Anyone who thought David Brooks is more enlightened than Rush Limbaugh, Fox News or Karl Rove should reconsider after Brooks accused the media of offering politically correct "therapy" to excuse the actions of Major Hasan at Ft. Hood while suppressing the narrative that the killings justify America’s global war against Islam.
Brooks tries to avoid the right wing framing abyss, but in Rush to Therapy, he can’t help it:
There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.
This response was understandable. It’s important to tamp down vengeful hatreds in moments of passion. But it was also patronizing. Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking certain impermissible and intolerant thoughts. If public commentary wasn’t carefully policed, the assumption seemed to be, then the great mass of unwashed yahoos in Middle America would go off on a racist rampage.
Worse, it absolved Hasan — before the real evidence was in — of his responsibility.
What gibberish. There was no effort to "absolve" anyone; there was a justifiable search for motive and connections. But Brooks has already decided these issues:
Most people select stories that lead toward cooperation and goodness. But over the past few decades a malevolent narrative has emerged.
That narrative has emerged on the fringes of the Muslim world. It is a narrative that sees human history as a war between Islam on the one side and Christianity and Judaism on the other. This narrative causes its adherents to shrink their circle of concern. They don’t see others as fully human. They come to believe others can be blamelessly murdered and that, in fact, it is admirable to do so.
This narrative is embraced by a small minority. But it has caused incredible amounts of suffering within the Muslim world, in Israel, in the U.S. and elsewhere. With their suicide bombings and terrorist acts, adherents to this narrative have made themselves central to global politics. They are the ones who go into crowded rooms, shout “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” and then start murdering.
Brooks implies there is only one malevolent narrative, and it’s caused exclusively by extreme Islamists who portray non-Islamists as subhuman. Thus, only "they" would invoke God as they murder the innocents.
Where has Brooks been as America’s Christians and Jews invoke analogous justifications for bombing civilians in multiple Islamic countries? Is he really not aware that religious extremists in the US repeatedly de-humunize Muslims — they’re just "collateral damage" — and push policies that result in their slaughter? Where is the narrative that acknowledges this reality and then places Major Hasan’s killings in that context?
But Brooks apparently can’t recognize the implications of what he concedes:
The conversation in the first few days after the massacre was well intentioned, but it suggested a willful flight from reality. It ignored the fact that the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the central feature of American foreign policy. It ignored the fact that this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.
So after describing the war-against-Islam narrative as evil, Brooks is literally saying that the US is at war with Islam — not just against murdering extremists, but with Islam — and that war is the "central feature of American foreign policy." And that’s exactly what Rush Limbaugh, the neocons, the religious right in America and Fox News want Americans to embrace.
I propose that Brooks lead the whole bunch of America’s religious zealots and let them have their religious war . . . only take it to Mars and leave the rest of us Earthlings out of their collective insanity.
Think Progress, Pat Robertson Says Islam is not a religion and Muslims should be treated as fascists
Think Progress, General Casey warns against anti-Muslim backlash
Media Matters, Fox News anchor: Muslims have to understand being profiled
Gawker, How the Ft. Hood shooter brings radical cleric, right wing nuts together
The Hill, Top GOP recruit says "enemy is infiltrating our military"
Spencer Ackerman, Don’t do al-Qaeda’s work for it
FDL/Jim White, Lieberman to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria