More Lindsey Graham on Koran-burning: “I wish we could hold people accountable for their actions, but under free speech, you can’t”

posted at 6:04 pm on April 4, 2011 by Allahpundit

My first draft of the headline was “Good news: Lindsey Graham doesn’t want to ban Koran-burning after all,” but that’s not quite true. He recognizes that you can’t ban it constitutionally and that a constitutional amendment to ban it wouldn’t pass, but wanting to ban it?

That’s a bit more nuanced.

NRO: Some of my National Review colleagues are being pretty rough on you today. What is your response to some of the outrage on the right about your comments regarding free speech?

GRAHAM: General Petraeus sent a statement out to all news organizations yesterday, urging our government to ban Koran burning. Free speech probably allows that, but I don’t like that. I don’t like burning the flag under the idea of free speech. That bothers me; I have been one of the chief sponsors of legislation against burning the flag. I don’t like the idea that these people picket funerals of slain servicemen. If I had my way, that wouldn’t be free speech. So there are a lot of things under the guise of free speech that I think are harmful and hateful…

NRO: But don’t you fear that if we let Islamic extremists determine the speech debate in the United States, then we’ve lost something?

GRAHAM: No. Here’s what I fear: I fear that politicians don’t have any problem pushing against laws in the Middle East that are outrageous. It’s perfectly acceptable for me to push back against prosecutions by Islamic countries against people of my faith. And it is perfectly appropriate for me to condemn Koran burning when the general who is in charge of our troops believes that such action would help. I’m not letting Islamists determine what free speech in America is, but I am, as a political leader, trying to respond to the needs of our commander. You’ve got to remember, General Petraeus decided that this was important enough to get on the record as being inappropriate. And I want to be on the record with General Petraeus.

NRO: Instead of being an advocate for Petraeus, should you not first and foremost be an advocate for the First Amendment?

GRAHAM: You know what? Let me tell you, the First Amendment means nothing without people like General Petraeus…

NRO: What I don’t understand is, if would you support an amendment to ban flag burning, why do you not support one to ban Koran burning?

GRAHAM: In my view, the flag represents who we are as a nation. It is a symbol of who we are. If you start talking about individual acts of religious intolerance, the amendment doesn’t make any sense. It does make sense, to me, to focus on the symbol of the country, the flag. I’m not proposing that we propose a ban on religious disagreement. I am saying that you can disagree with America; you can disagree with me, but don’t burn the one symbol that holds us together. That’s not an act of speech. They say that is symbolic speech, but I think that is a destructive act. It’s the one thing that unites us.

Yet when it comes to regulating what individual churches may do, or what individual citizens may do under the guise under religion, you are not going to be able to write a constitutional amendment to ban those practices. There is no way to do that. I wish we could hold people accountable for their actions, but under free speech, you can’t.

Read the whole interview. The excerpts don’t capture the full flavor, especially the effusiveness with which he defers to Petraeus when pressed to defend a constitutional right here at home. (Incidentally, did Petraeus call for a “ban” on Koran-burning? His statement yesterday condemned the practice but I haven’t seen anything about calling for a ban.) What’s interesting, and telling, is how he oscillates between wishing we could sanction Koran-burning on its own terms (“harmful and hateful”) and wishing we could sanction it for expedient reasons, because it increases the risk to troops in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan (the “we’re at war” justification). I can sympathize with the latter even if I think it’s horribly misguided because, in his own short-sighted way, he means well. He’s trying to produce a good-ish outcome in Afghanistan, and the fewer pretexts there are for the local mullahs — and Hamid Karzai! — to drive true believers into a frenzy over blasphemy, the better. That’s why Petraeus gets a pass on this from a lot of people even though Graham doesn’t: He’s narrowly focused on a military mission whereas Graham should be weighing a variety of considerations, starting with the virtues of free speech. But I don’t know where the limiting principle is in the “hateful and harmful” calculus, and I’d bet that, if pressed, he doesn’t either. Again: This guy would have been a top contender for Attorney General if McCain had been elected. Amazing.

