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Petraeus is right

Christian Science Monitor:

The United States' top commander in Afghanistan has warned that a planned Koran-burning event in Florida could put US troops in danger.

Gen. David Petraeus added his voice to mounting protests from both the US and abroad over the Dove World Outreach Center's plans to burn Korans on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. His comments ratcheted up the pressure on once-obscure pastor Terry Jones to call off the event.

The controversy comes as some 120,000 US and allied troops are waging a counter-insurgency campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan, a campaign whose goals include winning support for the US-backed government from the largely Muslim population.

General Petraeus said that burning Korans "is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems - not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community," according to CNN.

"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan," Gen. David Petraeus said in a statement issued Monday ...

"Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday," he said. "Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult."

Mr. Jones, the pastor of the center in Gainesville, Florida, has touted the activity as "International Burn the Koran Day." Jones also authored a book titled "Islam is of the Devil," which has a Facebook page and Twitter account.

In remarks published by Florida radio station WOKV on Tuesday morning, Jones insisted he would not be deterred.

Regular readers know of my issues with Islam.  I've been hard on the faith and will likely continue to be.  It seems the more I learn about the religion, the more issues I'm finding with the belief system... but a mass burning of Korans is as problematic on a number of levels.

The first is simple and seemingly obvious.  Burning the Koran is a provocative act that goes against the grain of Christian thought.  I can't find a single tenet upheld by this sort of action.  I cannot imagine Christ exhorting His followers to do this under any circumstance.  It is stooping unnecessarily to a level matching that of the Islamists.

The second is as important, perhaps more so. Mass burning of Korans is offensive and provocative and will do more to inflame the ignorant than it will to persuade them to change their ways.  Although I continue to believe that the extremists will have to be dealt with in the extreme, there is the hope, albeit slight, that moderates within Islam would do what is necessary to reform the faith, to live up to this rather weak notion that they practice a religion of peace.  This will do nothing to embolden the so called moderates to step up and assume some responsibility.  Quite the contrary.  And in that respect, I believe Petraeus to have nailed this.

This brand of Christianity, if it can even be called that, needs to go.  Quietly and quickly.


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Comments (99)

Yes, a mass burning of the ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes, a mass burning of the koran would be offensive and provocative to muslims.

And yet they need to understand that they have no right to not be offended. They are the ones who have sought a religious war with the whole world. They need to learn to be tolerant of slights from people of other religions. Let them be offended. We will not teach them tolerance by trying to appease their threats of violence.

I understand that this will inflame the resentments of ignorant muslims throughout the world. Let them stand up so we can fight them and get rid of them.

Appeasement hell, Jim. Get ... (Below threshold)

Appeasement hell, Jim. Get a grip and get real.

Pastor Jones' intentions are senseless, [extremely] irresponsible ..., and did I mention just plain loony?

This is a truly ugly act.<b... (Below threshold)

This is a truly ugly act.
In fact no non-Muslim should even be touching a Koran. The Koran is the express, explicit Word of God, provided ONLY to the faithful.
Touching a Koran is, in itself, sacrilege.
The Koran is so Holy that its origins may not be examined. How the Word of God, delivered to a man who was (?) not able to write, came to be precisely and infallibly put on paper in Arabic, may not be discussed or examined, on penalty of death.
Even the order in which the various chapters are found may not be questioned nor adjusted; indeed, one can only read the Koran in the original Arabic.
Oh, well. Those are the facts.
Firebombings, suicide missions, fatwas, and a lot of death to the infidel will surely follow.

When a local loony can crea... (Below threshold)

When a local loony can create an international incident over this, it's time to get a grip. Maybe Fred Phelps can join up with this clown for a two-fer.

SPQR -The appeasem... (Below threshold)
jim m:


The appeasement is from people saying, "Don't do anything to offend the muslims! You'll make things worse."

Screw that. I am not saying that I agree with the burning. I have issues with it too. But I am saying that if the only reason for not doing it is that it will inflame muslim emotions, I'll gladly bring a can of gasoline to help out. I'm sick and tired of being told not to offend the homicidal maniacs who would gladly slit my throat and those of my children. Christianity has absorbed many more offenses without such response.

When islam starts respecting other people and their rights to live and practice their own faiths then I will respect theirs. Until then they get nothing from me.

Like the Ground Zero Mosque... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

Like the Ground Zero Mosque or Fred Phelps and his merry band of morons, the people in Florida have the right to burn Koran's (assuming they legally obtain the copies), but it is a tastelessly stupid act and I wish they would refrain from doing it.

It is an act of a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum. In the end the best outcome is they are ignored while the likely outcome includes unnecessary deaths and destruction.

Rick, you're delusional. Pe... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

Rick, you're delusional. Petraeus drank the Kool-ade. He needs to focus on killing the enemy before they kill us.

Dear Rick,If you h... (Below threshold)

Dear Rick,

If you have indeed studied the "religion" of Islam, you must have discovered that "moderate" followers do not exist. Islam calls for the killing of all who are not true believers, the confiscation of their property and the enslavement of their family members. Period. Such is the faith as set down by Mohammed. Those who do not follow this practice, this belief, do NOT follow Islam. Yet it is your claim that Christians and other actual human beings should avoid being "provocative!" That is, take no stand, make no statement, sit by silently and watch as bombs are strapped to 8 year old children, offer no interference as young girls are butchered in "honor killings", permit the American left to build a mosque at ground zero, perhaps even support the implementation of Sharia in certain cities, certain counties, certain states...for after all, taking a stand would be PROVOCATIVE! And goodness knows, we musn't have that! Personally, it's my belief that any diseased tribal custom which commands sub-human behavior, necessitates the most bestial cruelty and celebrates mass murder must elicit from good people the most provocative action imaginable until it's practitioners are removed from existence.

I guess my point is that fo... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I guess my point is that for years we did nothing of this sort to offend the muslims, yet they still attack us and they still murder our people.

What do you suppose we gain by not offending them? Will they do any less if we stop it? Of course not.

