New VTech thread: Victim’s roommate debunks the jilted lover theory; Update: Roommates say he stalked classmates, had imaginary girlfriend; Update: “Ismail Ak”? “Ismale Ax”?

posted at 7:19 pm on April 17, 2007 by Allahpundit

The last thread was unwieldy with updates so direct your comments here henceforth. The media’s been speculating for the past two days about a relationship of some sort between Cho and the first victim, Emily Hilscher, but someone already sort of debunked it on Facebook this afternoon (scroll down after you click) and now Hilscher’s best friend, who’d be in a position to know, says it’s nonsense.

They were roommates and best friends and they were planning to meet in their dorm room Monday morning to go to chemistry class together. Emily Hilscher got there first and was killed. Heather Haugh arrived minutes later and became a key figure in the chaos unfolding on the Virginia Tech campus…

In an interview with The Times, Haugh said she knew of no connection between the killer and her roommate, or any reason why Cho Seung-Hui would have launched his deadly rampage on the fourth floor of West Ambler Johnston Hall.

“I’ve never seen him,” she said. “I don’t know his name. Emily didn’t know him, as far as I know.”

Haugh said that speculation that the killing spree was triggered by a domestic dispute likely stemmed from the fact that Hilscher’s boyfriend [Karl Thornhill] was an avid gun user. She said that when she was first questioned by police, “they asked if her boyfriend had a gun or something.”

I guess that explains who the other “person of interest” was. It’s a completely understandable assumption: a woman had been shot to death and her love interest was known to have a gun fetish, so they busied themselves with him while Cho wandered off. What an awful coincidence.

Plenty more updates to come, I’m sure, but in the meantime chew on this:

Haugh said she and Hilscher typically spent Sunday nights with their boyfriends, but met at their dorm on Monday morning to head to their 9 a.m. chemistry class. Hilscher typically arrived shortly after 7 a.m., while Haugh tended to make it back an hour or so later…

“Maybe he followed her up,” Haugh said, noting that Hilscher would have been arriving at the dorm around the time that Cho is believed to have entered the building.

Was Hilscher a target of opportunity, whom this lunatic seized on when he was out for a stroll looking for someone to kill? Or was he stalking her from afar? It’s got to be the latter, right?

Update: Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, whose pet issue has been gun control since her husband was shot to death in the LIRR massacre, is striking while the iron is hot with the Anti-Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act of 2007. Minor footnote: not only is there no evidence that Cho used a large-capacity magazine, there’s actually good reason to believe he didn’t.

Oh, and it turns out he did not use

Update: CNN’s airing an amazing interview on Paula Zahn’s show right now with Cho’s two roommates. The details aren’t online yet, but here’s the gist: he stalked three girls on the floor they lived on, including via instant messages he signed with a question mark; he once told his roommates that when he looked in one girl’s eyes he saw “promiscuity,” shortly after which they sent him to a counseling center on campus for a few nights; then, at some point after he was released, they went out drinking and he opened up to them, telling them he had an imaginary supermodel girlfriend … who called him “Spanky,” and whom he called “Jelly.” Oh, and he also liked to listen to “Shine” by Collective Soul over and over and over.

But other than that, he was completely normal.

Update: Caution urged on gun-control legislation by … Harry Reid?

Update: Another timeline mystery. We were told earlier today that the first shootings happened at around 7:15, whereupon Cho returned to his room to prepare for the assault on Norris Hall. And yet:

Mr. Cho’s room in Harper Hall is located one building away from West Ambler Johnston Hall, the dormitory building where the first shooting occurred about 7:15 a.m. At about 8 a.m., Mr. Aust returned to the room from a class. His roommate was gone, but Mr. Aust noticed something strange on his desk, a battery-powered screwdriver. It was a small thing, but it was one more mystery among many for Mr. Cho’s roommate.

Maybe Cho went to his permanent home, in Centreville, instead? Update: A quick check of Yahoo Maps reveals that Centreville’s on the other side of the state. So much for that theory.

Update: MSNBC has information on 27 of the 32 victims.

Update: Still a reach, but this Freeper’s theory of what “Ismail Ax/Ak” might mean is interesting.

Update: Lots of little scoops in tomorrow’s page one WaPo profile of Cho. How on earth was this time bomb allowed to go on ticking for so long?

Cho (whose full name is pronounced joh sung-wee) appears first to have alarmed the noted Virginia Tech poet Nikki Giovanni in a creative writing class in fall 2005, Giovanni said.

Cho took pictures of fellow students during class and wrote about death, she said in an interview. “Kids write about murder and suicide all the time. But there was something that made all of us pay attention closely. None of us were comfortable with that,” she said.

The students once recited their poems in class. “It was like, ‘What are you trying to say here?’ It was more sinister,” she said.

Days later, seven of Giovanni’s 70 or so students showed up for a class. She asked them why the others didn’t show up and was told that they were afraid of Cho.

“Once I realized my class was scared, I knew I had to do something,” she said.

She approached Cho and told him that he needed to change the type of poems he was writing or drop her class. Giovanni said Cho declined to leave and said, “You can’t make me.”

Meanwhile, in another English class:

“He would keep his headphones on a lot,” she said. “I remember one instance where the teacher had addressed a question to him and he really just stared off into space. He didn’t even recall acknowledging that she was talking to him. We were like, ‘What are you doing?’ The teacher said, ‘Will you please see me after class?’ and he still didn’t even acknowledge her. It was an awkward silence, and then she went back to lecturing.”

His poetry tutor was so frightened of him, she had her assistant eavesdrop on the lessons so that she could call security in case the tutor started to feel threatened and uttered a code word the two of them had agreed upon beforehand.

WaPo says two notes were found in Cho’s room but neither was a suicide note, strictly speaking; they were “manifestos” about the people he hated and who had wronged him, etc. The Post also provides a date on the purchase of the .22: February 9, more than a month before he bought the Glock. Cops had suspected he’d bought the .22 this past weekend, but now it looks like he was planning something for much longer. Oh, and as Bob Owens suspected, it turns out he didn’t use high-capacity (i.e., 30+ round) magazines. Cops say it was 15 for the Glock and 10 for the Walther.

But the most provocative tidbit? WaPo spells the writing on his arm as “Ismale Ax,” not “Ismail Ax.” I think we might have been on a wild goose chase with the other spelling.

Update: Most media outlets are still spelling it “Ismail Ax.”

Update: Here’s an article about what the roommates said on CNN, including the imaginary girlfriend named “Jelly.”

Update: An eyewitness describes the scene in one of the classrooms.


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januarius: “No one should speculate why this attack was extraordinarily well coordinated, why “Ismael Ax” is written on Cho’s arm, why a Saudi is not in class but on campus filming the incident, etc.”

This attack does not seem to be particularly well-coordinated. There is only one person involved. He did not coordinate it with anyone.

Ismael Ax has not been proven to mean anything, let alone be related to anything Islamic. It may well be nonsense.

I don’t see where the kid with the camera phone proves anything. You can’t swing a dead cat on any university campus without hitting an Arab foreign exchange student. Everybody has camera phones. They’re everywhere. I don’t see anything unusual about this kid using his camera phone to capture this unusual incident.