Update: NRO has amended the part where Graham says Petraeus was calling for a ban; it now reads “urging our government to [condemn] Koran burning.” It’s not clear if that was Graham’s mistake or theirs, but either way, the record is corrected.


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To lighten the mood…

According to Graham, in WWII we “toned down” the rhetoric?

Not.

Enjoy. A Bugs Bunny Classic.

coldwarrior on April 4, 2011 at 9:51 PM

ajacksonian on April 4, 2011 at 7:58 PM

If the kerosene is halal, I don’t see what’s wrong with it. Now if you soaked it in melted lard, that’s another thing altogether.

slickwillie2001 on April 4, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Well, so Graham wants to ignore the Constitution. Sounds like he just doesn’t have any use for it at all. Doesn’t want to allow free speech, doesn’t care about requirement to be a Natural born citizen. Oath’s don’t mean a lot to him, do they?

Redteam on April 4, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Woah, warbaby, that is one brave woman.

mockmook on April 4, 2011 at 10:19 PM

As much as I find Graham to be out of his depth, I don’t think this is as big a deal as all the Democrats who would love to pass hate crimes legislation.

flataffect on April 4, 2011 at 10:36 PM

When did Christians- like Lindsey Quisling Graham- who are the targets of the terroristic tenets and hateful dogmas of the Koran, morph into apologists for the Koran?

Are they frikkin’ insane?

This kind of suicidal stupidity never ends well.

See: Constantinople. (AKA Istambul.)

profitsbeard on April 4, 2011 at 10:41 PM

Frackin dhimmis. If I could find a Koran I think I’d burn it on sight.

j_galt on April 4, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Such a stupid act. If one soldier or marine dies as a result of this, I’ll be angry. Why? Soldiers and Marines risk their lives everyday, and their lives shouldn’t be furthered jeopardized by some ridiculous stunt. But then again, it’s not you who are in Paktika, Helmand, Kandahar, Kunar or some other of the incredibly safe provinces (sarc) in Afghanistan, so it’s pretty easy to stand up for this kind of free speech. It’s cool though. Soon enough I’ll be deployed, and maybe then I can experience the real life consequences of such free speech. Thank you!

Shock the Monkey on April 4, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Shock the Monkey on April 4, 2011 at 11:02 PM

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;

sharrukin on April 4, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Such a stupid act. If one soldier or marine dies as a result of this, I’ll be angry. Why? Soldiers and Marines risk their lives everyday, and their lives shouldn’t be furthered jeopardized by some ridiculous stunt. But then again, it’s not you who are in Paktika, Helmand, Kandahar, Kunar or some other of the incredibly safe provinces (sarc) in Afghanistan, so it’s pretty easy to stand up for this kind of free speech. It’s cool though. Soon enough I’ll be deployed, and maybe then I can experience the real life consequences of such free speech. Thank you!

Shock the Monkey on April 4, 2011 at 11:02 PM

You do not seem to understand what you are fighting for.

It is not so that Islam feels good.

Check out the Bill Of Rights.

Not The Reliance of the Traveller.

profitsbeard on April 4, 2011 at 11:09 PM

sharrukin on April 4, 2011 at 11:09 PM

profitsbeard on April 4, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Thanks for the feedback. First off I am very familiar with my responsibilities and the oath that I swore. I do not care how one feels about Islam. What I do care is how those feelings are displayed and shared. Such protest should be done responsibly given the clear outcome of such an act. Say what you wish, but do not place my friends and myself in a situation where our lives are in further danger. Like I said, it’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and talk about free speech and an absolutist interpretation of the 1st Amendment. However, the consequences for those UN workers and possibly our soldiers are incredibly real. Say what you want or criticize me, but you’re not going to change my mind on the subject.

Shock the Monkey on April 4, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Say what you want or criticize me, but you’re not going to change my mind on the subject.

Shock the Monkey on April 4, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Please, Mr. Jihadi, don’t get mad because my country has Freedom!”

Print that T-shirt and wear it under your fatigues.

But they’ll still hate you for being an infidel dog acting uppity in a “Muslim land”.