I am not defending the book burning. But ask yourself this: would you be any more for or against this book burning if it were a different book? The burning is an act of free speech. I think it is a particularly ugly way of expressing one's self, but they have the right to do so. I don't think people would be so bent about this if it were a different book. I think the libs would come out en masse to defend the burning if someone were burning the Bible.

Yes it's ugly, but we should be careful to be sure we oppose it for the right reasons and we should be careful to not be seen as bowing before the threat of violence from a bunch of lunatics.

At first I thought this was... (Below threshold)

At first I thought this was ill-conceived.
But the more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I don't give a shit.
Burn em and let them be offended.

I completely agree with jim m.

Petraeus may be right, but ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Petraeus may be right, but so is 'jim m'.

What I'd like to know is would we be having this same conversation if some imam were having a "burn the bible day"?

Appeasement, much like political correctness, is not just misguided, but stuck on stupid and often has consequences sqarely opposite of the good intentions of its practitioners.

Never burn a flag. It will... (Below threshold)

Never burn a flag. It will only inflame people's passions.

Never place a crucifix in urine. It will only inflame people's passions.

I do not agree with burning the Koran. But at the same time, why is it that Islam is exempt from having to put up with any critical inquiry or any offense.

I am not sure whether I hav... (Below threshold)

I am not sure whether I have been listening well enough but I have always felt that the moderate, more reasoned and hopefully the vast majority of Muslims should be very open about condemning terrorist acts in the name of their prophet and Allah. To be consistent, as a Christian I feel it is my responsibility to condemn this inflammatory action by this fringe pastor, Terry Jones. I agree with Petraeus on this particular matter - it is merely sensational and serves no long term purpose to our mission.

In turn, I also support what jim m says about Muslims having no right not to be offended. There hypersensitivity is simply childish (to put it diplomatically). In countries where Islam is the belief held by the majority of the population it is a religion clearly dictating a significant part of day to day life of the average citizen than Christianity is in the Western world. It is designed to be oppressive. I believe Islam is today a relatively benign creed in the United States because it is not the religion of the majority. If it was we would have a very different way of life I am sure.

You're not thinking straigh... (Below threshold)

You're not thinking straight, Jim.

I dare say that our soldiers and Marines who have had a helluvalot more exposure to Muslims than you have would say that you are exercising poor judgment here.

I understand your thinking, and it isn't rational.

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. and those fools in Gainesviulle will be dissuaded from being so rash.

I don't condone or encourag... (Below threshold)

I don't condone or encourage the antics of Jones or Phelps. That said, the Muslims can wig out all they want. If they want sympathy, I'll show them where they can find it in the dictionary. When they start acting against those who've hijacked their religion instead of remaining silent (and thus complicit), then and only then will I make the effort to show some concern.

This is sheer, unbridled st... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

This is sheer, unbridled stupidity on the part of this so-called pastor.

SPQR-Actually, if ... (Below threshold)
jim m:


Actually, if history is any guide the majority of the violence after the mohammad cartoons was not against our troops, but rather in other nations and the people who dies were other muslims.

Will the bullets and IED's become more deadly because of this act? I doubt it.

As for muslims being quick to condemn their own radicals, I have to say I have not seen it. Apart from a very few the response I have seen more frequently is, "Why should I have to say anything against islamic terrorism, I haven't done anything." The typical response has been a denial of any connection or obligation while they continue to pour money into front operations like the Holy Land Foundation, that funnel money into terrorist organizations. That, and excusing terror organizations like Hammas outright, because they built a school somewhere so they are therefore a legit charity.

Most soldiers, when in a ba... (Below threshold)

Most soldiers, when in a battle zone,keep their heads lowered as simply a matter of safety. Seems like these "Sunday Soldiers" want to lift the "Real Soldiers" heads for them, and put them at unnecessary risk. BTW, Can't someone's gas pedal become jammed, at full throttle, as they're driving towards a group of those religious nuts who protest as our heroes are laid to rest?

Jim, the behavior of Muslim... (Below threshold)

Jim, the behavior of Muslims is irrelevant to this issue. We always have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. It isn't always easy. But that's the way that it has to be.

That loony pastor's intentions are unAmerican. If he pulls that outrageous stunt, he is no better than the Nazis were. If he gets away with it, what's next; a Kristallnacht and pogrums against Muslims in this country? Yeah, you hotheads, that would be just ducky. Get a grip.

For me this is no different... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

For me this is no different from the central issue behind the building of the victory mosque alongside Ground Zero - they have the right to do it, the question is: should they?

This book burning would, no doubt, be a legal expression of their freedom of speech. It would also serve as a huge object lesson for muslims intent in gaming our laws in their campaign against us.

But, aren't we hypocrites if we demand the mosque's developers consider our feelings while we endorse this proposed book burning?

That's not to say that part of me wouldn't love to see it happen (the part of me that wants to see that object lesson delivered). So my position has to be that this is the wrong thing to do, people need to appeal to the organizers to reconsider their decision.

It's not about legal or illegal. It's about right or wrong. And this would be wrong, just like building a victory mosque alongside Ground Zero would be wrong.

If the behavior of muslims ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

If the behavior of muslims is not an issue then you should not have referenced the possibility of increased risk to our military in your post at #14.

And we do hold ourselves to a higher standard. We allow people to offend us. We allow Nazi's to march in Skokie, IL. We allow people like Fred Phelps to do his repugnant acts. We allow Andres Serrano to create "art" like Piss Christ. Where do you find that in the muslim world? You don't.

You do not have to agree with the koran burning. I have said that I have mixed feelings about this. But the unAmerican thing is to try to suppress this act. If we cannot suppress Fred Phelps and have to put up with his crap then we need to do the same here. If we have to let Nazis march and the NEA pay to insult Christianity then we need to allow for this too. And you are free to support it or condemn it as you like but not to suppress it.

