Petraeus, Shut Up

Petraeus, Shut Up by Rachael Williams

Looks like General Petraeus needs to reminded that his predecessor lost his job over running his mouth.  According to the man now managing the war in Afghanistan, burning a Quran is “precisely the same” as using children as suicide bombers.

Well, that’s not exactly what he said.   Petraeus spoke out against a Florida church’s plans to burn copies of the Quran on September 11th, decrying the plans as identical to the Taliban’s tactics, and as dangerous to our men and women in Afghanistan.  Maybe someone in the Obama administration should tell him that there are already plenty of Afghan Muslims who are willing to kill our troops.  That’s kind of why Petraeus has a job.

Burning the Quran isn’t going to accomplish anything, and will certainly open the church up to threats from those it offends (and protests from liberals who are offended by everything considered non-liberal).  However, it’s not exactly going to make any new enemies, either.  For every bit that this plan is pointless, it’s also harmless. 

The Dove World Outreach Center wouldn’t have achieved the notoriety of the Westboro Baptist Church for an isolated event of Quran burning, and the likelihood that anyone in the hills of Afghanistan would have ever heard of the plans is close to nil—or was, until the Commanding General of the war decided to add his two cents and put the issue on the national radar.

Can Petraeus really be so obtuse that he thinks voicing opposition to the church’s plans would make them change their minds?  Americans already feel like the current administration is more worried with making friends in the Middle East than eliminating our enemies.  This is the kind of fig leaf that reinforces not only that opinion, but also the idea that our war plan should include unconditional surrender rather than unconditional victory.

Our very way of life is offensive to radical Islamists, so unless female infidels are going to start wearing burkas instead of bikinis, this is pretty small potatoes.

As for the notion that burning the Quran lowers the Dove World Outreach Center to the same level as the Taliban, I have a hard time believing Petraeus was able to say this with a straight face.  The Taliban enslaves an entire gender by bombing girls’ schools, and tricks six-year-olds into acting as enemy combatants by saying that their bombs will “shoot flowers” when activated. 

According to the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad had sex with his child bride when she was only nine years old.  Rape victims are regularly stoned to death for infidelity, and not even First Ladies are above receiving death threats for speaking out on the issue.  Should we stop prosecuting child molesters and rapists out of fear of offending Muslim sensibilities?  Somehow I doubt the liberal feminists at NOW are going to speak out about Petraeus’ ridiculous comparison as sexist and insensitive to women’s suffrage. 

Burning a religion’s holy book is not on par with anything about the Taliban.  They are evil incarnate, and Afghanistan should be so lucky as to have leaders whose only crime was religious intolerance.  Such a comparison is utterly ridiculous, and a man of such tremendous authority in the war should know better.

Petraeus is right in saying that burning the Quran is religiously offensive to Muslims—that’s the entire purpose—but other than that, it’s hard to find a legitimate point in his opposition.  One has to wonder why he bothered to bring it up at all, unless he’s just playing sockpuppet for Obama. 

It’s a pretty logical conclusion.  Obama’s already gone all in on the Ground Zero mosque issue, claiming freedom of religion and securing an approval rating among Muslims nearly double of his overall job approval.  The administration was notably silent on Everybody Draw Muhammad Day, which suggests two things. 

Firstly, there’s no real way for a “Constitutional scholar” like Obama (peace be upon him) to shame the public for exercising freedom of speech and doodling some cartoons.  Secondly, Petraeus has been given a long leash regarding copying McChrystal’s outspokenness, so long as he adheres to a probama and Islam-friendly script.

Burning a Quran is, of course, extremely inflammatory and insensitive.  Regardless of one’s feelings about Islam, it’s every bit as unethical as burning a Bible or an American flag.  But it’s not any more sacred than those, and no more a war commander’s business to discuss publicly, either. 

So Petraeus, and any who may follow you, just win the war and shut up.

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