Get used to it.

profitsbeard on April 4, 2011 at 11:30 PM

I do not care how one feels about Islam. What I do care is how those feelings are displayed and shared.

Well that isn’t how we did it in any other war. In fact we made fun of the Japanese and Germans and probably hurt their feelings and even made some of them angry.

an absolutist interpretation of the 1st Amendment.

Shock the Monkey on April 4, 2011 at 11:20 PM

An absolutist interpretation?

No, its a clear and obvious interpretation.

Here’s an idea. Why don’t we do everything the Muslims want us to do and that way NONE of our uniformed personnel will be in any further danger!

If they demand we impose sharia law then golly I guess we better hop to it cause otherwise they might get angry and endanger our soldiers with another insane rage day!

sharrukin on April 4, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Almost every day, this guy is showing us how not to be. Grahamnesty is a US Senator and a Air Force JAG Officer, he knows better. It’s time for South Carolina to out this tick of a public servant…

Gohawgs on April 4, 2011 at 11:51 PM

“Please, Mr. Jihadi, don’t get mad because my country has Freedom!”

Print that T-shirt and wear it under your fatigues.

But they’ll still hate you for being an infidel dog acting uppity in a “Muslim land”.

Get used to it.

profitsbeard on April 4, 2011 at 11:30 PM

I don’t care about Jihadis/Islamists. What I do care about are the individuals who may be pushed to the side of the enemy. The Taliban has an excellent propaganda team, and one burnt Koran will turn into hundreds of burnt Korans. Also not all Muslims in Afghanistan hate us or are opposed to our presence because non Muslims occupy their country. Read up on the subject to get a better understanding. Ultimately, burning a Koran hurts our COIN efforts because it’s difficult to win over a population when they believe you’re there to destroy their religion.

sharrukin on April 4, 2011 at 11:31 PM

This isn’t World War II. We weren’t occupying Japan at the time, threatening to destroy their culture. In fact, we allowed the Japanese to retain their emperor…think about that and the parallels to Afghanistan and Islam. Read up on COIN and practice it to gain a better understanding.

No, its a clear and obvious interpretation.

Yes, so clear that we have a supreme court whose purpose is to interpret it, which is done often without consensus.

Regardless of this, if you really feel so strongly about the subject, put yourself in harm’s way or imagine you are. Join up and watch as an already dangerous situation turns into something much worse. Imagine how many of us felt after Abu Ghraib and now after the photographs of the “Kill Team” in Afghanistan were released. Actions, whether legal or illegal on this battlefield, have grave consequences. You may not feel them at home, but trust me, they are felt by the soldiers and marines on the ground. If only you had a security clearance. Good night, and thank you for the dialogue.

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 12:03 AM

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 12:03 AM

I do not believe you are a soldier. Certainly not active duty. Soldiers have more pride and self respect.

trapeze on April 5, 2011 at 12:16 AM

What I do care about are the individuals who may be pushed to the side of the enemy.

Pushed? Anyone who is going to support murdering people because of a burned book thousands of miles away isn’t being pushed anywhere! You are absurdly naive.

Also not all Muslims in Afghanistan hate us or are opposed to our presence because non Muslims occupy their country.

Most of them are passive in the same way the fascists or communists were passive in allowing their brand of ideology to hold sway.

Ultimately, burning a Koran hurts our COIN efforts because it’s difficult to win over a population when they believe you’re there to destroy their religion.

Win over?

Would you point to the Muslim population that has been won over? Kosovo, Lebanon, Iraq, Albania, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan?

Where has that blithering nonsense ever worked?

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 12:03 AM

You haven’t got a clue about what Islam is, or how it operates. Do you really think that if you are nice to them and give their kids candy bars you are going to win their hearts and minds?

Is Karzai our friend? The ISA? Are the Saudi princes our friends?

Lara Logan knows something about just how grateful Islam is for helping them when they need it, but it came at a steep price.

sharrukin on April 5, 2011 at 12:20 AM

trapeze on April 5, 2011 at 12:16 AM

Don’t you dare question my service to this country. Because I don’t agree with you I lack pride and self respect? I live the Seven Army Values everyday. Besides, my opinion coincides with that of General Petraeus. I know you wouldn’t say the same about him.

