(murderous chaos from a disordered mind)


The tragedy of the killings at Fort Hood, Texas, is that it was caused by one of our own.


Worse yet, it was not an insane act by some muddle-minded youth, but that of a mature field grade officer and medical professional (a psychiatrist no less), whose apparently deeply disordered mind finally exploded with chaotic murderous effect. Had it not been for the heroic response of one lone police officer, which dropped him in his tracks (nearly costing her own life as well), that rampage could have resulted in even more slaughter.


It’s impossible to comprehend, or to grasp, how certain minds react to the cumulative effects of stress, which, in this case, seems to have been the result of having to provide psychiatric help to so many hundreds of combat veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghan wars, over an extended period of time at Walter Reed Hospital. We may, however, recall that it was the site of a major scandal about how such veterans were being treated there. Perhaps this individual was one of those involved, and impacted, by the fallout from that scandal.


If so, then the Army’s command hierarchy made a serious blunder by transferring him to Fort Hood, where many more of our military personnel are prepared for deployment (and re-deployment), back into those combat areas. And given his previously negative public views about these wars, to then be placed into the process where such troops were being prepared for deployment to those combat areas, simply added to the load of stress his mind may have already had.


At this stage, since he still lies in a coma, and may never recover, it is impossible to know what his real motives were that sparked his killing rage. We may never really find out. Meanwhile, the fact that he is of Palestinian and Muslim origin, now places an even greater pall of distrust and suspicion on any of our other citizens with a similar background, especially for those serving in our military. We can only hope that will be overcome, somehow.


Yet, the most troubling aspect about all of this is the apparently broad and random pattern of targeting by this shooter. From all reports it was not aimed at any particular individuals, but was a systematic assault to spread as much slaughter and terror as possible. All of which suggests that other influences may have been at work on him. Influences that, somehow, managed to latch on to an already agitated mind, to use it as a proxy for that purpose. Aborted attempts of this kind, elsewhere, forces us to consider such a possibility.


It’s not a happy thought.