Based on some recent comments, my point about Gen. David H. Petraeus is not getting across. It has nothing to do with whether anyone should or shouldn’t burn a Koran.
My point is that something has gone deeply, catastrophically wrong with the way our top political leaders and military commanders conceptualize and conduct the current war.
Perhaps a little historical analogy will help clarify matters:
Eisenhower Warns Against Planned Burning of Mein Kampf
LONDON, June 19, 1944 — The top American commander in Normandy has warned that plans by a small Florida church to burn copies of Mein Kampf on Tuesday, the anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Russia, could play into the hands of the very extremists at whom the church says it is directing that message.
Burning copies of Mein Kampf, the founding document of Nazism, “would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Germany — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence,” the commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said in a telegram to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Echoing remarks the general made in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Friday, he said: “It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort. It is precisely the kind of action the SS uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Nazi community.”
In 1943, violent and sometimes lethal riots were set off around the world by a mistaken report by Newsweek that a Pentagon investigation had found that military interrogators of detainees at a camp in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, tried to flush a copy of Mein Kampf down a toilet. The same year, a Canadian newspaper that printed cartoons portraying Adolf Hitler also led to riots across the Nazi world.
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Terry Jones, the pastor of the tiny Florida church that plans the Mein Kampf burning, says that as an American Christian he has a right to burn Mein Kampf because “it’s full of lies.”
Some of his prior attempts to incite anti-Nazi fervor have met with less public attention. Last year, he posted a sign at his church declaring “Nazism is of the devil.”
Nazi leaders in several countries, including Holland and Hungary, have formally condemned him and his church, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, which has 50 members.
In Normandy, meanwhile, a district governor from Rouen was assassinated by Gestapo insurgents on Monday night along the Caen-Bayeux highway in the north of Normandy, officials said.
The real NYT article is here.
Is everything a little clearer now?
We’re not waging a war. We’re playing cute little games and being nicey-nicey to people who have declared themselves to be our implacable enemies.
Treating them kindly will not change their minds. Only our conversion to Islam or our surrender and submission to Islamic dominance — or our deaths — will make them feel differently about us.