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 12:32 AM

Don’t you dare question my service to this country. Because I don’t agree with you I lack pride and self respect? I live the Seven Army Values everyday. Besides, my opinion coincides with that of General Petraeus. I know you wouldn’t say the same about him.

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 12:32 AM

You sure seem to have a problem with the whole freedom of speech thingy, don’t you bucky? I’m free to question anything I like. And you don’t know dick.

So no, I’m not too impressed with your attitude as a “soldier.” I know more than a few of them and, to a man, their attitude toward jihadi scum is, “Bring it.”

trapeze on April 5, 2011 at 1:55 AM

And I will say worse about Petraeus. I read his statement and it is, quite honestly, shameful. His statement condemns a US citizen for exercising his God given rights while simultaneously sucking up to the jihadi animals.

[We} reiterate our condemnation of any disrespect to the Holy Qur’an and the Muslim faith. We condemn, in particular, the action of an individual in the United States who recently burned the Holy Qur’an.


Imagine Patton apologizing for an American burning Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto. It would never happen. Patton knew damn good and well what he was fighting for.

Petraeus, Graham and “soldiers” like you have forgotten this.

Burn the Koram? Burn 10,000 of them. It will make our enemies hate us no more than they already do. Condemn an American for exercising his God given freedom and you have already surrendered.

Keeping kissing jihadi ass, though, and see where it gets you.

Yeah, “soldier.” Sure.

trapeze on April 5, 2011 at 2:57 AM

Are there no elections to rid the Senate of its troublesome yeast?

A real leader would build a printer, Koran conveyor belt, and fire pit at Ground Zero. Run it 24/7 and hunker the men down, ready to inflict heavy punishment for any murder-cult tantrums. Enough of the religion-of-any sort garbage.

Was Typhoid Mary a moderate?

Feedie on April 5, 2011 at 3:33 AM

Shock the Monkey

If you represent the typical soldier these days, we may as well surrender now and get it over with. And General Petraus should be ashamed of himself.

xblade on April 5, 2011 at 4:44 AM

You sure seem to have a problem with the whole freedom of speech thingy, don’t you bucky? I’m free to question anything I like. And you don’t know dick.

So no, I’m not too impressed with your attitude as a “soldier.” I know more than a few of them and, to a man, their attitude toward jihadi scum is, “Bring it.”

trapeze on April 5, 2011 at 1:55 AM

Please continue to enlighten me. Truly…I love receiving lectures from individuals who have never served a day in their life. Tell me about Loyalty. How about Duty to your country (commenting on a website doesn’t qualify), Respect for the uniform, for fellow soldiers, for your military leadership and civilian leadership, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage? Tell me about the Soldiers’ Creed.

TIf you represent the typical soldier these days, we may as well surrender now and get it over with. And General Petraus should be ashamed of himself.

xblade on April 5, 2011 at 4:44 AM

Actually the soldier of today is far more prepared to fight than your grandfather/father. There is a higher percentage of college degrees within our enlisted ranks. We have NCOs and Junior/Senior Leaders who sometimes have as many as four deployments under their belt. We have the best training and equipment in the world. We live by the Army Values and Warrior Ethos. Most importantly, we understand our mission. Surrender now? Please. Why don’t you join by the way?

Keeping kissing jihadi ass, though, and see where it gets you.

Yeah, “soldier.” Sure.

trapeze on April 5, 2011 at 2:57 AM

Send an email to my AKO account if you’d like. Perhaps you’d like to see my ERB. How about my last APFT card. I’ll even give you my current address which happens to be sooooo close to Fort “Lost in the Woods”, MO. However, I don’t need to prove anything to you. I am a soldier and proud of it.

I really love how it’s so cool to love soldiers/marines and what they do until one of them disagrees with you.

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 8:25 AM

I find it funny that he says we watched what we said in WWII to not incite the enemy. Really? Has he seen some of the Bugs Bunny cartoons from that period? That was of course when Hollywood and our politicians and generals had balls.

