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Pastor Contradicts Jesus: Burns Qur’an, Fuels Afghani Extremist Rhetoric

2 Apr

Pastor Jones: If you have hate in your heart, let it out

It’s not about the right to burn a Qur’an. Of course he has that right. But as someone who claims to be a man of faith, I don’t see how this is productive at all.  He is clearly trying to bring attention to himself. He is not representative of Americans and he does not have a following. He has been in the media spotlight only because of the absurdity of his logic and the controversy surrounding his actions.  
 
We’re supposed to be educated and civilized Americans that believe in respect. This ‘pastor’ certainly isn’t responsible for the deaths in Afghanistan as a result of the book burning. However, his actions (in combination with the irresponsible media and the gullible people that keep on eating the tripe the spew), are empowering a radical group of people that believe in a very radical brand of Islam. These actions are fueling thugs and extremists and playing into their hands. They know that they only way they can continue to recruit and grow stronger is if they perpetuate the myth that America is waging a new Crusade against Islam. These thugs will do whatever they can to stifle debate, kill anyone that gets in their way, and make sure that no compromises are never made. Purity in the name of extremism is an awfully dangerous thing.  
 
We must fight extremism with our intellect and we must understand that we are completely desensitized to shock value. Yes, it is clearly silly to us that burning a bound book is just a way for us to excercise our freedom to do so. However, to uneducated Afghanis that will believe anything that is told to them, they probably think there are thousands of Americans who are burning Qur’ans all over the streets plotting how they can completely destroy Islam and kill all the followers. Believe me… if people can be convinced that real estate is always a great investment in America, the uneducated, iliterate, and jobless in Afghanistan can be convinced that there is an American plot to Crusade against Islam.

We all certainly have the right to burn a Koran. If the day comes where someone tries to take that right away, I will be the first one to light one up. However, in the meantime, I’m not going to excercise my right to be grossly disrespectful to anyone or any group just because I can.  
Believe me when I say it… Moderate Muslims, secularists, and women are depending on us to show some restraint.   
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Modern Libyan History: Western Involvement

28 Mar

It's this big! I swear!

The BBC published an excellent article that retraces foreign influence in Libya since 1911. Nothing is ever as black and white as it seems.

Here are some highlights:

  • Italy’s Mussolini-led Fascist regime invaded Libya in 1911 to destabilize the Ottoman Empire’s hold on the territory. This led to over 2 decades of rebellion against the Italians. Over 100,000 Libyans were sent to concentration camps as a result. Thousands were killed.
  • After WWII, there was a plan in place that would have allowed Britain, France, and Italy (yes, the same country that oppressed Libya for decades). The U.S. intervened to prevent this from happening. Instead, the US used it’s influence to form an Air Force base outside of Tripoli. The based was deemed to be strategically necessary to combat the Soviet influence
  • From 1950 to 1969, Libya was ruled by a King though still considered a British Protectorate. UK and US controlled Libya’s defense and foreign policies
  • Col. Qadaffi seized power in 1969. The Brits wanted to send in 007 to take out Qaddafi. Even though he nationalized oil production, the United States was okay with him in power because they felt he would be a reliable leader to counter Soviet influence.
  • The US abandoned its Libyan based in 1970

Drawing the Line: When Criticizing an American Soldier is Acceptable

24 Mar

Despicable and Inexcusable

“The plan was to kill people…” — Corporal Jeremy Morlock to the Judge

Corporal Jeremy Morlock, of Wasilla, Alaska admitted to killing for fun in Afghanistan and admitted that they were neither accidental nor justifiable. Morlock only got 24 years with the possibility of parole. Personally I think he should be executed by firing squad but he was likely given a deal so he can testify against other soldiers that were involved.

Situations like this should remind us what the costs of war include. The American Military is the most capable and ethical fighting force in the world. But as we know all too well, there will always be a few rotten apples in the bunch. It is a shame that innocent people were killed at the hands of American soldiers, and I hope that these people are brought to justice. With that said, acts like this should not bring down the integrity of our brave young men and women who put their butts on the line every day.

Unfortunately, this case will certainly have long term repercussions for the US and our PR campaign in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. For all the security, stability, and opportunities for freedom the US has brought, incidents like this fuel the extremist groups that are hell bent on imposing their draconian ideologies in any regime that takes power. As Patriots, it is important for us to find that balance of supporting our troops while making sure we show zero tolerance to monsters like Jeremy Morlock and his murderous comrades.

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