During the Cuban Missile Crisis (c. 1962), if an American soldier would have opened fire on his comrades while wearing a Che Guevera T-shirt and yelling, “Long Live Lenin, Khrushchev, and Castro,” it is doubtful that the guy’s communist sympathies would have been dismissed as irrelevant and peripheral. The commies were the enemy.
A year after the Cuban missile crisis, the commander-in-chief was murdered in Dallas by a Marine veteran who had not only shilled for Fidel Castro and reached out to the communists in Moscow but tried to defect to the Soviet Union. It was the height of the Cold War. And yet Lee Harvey Oswald's darkest of acts didn't become a pretext for Americans going door to door in their neighborhoods trying to root out communist President killers. It was and remains obvious that he had acted alone. Most of those who resist calling Nidal Malik Hasan a terrorist or lumping him with al-Qaeda are making the same prudent distinction, at least until we learn the whole story.