Your attempt to gin up some unhinged conspiracy theory pinning this on Islamic terrorists is spectacularly unpersuasive. I take second to nobody in my contempt for Islam, but this is not the work of Islamic terrorists. If you want to blame Muslims for an atrocity, I counsel patience. They’ll be butchering somebody somewhere soon. In the meantime, this has nothing to do with them, but is the product of one emotionally sick kid.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 10:39 AM

What have these clowns done right, exactly?

Lehuster on April 18, 2007 at 10:32 AM

Significantly more than you are willing to give credit for. That said, speculation in the “blogosphere” is little more than near real time tabloid reports.

Bradky on April 18, 2007 at 10:41 AM

If the killer did write it as “Ismail” rather than “Ismale”, then obviously it’s WaPo’s intention to falsify the news to avoid a possible Muslim angle. That’s regardless as to whether or not the psycho intended it as a Muslim reference.

Perchant on April 18, 2007 at 10:45 AM

I don’t see where the kid with the camera phone proves anything. You can’t swing a dead cat on any university campus without hitting an Arab foreign exchange student. Everybody has camera phones. They’re everywhere. I don’t see anything unusual about this kid using his camera phone to capture this unusual incident.

Tantor- I know Virginia Tech very well. I was at Newman dorm and lived right off campus in an old house on Wall St., the one way street between Barringer dorm and the 7-11 the rest of my time at Tech. There are tons of students walking to class right before and after classes. But that early in the morning it is unusual for someone to be outside a campus building and not in class. Notice the footage. There is nobody in it. All classes are scheduled 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 on MWF, at least when I was there in the 90′s. Was he late to class? Why was this Saudi student with family terrorist ties right outside this particular building–Norris Hall–taking footage?

Coincidence? Maybe. It seems odd considering that there was a similar situation at UCLA–the Taser incident–that just happened to be filmed by cellphone the very moment it was happening.

The difference between a “conspiracy theory” (for Honora, Bradky, and others) and speculation is that speculation is healthy and vigilant before the facts come in.

Conspiracy theories happen after the facts come in, e.g. Bush lied, troops died; Bush and Jews caused planes to fly into the Trade Center, etc.

Why do I have the feeling you will not get this?

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 10:55 AM

Perchant: “If the killer did write it as “Ismail” rather than “Ismale”, then obviously it’s WaPo’s intention to falsify the news to avoid a possible Muslim angle. That’s regardless as to whether or not the psycho intended it as a Muslim reference.”

Yes, maybe it’s all one big conspiracy involving the Washington Post, the Illuminati, Skull & Bones, and space aliens from Neptune.

Or maybe it’s just the journalists getting the details wrong in the frenzied first few hours of a major news event.

What would Occam’s Razor say?

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 10:56 AM

Can’t we just wait until we have some facts before we start acting like scared terrorist conspiracy theorists?

It was a horrible school shooting. These things have happened before without any reason to believe terrorism was responsible.

From all accounts, it’s very possible that this guy was just crazy.

1. He had an imaginary girlfriend.
2. He was a loner who answered in one word sentences.
3. He wrote some messed up stuff that scared his classmates.
4. His own teachers was afraid for her life to be around him.
5. He wasn’t known as a religious person.
6. He was taking some sort of medication.

If this was jihad, they’ve certainly made an effort to keep that hidden, working for a number of years to make this guy just look crazy instead. And for what? We already known jihadists want to kill us. Why would they bother hiding it here?????

Are you aware of the internet sites for the past at least five years that have been urging anyone so inclined to jihad with the largest SUV out there to be used to run over people? Never have seen that happen on a college campus by a college student … oh wait!
Yes, we’ll wait and see, it’s specualtion, but in this day and age, not “wild.”
naliaka on April 18, 2007 at 12:08 AM

Yeah, and that guy was actually a Muslim who said “Allah Akkbar!” before killing people. He wasn’t some loner who was stoically silent during his killing spree.

Here we have “Ismail’s ax” written on Cho’s arm referring to the breakaway Muslim sect of the Assassins; JI’s new strategy reported the same day; and a Saudi Arabian student at Tech filming the massacre on his cellphone as a message to the world. Too much a coincidence.
januarius on April 17, 2007 at 9:37 PM

He was also an English major who had a habit of freaking out his fellow classmates.

And the name could also easily have been a literature reference.

Also, he didn’t start off by killing tons of people. He started by killing two. Why would a jihadist do that? Their point is to kill as many as possible. Killing two and waiting two hours, is counter productive to killing as many as possible.

I’m sure you won’t see much grieving in Islamic newspapers.

This is not necessary. Not all Muslims fit the mold. Comments like this detract from the ones that try to point out that terrorism is an Islamic problem. Comments like that read like bigotry and make people defensive.

This was a tragedy. Maybe it was something more, but until we learn that, can’t we just stay out of conspiracies?

Esthier on April 18, 2007 at 10:57 AM

This was a sick kid. He was committed in Dec 2005!!!!

I found this, which may explain Ismail Ax:

Ismail Ax is a character’s name in the World of Warcraft. His character’s name is Ismail_ax. he’s pretty powerfully.

Needs confirmation….

TheBigOldDog on April 18, 2007 at 11:00 AM

Tantor:

The manifesto switched, from what I’ve heard, from past tense to present tense. Time will tell. I agree that it appears this guy was brooding for some time. Premeditated (or perhaps fantasizing) doesn’t preclude a trigger from setting actual events in motion. He definitely appeared arguing with her about something before the shooting began.

‘No connection’ doesn’t mean he hadn’t seen her in the quads, or in class somewhere, or who knows where, bumped into her, had small talk, and became infatuated. People do that sort of thing all the time. It just usually doesn’t devolve into mass murder. Do you remember every person you talked to in your life last week, even at the supermarket, or wherever?

buddyellis on April 18, 2007 at 11:00 AM

Needs confirmation….

TheBigOldDog on April 18, 2007 at 11:00 AM

Someone already looked this up and debunked it. But there are other online role-playing games. Maybe the character name exists in a different game.

Esthier on April 18, 2007 at 11:03 AM

‘No connection’ doesn’t mean he hadn’t seen her in the quads, or in class somewhere, or who knows where, bumped into her, had small talk, and became infatuated. People do that sort of thing all the time. It just usually doesn’t devolve into mass murder. Do you remember every person you talked to in your life last week, even at the supermarket, or wherever?

buddyellis on April 18, 2007 at 11:00 AM

Yeah, but for a person who only spoke in one-word sentences and had an imaginary girlfriend, an imagined connection seems far more likely. I sincerely doubt that he ever spoke to her.

Plus, have we actually had confirmation that it was the shooter she was seen arguing with? Wouldn’t it be more likely that it was her boyfriend, the possible person of interest who some reports said had already seen her that day?

Esthier on April 18, 2007 at 11:05 AM

januarius: “Tantor- I know Virginia Tech very well. I was at Newman dorm and lived right off campus in an old house on Wall St., the one way street between Barringer dorm and the 7-11 the rest of my time at Tech. There are tons of students walking to class right before and after classes. But that early in the morning it is unusual for someone to be outside a campus building and not in class. Notice the footage. There is nobody in it. All classes are scheduled 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 on MWF, at least when I was there in the 90’s. Was he late to class? Why was this Saudi student with family terrorist ties right outside this particular building–Norris Hall–taking footage?

Coincidence? Maybe. It seems odd considering that there was a similar situation at UCLA–the Taser incident–that just happened to be filmed by cellphone the very moment it was happening.”

