Charles Krauthammer: Medicalizing mass murder

Chris —  November 17, 2009

Why is the media reluctant to acknowledge the reality of radical Islam? 

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer on the media interpretation of the mass murder at Fort Hood:

What a surprise — that someone who shouts "Allahu Akbar" (the "God is great" jihadist battle cry) as he is shooting up a room of American soldiers might have Islamist motives. It certainly was a surprise to the mainstream media, which spent the weekend after the Fort Hood massacre playing down Nidal Hasan’s religious beliefs.

"I cringe that he’s a Muslim. . . . I think he’s probably just a nut case," said Newsweek’s Evan Thomas. Some were more adamant. Time’s Joe Klein decried "odious attempts by Jewish extremists . . . to argue that the massacre perpetrated by Nidal Hasan was somehow a direct consequence of his Islamic beliefs." While none could match Klein’s peculiar cherchez-le-juif motif, the popular story line was of an Army psychiatrist driven over the edge by terrible stories he had heard from soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

They suffered. He listened. He snapped.

Really? What about the doctors and nurses, the counselors and physical therapists at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who every day hear and live with the pain and the suffering of returning soldiers? How many of them then picked up a gun and shot 51 innocents?

And what about civilian psychiatrists — not the Upper West Side therapist treating Woody Allen neurotics, but the thousands of doctors working with hospitalized psychotics — who every day hear not just tales but cries of the most excruciating anguish, of the most unimaginable torment? How many of those doctors commit mass murder?

It’s been decades since I practiced psychiatry. Perhaps I missed the epidemic.

But, of course, if the shooter is named Nidal Hasan, who National Public Radio reported had been trying to proselytize doctors and patients, then something must be found. Presto! Secondary post-traumatic stress disorder, a handy invention to allow one to ignore the obvious. . .

Read more here.

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One response to Charles Krauthammer: Medicalizing mass murder

  1. This post touches upon something that I feel I have yet to properly balance. How does a Christian engage in this sort of thing? I try to steer away from party politics because I want to be identified with Jesus first. Living in NYC, I feel like the issue is always “in my face” so-to-speak. We live 4 blocks away from a Mosque and a school. Our church is located in a neighborhood that has a very large Muslim population. Each day after work we step around praying Muslims on the corner of Broadway & Canal. I believe we are to preach him crucified. Period. Our church prays for the Muslim population regularly. But I struggle with how we are to engage as Christians in the current political and social climate which I belive is very urgent.