When the history books are written about the war on terror, what will be in it?
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
The attack on the U.S.S. Cole?
But what about the Fort Hood shooting?
Was it merely an act of workplace violence, as some agencies have declared it? Or was it something more? Was it yet another battle in the war on terror?
There have been plenty of those, if you add up every firefight and bomb attack in Iraq and Afghanistan during the last 11 years.
However, if the Fort Hood shooting of Nov. 5, 2009, in which an apparent Muslim extremist gunned down dozens of American soldiers — killing 13 and wounding 32 —was indeed a battle in the war on terror, then it was of a different variety.
First off, it was a surprise attack that took place on a military installation on U.S. soil. Second, it was a member of the military that was behind the attack. Benedict Arnold, anyone?
Even though the trial has yet to take place, it’s clear on all sides that this act was a carefully planned out surprise attack, aimed to take out as many American soldiers as possible before they deployed to the war zone. Pearl Harbor, anyone?
Every war has its share of ambushes and dirty tactics; the war on terror, especially. The unprecedented attack on Sept. 11 resonates so much in the minds of Americans because of its grand scale, chaotic imagery and high death toll. The headlines at the time summed it all up in one word: “TERROR.”
The Nov. 5 attack wasn’t caught on video as 9/11 was. It didn’t have the massive explosions or the falling towers. But ask any soldier who was inside that room with the beam of the red laser pointing from the pistol with extended magazine, there is one detail that is identical: terror.
Dig deeper, and one will find a Muslim extremist with an ax to grind, willing to kill unarmed people and die in the effort. Like 9/11, the Fort Hood shooting was a terrorist attack on American soil.
It’s a shame, perhaps because of political reasons, the federal government is not officially declaring it a terrorist attack. The survivors of the shooting and families of the victims have to shout at and sue the government to make it so.
They are not alone, however, and governmental leaders are steadily rising up to add pressure for an official proclamation.
According to U.S. Rep. John Carter’s office, the congressman “introduced legislation to grant combat casualty status in the 111th Congress shortly after the 2009 attack when it became clear the administration was reluctant to admit a terror attack had succeeded on a major military installation on U.S. soil. Carter reintroduced the bill in the 112th Congress as HR 625, the Fort Hood Victims Families Benefits Protection Act.”
On the third anniversary of the shooting, the voices of those pushing the government to admit a terrorist attack has, yet again, led to American blood being spilled on American soil have grown louder.
Perhaps the government is waiting for the conclusion of the upcoming trial before making any official declarations. But if that’s the case, say so. Otherwise, distrust of leadership grows among soldiers and civilians.
In any case, the history books await the final decision.