Perhaps when you attended V Tech they mentioned something about correlation is not causation? That means that the first person to walk by the crime scene with a camera phone is not necessarily, or even probably, involved with the crime. For example, the first jet to hit the WTC was filmed by a French film-maker. It does not follow that he was part of the Sep 11 plot.

januarius: “The difference between a “conspiracy theory” (for Honora, Bradky, and others) and speculation is that speculation is healthy and vigilant before the facts come in.”

So if I speculate that you’re a delusional mental patient before I get the facts, would you consider that healthy and vigilant?

januarius: “Conspiracy theories happen after the facts come in, e.g. Bush lied, troops died; Bush and Jews caused planes to fly into the Trade Center, etc.”

False. You are spinning a conspiracy theory before the facts come in, proving yourself wrong.

januarius: “Why do I have the feeling you will not get this?”

Because it’s stupid? Because I’m sane and your argument is insane nonsense? There are a lot of reasons why I would not buy into your baseless speculation and poorly reasoned delusion.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 11:06 AM

Re: Ismail Ax

I found this yesterday, not sure of the significance, or if it’s already out there:

Search for ismail in that doc, about 5/8 of the way down. Some sort of english tag ?

buddyellis on April 18, 2007 at 11:06 AM

What would Occam’s Razor say?

Tantor

That WaPo falsified the story so that their readers wouldn’t infer an Islamic angle. That is if the killer actually spelled it “Ismail” and not “Ismale”.

We are talking about the disgraced WaPo here, why would anyone presume innocent intentions?

Perchant on April 18, 2007 at 11:10 AM

Esthier:

Possibly, yes, but his dorm appears to be quite close to ambler, and it’s not a stretch to think that at some point in walking from the dorms, northward to classes, that they passed each other a time or two. Certainly ‘imaginary’ on his part.

Looking at the vtech map I believe his dorm is two buildings to the west-southwest, the smaller L shaped unit. The lived in ‘the same neighborhood’ so to speak.

buddyellis on April 18, 2007 at 11:14 AM

The evidence shows that Cho did this for personal reasons, because he had broken up with his girlfriend, not because of any ethnicity issues,” he said. “It happened because he had access to a gun. We should not confuse the core of the issue.”
januarius on April 18, 2007 at 9:00 AM

We all get it. You lived in Korea, there is anti-American sentiment in Korea, there is AQ presence in Korea. I believe you, thanks for making us aware. Your constant comments and ridiculous assumptions are not helping your case; they are annoying and make you sound like a demagogue obsessed with hating Korea. Don’t exploit this tragedy to distribute your anti-Korean propaganda.

JaHerer22 on April 18, 2007 at 9:46 AM

The problem in the first quote is that “the evidence is showing he broke up with his girlfriend.”
That’s the line that’s being pushed hard in the media, but already reports are out that this was not the case at all. Yet, see how the line is continuing to spread?
The media is setting the terms of debate: loner, girlfriend, guns. Boilerplate. The media was off-balance there for a while when a Asian/Oriental was discovered to be the perp, but that lack of White Loserman was morphed quickly into the other standard sterotype, Stressed Out Immigrant, usually employed for sympathy for the Left’s construct of the peasant-type illegals just trying to make it in the “overlord’s world,” adapted quickly (yet illogically) for a comfortable, suburban, middle class, legal, resident. Now, we are being served endless blah blah about psychological profiles and armchair analysis about loner guys. No discussion is permitted on other options. Why not?
I don’t read that januarius is anti-Korean. How do you come to that conclusion? I read it as he is aware of things that most Americans don’t know about and he wants to alert people to the fact that there are problems and prejudices that are quite blatent.
I’ve commented on the possibility that jihad recruitment shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand, especially given the immense quantity of uber-radical jihad statements that they desire to recruit people to harm citizens in just such a manner. Having lived amongst Muslims of various nationalities on their home turfs, I am not concerned about the overwhelming majority of them. If everyone around you is Muslim, then that isn’t the determination you have to use to figure out who you can work with and who you can’t. You must go with character and deeds. I do not accept the fast dismissal that to consider a Muslim is ipso facto a smear against all Muslims. That is a construct of the Left, designed to shut down discussion.
I’m concerned about the whack-jobs that the radicals like to recruit and train. It’s a fair question to find out if this guy is one of those or not, in fact it’s critical to know. If one does not correctly identify the problem, the cure will have no effect, for it’ll be the wrong solution. The media and the Left have proved that they have covered up inconvenient information. Did we all like the way the Beltway Sniper episode was handled? The shooters were stopped by the police on at least two occasions and even though the cops sensed something was very wrong, they were told to let them go. They didn’t fit the fake profile. More people died.
If the cops had been allowed to arrest those men when they first found them, it would have been over with very quickly.
If these situations had been handled better, without Leftie sterotyping I wouldn’t be so concerned, but the disturbing trend continues. I frankly hope the killer was a complete loner, living in a vacuum, oblivious to everything, because the alternative is that the infiltration that has been discussed on the jihadi boards for years is beginning to bear fruit, and it’s putrid and vile fruit.

naliaka on April 18, 2007 at 11:15 AM

Speculation about Cho’s religion – - looks like some people here are hoping it’s Islamic. But obviously Cho’s religion was murder – - I don’t care if he had a Koran strapped to his head while he was pulling the trigger (or a Bible for that matter). One thing that binds murderers together is that they believe in murder as a way to get things done, whether they’re assholes in iraq using car bombs or a sick screw like this guy running lose at a college.

erix138 on April 18, 2007 at 11:16 AM

buddyellis: “The manifesto switched, from what I’ve heard, from past tense to present tense. Time will tell. I agree that it appears this guy was brooding for some time. Premeditated (or perhaps fantasizing) doesn’t preclude a trigger from setting actual events in motion. He definitely appeared arguing with her about something before the shooting began.”

Good point. Maybe he had most of it written and went back after the first shooting to finish it.

The shooter’s encounter with the girl and the guys with her appears accidental. They came up on an elevator, the door opened, the shooter saw them, and opened up.

What was interpreted as arguing could have been the victims yelling before they were shot. It could have been the survivor yelling after the shooting and the earwitnesses got it confused, or it was misreported.

buddyellis: “‘No connection’ doesn’t mean he hadn’t seen her in the quads, or in class somewhere, or who knows where, bumped into her, had small talk, and became infatuated. People do that sort of thing all the time. It just usually doesn’t devolve into mass murder. Do you remember every person you talked to in your life last week, even at the supermarket, or wherever?”

How could the shooter know who was coming up on that elevator? He didn’t go to her room and knock on the door. He shot the first and only people he saw in the dorm, the ones coming out of an elevator. That appears to be an opportunistic selection of targets, not a purposeful one.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 11:18 AM

Good points. Do you remember the song “The Loner” by Neil Young?

Bradky on April 18, 2007 at 10:31 AM

I think so. Yikes.

I just find it interesting that these victims that survived the shootings and carnage are so calm in describing it. I personally would be a basket case. I don’t think I could get through the telling without breaking down. But the ones I have seen seem like they are describing a movie instead of a personal experience.

Does anyone else find that strange? I know there is shock and all, but still…..

