The Fort Hood Shooter and Benedict Arnold

Dr. John Mark Reynolds | The Torrey Honors Institute | Friday, November 06, 2009

The Fort Hood Shooter and Benedict Arnold

Did Benedict Arnold sell out the Revolution, because the strain of fighting a difficult cause?

Evidently on MSNBC the first reaction to a gunman killing troops is to blame the fact that troops have to be troops. The strain of deployment, the job these men and women signed on to do, has pushed them "to the brink."

Is that really the best explanation for the evidence we have?

Evidently getting deployed when you are at the brink makes a man run through a base shouting Islamic rhetoric and killing people. Wouldn't the simpler guess about the cause of the shooting, and we are all speculating now, be that a member of our Armed Forces switched sides?

It would not the first time we had been betrayed. Sometimes that betrayal is about power and money as it was with Benedict Arnold. Sometimes the betrayal is about our troopers adopting the ideology of our enemy as a few did in the Cold War with communism. Isn't it likely that this is the case here given the evidence as we know it today?

I can only imagine the MSBC story about Valley Forge ("an army at the brink") or Iowa Jima ("an army pushed over the brink"). Their interview with General Arnold would have been priceless:

General Arnold: My wife was spending money like mad . . . and the Congress ignored me, passing me up for political hacks. I was under great strain and I cannot understand totally why I did what I did.

Newsweek: Nobody who has not been in your position can really understand. Are you saying that Washington and others are pushing Americans . . .

Arnold: To the brink. Yes, to the brink. Men are not machines. They have wives and lives outside of the "sacred cause."

Newsweek: You are saying that politics has gotten in the way . . .

Arnold: . . . in the way of supporting the troops. If you love the army, send them home to their wives and children. If you support America, let America have peace.

Newsweek: Some would call that betrayal, you know General Arnold.

Arnold: Yes, but I loved my troopers enough to want them alive and at home with their families.


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