Doctor Hasan was stopped by an amazingly brave policewoman, Sgt. Kimberly Denise Munley, who ran towards the gunfire and, along with her partner (if a Mother Jones article can be believed), ended it. This tiny little 5'3" lady did all she could to put down the mass murderer long before he'd finished. Nor was it her first act of heroism.
You all remember 9/11, and how President Bush was meeting with a group of children when the first attack occurred. He was alerted to the tragedy during the event, and responded by continuing calmly with the children while information was gathered. Barking loons still try to fault Bush's behavior, reading back all we know now into the everything we didn't know then. Evidently they think he should have leapt up, screamed like a girl, and told all the children to hide under their desks. Or he should have ripped off his suit to reveal a flight uniform underneath, and announced he was going to pilot a jet and kill the terrorists.
So how did President Obama respond to this horrible terrorist attack on our own soil? Unlike 9/11, the nature of the attack was basically known from the start. Obama was not in the middle of an event, though he had a completely-missable talk scheduled. What did Obama do?
You can see for yourself. The Commander in Chief went right right ahead with business as usual. He starts lightly, says "I wanna give a shout-out" to someone present. He chit-chats and schmoozes, drinks in the applause. A dozen of the soldiers under his command lie dead, killed by an American terrorist in the army, dozens more are wounded, but that (to Obama) is no reason to upset this pleasant little event where he can talk about himself and his constituents.
Then at about two minutes he mentions the tragic event, and makes a number of self-referential remarks about it. Then goes on with his speech, 150 seconds later.
Appropriately, Obama's lightness has horrified many. One is surprised to read an article about the President's "frightening insensitivity" over at the NBC Chicago site, including the description of "a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president."
Yet even that article goes on to lay the blame at the feet of... Obama? No no; his advisors, his political machine. Not him.
Anyone think Ronald Reagan would have needed someone to tell him how to respond to a tragedy of this nature? Or even accepting the premise, does Obama get a pass for who he selects to advise him?
The best, wisest, most sobering and alarming observations I've read thus far come from Mark Steyn. These violent acts did not spring up without warning; there were many clear and horrifying signs in this soldier's online, public words. But a PoMo, diversity-mad culture shielded him and betrayed his victims.
Steyn concludes, "America has the best troops and fiercest firepower, but no strategy for throttling the ideology that drives the enemy – in Afghanistan and in Texas."
I voiced similar concerns over three years ago. Here is some of what I wrote, with a little added emphasis:
So the President tells us we're at war with terror, with terrorism, with people who have hijacked Islam. They're the bad guys, we're the good guys, and we'll win. That's what he says. And what I read among conservatives is that we'll surely win, because we've got the best-trained, best-equipped army in the world. They revel in videos of American hardware taking out buildings and people with amazing precision, and devastating effectiveness. It may take time, but we'll win. We're in the right, and we have the best army and the most withering firepower.
Do you see anything worrisome in that?
Of course they are the bad guys. Despicable monsters who deliberately target non-combatants, who sneak in and use our very humaneness against us, who slaughter women and children with fervent glee -- that isn't a hard call. They need to be opposed, sought out, exterminated.
Are we the good guys? Here's where it gets stickier. How many millions of children have been slaughtered now, on the altar of immorality without consequences? How many practices and attitudes that God declares repulsive have we embraced, lionized, and fostered -- even in our professedly Christian churches?
"Better" guys, maybe. But "good"? In God's eyes? That worries me.
...What is it we really need, then? In a word, repentance. National, wide-reaching, root-to-branches repentance. Nothing more, less, nor other. We haven't the ghost of an echo of an excuse for our moral and spiritual condition before God, not one, and we should stop fabricating them.UPDATE: here's a refreshing perspective from a reporter for The Telegraph, titled Bloodless President Barack Obama makes Americans wistful for George W Bush. Money-quotation, referring to Obama's second attempt to talk about the attack: "Completely missing was the eloquence that Mr Obama employs when talking about himself."
But we're not even close to that point yet. Do you remember, after 9/11, when a preacher or two even dared to suggest that it might in any sense be a judgment from God? What happened? Did this spark a national, soul-searching discussion, humbling, mourning over our sins? No. They upstarts were buried alive under howls of derision. It wasn't that they were judged and proven wrong; it was that the very suggestion was obscene, impermissible, unspeakable. Worse still, it was in bad taste! Grammar school kids can be taught about homosexuality, but adults cannot be asked to consider whether their actions merit God's judgment.
So, as of that date, America was not prepared even to frame the discussion, let alone humble itself appropriately.
To be plain, I wouldn't leap to a one-for-one conclusion that this horrid tragedy happened because of this or that sin. But I would say, without hesitation or fear of contradiction, that America deserves God's further judgment. If He were to wipe us from the face of the earth today, none could gainsay His justice. That's how bad it is.
So that is what worries me about the Global War on Terror. Not that it isn't a just cause, and not that President Bush isn't a good man with at least some of the right ideas on what is needed. It's the widespread notion that we'll win because we're good, or strong. It's the thought that an ideology can be defeated and replaced with nothing. We're ready to tell the Islamofascists that they're wrong, and yet in America we can't even publicly suggest the relatively colorless notion of Intelligent Design without sparking a chorus of insults and abuse. Being a practicing Christian disqualifies one from holding public office. Obscenity can be presented in public, but the Ten Commandments cannot. We aren't even permitted the categories that would allow the discussion to move in the right direction. We can't even ask the questions.
If you're not worrying with me yet, let me add one last, chilling thought.
If what has happened to us thus far hasn't even provoked the first beginnings of real soul-searching (and it hasn't)...
...what will it take?