Rightwingsparkle on April 18, 2007 at 10:32 AM

I think what you’re seeing is a typical reaction–they are in shock, the lack of affect is symptomatic of shock.

honora on April 18, 2007 at 11:21 AM

Tantor: What would Occam’s Razor say?

Perchant: “That WaPo falsified the story so that their readers wouldn’t infer an Islamic angle. That is if the killer actually spelled it “Ismail” and not “Ismale”. We are talking about the disgraced WaPo here, why would anyone presume innocent intentions?

That kind of irrational speculation is why you conspiracy theorists have no credibility.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 11:22 AM

Tantor: link for the elevator thing? All reports I’ve seen have said she was shot in a dorm room, but *shrug*

buddyellis on April 18, 2007 at 11:22 AM

It is going to be very difficult to get through self-described “computer geek” with his weird blog Tantor.

Many people are speculating about the oddness of “Ismail Ax.”: Debbie Schlussel, RedState, among others You of course are so above that. I respect your self righteous moral high ground and integrity.

You may think it is perfectly normal for Saudi students to come to the U.S. to study. All of them mean us no harm, and we should let all of them in, even more.

But knowing Tech as I do (you don’t) I know it is very unusual for a student to be outside of class in the early morning at the very moment when others are having class. Is he going to class? Is he late to class? And he happens to be outside of Norris Hall. Count how many people are in his footage? Answer: 0. And it is confirmed on CNN his family has terrorist ties.

The following taken from RedState:

I don’t know if Cho was an Islamic extremist. Time will tell. What I do know is that his list of grievances as published so far isn’t conventional even by the standards of extremely crazy people, that the way he spelled the name Ismail is Arabic and that its association with an ax has a clear context in the Qur’an, and that there’s no reason for the nation’s universities to go to a higher state of alert because of shootings by one gunman in Virginia who killed himself after killing so many others. Even if Cho was an Islamic extremist, there’s currently no evidence that he was working with anyone. There’s no evidence that this was, for example, a planned terrorist attack with more to follow. And yet it would be a good idea for all American students to be vigilant and to realize that in a post-September 11 world, even an incident that seems to be isolated could in fact be part of something broader. Students need to be watching out for threats to their safety and not assume that the killing stopped in Virginia.

http://www.redstate.com/blogs/nathan_nelson/2007/apr/17/call_him_ismails_ax

But you Tantor, the “computer geek” are so above speculation.

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 11:23 AM

That kind of irrational speculation is why you conspiracy theorists have no credibility.

Tantor

What is my “conspiracy theory”? That the WaPo would dare try to misrepresent the news? Do you work there or something?

I’m certainly not contending that the killer was a Muslim. It might turn out that he is but that would surprise me. If the WaPo spelling is correct and the other news outlets went with the Islamic spelling, it would certainly be appropriate to wonder about the intentions of these other media sources.

Perchant on April 18, 2007 at 11:38 AM

P.S. History of stalking.

In a press conference (it’s going on right now) police are laying out exactly what sort of information they had on Cho Seung-Hui, who had been accused of stalking two female student in 2005 and had been taken to a mental health facility that year.
http://www.nowpublic.com/virginia_police_declined_to_press_stalking_charges_against_cho

buddyellis on April 18, 2007 at 11:49 AM

But knowing Tech as I do (you don’t) I know it is very unusual for a student to be outside of class in the early morning at the very moment when others are having class. Is he going to class? Is he late to class? And he happens to be outside of Norris Hall. Count how many people are in his footage? Answer: 0. And it is confirmed on CNN his family has terrorist ties.

Maybe he was on his way to class. The shooting did afterall begin towards the end of class, meaning another class was to start in maybe 20 minutes. For all we know, this guy still had a good ten minute walk left before getting to his class.

Plus, we’re getting close to finals time which means many students leave early in order to get in extra study time and many leave class early due to tests.

All you’ve proven is that MOST people wouldn’t be walking around at that time, and that’s what the guy himself proved by the fact that he had no one on camera. Though the fact that students were chained in, in the closest building might also have something to do with the fact that no one else was around.

Esthier on April 18, 2007 at 11:56 AM

Esthier:

Possibly, yes, but his dorm appears to be quite close to ambler, and it’s not a stretch to think that at some point in walking from the dorms, northward to classes, that they passed each other a time or two. Certainly ‘imaginary’ on his part.

Oh I don’t disagree that he somehow knew her, or at least believed he knew her. I’m just finding it hard to believe that they ever even spoke.

He did specifically target her, and that’s certainly odd.

Esthier on April 18, 2007 at 11:58 AM

P.S. History of stalking.

In a press conference (it’s going on right now) police are laying out exactly what sort of information they had on Cho Seung-Hui, who had been accused of stalking two female student in 2005 and had been taken to a mental health facility that year.
http://www.nowpublic.com/virginia_police_declined_to_press_stalking_charges_against_cho

buddyellis on April 18, 2007 at 11:49 AM

It appears he was extremely unstable and if he were stalking students, why did Tech not expel him? That almost smacks of negligence. Of course, there are a lot of kooky college kids, but Cho was much wackier. He should have been expelled.

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 12:10 PM

For those in the NYC area, a funeral service for Prof. Liviu Librescu, a’h’, who was murdered while protecting his students at Virgina Tech, will be held at 2:00 PM today, Wed. April 18, at Shomrei Hachomos Chapel, 4218 Fort Hamilton PKWY at 43 Street 718-435-8100. The deceased will then be flown to Israel for burial.

rokemronnie on April 18, 2007 at 12:10 PM

Man, people are seriously reaching if they think there is any islamic angle. I think this kid was, for lack of a better term, retarded, and everyone in his life looked the other way. Judging by his “writing” he had the mental capacity of a 9 year old. This kid had no business being in college, but money talks. I’d be curious to see his grades, I bet there are alot of C’s and D’s. This kid probably has just been pushed through the system his whole life, each teacher passing him just to get him out of their hair. With that, I would’nt put to much behind “ismail ax” he probably just thought it sounded cool.

bmac on April 18, 2007 at 12:14 PM

I’d like to know from the psychologists/psychiatrists whether there is any evidence that people like Cho can be “reached” and deterred from exploding like he did. I’ve seen numerous stories about students who made overtures to try and befriend him, or at least engage him socially, and that he always rebuffed them. Is there anything that can be done for such a person other than to lock them up in a psych ward somewhere?

Dudley Smith on April 18, 2007 at 12:23 PM

Sad.

Via NineMSN:

Killer’s parents hospitalised ‘with shock’
Wednesday Apr 18 13:00 AEST
By ninemsn staff

The parents of mass killer Cho Seung-hi were hospitalised with shock and had not attempted suicide, contrary to reports in Korean media.

Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that Cho’s parents, who ran a dry cleaning shop in Centreville, Virginia, had been hospitalised after learning of ther son’s killing rampage at Virginia Tech University.

Rumours earlier spread through Korean media sources that Cho’s parents had attempted suicide.

The Korea Herald, quoting Radio Korea in Los Angeles, reported that Cho’s father tried to slash his wrists. His mother had reportedly swallowed a toxic drug.

Cho was a permanent resident of the US, who came there to live there with his parents in 1992.

His sister was a graduate of Princeton University, according to the Korea Times.

Gregor on April 18, 2007 at 12:25 PM

This kid had no business being in college, but money talks. I’d be curious to see his grades, I bet there are alot of C’s and D’s.

