I understand the actions of the pastor and his little flock – to burn a copy of the Quran – is insensitive and offensive to Muslims. I understand how it might make our job in Afghanistan harder. But I also understand these two points worth remembering.
First, we are at war. I know given the present rules of engagement it is hard to remember that. I also know that there are many people in Afghanistan and across the Muslim world who are biding their time, waiting to see how things turn out, and waiting for America to get the H*** out. Some of these are closet jihadists. We all know this.
As I said, I understand how this pastor’s burning of the Quran might make your job harder, but it might also bring some of these Jihadists out of the closet. Instead of fighting this pastor, I recommend fighting the administration who has your military hands tied. That way, when these closet jihadists show themselves you can do some serious butt kicking. Yes, lives will be lost. Lives are lost in war as you know, but if you can see your enemy out in the open, you might be able to bring things to a close more quickly and thus save lives.
Do you think that maybe the continuing violence in Iraq after we “finished our work” is because we left too many jihadists in the closet there?
Second, this pastor’s self-expression is precisely what a free America allows and what you are supposed to be defending: His right to be stupid. The constitution does not say you have freedom of speech as long as it is sensitive and inoffensive. Your job is not to criticize this pastor but to defend him. Your enemy is not this American Citizen but those very people who want to force this citizen to shut-up.
Look, I am in no way condoning the acts of this person, but I will defend to the death his right to do it – as should you. So, here is a suggestion. Maybe this pastor could fly to New York and on 9-11 he can burn his Quran on the site of the ground zero mosque. Hey, this is America! Every stupid, insensitive, offensive act deserves another.