RonD504 on April 5, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Good luck out there. You will need it.

BTW, you’d be amazed at how many here have combat service time, are retired military, have served in some major and minor hell holes across the world, to include Iraq and Afghanistan, so don’t get all snippy about us disagreeing with you. Deal with it.

I lived and served in that part of the world long before 9-11, and Islamism was alive and well and growing then, and few here took it seriously. Could have nipped a lot of it in the bud, but no, we didn’t want to offend them.

Anyway, just remember, that millions of Moslems hate you and your fellow soldiers for merely wearing the uniform of the United States, and a lot more hate you and your fellow citizens for merely being an American. There is a myth running around that if we stop “inciting” them, they will love us or leave us alone. It is a false myth. And a deadly one.

Burning a Koran…sure to some it is a despicable act. But, guess what, under the Constitution you took an oath to protect and defend, burning a Bible is protected speech, as is burning an American flag. Now, is it your fixed opinion that a Koran is to be more protected than a Bible or Old Glory? If so, you need to come to grips with reality.

From your “Fort Lost in the Woods” remark, seems to are either freshly out of Basic or AIT, or from one of the maneuver training centers out there. It is a training center. Utilize the resources available on post and start getting into training, seems there is a bit that flew past you somewhere, unnoticed. Learn. Educate yourself.

Dave Petraeus made a statement that if made while he were under my command, I’d remove him, or at least admonish him to be more circumspect in his utterances. Why? Because when a theater commander succumbs to the political tone of the day that negates what that commander is charged with defending, he is betraying his own troops. Yes, Petraeus has to placate the Afghans, and the Afghan government, and the White House…but elevating the Koran to some sort of sacred cow status isn’t doing right by the oath he took and the troops he commands. He’d have done more for all of us by saying nothing at all.

Seek out the enemy, close with the enemy, destroy the enemy and their means to make war…that is the essential role of the soldier. The Islamists respect power. They love to exploit weakness. When we change the way we live, the laws we live under, the way we fight wars to placate the Islamists…we are not showing power nor strength, but are showing weakness…and that is what encourages them.

They want to kill you because you are an American.

Not because some pastor in Florida burns a Koran.

Fail to understand that, and you might as well take up another trade or occupation, because pandering to the Islamists or showing fear of them isn’t anything more than helping them win in the long run.

Had we not pandered or ignored them in the 90′s, we’d be better off today.

coldwarrior on April 5, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Why are you serving? Do you love this country? I’m interested in your answer. And, by the way, my father landed at Normandy and helped to clean out the Concentration Camps. For all our fathers and grandfathers, it was a duty, not just a job.

I don’t care about Jihadis/Islamists.

Well, you had better, young man, because they hate your Western Civilization American Culture guts.

kingsjester on April 5, 2011 at 9:35 AM

coldwarrior on April 5, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Nicely said, sir.

kingsjester on April 5, 2011 at 9:36 AM

How is it possible for a state GOP to nominate and then to elect Jim DeMint (good guy) and then this loser Graham? What an amazing azz he is!

JimP on April 5, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Tell me about Loyalty. How about Duty to your country (commenting on a website doesn’t qualify), Respect for the uniform, for fellow soldiers, for your military leadership and civilian leadership, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage? Tell me about the Soldiers’ Creed.
Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Based on your comments here there is no amount of “telling” that would benefit you in the least. Perhaps with enough time you will figure things out. But I doubt it. Some things are just genetic and no amount of education or experience can overcome the power of those recessive genes.

trapeze on April 5, 2011 at 10:30 AM

For the best response to date, watch this woman’s rant on Graham and Moslems in general.