Bmac, When I was at Tech in the 90′s, you needed about a 3.4 high school GPA to get in. These days, it is much harder to get in. You would need at least a 3.7.

Lucinda Roy, the former head of the English department, said that he was an intelligent student, which he had to have been to be admitted to Tech. Just really wacky.

I think Tech was too cautious in not expelling him for stalking female students. But it is easy in retrospect to say what they should have done.

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 12:29 PM

I don’t find this kids “plays” as disturbing as they are just completely non-sensical (did I spell that right?) and if these were turned in as work, Would’nt this professor evaluate what he was doing there in the first place?

bmac on April 18, 2007 at 12:40 PM

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 9:00 AM

I don’t get it. Your take on almost every one of these comments seems to be off base. It’s as if you’re looking for a reason to spit out anti-Korean nonsense. There was NOTHING anti-American in any of the comments you posted.

For example, the first one which you labeled as “sick” …

“Through this experience, parents should think twice before sending their children to foreign countries to learn English,” said office worker Lee Jae-hoon, 30. “The feeling of alienation and loneliness can cause severe mental distress to vulnerable students and lead to tragic incidents like this one.”

In response, you then write …

“They are the victims, the center of the tragedy, and it is Americans’ fault!”

Huh? Where in that comment does it suggest this?

I happen to agree with this comment and it doesn’t even mention the U.S. It refers to sending children to “foreign countries.” I’ve never understood why parents send their children away when they are young. I would never send my child to a foreign country.

I do believe I agree with every comment that you posted off that board.

Here’s another example:

You posted …

“The suspect is an American who spent most of his life in the U.S. I cannot understand why him being a Korean is suddenly the core of the issue,” said 25-year-old college student Park Yu-ra. “We should lament what has happened, but this is not an ethnic issue that the whole Korean society should apologize for.”

And then you write in response …

And we are to blame because we have access to guns. We forced the Korean to embarrass Korea because of our gun laws!

What the hell are you talking about? There’s absolutely no mention of our gun laws in the comment.

Gregor on April 18, 2007 at 12:40 PM

He did specifically target her, and that’s certainly odd.
Esthier on April 18, 2007 at 11:58 AM

No one knows that yet. Terror analysts suggested that the dorm shooting could have been a diversion to get cops on one side of the campus. They come up with that based on what they’ve learned from what the terrorists are training their poeple to do. They didn’t make it up out of whole cloth. In that case, Cho wouldn’t have to know anyone specifically, just generally. The fact that the cops were indeed collected at the dorm rather than elsewhere shows either an indavertant lucky move that helped the shooter or a deliberate move that helped the shooter carry out what he wanted to do on the other side of campus. All options have to be investigated. Evidence will indicate which way to move.
But, we don’t that either. We don’t know. It’s only part of what happened that day.
This, however, we do know for a fact:

For those in the NYC area, a funeral service for Prof. Liviu Librescu, a’h’, who was murdered while protecting his students at Virgina Tech, will be held at 2:00 PM today, Wed. April 18, at Shomrei Hachomos Chapel, 4218 Fort Hamilton PKWY at 43 Street 718-435-8100. The deceased will then be flown to Israel for burial.

rokemronnie on April 18, 2007 at 12:10 PM

That man died a hero. May God have mercy on his soul and comfort his family. It’s chilling that an Israeli stood up and confronted the killer in order to save the students. The first person killed on 9/11 was an Israeli passenger on one of the doomed planes – the very first person to dare to confront the hijackers. Course, the Israelis have been learning the hard way, that in an ambush, one’s only chance for survival is to charge.

naliaka on April 18, 2007 at 12:42 PM

Sad.

Via NineMSN:

Killer’s parents hospitalised ‘with shock’
Wednesday Apr 18 13:00 AEST
By ninemsn staff

Sad? I don’t feel sorry for them. They certainly had a role in their son being screwed up in the first place. Hard to believe, at the very least, that they didn’t know he was a fruitcake.

Lehuster on April 18, 2007 at 12:45 PM

Perchant: “What is my “conspiracy theory”? That the WaPo would dare try to misrepresent the news? Do you work there or something?”

Ah, yes, the ad hominem attack. Since I disagree with your stupid conspiracy theory, I MUST WORK AT THE WASHINGTON POST! Just keep digging your stupid hole deeper, Mr. Conspiracy Nut.

Your conspiracy theory is that there is a conspiracy at the WaPo to cover up any Islamic angle to this kid’s tattoo. The first reason why this is stupid is that there is no Islamic connection demonstrated to this tattoo. None. The second reason why this is stupid is that you then assume that the WaPo is going to cover up this trivial detail because they know it is Islamic. The third reason why this is stupid is that you think such a conspiracy is more likely than the journalists simply getting the spelling wrong, which demonstrates irrational judgement on your part. The fourth reason why this is stupid is that you think Occam’s Razor proves the more complicated explanation than the simplest one.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 12:45 PM

Just when I was getting to finally think that Cho Seung-hui was just a nut case, take a look at what Debbie Schlussel is reporting:

http://www.debbieschlussel.com

When reading what she says, keep in mind the article on JI’s new tactics I posted yesterday.

(Anyone eating crow?)

P.S. It is healthy to speculate and be vigilant.

Gregor, more later, I’m at work and I’ve really got to go. I’ll respond about 4:30. I’ll show you the exact quote.

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 12:47 PM

naliaka: “That man died a hero. May God have mercy on his soul and comfort his family. It’s chilling that an Israeli stood up and confronted the killer in order to save the students. The first person killed on 9/11 was an Israeli passenger on one of the doomed planes – the very first person to dare to confront the hijackers. Course, the Israelis have been learning the hard way, that in an ambush, one’s only chance for survival is to charge.”

Maybe, just maybe, the Israelis, particularly the Holocaust survivors, have a clearer understanding of evil than most Americans and know that the best reaction is to fight it, rather than acquiesce to it.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Lehuster on April 18, 2007 at 12:45 PM

Sick bastard. If this were my blog I’d ban you just for being stupid.

Gregor on April 18, 2007 at 12:54 PM

januarius: “Just when I was getting to finally think that Cho Seung-hui was just a nut case, take a look at what Debbie Schlussel is reporting:
http://www.debbieschlussel.com

When reading what she says, keep in mind the article on JI’s new tactics I posted yesterday. (Anyone eating crow?)
P.S. It is healthy to speculate and be vigilant.”

Does the stupidity ever stop here? Your proof that the shooter was an Islamic terrorist is a photo of a Korean kid with the same name taken in Indonesia? First, do you know how many Koreans have the same name? Half of Korea is named Kim and the other half is named Lee. The problem of interrelation is so bad that many Koreans have trouble getting married because the law forbids them from marrying somebody related to them. There are lots of Koreans with the same name.

Second, since when was the Virginia Tech shooter ever in Indonesia?

Third, your photo shows a happy, smiling guy looking into the camera. Everybody who knew the shooter says he never smiled, exuded depression, and never looked anyone in the eye. His room-mates said he only had one expression, that blank expression you see on his ID photo.

