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November 13th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

Is our military too 'P.C.'?

By Carol Costello and Ronni Berke

Did “political correctness” allow Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to escape detection and allegedly kill 13 people? Some conservative commentators and politicians are claiming that.

Arizona Sen. John McCain has already done what the military is urging Americans not to do , "speculate" about the motive in the Fort Hood killings. Calling the killings “an act of terror,” he said, “this may sound a little harsh but we ought to make sure that political correctness will never impede national security.”

McCain is expressing concern about allegations that Hasan's superiors played down his extremist views because they didn't want to alienate a Muslim soldier. McCain is not alone. Conservative columnist Ann Coulter said on Baltimore's WBAL radio, “It's just I think the constant increasing menace of liberalism ... we're certainly getting it from the commander-in-chief.”

In reference to Gen. George Casey, Coulter said, “It’s pretty shocking ... and here I thought they didn't allow gays in the military ... shocking!”

Others, like Democratic Representative Joe Sestak, a former Navy admiral, dispute that view. Sestak insists the military should be diverse and its leaders sensitive to minority soldiers. He said critics like Coulter are doing soldiers a disservice, at least until all the facts of the case are known.

Watch: Is our military too 'P.C.'? Video

“If there’s anything they should be advancing, it’s, wow, think about the stress they’ve gone under,” Sestak said. “That’s what we should be highlighting. Not going off into right or left field, until we know."

The U.S. Marine Corps rejects the notion Muslim extremists are hiding in its ranks for any reason. First Lt. Josh Diddams told CNN the Corps, “has not seen any trends that indicate individuals are any more ... likely to be involved in an incident based upon their religion."

A look at history seems to bear that out. In March 2003, Sgt. Hasan Akbar, a Muslim, killed two fellow officers in Kuwait and court documents indicated religion was a factor. But there are many instances of solider-on-soldier killings where religion is not considered a factor.

In May 2009 Sgt. John Russell allegedly killed five fellow soldiers. In 2004, Senior Airman Andrew Witt killed a fellow airman and his wife. In 1995, Sgt Will Kreutzer killed one soldier and wounded 18 at Fort Bragg. Those incidents weren't seen by our country's leaders as potential impediments to our national security although some say they should have been.

What do you think? Is our military too 'P.C.'?


Filed under: Just Sayin'
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Mike

    SUE:

    Soldiers on a military base DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO FIREARMS (unless they're training or cleaning them). I wish people understood this. And the police officer didn't just walk onto the installation with a badge and gun. With so many Military Police deploying, the role of policing the post falls on civilian contractors more often than not. The officer in question was one of those contractors.

    I was stationed at Fort Hood and was 2 blocks away when the shooting happened, so I hope nobody decides to question my validity.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  2. Barb Lucas

    You go, MaeOhio! Tell it like it is. If people don't like the Army-don't join....if they don't like the way this country does things and has done things for years (not talking about injustices...talking about our way of life), then leave. I believe Delta is still ready when you are. Otherwise, kick back and leave PC out of the equation. Enough already.

    March 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  3. Andy

    The whole political correctness thing is nothing more than a method of circumventing the 1st ammendment.

    Telling someone that they're not being politically correct is telling them to shut up, that they shouldn't express themselves that way. This means they are being told not to express themselves.

    Those looking for offense will find it no matter how something is phrased. This has been going on for a long time. To me, political correctness is insulting. It insults my intelligence, it makes me feel like I'm being lied to since the person being politically correct isn't really saying what they want to say.

    How can we as a country hash out differences if we're not allowed to properly express those differences?

    Not being allowed to express those differences is a direct violation of the 1st ammendment which guarantees free speech and expression.

    March 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  4. Jon Dodson 1SG Ret.

    I served this country for twenty three years in the Army. I am very proud of my service and I worked very hard for every promotion. No one gave me anything because of the color of my skin. I have been hearing people saying things like the Army should profile and watch certain people since the shooting happened at Fort Hood. I was stationed on Fort Hood for eight years and I live and work only minutes away from Fort Hood. The only people saying we are to PC are the ones who have never served. If we are going to start singling out people and watching them because of their beliefs maybe we need to ban all muslims . I do not believe we need to change anything in the military. The actions of one crackpot should not dictate or change policy for our military. They have enough to do. And racism has no place in today's military.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  5. Mishell

    OMG Why is this question just now being asked? Any WHY isnt it being asked by someone other than the media? I was in the military, and it had already started then, you can not treat recurits like they are children. They were old enough to make the decision, now show them how to survive, 'not go along to get along'. That's BS and it probably ranks really close to the #1 reason our society/country is in the shape that it is in today!

