“Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber — a democratically elected government. They hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.” – George W. Bush
“We feel it’s maybe the right time for America to stand up. How long are we going to bow down? How long are we going to be controlled by the terrorists, by radical Islam?” – Terry Jones (wants to burn Qurans)
It’s just too bad Bush’s speech and this supposed book burning couldn’t coincide in real time. Because nothing says “Islamic fundamentalists hate our religious freedom” like a mass Quran burning. And the U.S. Army is right to be worried about this. They are trying to keep civil peace, and surely a massive demonstration of Islamic Hate is not going to help matters. I doubt Terry Jones would be so bold to hold this bonfire in Afghanistan, but then again you don’t expect Osama Bin Laden to strap dynamite around his chest either. Most advocates for religious war rarely put themselves on the front lines.
Al Qaeda will use all our stupid propaganda and our bigotry against us. They’ll deconstruct any demagogue’s speech, and having some idiot pastor in Florida burn Quran’s is like a prayer answered for them. The problem is, so long as the war drums keep beating, who is going to back down first? I know Americans would like to think we’re greater and more courageous, but troops are committing suicides at astonishing rates and the army itself declares fatigue is becoming a problem. Al Qaeda wont tire. It’s not because they’re “better” than us or our troops, but there people have something real at stake, there is a war there. There is no war in Florida.
I remember just before and after the start of these wars I traveled around to many protest rallies. Each time we were greeted with the message that we “weren’t practical” and that America would do right. We never said let Al Qaeda off the hook, but pled for control and solutions that wouldn’t incite future violence. Almost a decade later we are still at war, still on high alert, and still people are asking for more war. The old “War on Terror” is slip-sliding into the “Islamic Question.”