Next thin you know, you’ll be claiming this kid shot Jimmy Hoffa.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 1:00 PM

Maybe, just maybe, the Israelis, particularly the Holocaust survivors, have a clearer understanding of evil than most Americans and know that the best reaction is to fight it, rather than acquiesce to it.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Yes.
That makes me think of this point: But Americans fight, too, and aren’t afraid of a fight. But this good quality of sensible self-defense is being smothered by the Left. We just look to Europe to see what that looks like.
Analyse the criticisms of the Left against concealed carry for students. They use the hysterical image of “children” carrying guns. They have infantilized American men and women of age 18 as being incapable of drinking responsibly so the age to imbibe was pushed further out to 21. They just kick the can down the road, not address the mature management of drinking. Those that abuse it at 18 will do so at 21. The rest are careful. One hundred years ago, men and women were marrying and already had kids by 18 or 19, responsible, hard-working parents who had their own households. That was the norm, the expectation, and people conformed to it. Now, the Left wants us to believe that men are still boys at 18. Our soldiers, taught to handle the most complex weaponry known to mankind, having gone through physically tough training, to make life and death decisions intelligently and fast, are “children” dying overseas. It’s pathetic. We’re being stunted in our growth, and we’ll lose our ability to defend ourselves competently.

naliaka on April 18, 2007 at 1:09 PM

januarius: “It is going to be very difficult to get through self-described “computer geek” with his weird blog Tantor.”

The way to get through to me is with facts and logic, not speculation and inuendo. You’re batting zero on logical presentation of your numbskull conspiracy theory argument.

januarius: “Many people are speculating about the oddness of “Ismail Ax.”: Debbie Schlussel, RedState, among others You of course are so above that. I respect your self righteous moral high ground and integrity.”

Perhaps you should respect reason more than speculation. I have yet to see anybody present a convincing interpretation of what the shooter’s tattoo meant. You present no facts to back up anything. None. It’s entirely possible that the kid’s tattoo meant nothing to anyone but himself.

When you dig up some witness or the shooters diaries or the equivalent that says his tattoo meant this or that, let us know. Until then, your speculaton is worthless. Citing the fact that other people are speculating about it is fallacious reasoning, the argumentum ad populem, or band-wagon fallacy. If everyone speculated the Earth was square, they’d all be wrong about that, too.

januarius: “You may think it is perfectly normal for Saudi students to come to the U.S. to study. All of them mean us no harm, and we should let all of them in, even more.”

In general, I think Saudis are assholes. That aside, I have yet to see any proof from you that this particular guy was involved with this crime. None. His story that he just happenned to be passing by is entirely plausible and you present no evidence to the contrary. It’s all about evidence for me. For you, it’s all about fantasy.

januarius: “But knowing Tech as I do (you don’t) I know it is very unusual for a student to be outside of class in the early morning at the very moment when others are having class. Is he going to class? Is he late to class? And he happens to be outside of Norris Hall. Count how many people are in his footage? Answer: 0. And it is confirmed on CNN his family has terrorist ties.”

And VTech is different in that regard from every other university in the world? All universities have less foot traffic on the sidewalks during class than between class. I have yet to see a university where the sidewalks are completely empty during class. Your contention that this camera phone guy must be guilty because the sidewalks must be empty during class is sheer hammer-headed nonsense.

januarius: “But you Tantor, the “computer geek” are so above speculation.”

I am above labelling speculation as fact, unlike you who sees conspiracies in your soup. Even as speculation, your reasoning is pathetically weak. Basically, you want to hang some foreign student because he happenned to be walking by the scene of the crime.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 1:18 PM

I’ve been following, with some interest, the attempt to make this a case of SJS. The more information that comes out, the less plausible it becomes.

At first, it was “do they mean ‘Asian’ like the UK uses the word?” The answer to that is no, he was an Asian dude in the conventional, North American sense.

Then it was a focus on links between Asians and radical Islam (or however one wishes to term Islam). Indonesian? Phillipino? Chinese? Oh, he was from South Korea.

Ah, but what of South Korea? There’s some seriously Anti American sentiment in South Korea, and he’s an immigrant. Wait a second, he was here for a decade so his primary influences are American.

On his arm, there was Ishmael, Ismale, Ismael Ax or Ak. Surely, that must tie him to Islam in some way. I don’t know how, based on the different spellings I have been exposed to. I kind of have a hard time grasping that a dude with an imaginary girlfriend was also the member of a secret Islamic assasin clique.

Then, there’s the guy with the camera phone, on a university campus who happened to be walking by when the bulk of the horror was going down. Barghouti is a member of Palestinian family, one of whom is a terrorist mastermind in jail. How close, family wise, is he? 7th cousin twice removed? I suspect that this, also is a dead end.

There are people looking for something that isn’t there. The guy was nuts. We can’t rationalize insanity. Not every vile act is committed by violent Islamic nutbars.

I’m more than willing to come onside once his rambling 8 page note is released and it shows that he was a Muslim convert. I don’t think it will.

Krydor on April 18, 2007 at 1:21 PM

januarius: “It appears he was extremely unstable and if he were stalking students, why did Tech not expel him? That almost smacks of negligence.”

Because if college administrators were to kick out students who were unstable or stalking the other sex, most of their student body would have to be kicked out at one point or another in their college careers.

januarius: “Of course, there are a lot of kooky college kids, but Cho was much wackier. He should have been expelled.”

It looks to me like his case fell just short of administrative action. But I will agree that Cho was exceptionally wacky. When 63 out of 70 students don’t show up for a class because they are scared of one of the kids in their class, then that is a Big Red Flag.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 1:25 PM

Killer’s parents hospitalised ‘with shock’
Wednesday Apr 18 13:00 AEST
By ninemsn staff

Sad? I don’t feel sorry for them. They certainly had a role in their son being screwed up in the first place. Hard to believe, at the very least, that they didn’t know he was a fruitcake.

Lehuster on April 18, 2007 at 12:45 PM

I do feel sorry for them. They probably did know he had problems, and tried some things, but did not know how to deal with it. Despite all the talk, back and forth whether he acted with or without outside provocation or not, he was an unusually evil guy. Wouldn’t be surprised that they may have been scared of him.

naliaka on April 18, 2007 at 1:28 PM

Krydor on April 18, 2007 at 1:21 PM

You realize of course by putting all those peculiars on one page just enhances the questionable elements. A thing like the use of the word “Asian” was correct, given the usage of the speaker, so that’s not an issue. Ishmail is spelled a number of different ways, depending on the first language of the user, Arabic itself has many dialects and the English spelling renditions differ to reflect that, but they all refer to Abraham’s firstborn, who became the patriarch of the Arabs.
My point is, it’s not hard to cut out the extraneous details that don’t really matter, and we’re still left with some oddities that need to be fully investigated.

It’s a bit like Nick Berg sharing Moussaoui’s laptop in Oklahoma City. Of all the people? A couple years later, what happens to Nick? No one dares disturb that cowpat, it just sits there on the open plain, slowly decaying.

naliaka on April 18, 2007 at 1:46 PM

Naliaka,

I put those peculiars all on one page simply because they turned up, one after the other, as the previous ones were debunked. I don’t know why the thinnest of threads are being used to look for SJH. As has been noted before, and coined by Chris Rock “what ever happened to crazy?”

The more that comes out, the less likely it is that he is a member of some secret Indonesian assasin squad.

Krydor on April 18, 2007 at 2:06 PM

The fourth reason why this is stupid is that you think Occam’s Razor proves the more complicated explanation than the simplest one.

