In search of Hasan’s syndrome

Nidal Hasan is the Army psychiatrist who went on a rampage of mass murder at Fort Hood this past Thursday. The liberal media have performed remarkable contortions to wrap his motives in mystery and tender Hasan himself as a possible victim. CNN, for example, has served up a story of anti-Islamic discrimination (from Jerusalem, no les) despite the fact that Hasan’s continued presence in the Army suggests something closer to the opposite.
Given a little time to work up a theory of their own, the media have presented Hasan as a victim of something like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The New York Times put it at the top of James Dao’s backgrounder on Hasan. Dao quotes cousin Nader Hasan: “He was mortified by the idea of having to deploy. He had people telling him on a daily basis the horrors they saw over there.”
CNN pursued this theme, “drill[ing] down” deep to explain that “Treating trauma victims may cause its own trauma.” The thesis of this exercise in chin pulling is that Hasan’s rampage is the flip side of his professional good works. CNN has been far from alone in pushing this line.
Distilling the essence of this nonsense, Canada’s National Post asserted: “It is a cruel irony that the very mental disorder Maj. Hasan was trained to treat may have claimed him as a victim.”
If there is a cruel irony here, it is that bona fide victims of PTSD have this nonsense inflicted on them at home. J.R. Salzman is one such victim as a result of the incident in which he was seriously injured in Iraq, and he is righteously unamused (via Hot Air).
Salzman responds to the likes of CNN with a pointed question or two: “If you can get PTSD from treating soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center then why the hell haven’t more people snapped? Why haven’t all the therapists in physical therapy and occupational therapy, and all the staff on Ward 57 r[u]n around shooting up the place? They have seen far more wounded soldiers than this piece of shit ever did.” Salzman also kindly answers his own questions: “Because you don’t get PTSD from sitting on your ass around Walter Reed.”
As long as we are wading into armchair diagnosis by laymen, I thought I’d take a shot at it myself. Based on available reports, I have found the pieces of the puzzle falling into place.
Hasan was an observant Muslim. While in Washington, he regularly attended services at a mosque with unsavory associations. He was mystified by the thought of American Muslims of Muslims fighting Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the New York Times and others, the concern about Muslims fighting Muslims was personal to Hasan. He was “mortified” (that’s cousin Nader speaking again) about his pending deployment to Iraq.
The Times (of London) reports that Hasan appears to have posted thoughts online expressing his regard for suicide bombers. In the post at issue he compared the actions of an American soldier who threw himself on a grenade in Iraq with the actions of Islamist suicide bombers.
And so on, as Mark Steyn and Ralph Peters and Jules Crittenden demonstrate in some detail.
Fort Hood base commander Robert Cone provides a piece of evidence that appears to complete the puzzle. According to General Cone, soldiers reported that Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” before he opened fire.
Hasan may of course have been a victim of some form of mental illness recognized in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. With any luck, in time we will find out. But on the surface, close to where the media have found a traumatic disorder afflicting a man who suffered no trauma, is the disorder that Americans became familiar with on 9/11. If it were to be given a psychiatric designation, It might be post Islamic stress syndrome (PISS).

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