Soldiers’ Psychology & Discipline: The Fort Hood Affair

Soldiers’ Psychology & Discipline: The Fort Hood Affair

When America fights with Islamists, like in Iraq and Afghanistan, America needs some people who can share a common thread during a battle or in its aftermath: say during a debriefing of an enemy combatant. Playing a good cop, bad cop game … during such episodes. Individually inspired events like Nidal Hasan Malik’s episode hang clouds over the overseas Muslims, including Pakistanis, living in USA and the west …

American army needs diversity in its forces as a strategic and calculated step. It is not for any kind of love for Islam.

by: Mohammad bin Qasim, Justuju

Justuju Meda


Dear Readers:

We had earlier presented you with a similar analysis in Urdu.  Here you can read some updated thoughts in light of the recent developments and disclosures.

Before embarking upon his misguided adventure at Fort Hood, Texas, it is being reported that, Major Hasan Nidal Malik had sent some money to Pakistan too. Since this disclosure was made, American media is out to demand an investigation of Nidal’s Pakistani Links. It is a bit mysterious though that the amount transferred, and the name of beneficiaries have not yet been brought to light. Pakistani authorities ought to have taken a note of such reports, and acted quickly to find out if the money was sent to any persons or organizations linkable to the Terrorism inside or outside Pakistan. It is also possible that the remittances made, obviously through official channels, could be for pure philanthropic purposes, like a private Kerry Lugar Bill Aid.

Now about the incident, some loud thinking about it based on the information generally available so far.

American army needs diversity as a strategic and calculated step. It is not for any kind of love for Islam.

When America fights with Islamists, like in Iraq and Afghanistan, America needs some people who can share a common thread during a battle or in its aftermath: say during a debriefing of an enemy combatant. Playing a good cop, bad cop game … during such episodes.

While, in the current perspective, Nidal’s actions are condemnable to say the least, a cause and effect analysis of another incident in Orlando, Florida, says what! People can go berserk, no matter what their religion, when they feel belittled and betrayed for some reasons. Has anybody talked about the faith practiced by Rodrigues, the latest American fratricide committer? Similar cases in Texas, and at other places in USA, like Oklahoma bombing for instance, have taken place, and no one has ever talked about “their’ faith. One should hold judgment, until a far reaching alarming warning signs of dissent are seen among any given group of individuals, who do not agree with a war continuum by USA. The foot soldiers are tired now, and they need some rest.

About Hasan, this is surprisingly a case of human resources management failure.

Motivation to do his job was lacking: he was getting disenchanted, and at this point in time, he needed to be relieved of his duties, as an unwilling soldier is nothing else than a danger to his own comrades! People like him should be let gone …. with the first hint of a deep dissent to the military objectives. One needs to scrutinize as to what took place during his morning shopping and the afternoon hours that he went berserk! Also, it needs to be closely investigated as to how many people he was able to personally shoot before collapsing. It is highly improbable that he fired as many as 32+13= 45 shots! These many would probably not fit in common US pistol magazines … Looks like in the ensuing confusion some friendly firing took place .. The nature of wounds would speak for themselves.

At this point a question does arise, as to what to do with deserters; nay sayers to lay down their life for objectives not aligned to their own thinking, and how to simply deal with human fear of injuries and death! Very recently UK has awarded 10 years prison sentence to one of its soldiers who refused to Return to a front ….. That could fill up jails with the whole military force if too much leniency is adopted.

It is amazing to see as to how little US forces have learned even after being the most experienced and ferocious fighters in the world since their participation in the world war II.

They have been in every pie. Using atom bombs (at least one was un-necessary after destroying Hiroshima!), Korean wars, Vietnam, Arab Israeli wars, Lebanon civil war, Iranian operations post 1979 revolution, Iraq 1991, Afghanistan 1998, Afghanistan 2002, Iraq 2003, Grenada incursion, Bosnian battles, Afghanistan Russian battles over a very long period from 1979 to 1989, to name a few.

Still the psychological effects of wars on its own military personnel and on its own enemies and the world at large have not been analyzed in sufficient depths.

Hasan Nidal’s shout of “Allah o Akbar” is being termed as a Muslim Jihadist’s battle cry! It is a very common sentence, if you will, used by a common Muslim during his daily chores, just saying a praise to Allah. Like one says, oh my gosh, or Jesus Christ in amazement or in excitement. This is just one of those Islamic values that could be misinterpreted in the background of this horrible incident.

Also it needs to be seen that Hasan was a true Loner. No girl friends, no love life. Most probably he was not even a gay, as is suggested by some. A pious Muslim does live ‘clean’ and remains a true ‘virgin’ until he is religiously allowed after a solemnized marriage. He probably loved his car more than anything, as he got it scraped by a war and ‘crusade’ veteran. This is one thing very difficult to understand in a heavily sexually oriented society. If he was attending a mosque, though a bit irregularly, it just points out that he was a “muttaqi”, a pious person … not willing to harm any one … just bowing to God almighty for his blessings in life.

So what was his motivating factor to carry on in a tough military life, or the social life itself! Not to shoot his comrades one day to get 72 virgins in Paradise – for sure. This is a more complex medico-socio-psycho and ‘environmental hostility’ episode, that probably could never be fully understood, especially when an anti-Islam media drive persists since 9/11.

That is a quality of human beings: Un-predictability. His backlash in revenge (supposedly) is what can be attributed to the basic human nature (jungle laws oriented), and not to a religious indoctrination. Let the American dream live on. When wars are over one day, all would be quite on the western front! “Insha Allah, Allah o Akbar.” Live and let live. Let the world issues where drastic violations of human rights are taking place be resolved without blood letting. Do we need to name those places? Darfur, Palestine, Kashmir, Burma,,,,, and the cruel American isolation policies towards Cuba!!! There must be more … you name them.

*End of the Article *

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