Gen. David Petraeus has criticized a Florida church for intending to burn Qurans on the anniversary of 9/11. The general cautioned that, "It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort." Adam Serwer is uneasy in more than one way:
I've long argued that the way Americans treat Islam and Muslims definitely has an effect on the fight against terrorism abroad, but I'm uncomfortable with Petraeus drawing a direct line of responsibility between whether or not American troops live or die and whether or not a group of radicals holds a "burn the Quran day." There's something about that statement that crosses the line for me -- I just don't think that in a democracy people in uniform are the proper arbiters of what constitutes appropriate free expression, even when it's an event with fascist overtones as obvious as a public book burning.
I tend to agree. But I also see Petraeus's point: in a war of ideas where American soldiers are fighting a brutal counter-insurgency, the parading of anti-Muslim bigotry and hatred in America is a moral disgrace and a strategic disaster. That is is being enabled by a party that claims to take national security seriously is an indication of just how farcical and dangerous the GOP now is.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.