama's policies and programs. But I'm not "against" President Obama: in the sense that I want him to fail, not matter what. I'm not "for" the president, either, if that means cheering his statements and decisions simply because he's the one who made them. (June 21, 2009)

I've got very well-defined views on the war on terror. For example:
  • I think there's a war on: and that no amount of creative labeling is going to change that.
  • I hope that America and our allies win: partly because I prefer living in a world where it's okay to wear trousers, drink beer, or 'let' women drive cars.
In some circles, saying that I hope America wins probably brands me as a conservative - and a radical right-wing one, at that.

A fairly common assumption in America is that people are either conservative, liberal, "moderate," or apathetic. For people who sort out other people that way, I'm obviously conservative: except in the ways that I'm obviously liberal. (A Catholic Citizen in America (November 3, 2008))

This blog reflects my beliefs that America isn't perfect, but isn't the source of all the world's ills, either. I also think that America is one of the few countries with the ability, and willingness, to provide leadership in coalitions like the one that ended a brutal dictator's rule Iraq.

And, I'm convinced that sometimes people aren't nice because they've decided to be not-nice.

But I don't support Republican positions because I'm a staunch Republican - or Democratic positions because I'm a dedicated Democrat. On occasion, each of the two major parties say or do something that makes sense. That I support.

Congress, Fort Hood, and President Obama

This doesn't happen all that often - I agree with President Barack Obama.
"President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Congress to hold off on any investigation of the Fort Hood rampage until federal law enforcement and military authorities have completed their probes into the shootings at the Texas Army post, which left 13 people dead....

"...Obama turned his attention home and pleaded for lawmakers to 'resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into the political theater.' He said those who died on the nation's largest Army post deserve justice, not political stagecraft.

" 'The stakes are far too high,' Obama said in a video and Internet address released by the White House...

"...Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, was charged on Thursday with the shooting spree at Fort Hood last week. Army investigators have said Hasan is the only suspect and could face additional charges...."
(AP)
So far, this makes sense. On the other hand, the White House Press Secretary published this press release: Political grandstanding? I'm not going to make that claim. The president - whoever holds the office - is an executive. A competent executive, faced with the possibility that something went horribly wrong in his or her organization, should see to it that a thorough investigation be made.

And, so far, there's nothing I've seen to indicate that FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been mishandling the case.

Congress? Yes, if law enforcement agencies seem to be blundering, and the executive branch wasn't dealing with the situation, then I'd say that Congress might have a reason get their blue-ribbon panels together, organize their press conferences, and maybe even spend some time asking sensible questions.

But, as things stand now, I think the best thing Congress could do is get out of the way, and let professionals do their jobs.

Related posts: In the news:

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Blogroll

Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.