Most Americans have this whole Fort Hood massacre all wrong. Maj. Nidal M. Hassan was not a terrorist. And he wasn't a mass murderer. And he may not even have been a coward.
Maj. Hassan was an enemy combatant.
Since so many Americans have been under-educated by our government-run public schools, let's refer to a system of instruction which most of us can more readily relate to in order to understand what's really going on here: Hollywood movies.
What red-blooded American can ever forget the 1967 World War II classic "The Dirty Dozen" starring Lee Marvin? And who were the good guys in that story, the Americans or the Germans? And what was the plot of that movie again? Oh, yeah: "A U.S. Army major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission..."
This is why I say Hassan wasn't a terrorist. He didn't attack a subway train or a nightclub or a shopping mall populated by civilians. No, he attacked enemy soldiers on an enemy military base. And he used what he had at his disposal - a surprise attack on unarmed soldiers which gave him a tactical advantage.
Most of us probably consider this attack cowardly, but it was right out of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" textbook:
"You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places that are undefended. ... He who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven, making it impossible for the enemy to guard against him. This being so, the places that he shall attack are precisely those that the enemy cannot defend."
Like the Soldiers Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas.
Not that we Americans shouldn't be outraged by the attack. We should. But part of our outrage should be directed against the idiots who decided that American military personnel need not be armed and protected at all times on a military installation during a time of war, even on American soil.
Maj. Nidal Hassan was an enemy infiltrator. His was an act of war. And a very successful one. Our actions now should be two-fold.
First: Give Maj. Hassan a fair trial in a military court, followed by a swift public execution by hanging or firing squad.
Second: Force the Pentagon and the White House to wake up, smell the coffee and recognize that we are, indeed, in a real war whether we like it or not. The current politically correct "rules of engagement" which require our soldiers to fight with two hands tied behind their backs is getting them killed needlessly and unnecessarily.
If we're not in it to win it, we should just surrender and bring our troops home.
• Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a limited-government public policy organization.