Koran Burning No Worse Than Flag Burning

All this outrage in America over a Florida pastor’s burning of the Koran is starting to get a bit ridiculous.

I understand that it is not in the United States’ interests to inflame the Afghan people. This fact explains why General Petraeus had to apologize to them (see video below).

What really angers me, however, is that the reaction to a legitimate (though offensive) act of free speech in America was an indiscrimate attack on United Nations staff. The attack, which was preceded by the burning of an American flag, killed seven innocent people who were helping the very savages that attacked them.

That’s right. I called them savages, because attacking innocent people out of religious zealotry in response to a criticism of their faith is outright barbarism.

Now, instead of vigorously defending the American values of free speech and expression, our government is apologizing to a bunch of terrorists, who ruthlessly and needlessly murdered seven people who were helping them rebuild their country.

These savages should be apologizing to the international community for this act of terrorism, not the other way around.

When someone burns an American flag in this country, it is highly offensive to me. Yet I would willingly die to protect that right. Burning the Koran is equally offensive to many, but the Constitution protects the right of Americans to express themselves by burning it.

The bottom line is that these extremist savages are just looking for an excuse to incite violence. Blaming the admittedly insensitive, but constitutional and non-violent actions of an American pastor for inciting the senseless murder of seven people is outrageous.

America needs to stop apologizing for the actions of these barbarians and start defending its own values.

The United States has a history of swinging from one extreme to another. I think America has reached a point where it has become too apologetic for its values in the same way that it may have been unapologetic seventy years ago. With that, I will leave with two quotes, one from 2009 and the other from 1941:

“Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

General George Casey following Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s murder of 13 people at Fort Hood

“Before we’re through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell.”

Admiral William Halsey, Jr. following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

 I am hopeful that America can find a middle ground between these two extremes.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Conservative clean energy crusader, national security hawk, financial analyst, engineer, and former military officer.
This entry was posted in Defense, Energy Security, International Security, Policy, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Koran Burning No Worse Than Flag Burning

  1. Scott Erb says:

    Hey, this came up in my class a couple weeks ago — the students debated the difference between flag burning and Koran burning and reached the same conclusion you did. The strongest argument against that conclusion was that it was an international act (offending others) while flag burning domestic (offending some of our own).

    I can understand the apology though — it’s done pragmatically to try to make the mission in Afghanistan easier to accomplish with less loss of life.

    • I can understand the apology as well. It was realpolitik at its best.

      I actually wrote this about two weeks ago and really debated about whether I should post it.

      It turns out that I forget to reschedule it and it slipped out this morning. ;-)

      I’m glad you appreciated the debate. I was somewhat concerned about putting my stamp on this one. I believe in it, I was just worried about unnecessarily inciting something I could not control.

    • BTW, I really appreciated your post on 1989 today.

      I still remember growing up under the shadow of the Cold War and then it all changed just before I started high school.

      In fact, my military unit’s mission during that time was defending the Fulda Gap on the German border (Of course, I wasn’t in the 11th ACR at the time).

      What is sad is that as scary as the Cold War was, the bipolar world that existed back then seamed more stable than today’s.

      • Scott Erb says:

        One of the best Cold War historians, John Lewis Gaddis, wrote a book shortly after it ended calling it “The Long Peace.” The generation of undergraduate students now (most born after 1989) have no recollection of the Cold War, but have had real war and conflict throughout their lives.

        • Very interesting point.

          Somehow the country felt closer when faced with the prospect of nuclear destruction.

          Now, the wars seem surreal. Most people have little to no connection to them and many of the soldiers feel disconnected from the rest of the country.

          Very strange times indeed…

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