Tantor

Nothing complicated about it. Creating misperceptions is their specialty.

If the tatoo read “Ismale” and the Jerusalem Post reported it as “Ismail”, wouldn’t you question their motives for the misspelling?

By the way, accusing someone of making an ad hominem attack when they didn’t is an ad hominem attack.

Perchant on April 18, 2007 at 3:11 PM

Perchant,

When I disagreed with you, you accused me of working for the Washington Post. That is an ad hominem attack, seeking to discredit my argument by questioning my motives. Your grasp of logic is poor, which is why your mind is clogged with stupid conspiracy theories. It also why you never rebut my criticism logically, but by leaping to new lines of nonsense such as speculative scenarios about the Jerusalem Post. This is junk thought.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 3:54 PM

Does the stupidity ever stop here? Your proof that the shooter was an Islamic terrorist is a photo of a Korean kid with the same name taken in Indonesia? First, do you know how many Koreans have the same name? Half of Korea is named Kim and the other half is named Lee. The problem of interrelation is so bad that many Koreans have trouble getting married because the law forbids them from marrying somebody related to them. There are lots of Koreans with the same name.

Second, since when was the Virginia Tech shooter ever in Indonesia?

Third, your photo shows a happy, smiling guy looking into the camera. Everybody who knew the shooter says he never smiled, exuded depression, and never looked anyone in the eye. His room-mates said he only had one expression, that blank expression you see on his ID photo.

Next thin you know, you’ll be claiming this kid shot Jimmy Hoffa.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 1:00 PM

Tantor- Did you even look at Debbie Schlussel’s post about Indonesia? It is not my link and my post; she posted it. Please pay closer attention.

Second, yes, Kim, Park (Pak), and Lee are very common surnames. Cho/Joe/Jo is not particularly common. Seung-hui is fairly common. But Cho Seung-hui, not really.

She says at http://www.debbieschlussel.com:

All day long, bloggers and e-mailers sent me to the Flickr photo archive site, where an Indonesian Muslim woman, named Eldarossell, kept pics of “Me & My Family.” One photo of “Ismail”–uploaded in August 2006–looked very much like Cho Seung-Hui and bore an interesting caption further telling us that it’s the same guy. Strangely, since yesterday, that photo has been removed by Miss Eldarossell, though the rest of her photos remain up. Also removed were the many comments posted by visitors to the site noting that her friend (or relative?) “Ismail,” sure looked like Cho Seung-Hui, and was probably him, given the caption she posted.

Too late, though, as many blogs–from our friend, the beautiful Pam at Atlas Shrugs, to the German-French Gudrun Eussner’s Blog–captured the photos and the caption, which I post below. So, the question remains: If Cho Seung-Hui is not “Ismail,” then why would she remove the photo? I think we know the answer.

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Tantor is my new hero because

a) Deft use of logic
b) Name is a reference to Tarzan’s best friend, Tantor the Elephant

Krydor on April 18, 2007 at 5:05 PM

januarius: “Tantor- Did you even look at Debbie Schlussel’s post about Indonesia? It is not my link and my post; she posted it. Please pay closer attention.”

I have read it and I posted my rebuttal of it, a rebuttal you largely dodge. Why? What is your evidence that the shooter ever went to Indonesia? What is your explanation for the striking difference in temperament between the guy pictured in the Indonesian photo and the temperament described by the shooters room-mates and documented by the photos of him?

I have paid very close attention to your ridiculous assertions and am knocking them down with common sense and straightforward questions. You endorsed this link as proof of your foolish argument that somehow the shooter is an Islamic terrorist. Now that you are trying to evade criticism of this farfetched link by claiming its not your link.

januarius: “Second, yes, Kim, Park (Pak), and Lee are very common surnames. Cho/Joe/Jo is not particularly common. Seung-hui is fairly common. But Cho Seung-hui, not really.”

And your evidence that this photo plucked from the Internet is that of the shooter who you evidently claimed travelled to Indonesia is what? Nothing. Squat. It is all speculation and innuendo with you.

If I came up with a photo of an SS prison guard from Auschwitz who was roughly your sex and race and bore your name, would that prove you’re a war criminal?

Your weak speculation is the product of an undisciplined mind. Prove your case. Put up or shut up.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 5:12 PM

I’ve looked closely at both pictures again, and I don’t think they are the same. You can tell they have different personalities and one face is longer than the other. Also, Seung-hui and Seung-ho and both fairly common names in Korea, though Cho/Joe/Jo. I doubt the Indonesian woman would get the name Seung-hui mixed up with Seung-ho.

But interesting she took down the picture and interesting that the Korean in the Indonesian woman’s picture would take the name Ismail.

Of course, no one in the MSM is asking about “Ismail’s ax.” That wouldn’t be politically correct! Good post at Atlas Shrugs http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2007/04/ismail_ax.html about this complete lack of interest in the MSM.

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 5:14 PM

Januarius,

Maybe the reason that the Indonesian woman took down the photo was that she did not want to be falsely associated with mass murder.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 5:23 PM

What is your explanation for the striking difference in temperament between the guy pictured in the Indonesian photo and the temperament described by the shooters room-mates and documented by the photos of him?

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 5:12 PM

I have to agree. Not only does this kid look like a fun-loving normal guy … he also doesn’t look anything like the killer, other than being Asian of course. At least, that’s my opinion.

As for why she took the photo down? Duh. If I had family photos on the internet and the entire world was bombarding me with accusations such as this … I’d take it down too, and so would everyone on this board.

Gregor on April 18, 2007 at 5:31 PM

Wow.

This is interesting.

Gregor on April 18, 2007 at 5:35 PM

Sorry. Guess I’m late with that link. Just got back from lunch.

Gregor on April 18, 2007 at 5:38 PM

Gregor- Every time there is an attack by Muslims, we get Islamic organizations immediately worrying about Islamophobia, as if the culture of the victims is more dangerous than the perpetrators’. I think you would agree that this a subtle form of hate.

Look at the headline at the Korea Herald. They are doing the same thing. http://www.koreaherald.co.kr

Concerned that the recent massacre by a South Korean student in Virginia, the United States, would spark prejudice or confrontation against South Koreans, the Seoul government held emergency meetings yesterday to discuss any necessary measures. Leaders from all political groups in South Korea also expressed their condolences to the victims and their families after the deadliest shooting in the history of the United States. A 23-year-old South Korean student …

This is fully in line with the pervasive anti-Americanism there. Have you lived in South Korea or experienced it? Have you seen doormats of American flags in front of numerous college buildings on their campuses for them to spit and wipe their feet on? I think you just have to observe it firsthand.

Their worry about Koreans in the U.S. suddenly being the target of hate is completely ignorant and a psychological form of projection. It is also insulting, considering their reaction in 2002 to the two GI’s who accidentally ran over two Korean schoolchildren. There were massive demonstrations, flag burnings, demands for President Bush to personally apologize, a popular video of S.E.S. killing Americans, etc. Of course, this did not get much airtime in the MSM, so many Americans are in complete ignorance of these events. I was there in 2002.

Here is the quote about guns causing the shooting:

Office worker Kim Sun-kuk, 32, said that the core of the incident was not Cho being a Korean but U.S. laws which allow individuals to possess guns.

