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Nadal Hasan and the Vices and Virtues of Political Correctness.

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Political correctness has few friends these days. There was almost as much anger directed at the politically correct response to the Fort Hood massacre as there was to the shooter (I can't bring myself to say "alleged" about this guy), Nadal Hasan.

I hold no brief for Nadal Hasan. I'm not a fan of the death penalty either, but if the victims' families wanted him killed 13 times and revived 12, I wouldn't be holding a sign trying to stop them. But I do rise here in (partial) defense of political correctness.

Why did Major Hasan do what he did? Was he motivated by a deep hatred for the country he was supposed to be serving, or was he crazy? If I had to guess, I'd say both.

He was pretty clearly intoxicated with hate, driven by Jihadist rage against the nation that had nurtured, raised, employed and educated him beyond his wildest dreams, had his family stayed in Ramallah.

And he was pretty clearly crazy to throw away his cushy life on a pointless mass murder mission that nearly was, and probably will yet be, a suicide mission.

Then again, he's a psychiatrist, and I've always thought people go into psychiatry to figure out what's wrong with them.

But, whatever demons drove Nadal Hasan to mass murder, whether perverted religious zeal or certifiable paranoid schizophrenia, there is no doubt that to some in the world, he's a hero.

That's what's important about the Fort Hood massacre on the world stage. His deepest motivations may never be known, but our real enemies don't care. They have claimed him as one of their own.

But a little political correctness, properly applied, can neuter that weapon. We can make Nadal Hasan useless as a martyr, if we don't pay him that honor.

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If we're a little politically correct, we won't buy into the Jihadist narrative that pits them as the champions of 1.3 billion Muslims--they're not--and us as the enemy of same--we're not.

We do have enemies, radical Islam is one, and no amount of willful blindness can make that go away. The overly politically correct have a hard time accepting that truth.

But, in their rage against anyone who doesn't scream "terrorist" five times a sentence when discussing Hasan Nadal, the anti-political correctness gang is inadvertently doing our real enemies a real service.

If we unequivocally label Hasan a terrorist, we acknowledge that a Jihadist successfully attacked the Great Satan in the heart of his lair, an army base in Texas.

But if we use a little political correctness and say maybe this was the work of a sick lunatic after all, we deny our foes that victory.

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Political correctness can be a useful kind of hypocrisy in a civilized society. It's a game we play and everybody knows the rules. When someone breaks them, like, say, Don Imus, there are prescribed consequences. And since harsh punishment is politically incorrect, they eventually get their jobs back, when penance is paid.

That beats the punishment for violating convention in a society that doesn't practice political correctness. Usually death by stoning for insulting the Prophet, or the Supreme Leader, or your family's honor because you allowed yourself to get raped.

Believe too much in political correctness and you'll fool yourself into thinking you don't have any enemies, only friends you haven't apologized obsequiously enough to yet.

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San Francisco based columnist, author, gym rat and novelist. My book, "The Confessions of a Catnip Junkie" is the best memoir ever written by a cat. Available on Amazon.com, or wherever fine literature is sold with no sales tax collected. For (more...)

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