    March 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  6. eric smalls

    WAR is not PC. Do these extremist muslim terrorists think PC when they're killing innocent victims.

    I'm not saying all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists happen to be Muslims.

    March 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  7. Joseph Daniel Brian Lawlor

    Just as there is a separation from Church and State so too will there be a separation of State and Military. Government, Industry, Finance, Academic, Military,Media, Religion(spirituality+ethics)and the Peoples are eight separate systems all working under one system which remains to be seen and better understood.

    The Military will have their orders..."If an evil comes before us we shall use forgiveness, mercy and diplomacy but if that evil persists without mercy, without forgiveness that evil shall be removed all together". Are we clear. No..But we will be .

    February 10, 2010 at 5:39 am |
  8. carlo1775

    Our military is about as politically correct as corporate American and the Federal Government. Having served, today's military would frown upon the actions of our veterans of WWII and Vietnam. A General Patton would not serve well in today's military. The military should focus on winning wars and protecting our security and detach from diversity quotas, political correctness and other peripheral matters.

    February 6, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  9. PC Fails

    @ Qyle:
    Many of us have read the Koran (which can be spelled that way, since the "k" sound in Arabic doesn't specify translation as a "q", "k", or "c") and we have read it in its entirety. It is a jumbled mishmash of disjointed "philosophies" and spite masked with a few simple platitudes designed to delude and distract the unlearned, such as those bits you posted.

    Surah (hereinafter referred to as "chapter"...deal with it) 4, verse 34: "As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)." Translation: if your wife acts up, slap her around until she behaves.

    Chapter 5, v. 14: "From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment." Translation: the Christians didn't agree with us, so now we're at war with them.

    Chapter 5, v. 38: "As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power" Translation: mutilate someone if they commit a crime. None of this "vengeance is the Lord's" business. Cripple someone for life.

    Chapter 2, v. 193: "And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression" Translation: fight until the enemy surrenders and there is only worship of Allah (not Jehova, not Yahweh, nothing but Allah.) This is one of their instructions to establish a global caliphate.

    Chapter 2, v. 221: "Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe:" Translation: if you aren't Muslim, you're inferior. Institutionalized racism. How tolerant and peaceful.

    We've read the Koran, Qyle, and we understand it. Before telling us to educate ourselves or calling us fools, best take a good long look in your mirror first.

    February 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  10. james w. from NH

    Yes Carol- unfortunately soon I as a military leader will then have to deal with a gay Soldiers' "spouse" and him/her wanting to get housing , etc, etc..... Then my daughter will have to go to the DODDS military school with kids in divergent gay households- no matter what anyone says socially, culturally, and biologically homosexuality is abnormal.

    Anyway just wanted to say though that as a heterosexual man Carol, you are clearly one of the most beautiful ladies on TV.....

    January 28, 2010 at 1:12 am |
  11. SOLO

    The military is not to P.C.. It is nothing more than a mere reflection of our society. There are knuckleheads in all facets of religion and all facets of the races. The Fort Hood shooter is only 1 of many that have and will continue to fall through the cracks of society, as well as our military. Tim McVeeh is another one. If memory serves me correctly, these 2 individuals were of different religion, a distinctively different race, and a different upbringing. But, the key factor is...they both were brainwashed to hate that resulted in destruction of many innocent lives. Would it matter if you are blown-up or killed by a supremist race hater or a religous nut? They both are willing to act in and outside the military. If the military needs to be P.C., they need to look across the board.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  12. Randall Jones

    Military is not too PC. Look at what happened to Captain James Yee.

    December 23, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  13. Mel A

    I didn't read Chris's post before I wrote mine. I believe that's a good example of what I wrote about.
    An officer. A 22yr veteran. Says that the best way to deal w/an individual like Hassan is to get some one else to deal w/him and if necessary to make negative statements about him, not stand up and either do the responsible thing, or take responsibility himself, but get some one else to do the dirty deed, or "Break the band of Brotherhood".

    December 17, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  14. Mel A

    This riff about "PC' is nonsense. It's pure twaddle. Don't you people read your own stories? You did one about the guy who couldn't stomach murder a little bit ago. One of the last parts of that story was part of an interview in which an Army spokesman stated that they had discharged the guy who'd stood up for Law because he'd "broken the band of the brotherhood" and it wouldn't be safe for him.