UOG -Then maybe th... (Below threshold)
jim m:


Then maybe the koran burners can cut a deal with the GZ mosque people. He will stop buring korans when they move their mosque. Sounds like a plan.

I have to say, both sides a... (Below threshold)

I have to say, both sides are right here. This will absolutely inflame Muslim sentiment and place our soldiers in harms way. At the same time, Muslims the world over need to get a grip and start accepting that their religion will have its share of desecration just like everyone else.

I think, for now, siding with the good General is the way to go. But, we must recognize that there may come a time when confrontation is inevitable, and we must go all in. That time is not now, but I fear it is approaching.

However, those people comparing the pastor to Nazis or Islamists are way out of line. The pastor is burning Korans he either bought or had donated to him for this purpose. He is not storming a Mosque and burning their books. It's his property, he can do with it as he pleases. It may make him a jerk, but it does not in any shape or form make him second cousin to Heinrich Himmler.

SPQR - do you, or do you no... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

SPQR - do you, or do you not accept the Bill of Rights?

Legal free speech is legal free speech. How can exercising those rights be unAmerican?

Suffice to say, those are a... (Below threshold)

Suffice to say, those are all specious arguments, Jim.

Jim m, I'd love to see just... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Jim m, I'd love to see just such an "enlightening" come from all this.

I'll hazard a guess here and say that I'll bet neither one of us has any real expectations of that happening. I think the mosque developers' intentions do not include sensitivity to the feelings of non-muslims.

Yes this may result in an i... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes this may result in an incremental increase in the dangers our military faces.

However, if the muslim response to every perceived slight is to commit acts of violence then we must endure them until we can end them. To avoid them and suppress them from others is to participate in religious tyranny.

We should not compromise our freedom (even the freedom of jerks) to gain the satisfaction of lunatics.

specious?Let me un... (Below threshold)
jim m:


Let me understand this. You compare the koran burning as a prelude to another kristalnacht and by extension another holocaust and that is not specious. I compare it to other offensive acts of speech that we have tolerated under our first amendment and that is specious.

As was noted above you comparison is flawed at best and your conclusion is weak. My comparison is quite direct and in both cases resulted in great offense being taken by the targeted groups. Never the less we allowed those acts (heck we even paid $15,000 for the so-called art).

I think you logic is flawed.

"I understand your think... (Below threshold)

"I understand your thinking, and it isn't rational."

I think we've tried rational, SPQR, and it didn't make one damn bit of difference.

We've tried being 'sensitive', we've tried appeasement, we've bent over backwards to show there's no hard feelings for 9/11, that we didn't blame the mass majority of Muslims for the actions of a few nutballs, and it hasn't got us shit.

Do you see the so-called 'moderates' speaking out against Islamic terrorism? I've seen maybe a half-dozen in the last decade.

Woah, big friggin' groundswell THERE, ain't it?

I really don't know what more we can do to smooth things over, or get the 'moderates' to step up to the plate and start cleaning house. Maybe something like this IS needed, to show that WE can be just as pissed off and irrational as THEY can. And to serve notice - that our patience is not unlimited, and they've hit the bounds of our 'sensitivity' so we don't really give a damn if they're offended or not.

As far as 'no better than Hitler' goes - no. I'm not buying that horse, and to even bring it up is a ridiculous argument on your part.

I like it that we're holding ourselves to a 'higher standard' - at least, that's how WE perceive it. But that 'higher standard' is NOT viewed as such by the people we're supposed to impress (aside from ourselves, that is) - it's viewed as a weakness, an indication that we WON'T stand up for our own culture. That we're ready to be pushed over, because we won't fight like they do.

Is this the right answer? Hell if I know. I do know that, as I've said before and as others have pointed out, it doesn't make a bit of difference what we do. We seem to piss them off merely with our existance.

So - screw it. Piss 'em off good.

Seems to me other faiths ha... (Below threshold)

Seems to me other faiths have to indure this sort of slight, why is the muslim faith any diffent? The answer of course is they will resort to violence if offended. I agree this seems like an unneccary act but hey it happens all the time to other faiths.

You missed my point, Jim. ... (Below threshold)

You missed my point, Jim.

I'm not worried about the effect that such a senseless act will have on our military people in harm's way. They can take care of themselves just fine. I'm saying that, in view of their experiences, they would agree with me and not with you for the reasons which I've already stated.

This is what happens when s... (Below threshold)

This is what happens when sensitivity to one group is so highly promoted and sensitivity to another group is ignored. Many of the second group will sooner or later get tired of it and lash out. Christianity has been assaulted and ridiculed time and time again. Their religion and symbols of been bashed a desecrated often. Not only have people who responsible for it, not denounced but often are defended. Usually with the excuse "they should do it because they have a right to do it".

Building a Mosque near ground zero is the latest example.

I am not for burning the Koran but I am not for the Mosque near ground zero either. Respect goes both ways. If you think it is OK to build the Mosque near ground zero, burn the flag, desecrated Christian symbols simply because it legal, then you should be OK with burning the Koran.

Wayne -"Respect... (Below threshold)

Wayne -

"Respect goes both ways."

That's right - and I think it's been forgotten.

Oh, for those who say "yea ... (Below threshold)

Oh, for those who say "yea but burning the Koran will cause violence". You are basically saying the only way to get respect for your beliefs is to be violent if others aren't respectful. Nice message.

Its about as holy as the la... (Below threshold)

Its about as holy as the last piece of paper I flushed this morning. I dont live under or by thier sick rituals.

They need to live with the animosity they created or stick it where the sun dont shine. The islamo's danced in the streets and thought 911 was so funny and now were all supposed to go "Woah! Dont do that! they will be offended." Well the hell with them.

JLawsonBy whom? ... (Below threshold)

By whom?

Of course, this pastor is w... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Of course, this pastor is well within his rights when it comes to freedom of speech and expression.

But that doesn't mean his actions aren't stupid, wrong, and actually completely misdirected. And it doesn't mean that we should all stand by and agree with this pastor (and yes, a similar argument can be made for the mosque in New York).

