When I’m listening to two guys with guns--one a four-star general leading our troops in Afghanistan and the other a holster-packing freak who thinks he’s Abraham ready to sacrifice his own--I think I’ll go with the general.
Look, I’m from Florida. I’ve spent many a day in Gainesville. Insanity runs rampant there. It’s the heat and the college hormones and the ready availability of low-grade booze--a dangerous mix. Whenever I stumbled from a bar in that college town, I knew things would probably get ugly and it would be best to lock me up in a cage guarded by some guy with a big belly and stripes down his pants. So I’m not entirely surprised that this idea of burning Korans has emerged from that gaseous swamp.
I’m a little surprised it has gained the traction and notoriety it has, though. Pastor Terry Jones has been pulling these anti-Muslim stunts for some time now. And to his dismay, he’s been ignored. This guy is a drama queen. He would burn his grandmother’s underwear if he thought it would get him some attention.
So who thought it would be a good idea to give this lunatic a platform? Why not continue to let him squawk in anonymity? Why has the media given this man so much attention? There are a lot of people in this world who are certain that the CIA is monitoring them through their dental crowns. Should we give them open microphones too?
Mr. Jones says he has received so many death threats that he has taken to strapping a gun to his hip. I suspect he’d really need that firearm if he were to encounter a group of U.S. rangers on leave from the deserts of Afghanistan. They’re continuously being shot at by hordes of low-rent dictator wannabes who think stoning women is good sport.
Just because the Taliban, al Qaeda, and other radicals are perverting Islam to justify murder and terrorism doesn’t remotely translate that all Muslims feel the same way. Just having to deny such idiocy gives me the creeps. It’d be like burning Bibles every time some grand witch in the Ku Klux Klan lit up a cross in the name of white Christian America.
Does this guy think burning the Koran sends a message to terrorists? All he has done is give those demented nuts a propaganda bonanza. Isn’t it enough that the Department of Justice wanted to give Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the grandest stage of his life by offering him a criminal trial in New York City?
I think Gen. David Petraeus knows a little more about fighting extremists and terrorists than Terry Jones of Gainesville. He knows the value of propaganda. He’s seeing it play out every day on the field of battle.
And he’s asking: Just shut the hell up, would you? If not for common decency, then do it for the troops on the ground in Afghanistan.
Corrected on 9/10/10: An earlier version of this blog post mischaracterized the episode of the burning bush in the Hebrew Bible. The reference to Abraham was made in regard to his willingness to sacrifice his son.