“The evidence shows that Cho did this for personal reasons, because he had broken up with his girlfriend, not because of any ethnicity issues,” he said. “It happened because he had access to a gun. We should not confuse the core of the issue.”

In other words, the gun and our laws caused the shooting, not Cho Seung-hui. It is very much a group culture in Korea–one nation, one blood, one race–so you are going to get this denial that an individual Korean (and by Confucian implication the Korean nation) was to blame. There will be denial, but it is still irritating.

I don’t hate Korea at all. I have many Korean friends still over there, and they are a wonderful people as a whole. While in Korea, I got a second B.A. in Asian Studies from University of Maryland. However, there is a pervasive anti-Americanism that can be very frustrating. It stems from the Confucian distrust of “outsiders” and the lack of equality in Confucianism. You can only be someone’s “senior” or “junior.” There is little equality. They got all their technology from us and Japan and were extremely poor until the last 30 or so years. In order to boost their national self-image, they somehow have to prove that they are superior to America. They do this by anti-Americanism. Also, the American presence bothers them, though they know we need to be there. It is a very complicated love-hate relationship.

But it doesn’t excuse their anti-Americanism: http://www.usinkorea.org

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 5:49 PM

While in Korea, I got a second B.A. in Asian Studies from University of Maryland. However, there is a pervasive anti-Americanism that can be very frustrating. It stems from the Confucian distrust of “outsiders” and the lack of equality in Confucianism. You can only be someone’s “senior” or “junior.” There is little equality.
januarius on April 18, 2007 at 5:49 PM

You seem to have forgotten that the “equality” you mention has more to do with the “pecking order” based on one’s station in life per Confucian thought. Academics and scholars are at the top while the military (any military) is at the bottom. I think you need to reread your textbooks. the junior and senior comment has multiple applications from job to family and neighbors. In other words you can be the senior person at work but still junior to your uncle or older neighbor.
Like Germany and France, the generation that immediately benefited from the American support and GIs is slowly dying off and the younger generation doesn’t feel the loyalty/obligation of their fathers and mothers. Just as the current generation of Iraqis will tend to be favorable towards Americans, the next generation won’t understand the reasons from the gut. Natural progression to be expected.

Considering your countless posts about the Koreans and Muslims while bemoaning the Korean distrust of outsiders is almost too laughable to comment on.

Bradky on April 18, 2007 at 6:04 PM

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 5:49 PM

Based on the comment you posted this time, I would agree with you on the gun issue. It wasn’t the same quote that you had posted in the previous comment.

I have to say that I don’t agree with your take on South Korea as a whole though. I’ve spent time in South Korea and my experience was almost 100% positive, although I have to admit that things might have changed since then. Yes, there is some anti-American trash in their media, but looking at our own media, I’m not even sure it’s worse than the crap NBC puts out, or for that matter, what our public schools are currently teaching our own children. Also, you mention the “distrust of outsiders”, but I’d note that you and I have plenty of distrust of outsiders as well. I don’t see that as anything unusual.

Either way, I do agree with you regarding the comments you posted.

Gregor on April 18, 2007 at 6:34 PM

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 5:49 PM

Also, keep this in mind. You can look at the comments you posted from the Koreans and find comments even more pathetic on DailyKos or DU by liberals right here in this country. There are stupid people everywhere.

Gregor on April 18, 2007 at 6:48 PM

Academics and scholars are at the top while the military (any military) is at the bottom.

That has traditionally been the case, although an officer in the military is not on the bottom of the totem pole. In any case, Koreans comically used to bemoan the fact to me(it must be something they learn in school) that they have been invaded 900 times in their 5000 year history. I used to think, with your opinion of the military, duh! Japan has a much healthier opinion of the military. To me, Japanese culture was my favorite of China, Korea, and Japan.

Second, on that topic, Korea has a 1700 year old history (history is defined as written records originating within that culture). Yet every Korean believes they have 5000 years of history dating back to a Tangun, and they really believe it. It is a myth perpetuated within the school system. China doesn’t even have 5000 years of history.

the junior and senior comment has multiple applications from job to family and neighbors. In other words you can be the senior person at work but still junior to your uncle or older neighbor.

That’s true; the only really true form of equality on the Confucian scale is between two friends or classmates who are the exact same age.

This is why I think it is so hard for Korea to interact with the United States. We have a concept of equality. We can easily say: You have a great country and we’re equal. Koreans cannot do that. That have to either be superior or inferior. They know they received all their technology from us and Japan and that we are defending them. That very much bothers them, hence their needing to prove their superiority through anti-Americanism.

They also have never forgiven Japan. Japan was always considered their “junior” (Chinese culture passed from China to Korea to Japan) and Japan resented this characterization. Koreans will never forgive this “dongsaeng” for having invaded the “hyeong” and not being suitably submissive and loyal.

Once one understands Confucianism, one can understand Koreans. They are the most Confucian country.

januarius on April 18, 2007 at 7:15 PM

januarius: “Here is the quote about guns causing the shooting:

‘Office worker Kim Sun-kuk, 32, said that the core of the incident was not Cho being a Korean but U.S. laws which allow individuals to possess guns. The evidence shows that Cho did this for personal reasons, because he had broken up with his girlfriend, not because of any ethnicity issues,’ he said. ‘It happened because he had access to a gun. We should not confuse the core of the issue.’

In other words, the gun and our laws caused the shooting, not Cho Seung-hui. It is very much a group culture in Korea–one nation, one blood, one race–so you are going to get this denial that an individual Korean (and by Confucian implication the Korean nation) was to blame. There will be denial, but it is still irritating.”

januarius, we finally agree on something. I spotted the messages from the Korean government this morning in the Washington Post that warned of Americans discriminating against all Koreans because of this kid. Quite frankly, such race-baiting makes them the racists, not us. Their nation is based on the Korean race, ours is based on principles of freedom. When the Koreans accept other races as citizens as easily as we accept Koreans, then they’ll have the moral authority to make such accusations.

And also, I haven’t heard of anyone blaming this on Koreans.

To enlarge on your point, this is a soft form of the anti-American propaganda you see everywhere in the world. The reason that opinion is sour on America in some sections of the world is that they are only exposed to a negative spin on every news item involving America.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 8:50 PM

When I disagreed with you, you accused me of working for the Washington Post.

Tantor

Well jeepers, if you don’t work at WaPo just say so. It certainly seemed plausible by your desperate defense of the the disgraced news outfit.

The spelling on the NBC envelope makes it seem at least possible that WaPo had the spelling correct. We’ll see.

Perchant on April 18, 2007 at 8:50 PM

Perchant,

I’m not telling some numbskull on the Internet my personal information. Your ad hominem attempt to dodge a rebuttal about your WaPo conspiracy nonsense is typical conspiracy nut rhetoric. You’ve blown a lot of smoke here but you have yet to back your wacked out conspiracy nonsense with a bit of fact.

The WaPo is a liberal paper which often trims the facts to suit its liberal bias. However, I require proof of such acts. Your accusations don’t even pass the smell test as possible, let alone pass the evidence test.

Tantor on April 18, 2007 at 10:13 PM

Tantor,

Please be civil. Your desperate attacks only make you seem…desperate.

How can you not be concerned about the inflammatory misspelling of “Ismale” that every media outlet except WaPo made? Obviously the killer was just stating that he “is male”.

…obviously.

Perchant on April 18, 2007 at 11:09 PM

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