This pastor is misdirected because he's using the Koran, a symbol that has importance for 1.6 billion people, to make a political statement that should actually be directed at specific groups--Al Qaeda for instance.

If the guy wanted to actually make a relevant point, then he would burn a bunch of AQ training manuals or something that made a direct political statement to the actual people who are responsible for the terrorist acts on 9/11. But no, it's too hard to actually be specific or accurate, so he's going to play along with the whole overgeneralized narrative and just treat AQ and all Muslims as if they are one and the same. Ya, that's going to really accomplish something.

Out of sheer ignorance or stupidity (or maybe willful audacity), he's going to do something that only creates more misunderstandings, ignorance, and enmity between Americans and millions of Muslims who didn't have a damn thing to do with 9/11.

"The first is simple and se... (Below threshold)
this is silly:

"The first is simple and seemingly obvious. Burning the Koran is a provocative act that goes against the grain of Christian thought."

Ah, so us non-Christians are still good to go on the burny-burny. Right.

It's a book. A freakin' BOOK. Yes, anyone will be offended by someone burning their particular holy book. But not all of them will go apeshit and kill people.

That's the point of this exercise - to demonstrate that either they're a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians, or that they aren't. Their choice - and if it is the former, the sooner those on the fence understand, the better.

Jim, don't be so vain and s... (Below threshold)

Jim, don't be so vain and so foolish as to believe that because others here support you and agree with you, that means that you are right. All that shows is that they aren't thinking anymore clearly than you are.

People here agree with me, too. But that doesn't give me encouragement, nor will it any way effect my opinions. My arguments stand on their own merits. I don't need cheerleaders.

If you can prove that I am wrong, though, I will admit it. Which you haven't done. To the contrary, you're already concurred that it will be a senseless act to burn those books. On those other extraneous issues that you raised, you're just being cantankerous, because you're not accustomed to being challenged here.

But that's okay. I know that we're on the same page, and you're just too ornery to admit it. I do admire your spunk. :)

Islam cannot reform itself ... (Below threshold)
Geoffrey Britain:

Islam cannot reform itself because it's core theological tenets make reform impossible. To reform, Islam must accept that the Qur'an is not the direct word of God and that Mohhammad is therefore not the final prophet.

Reform is simply not possible while those beliefs remain accepted but since those are the foundational theological beliefs of Islam, to renounce them effectively destroys the religion.

No amount of moderate Muslim 'good will', can change that reality, moderates know this and that is why they remain silent and essentially condone the violence. For to do otherwise is to effectively renounce their own religion.

Which is the choice every moderate Muslim is faced with and that almost all refuse to face.

We are in a war and the only 'peace' that Islam will accept is the destruction of the West's culture. That is the ONLY acceptable 'peace' because that is what the Qur'an proclaims and Muslims believe that the Qur'an is God's direct words...

People are going to continue to die, the only question is who and how many.

Petraeus is right, burning the Qur'an would be used by the Taliban as a recruiting tool. But anything we do will be used to recruit, in fact we need 'do' nothing at all, as our very existence is all that is needed for recruitment.

Our abhorrent, to Muslim sensibilities, 'actions' are merely the 'icing' on the 'cake' of Islam's abhorance of our cultures very existence.

That is what the Qur'an unequivocally proclaims.

Furthermore, the Qur'an, (which every Muslim, to BE Muslim, MUST accept as the DIRECT word of God) emphatically states that jihad, both by stealth and physical war is the absolute duty of every Muslim to engage in against any and all non-Muslim countries.

The Qur'an declares that any non-Muslim country is properly categorized as lying in the dar al Harb, THE 'HOUSE' OF WAR.

Which leads to the Qur'an, which is the main factor in the murderous aggression of Islamists against the culture of the West.

Since the Qur'an is the foundational source of ALL Muslim animosity toward the west,how can one resist that aggression without contending against the Qur'an itself?

And if challenging the Qur'an itself is the inevitable end game...what better way to declare our opposition to its tenets than by burning it?

After the fighting started, we didn't fight the Nazi's with clever repartee or reasoned discussion, we just did our level best to utterly defeat them.

The fighting started on 9/11 but for liberal Americans, the fighting won't start, if ever, until after a nuclear terrorist attack.

After which, many of whom will be ready to surrender because moral cowardice lies at the heart of all their rationalizations, which is why they deny that 9/11 was the actual start of the War with Islam.

ryan a, you are assuming th... (Below threshold)

ryan a, you are assuming that the pastor does not find Islam itself to be repugnant, AQ or no AQ.

Really, AQ is but a shadow of its former self, and has done nothing of any note that could have possibly prompted the pastor to say "Hey, I should burn a Koran today!" But, there are a bunch of other things other Muslim groups are doing (such as burning churches and continued death threats against any and all who dare "blaspheme" against Islam) that would cause someone to get their dander up and send a giant middle finger Islam's way.

Sorry, I accidentally erase... (Below threshold)

Sorry, I accidentally erased a few words when I was proofing my last post. It should read:

"AQ is but a shadow of its former self, and has done nothing of any note RECENTLY that could have possible..."

Yeah, I don't have a serious case of amnesia.

Patraeus is right only in t... (Below threshold)

Patraeus is right only in the sense that it is reasonable to expect Muslims to act out violently whenever they are offended.

He and you are wrong in imagining that burning books is the cause for the danger that is, in fact, posed by Muslim's violent tantrums in response to having their pride hurt.

And I disagree with your necessary implication that the appropriate method for dealing with psychos and children is to walk on egg shells.

There is nothing un-Christian about burning anti-Christian books, or any books or other materials for that matter. You can make the case that burning Korans is rude and being rude is un-Christian. But to blame Christians who build a fire out of books for the behavior or Muslims who build fires out of people is supremely ridiculous.

Muslims are not wild animals who have no control over their own behavior. Their tyranny of terrorism is not acceptable.

JSchuler:"ryan a, ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:


"ryan a, you are assuming that the pastor does not find Islam itself to be repugnant, AQ or no AQ."