Watch it and make it go viral quick – and if you can cache it, do it now. This will almost certainly give youtube palpitations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeyrp-V3Jvc&feature=related

Don’t miss part 2, especially the end:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LCLDjPNpf4&feature=related

warbaby on April 4, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Yes. Watch these. This lady has balls. I like the bacon book markers in the koran. Even though she might want to throw me in the fire for being an atheist, I like her.

deewhybee on April 5, 2011 at 11:49 AM

With Gramnesty and Petraeus, hell, we might as well officially surrender, lay down our arms, start paying jiza and welcome our new overlords. Hell, bring the troops home, they will need the extra guns to point at us because apparently we are the enemy for believing in the morals that this country was founded on. While respect your right to say way you think, mr. monkey, I do truly believe that your are about as well reasoned as those idiots waiting for the comet to come take them away.
Rule number one: unless you are ready to feel the blade at the back of your neck, you never bow to your enemy.

rgranger on April 5, 2011 at 3:19 PM

I wish the voters of South Carolina would hold Lindsey Graham accountable for his stupidity.

infidel4life on April 5, 2011 at 3:23 PM

If you haven’t heard of Anne Barnhardt, please acquaint yourselves. Her answer to Lindsey Graham is just priceless.

I don’t always regard Koran-burning as an effective tactic, although I fully support anyone who decides to do it. However, in this case I heartily approve of Ms. Barnhardt’s actions, because she does the job properly: she reads a relevant verse from the page before tearing it out and consigning it to hellfire. The verses she recites include 4:34 (beating your wife), the Sword Surah, some of the “smite their necks” ayats, and all those promises of sweet young boys like clear pearls for the believers who make it to paradise.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2011/04/manifesto-of-evil-totalitarian.html#more

elclynn on April 5, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Yes. Watch these. This lady has balls. I like the bacon book markers in the koran. Even though she might want to throw me in the fire for being an atheist, I like her.

deewhybee on April 5, 2011 at 11:49 AM

I watched her last night and totally approve of how she first fisked Grammy-girl, then proceeded to burn the koran page by filthy page.

AH_C on April 5, 2011 at 4:06 PM

While respect your right to say way you think, mr. monkey, I do truly believe that your are about as well reasoned as those idiots waiting for the comet to come take them away.
Rule number one: unless you are ready to feel the blade at the back of your neck, you never bow to your enemy.

Help me understand how saying I think it is counterproductive to burn a Koran only because it could hinder our mission in Afghanistan translates to submission. First off, alienating all 1.2 billion by burning Korans isn’t a good start. Islamists/Jihadists are killed everyday. We aren’t going to stop anytime soon.

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Based on your comments here there is no amount of “telling” that would benefit you in the least. Perhaps with enough time you will figure things out. But I doubt it. Some things are just genetic and no amount of education or experience can overcome the power of those recessive genes.

trapeze on April 5, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Yes. From comments made on Hot Air you are able to determine my character, my performance, my education and intellect. For future references, when debating, personal attacks are the lowest form of argument. If you had a solid leg to stand on, you wouldn’t have done that. So I say again, how is burning Korans not counterproductive to stopping Jihadists and allowing them to replenish their ranks with fresh propaganda?

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 7:10 PM

coldwarrior on April 5, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Thanks for the constructive comments. A few things:

Fort Leonard Wood is not solely an IET station (although one cannot go into the PX without running into jacked up privates). There are countless courses for NCOs and Officers (ALC, SLC, BOLC and CCC). In addition there are line units, specifically the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB).

Seek out the enemy, close with the enemy, destroy the enemy and their means to make war…that is the essential role of the soldier.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. However given the current operational environment, seeking, closing with and destroying the enemy is not the entire piece. An infantry company operating in a hostile environment in the Waigal Valley near Wanat (real life example) is not going to find the enemy on its own unless the enemy is knocking on the door to FOB Kahler. Alienate a population and you’re on your own. In addition, this is not solely a kinetic war, but also a war of ideas and information. Burning Korans (while one has the right to do so) gives the enemy a major propaganda victory.

Fail to understand that, and you might as well take up another trade or occupation, because pandering to the Islamists or showing fear of them isn’t anything more than helping them win in the long run.

coldwarrior on April 5, 2011 at 9:34 AM

While I understand your point of view, not burning Korans is not pandering to Islamists. We are going to kill those individuals anyway, so we should not care about their opinion. The people we really need to care about are the Islamic scholars we need to use to defeat the enemy’s ideology and gross perversion of Islam. If you don’t believe anything else I say, believe that.

