9/11 has come and gone, this year marred by a number of offensive and disturbing political statements.
The first offense came from the Florida pastor who proposed to mark the day by burning the Koran. While one can make a sound argument that Korans SHOULD be burnt, in this instance the suggestion was but a tasteless publicity stunt.
More offense came from our august Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who described the idea as “disgraceful.” Setting aside the incongruity of Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton condemning any conduct, one must question the propriety of a senior American official denouncing a US citizen for proposing to exercise one of his fundamental rights.
Amongst the disturbing statements was Mr. Obama's utterly predictable lecture to the effect that burning the sacred books of any faith was contrary to the central ideas of America. Curiously, the man who was willing to defend the rights of agent-provocateurs to build a victory mosque at Ground Zero was unwilling to defend the free speech rights of someone with whom he disagrees. It was a startling display of moral cowardice.
But perhaps the most disturbing statement may have come from General Petraeus, who reportedly opposed the burning because it could stir up animosity in Afghanistan and put our troops in danger. Assuming the General did make such a statement, a troubling question arises: Isn't his main mission to defend the right of all of us – of you and I and even that shameless pastor – to speak and act freely, no matter what some foreign extremist might think?
Have our Armed Forces subscribed to Barack Obama's 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Offend A Muslim?