Point taken. But I still argue for specificity, for several reasons which are hopefully obvious, even if they come from a left-wing marxist socialist communist hippy like myself. I don't see any reason to bring every Muslim farmer from Indonesia or elsewhere into this just for the hell of it. I'd rather see political messages directed at specific groups and organizations who commit egregious offenses. To me, that not only makes more sense, but it's more politically effective.

Also, I was reading the last post you made about AQ (before you corrected it) and was just about to ask you whether or not you have been smoking certain agricultural products that are only semi-legal in California.

This probably is the dumbes... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

This probably is the dumbest idea by a religious leader since that lunatic started protesting soldiers' funerals to make some sort of deranged political point about homosexuality.

That said, our Constitution gives people the right to act out like loons, and this particular absurdity doesn't fall into any of the narrow exceptions to that rule.

As for the Muslim reaction to all this, it's really a moot point. The crazy ones are not going to get any crazier than they already are, and the sane ones will remain at the same level of sanity.

Tsar Nicholas - the click c... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Tsar Nicholas - the click came before the pointer was where it was aimed. That was supposed to be an "UP" vote. My mistake, and my apology to you.

ryan a - examples do not need to be delivered specifically. In fact, they often are delivered non-specifically just because they work better that way.

Maybe Barry will send Holde... (Below threshold)

Maybe Barry will send Holder down there with the EPA to shut down the rag burning because of greenhouse gas emissions. Wouldn't be surprised at all to see him step in it again, just like at the ground zero community cordoba hate center.

Although with November looming around the corner maybe he'd think twice? Nah, he's stupid enough.

Petreaeus is right on the m... (Below threshold)

Petreaeus is right on the merits, this stunt is not good for the troops.

I don't think generals should be opining on Americans' exercise of First Amendment rights, though.

SPQR-On the contra... (Below threshold)
jim m:


On the contrary, I am quite accustomed to being challenged here.

I do not expect to convince you at all. i am merely stating that, while I disagree with the sort of crude provocation that the burning represents I do not see any valid reason to suppress it. Further more I do not see the fact that it is provocative as being any reason what so ever to stop it. I find the very fact that it is claimed that the muslims WILL respond in violence to be rather revealing and that they need to deal with such slights until the urge to respond that way ceases. They need to realize that violent responses to slighting their faith will only result in an increase in the ridicule and defamation of their beliefs.

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that you believe the burning is wrong and should be stopped. I believe that it is rude and is no more so than other rude and offensive actions that we have allowed as a nation. I think that forcing them to stop would be a violation of our traditions of freedom and a kowtowing to muslim threats.

ryan, I see your point as w... (Below threshold)

ryan, I see your point as well, and it's perfectly rational. But I'm not sure how you can get the message across that "I am not a Muslim and so I have no obligation to abide by Muslim law" in a forceful, attention grabbing way that won't offend every Muslim on the planet. The religion is completely entangled with a system of law that says the exact opposite.

Specificity is fine when your goal is specific. When your goal is fundamental, though, it's tough.

Amen, Rick. There's no need... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Amen, Rick. There's no need to sink to this level. It's un-Christian and in horrible taste. Sort of like putting a mosque 1.5 blocks from Ground Zero.

See? Now I know that I'm ri... (Below threshold)

See? Now I know that I'm right. Our resident ditz, Goober, at #48 is saying that this is a 1st Amendment issue.

Tell me, gooper, who has earned more of a right to "opine" on civil rights?

"The fighting started on 9/... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"The fighting started on 9/11 but for liberal Americans, the fighting won't start, if ever, until after a nuclear terrorist attack. "

Wouldn't start even then. Libs don't see our way of life as worth defending.

SPQR - This IS a 1... (Below threshold)
jim m:


This IS a 1st amendment issue. If you are going to claim that the muslims have the right to build the GZ mosque then this fool has the right to burn korans. The mosque should be built elsewhere and the fool should find a better way to announce his contempt for islam like sponsoring a draw mohammed art fair.

To give your own injunction a turn: Don't be so vain and so foolish as to believe that because others here argue with you and disagree with you, that means that you are right. In fact that shows that you are thinking less clearly than they are.

Jim, where did you read tha... (Below threshold)

Jim, where did you read that I condone the building of a recreation center and mosque near Ground Zero? That is a bizarre assertion.

Book burning is anti-Americ... (Below threshold)

Book burning is anti-American, anti-freedom and anti-intellectual even when it involves a vile screed like the Koran. This Nazi-like behavior should be condemned.

The beneficial effects of gratifying the burners and pissing off the radical Muslims are still not enough to justify it.

I didn't agree with a cruci... (Below threshold)

I didn't agree with a crucifix being placed in a glass of piss for arts sake. But it happened. I didn't agree with the slaughter of thousands of americans in the name of Allah but it happened. Our troops are in danger regardless whether this guy burns korans or not. He has the right to do this. Now the left does knew the point of the mosque, it isn't whether they could, buy why there.

Personally, you cannot piss off muslims. They live in a pissed off mood at anything contrary to their belief, so it doesn't matter. They will kill people now just because of the thought of burning them. Patreus is wrong, you cannot please those that hate. ww

Pewter F-"T... (Below threshold)

Pewter F-

"There's no need to sink to this level. It's un-Christian and in horrible taste. Sort of like putting a mosque 1.5 blocks from Ground Zero."

Yea, sort of. Minus the 3,000 muslims slaughtered at the site of the proposed book burning.

"Book burning is anti-American, anti-freedom and anti-intellectual even when it involves a vile screed like the Koran."

Anti-freedom? Not! Anti-American? How? Anti intellectual? I agree with you there after all, we are talking about primitive barbarians here.

Wayne:By whom?<... (Below threshold)


By whom?

By the folks we've been showing respect to, and have gotten precious little from in return.