Killing “Muj” isn’t going to end the war, although it will certainly help. Ask the Russians who killed 1.3 million Afghans and displaced nearly a third of the country’s population during their 10 year conflict. That war, along with the Iranian Revolution, helped spark the movement and it has only grown and will continue to grow until their ideology has been defeated. Burning Korans will only fuel the ideology, and in 20 years we will still be sending our military’s most precious resource (soldiers/marines/airmen/sailors) into some hellhole in the Islamic Maghreb (Mauritania?). Although we exist in the era of persistent conflict, deployments for the next 20 years is certainly not sustainable.

As for me, I’ll fight until I’m told to stop.

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Shock the Monkey on April 5, 2011 at 7:44 PM

The people we really need to care about are the Islamic scholars we need to use to defeat the enemy’s ideology and gross perversion of Islam. If you don’t believe anything else I say, believe that.

Unfortunately, there are too few and too many of these have ended up very dead very quickly, killed by more fervent Moslems. Iraq was full of this sort of thing as AQ-Iraq tried to purify the masses. But good PSYOPS, even at the tactical level, is a delicate act. And if it hinges on one American burning one Koran, then there needs to be another look-see or two at the PSYOPS.

As for the local hearts and minds, which we have been able many times to draw over to the good side, these can be convinced by many other things, and yes, perhaps, if they have access to Western media outlets, they may have heard or seen a Koran burning or word of it, but by and large the Taliban has for decades closed off large parts of Afghanistan, and they remain centuries behind in many respects, and the Taliban has done terrible things to them for not being fervent enough or not giving over their sons to the cause…and the Taliban is brutal. Things as simple as nutrition and basic medical care, and simple acts of decency on the part of our guys, well, that does make an impression. Keep that in your combat notes checklist.

Told my youngest son as he deployed to Fallujah back in the day that he must consider that he may be the only American that Iraqi family in front of him has ever seen or met. Behave accordingly. Decency carries a lot of weight.

Yes, kill the enemy before they kill you or your fellow Marines, I told him, but acts of decency, even to wounded enemy, will make you or break you among the people you are trying to protect. When he returned Stateside, he had a duffel full of “gifts” Iraqis of all stripes had given him and his fellow Marines. Simple little kid drawings to other such precious things, and a bag full of photos of Marines and Iraqis, to include Iraqi men, interacting around tea or dinner and such, and letters, in broken English. He remembers the term “Ali Baba” and young kids and old women saying it and pointing down the street or at a particular house being used by the bad guys. Hearts and minds, indeed.

Back to the Koran. Your point is well taken. But it is on the global Moslem community to make that stand, not us. So far, the sound of crickets from most quarters, or worse, the sound of fury at the very mention of anything non-Moslem.

Subversion of our Constitution to placate an enemy, well that is still a matter that does not sit well with most Americans. Nor should it ever sit well.

Horns of a dilemma, my friend.

Stay safe. Trust your gut…the training will kick in shortly thereafter.

coldwarrior on April 5, 2011 at 8:18 PM

graham has totally lost any sense of morality. He is a clown, at best.

proconstitution on April 5, 2011 at 8:47 PM

CW and STM…this is probably one of the most interesting comment debates I’ve ever seen at HA. Well said on both sides.

As to Ann, she hangs out at http://theconservativetreehouse.wordpress.com/

Stop by and say hello, she’s quite funny. And only a little scary.

WaltzingMtilda on April 5, 2011 at 8:57 PM

WaltzingMtilda on April 5, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Thank you.

Just spent the last hour listening to Ann over at the Andrea Shea King show. Certainly has her head screwed on right.

coldwarrior on April 5, 2011 at 9:58 PM

For all of those who are decrying the burning of a Koran let me propose a thought experiment for you. Instead of burning a Koran imagine that the book that was burned was a copy of the book of Mormon. If your response to this issue has anything to do with how the adherents of the book behave may I recommend that you learn the term dhimmi because it’s an accurate description of the direction you are headed.

Mormon Doc on April 5, 2011 at 11:46 PM

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