General David Petraeus, the architect of the war-turning Iraq strategy, current chief of the Afghanistan effort, and four-star hero of the American right, says the planned Koran-burning at a Florida church will put American lives in danger. The burning, part of the conservative protest movement against Muslim-Americans that began with Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin's push against the Cordoba Center, is planned by Florida pastor Terry Jones. The Wall Street Journal's Julian Barnes and Matthew Rosenberg report:
KABUL—The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said the planned burning of Qurans on Sept. 11 by a Florida church could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort.
Gen. David Petraeus said the Taliban would exploit the demonstration for propaganda purposes, drumming up anger toward the U.S. and making it harder for allied troops to carry out their mission of protecting Afghan civilians.
"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," Gen. Petraeus said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."
The Koran-burning has received little attention in the U.S., where it is viewed as a small fringe of the larger, but still troubling, anti-Muslim movement. In Afghanistan, however, it is perceived to be more representative of the American view of Islam.The Journal reports that "Hundreds of Afghans attended a demonstration in Kabul on Monday" in protest of the Koran-burning, thus giving the Taliban an opportunity to spread militant anti-Americanism in South Asia.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.