I'm really starting to think that any - ANY - religion that has to have riots to show how 'offended' they are by something, whether it's a Koran being supposedly flushed or cartoons that aren't properly respectful, or crucifixes being dipped in urine, or iconical paintings being made out of dung should be told "Too damn bad. Give respect to get respect, until then - tough shit."

Oh, wait - the only religion that does that frequently is Islam, the Religion of Perpetual Offense. And frankly, I'm getting just a bit tired of it.

"They will kill people n... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"They will kill people now just because of the thought of burning them. Patreus is wrong, you cannot please those that hate."


Sorry Pewter, I mean Peter.... (Below threshold)

Sorry Pewter, I mean Peter.

Two points that I haven't s... (Below threshold)

Two points that I haven't seen anyone make yet:

One. It's not about inflaming the people that we are already fighting, it's about inflaming the people who are sitting on the sidelines to the point where they join in the fight.

Two: Saying there are no moderates in Islam based on your reading of the Koran, doesn't take into account a persons ability to accept or reject the parts the disagree with. Christians filter the teachings of the Bible all the time.

The building of a mosque ne... (Below threshold)

The building of a mosque near Ground Zero isn't a 1st Amendment issue either.

It's a matter of showing sensitivity the the despair of friends and relatives of people who were murdered by Muslims on 9/11.

But that is another issue; a distraction to divert attention away from the valid points which Rick made.

You're floundering and grasping at straws, people.

Saying there are no mode... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Saying there are no moderates in Islam based on your reading of the Koran, doesn't take into account a persons ability to accept or reject the parts the disagree with.

no. People are saying that there are no moderates because they are siomply not in evidence. These so-called moderates are merely those who do not have the desire to get involved in the fighting but will not openly stand against the extremeists in any meaningful way. In the middle east you find the moderates silently acquiescing to the demands of the fanatics.

SPQR- we are saying that like the GZ mosque the koran burning is an issue of free speach. Both are offensive and both should be reconsidered. But the problem is that by and large opponents of the koran burning are more than happy to abrogate the 1st amendment rights of these individuals while they are unwilling to do the same to the muslims. Neither should have their rights abridged. The primary reason I hear that we should abrudge the rights of the korn burners is that it offends muslims. I don't give a rip who it offends. We have allowed other groups to offend Jews and offend Christians and offend grieving families. Why should muslims be exempt? In fact their very hypersensitivity and their quick adoption of violence as an acceptable response tells me that the last thing we should do is acomodate them.

First rule in behaviorism: Behavior that is rewarded is repeated. We reward the violent behavior of muslims every time we back down. In order to change their behavior we cannot back down. Not ever.

The building of a mosque... (Below threshold)

The building of a mosque near Ground Zero isn't a 1st Amendment issue either.

It's a matter of showing sensitivity the the despair of friends and relatives of people who were murdered by Muslims on 9/11.

You have no understanding of the First Amendment. Almost any First Amendment activity (speech or expressive action) of any effect is controversial. Free speech is meant to provoke reaction, not to show "sensitivity."

It's amusing how right wing authoritarians appeal to "sensitivity" in the same way academic feminists or lefty racialists do when they want to ban "anti-wimmin," "racially insensitive" or "patriarchal" speech. It's called "political correctness," you have your own brand.

And while General Petraeus has the right to free speech, it really should not be within a general's official duties to be making opinions on Americans free speech activities, however misguided they are. What's next, generals saying people should not protest against war?

... and, oh yeah, it's also... (Below threshold)

... and, oh yeah, it's also a matter of preventing Muslim radicals from building a monument at the site in NYC that they consider to have been one of their victories, like they have already done at the site in Pennsylvania where United Flight 93 crashed on 9/11.

General Patraeus is just pr... (Below threshold)

General Patraeus is just protecting your sorry ass, goober.

Christians filter the te... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Christians filter the teachings of the Bible all the time.

Ah, but there in lies the difference. Christians can oppose the church on their views on abortion, homosexuality, marriage of priets, etc and have no fear of reprisal (OK maybe the RCC bans you from taking communion if you are a pro-choice poliitician, but even that is rare). In the case of a muslim, they may personally disagree with the koran on some of these issues or they may interpret it differently than the conservative imams, but they do not do anything publicly. To do so would be to risk being labeled aas an apostate. Apostacy is punishable by death.

All muslims are required to enforce that law. As there is no "official" church body that makes decrees about these things all it takes is one imam or even one fanatic to decide that you are an apostate and they can be justified in murder.

Just look at the acceptance of honor kilings. These are cultural rather than religious for the most part, but the fact that they are accepted so widely stands as proof that people are unwilling to stick their necks out for what would be basic human rights.

"These so-called moderates ... (Below threshold)

"These so-called moderates are merely those who do not have the desire to get involved in the fighting but will not openly stand against the extremeists [sic] in any meaningful way."

I don't expect them to physically stand up to armed factions any more than I expect you to stand up against an armed drug dealer in an American city.

Rance, not only will they n... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Rance, not only will they not stand up, but they will not speak up. If the moderates really were the majority in this religion there would be no problem in suppressing the extremists.

The fact becomes clear that they are actully a tiny minority. If they were the majority they would have no fear of standing up and shouting down the fanatics. But they do not.

People in the drug infested neighborhoods do not stand up because they feel that they cannot find the support to stand against the violence in their midst. But when they realize that there are those who would stand with them (police, community groups etc) they can do so and they do.

Muslims in America have the entire nation waiting and wanting to stand with them against the extremeists in their midst. Yet they can only funnel more money to front organizations. They can only support the offensive GZ mosque proposal. They can only excuse the actions of the extremists. They can only call for more accomodations to the religious extremists and for implementation of Sharia law.

Hmmm, lets see. We have a ... (Below threshold)

Hmmm, lets see. We have a book that incites hatred and violence against non-believers and burning such a book incites hatred and violence against non-believers. So what is the problem?

