Regrets, now you have more than a few:
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the 39-year-old man accused of Thursday’s mass shooting at Fort Hood, Tex., started having second thoughts about his military career a few years ago after other soldiers harassed him for being a Muslim, he told relatives in Virginia.
He had also more recently expressed deep concerns about being sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. Having counseled scores of returning soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, first at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and more recently at Fort Hood, he knew all too well the terrifying realities of war, said a cousin, Nader Hasan.
“He was mortified by the idea of having to deploy,” Mr. Hasan said. “He had people telling him on a daily basis the horrors they saw over there.”
I doubt this is intentional wordplay, but the original meaning of the root of "mortify" is "put to death." I believe both that Hasan was harassed and that he was deeply affected by the soldiers he had to treat. I understand not wanting to deploy, although "tough shit, they paid for your medical degree" is also an acceptable answer. But assuming you don't want to go to war, how do you get from there to shooting scores of people? Probably he was just flipped out and not thinking straight. But I can't rule out the possibility that he connected the dots between being harassed for being Muslim and what he was afraid of in Iraq and decided he needed to kill some soldiers, intending to go out guns blazing. In effect, he decided to take up arms against his country, albeit in a half-assed way.
For these reasons, I think his commanding officer's remark that Hasan's "death is not imminent" is both a statement of fact and a prediction of mortification to come. The U.S. military has not had an execution for some time, but has several men on death row, including Sgt. Akbar - who also claimed harassment and then fragged his officers while in Kuwait. I think Maj. Hasan is destined to join them.