    Nothing was said about Hassan because he was:
    1) An officer, and as a Major, a senior officer. I was in the Army 40yrs ago. No officer, then, or now, says anything negative about another officer. That's the quickest way to get black marked, your career, if you want one, derailed and deep sixed. You'd broken the band of brotherhood;
    2) A doctor. One of the few groups more insular than military officers.
    Remember doctors, despite his known and documented incompetence and malfeasance, the reports of which you have cited in stories, not only promoted him, but sent him to another unit, which wood be and was totally ignorant of his behavior.

    The axiom is you don't #@$% with a brother........(fill in the blank)

    That's why this happened, and why it'll likely occur again.
    The Military will only begin to deal w/this if they Court Martial the people who promoted him, the people who transferred him, and the people who, when he first started exhibiting behavior which was incompetent and acts of malfeasance didn't move for either his release from the Army or a Court Martial.

    December 17, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  15. Chris

    As 22 year military vet, and retired Army officer, I'd say that the Army has been coping with social experimentation and compassion since the 1970's.
    For the most part, using the regs in place can weed out any poor performers. You just have to be objective in your expressions and performance evaluations.
    The fault here was not the Army per se, it was a few individuals who tool PC to the extreme in their minds and actions.
    A smarter way would have been to even bring the activities of Major Hasan up another minority, preferably of Arab decent and make the case that should this officer 'go off the reservation' it would adversely impact all Americans of midle eastern decent. Then let that person 'raise the warning flag' or 'drop the hammer' on Maj. Hasan.

    December 15, 2009 at 6:33 am |
  16. Malik

    It seems that if a Muslim soldier kills fellow soldiers that the motive is religion. But if a non-Muslim soldier kills fellow soldiers than the incident is not linked to religion. How P.C.

    December 15, 2009 at 12:59 am |
  17. U.S. Marine

    I have seen a U.S. Army artillery battery executing an infantry role in combat put more emphasis on sexual harassment and equal-opportunity classes than immediate action drills, intelligence briefs, or ROE/LOW briefs. We are still at war ladies and gentlemen.

    It is better that Jimmy and Susie come home to mom and dad than that they talk like little angels and don't offend anyone. We should worry first about making survivable warriors.

    December 13, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  18. David Chorney

    We are talking about terrorists here, let's shoot first then ask questions later, not let them go and plot to kill others later

    December 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  19. kane

    the powers to be...said the ones in charge. The ones that have the money control everything and they are slowly but surely handing the USA over to foreign interests. Its that simple. Foreigners, Terrorists, Murderers, Rapists and the like have more rights then the law-abiding regular joe. Everyone is so worried about hurting someones feelings and forgetting in the long run what the fight is all about. Its a system designed to make us forget about what the real problem is. The system is designed to be this way and unless a real change happens in the upper management of our beloved country it will slowly decline. Look at history. It happened to Rome and now its slowly happening to the US. Just with us it took a lil less time. It took hundreds of years for the Roman Empire to fall but the way things are going its gonna take alot less for us.

    I sure hope not but its heading that way so it seems

    December 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  20. WP

    The military is not too PC. In fact, it is not PC enough. Take the Chaplain Corps for example, which is saturated with fundie Christians.

    Political Correctedness is simply a standard to treat people in a public forum. It is neccesary

    I am in the Navy.

    To andy who thinks that it is not difficult to kick undesirables out of the military.......well, let's with the recruiting process that encourages.......in fact nearly demands people lie during the application process. Then, when the dirtbags start acting like, well dirtbags............they get slaps on the wrist............and good servicemembers get the books thrown at them often in the form of money taken away. It's a rotten system and political correctedness has nothing to do with it.

    December 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  21. SmokinMad

    Absolutely,

    Women should not be serving alongside men in the military. Too many wives are fighting the bottom line of this political correctness. It's otherwise known as adultery and it's destroying the homefront. There is a place for women in the military but not alongside men.

    Political correctness is sending a soldier back to war with PTSD when a layperson knows this act is insane. Show me where the Psychologists and psychiatrists (outside of the VA) say this is acceptable.

    Political correctness is sending fewer troops to Afghanistan when the top General requests more to bring the war to a conclusion.

    It would be easy to see where Bin Ladin must be laughing at this ineptness, knowing that he can wear down our troops and their families and then drive a final spear.

    Time for a draft.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
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