If anything, it will create a target rich environment for Petraeus as the mask falls from those so called "moderate muslims"

To hell with considering wh... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

To hell with considering what sets off the jihad nuts, given the fact that they seem to be lying in wait for opportunities to go rage-boy nuts. Focus instead on whether we should be burning books. I don't like the stench of that in America.

Jim, there are Muslim-Ameri... (Below threshold)

Jim, there are Muslim-Americans fighting (and dying) alongside infidels in Iraq, Afganistan and in the forgotten war in southeast Asia. So don't say that there aren't moderate Muslims standing up to the tyranny of the radicals.

There's a difference betwee... (Below threshold)
jim m:

There's a difference between standing up in the community against those who are fomenting religious violence and fullfilling the oath you took when you entered the armed services. The first gets you targeted for doing it and the second gets you targeted for not.

I'm not saying the there aren't those who disagree with the radicals. I'm just saying that their numbers aren't meaningful and that they do not speak out against the radicals in the community. I've heard precious few voices speaking out against the GZ mosque in the muslim community.

And if you are going to refer to the rest of us as infidels then perhaps we can start refering to muslims as heathens? I am not without faith, just without their brand of it.

Um, Jim, now you're going l... (Below threshold)

Um, Jim, now you're going loopy on me.

It wasn't like I implied that you were a heretic. I was simply making a distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims.

But you got that, didn't you?

Whoa, you sure are ornery today.

Perhaps I am a bit ornery. ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Perhaps I am a bit ornery. If a muslim wants to call me an infidel then fine. I get that. I just objecting to the idea that we should call ourselves by the same terms. Why not just start refering to ourselves a dhimis at that point?

And this whole idea that we should do something or not do it for the explicit reason that we shouldn't piss off the muslims is BS.

SPQR,Jim is absolu... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:


Jim is absolutely right on this, and you (and Rick) are all wet.

The problem for the left is... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The problem for the left is that religious tolerance is a one way street. It is important that we not offend the muslims, so we cannot draw cartoons and we cannot criticize their faith and we cannot be rude and burn their koran. We must let them build a victory mosque in New York.

And yet we cannot rebuild a church that was at ground zero to begin with. We cannot complain if our tax dollars go to make art that blasphemes our faith. We cannot complain if our faith is criticized or ridiculed.

No we have to shut up. But if the muslims are treated to even the slightest bit of the same we must punish those who do so. I'm sorry. I don;t see where they are so special.

Good, so next time I see Mu... (Below threshold)

Good, so next time I see Muslims burning an American flag, I can go out and blow up a few of them, correct?

Because that's the behavior you're rewarding here.

It's a 1 way street, where the Muslims are in charge. At least, when we act that way, that's how THEY see it.

So here's the deal. When they burn the US flag, I'll be human and not go out and blow up a few Muslims. And if they see us burning their koran, they can also be human and not blow anyone up.

No double standards Rick. Should I be blowing up Muslims or not? You tell me how to conduct myself here. Yes or no?

Sorry Pewter, I mean Pet... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Sorry Pewter, I mean Peter.

That's okay, 914.

Grayly yours,

JLawson I agree. I j... (Below threshold)

I agree. I just wanted to know where you were coming from.

I dunno, guys. Neither Rick... (Below threshold)

I dunno, guys. Neither Rick, nor JT have intervened yet, which should tell you that I'm hitting some home runs out of the park today.

But if it makes you feel better to believe that ol' Jim there is right, hey, close it up there in the infield, guys.

Jim, there are Muslim-Am... (Below threshold)

Jim, there are Muslim-Americans fighting (and dying) alongside infidels in Iraq, Afganistan and in the forgotten war in southeast Asia. So don't say that there aren't moderate Muslims standing up to the tyranny of the radicals.

SPQR, how in heck can you say that and then say that American Muslims should not be able to build a mosque in NYC or anywhere else they own the property?

Is this the same SPQR, on the one hand tarring all Muslims as radicals, on the other defending the sensitivities of moderate Muslims?

Or do you just lose track of your arguments?

Me, I stick with the Constitution. It's easier that way.

"Me, I stick with the Const... (Below threshold)

"Me, I stick with the Constitution. It's easier that way." - goober

^THAT^, from our resident ditz whose favorite reference sources are David Corn, Katrina vanden Heuval and other crackpots on the staff of The Nation; a far left rag that has advocated revisions to the U.S. Constitution, and a rag that is even scorned by the rest of the MSM, and a rag whose staff was under investigation for subversive activities ..., although Holder might have dropped that investigation, too.

C'mon goober, pay attention. I've never tarred all Muslims as radicals.

Actually, what I've said here, goober, is that Muslims aren't my enemies. Far left Democrats are my enemies.

And BTW, where did you read that I defended the sensitivities of moderate Muslims? Cut and paste it, or admit that you just made that one up, just as you fabricate most of the other inane gibberish that you post here, you clueless ditz.

Calm down, SPQR, and answer... (Below threshold)

Calm down, SPQR, and answer my question -

SPQR, how in heck can you say that Muslim-Americans are fighting with the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan, as they are, and then say that American Muslims should not be able to build a mosque in NYC or anywhere else they own the property?

I think you just want to dictate to people what they can't do, whether it's Muslims building mosques or Christians burning Korans. I say laissez-faire.

Also, show me where I ever quoted or cited The Nation on anything. I don't have anything particularly against them, but I'm just as prone to read The American Conservative.

I will type slow for you ga... (Below threshold)

I will type slow for you galoob: No one says they cannot build their mosque. Get it? Are you mentally challenged? Nevermind. We all acknowledge they can, we are talking about should they. If their faith is so compassionate like some say, I haven't seen it with the whole mosque issue.

Christianity has been perverted on radio, art and television yet no one really rose up except to say those that are offended are zealots and nuts. Well, are those offended by this alleged burning zealots and nuts? And if so, should they just be dismissed as crackpots like Christians are? What is good for the goose as they say. They brought the fight to us,, we didn't ask for it but we will do what needs to be done. Muslims do not control our constitution or any other freedom we have. They simply do not. If you allow muslims and terrorists to change our constitution, then they have won. I think it will be healthy for all muslims to know what freedom is. We all have the right to be offended. People have the right to offend. Simple. Burn away. It will be a great life lesson. ww

Now, goober, don't get cute... (Below threshold)

Now, goober, don't get cutesy and don't take my words out of context ..., and, oh yeah, don't try to bullshit me. You're too lame to be even marginally effective.

BTW, FYI, I don't care if Muslims build mosques wherever there are concentrations of Muslims - just not on the sites where they believe that they had victories over the infidels, as they've done in Spain, Portugal and elsewhere. If you can't grasp my reasoning there, then, well, scurry back into your hole, you little cockroach. I'm running out of patience with you.

"but I'm just as prone to r... (Below threshold)

"but I'm just as prone to read The American Conservative." - goober

Yeah, right, and you also have black friends, and you could be persuaded to vote for a Republican if the moon was at its equinox.

"Saying there are no mod... (Below threshold)

"Saying there are no moderates in Islam based on your reading of the Koran, doesn't take into account a persons ability to accept or reject the parts the disagree with. Christians filter the teachings of the Bible all the time." Rance

Moderate muslims do accept and reject the parts of the Qur'an that they personally feel comfortable and uncomfortable with, just as Christians and Jews do, the problem however isn't what moderate Muslims believe, the problem is the inability of the institution of Islam to reform itself because to do so would require rejecting its own core tenets.

This point is inherent to Islam's very foundational premise and is unavoidable.

This theological point and its implications is little appreciated in the West; Muhammad never claimed that the Qur'an were his words...

The claim is that the Qur'an is God's direct words written down verbatim...the implications of which are that Muhammad is the final prophet because we've finally got the 'right stuff' directly from the big guys mouth...

Thus for anyone to change one word or even one comma is to change God's words, to set one's understanding above God's. Which is blasphemy in any religion...

It would be like Christianity 'reforming' itself by agreeing that Jesus wasn't divine and didn't die on the cross. Or Judaism rejecting Abraham and Moses and the Ten Commandments.

They could do that but if they did, those religions wouldn't exist anymore.

Just so with Islam, its core theological tenets absolutely and fundamentally do not permit change, of any kind or to any degree (the Qur'an is GOD's own words) and, because of that theological premise, moderates have no theological basis upon which to propose reform.

And upon that premise rests the entire theological foundation of Islam.

FYI, folks, The American Co... (Below threshold)

FYI, folks, The American Conservative Magazine's name is misleading.

One of its writers is Pat Buchanan, an isolationist and anti-war loony tune, a former conservative to be sure, who now writes articles with a decidedly liberal slant, because he despises the Bushes and especially GHW Bush. In fact, American Conservative probably has nearly as many liberal writers and editors as Time Magazine has, although it has 1/20th the circulation, appealing only to liberals who want to have their biases and their delusions affirmed by outcasts from the Republican Party.

It is such an obscure rag that it took me a few minutes to remember that, or I would have mentioned it in my post #88 @ 6:05. Why am I not surprised that goober is familiar with it?

Islam is offensive to me, a... (Below threshold)

Islam is offensive to me, and I'm sick and tired of watching western civilization stand by and get trampled. Too bad if they are offended. If they are so tolerant they'll get over it, if not its their problem.

What if they are only burni... (Below threshold)

What if they are only burning the Koran in order to open a dialogue?

Honestly folks. 91 comments... (Below threshold)

Honestly folks. 91 comments to get to the truth.

@ #92 Nailed it..

This is thier way of building bridges just like the cordoba house would lift everyone above the puny inconvenience of 911

"What if they are only burn... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"What if they are only burning the Koran in order to open a dialogue?"

I think that the dialogue would be no different than when the cartoons were published. Those sought to provoke discussion and not violence but the muslims don't understand anything but violence.

The only dialogue the muslims want with us is our forced conversion and short of that either our dhimmi tax or our death. Not a lot of anything I care to talk to them about.

I'm just wondering why some... (Below threshold)

I'm just wondering why some (note I said some, not all) of the same people calling for them not to do this (I'm talking about the Democrats specifically) because it might undermine the mission in Afghanistan had no qualms about undermining the mission in Iraq with their anti-war and anti-Bush lies and propaganda.

And that wasn't some small fringe bunch like this, either, that was an entire national party saying anything and everything to effect a military defeat on our troops in Iraq just to regain political power in the elections.

This is why I consider their new-found concern for the troops and not undermining the mission to be insincere.

No good can ever come from ... (Below threshold)

No good can ever come from burning books. We are better than that. Is that what the side with the moral high ground does?

Let me think, if I was stil... (Below threshold)

Let me think, if I was still serving would I want to BE part of the target rich environment subjected to IEDs, snipers, suicide bombers?
(Thinking about Vietnam, wandering in the jungle, snipers, booby traps, not knowing who the enemy was etc.)

OR.............would I want THEM to be the target rich environment angered and incited to the point of gathering in large numbers and showing themselves? (Thinking of the massive losses and defeats we inflicted during the 68 TET offensive).

.... The United States' top... (Below threshold)

.... The United States' top commander in Afghanistan has warned that a planned Koran-burning event in Florida could put US troops in danger ....

Gee whiz.

And here was I believing it was fourteen hundred years of the false fuhrer's fanatically-fascistic followers' furiously raping, sexually-mutilating and millions of mass-murders, culminating in their converting several American air-transport aeroplanes and their crews and passengers into 200-ton fuel bombs and, in acts of war, gutlessly dashing them into our nation's buildings, symbols and institutions, that put us all -- and our beloved Troops -- in danger.

Well that and Mr Petraeus's ridiculous Rules of Engagement, that is.

You pathetic racist, inbred... (Below threshold)

You pathetic racist, inbred, corn nut teeth, hydrocephalic headed, goobers. Chill out, have sex with your kid and/or pets. We don't need the likes of you being the retarded face of the United States. Shut up, sit down.






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