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The Pentagon plays mind games with Muslims

In a devilish bit of psychological warfare, the Pentagon has invited the Rev. Franklin Graham to speak there next month. Graham, son of evangelical preacher Billy Graham, is probably best known in the Muslim world for pronouncing Islam a “very evil and wicked religion” -- a judgment with which something like a billion people are bound to differ. The mere entry of the man into the iconic building on the Potomac is bound to throw our enemies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places in the Muslim world off-balance. They must wonder about a trap. Could America be so stupid?

The answer is a resounding “yes.” But our enemies -- impressed as they are with our incredibly weaponry, drones that fly high and forever, commanding officers both scholarly and lean (read Thucydides, run four miles), a president who writes his own speeches and books, not to mention the recent introduction of the stunning and mysteriously hyped iPad -- are not going to believe that in trying to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, the invidious and appallingly unsophisticated Graham has been invited to the Pentagon. This, they will conclude, is some sort of clever psych-ops plan.

Graham’s upcoming visit was revealed and denounced by the indomitable Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer who naively accepts the Constitution at face value and believes in the separation of church and state. His organization, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is protesting the Graham visit, apparently not realizing the invitation to speak is part of yet another plan to drive our enemies crazy. It follows, in fact, the clever operation at Abu Ghraib – weren’t those pictures wonderful? And the inadvertent use of the word “crusade” by former President Bush to describe what the U.S. was attempting to do in the Muslim world. Some Muslims apparently felt that the several crusades back in the Middle Ages were more than enough. They had a point, and Bush, to his credit, apologized.

Graham, though, has not apologized. He has explained and he has amplified, but none of that is bound to appease Muslims, who, for some odd reason, do not think their religion is evil. They will be insulted by Graham’s invitation to speak May 6 for the National Day of Prayer (mark your calendar) and perplexed as well. That has to be the explanation for it all. The Pentagon is trying to drive the Muslim world crazy. This time, it just could work.

By Richard Cohen  | April 21, 2010; 10:04 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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Comments

.
so, as it turns out, there are 4 people who take this Franklin Graham guy seriously as a spiritual leader. Besides himself, his wife and his Dad, there's that one newspaper opinion writer.

To my brothers in the Ummah,
as a Christian, I renounce this clown. So does Jesus.
.

Posted by: BrianX9 | April 21, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"incredibly weaponry"???

Did Palin contribute to this?

Sorry, cheap shot, couldn't resist.

Still, "incredibly weaponry"???

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | April 21, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Graham’s upcoming visit was revealed and denounced by the indomitable Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer who naively accepts the Constitution at face value and believes in the separation of church and state.

You show what a IDIOT you are because there IS NOTHING in the Constitution about separation of church and state. But any of you other idiots out there that think that this is true go read the Constitution. You mindless twits can rail on Christians all day long without a OUNCE of truth in your accusations. To bad you don't really read the constitution and know what is in it. I know you are not bright enough to read the Bible so I will not even ask you to do that since you barely can read your own liberal propaganda.

Reflecting a concept often credited in its original form to the English political philosopher John Locke, the phrase separation of church and state is generally traced to the letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, in which he referred to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as creating a "wall of separation" between church and state. The phrase was quoted by the United States Supreme Court first in 1878, and then in a series of cases starting in 1947. This led to increased popular and political discussion of the concept. Concept NOT a LAW or part of the constitution. So maybe you need to get your Facts straight Mr. Cohen before showing off your ignorance publicly.

Posted by: ebayfella | April 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing like satire to bring out the nutcases.

Posted by: spelvin2002 | April 21, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@ebayfella - before you go bashing on everyone, perhaps you can point to where he claimed that separation of church and state were in the Constitution?

Posted by: elentir | April 21, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, we let pres of iran talk at the UN

HOW COULD THE UN BE SO STUPID

Wow, we leg khadafi ramble on for hours at the UN, HOW COULD THEY BE SO STUPID

Wow, they let this moron write this article, HOW COULD I BE SO STUPID AS TO READ IT.

Wow, islam advocates the elimination of non-believers... FACT

Seems hypocrisy doesn't even cover this moron.

Posted by: docwhocuts | April 21, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

docwhocuts wrote: Wow, islam advocates the elimination of non-believers... FACT
---------------------------------------
Fact, Islam does not advocate the elimination of non-believers otherwise they would have been all dead under the Ottoman empire..for those who do not know the Ottoman Empire, was the Muslim empire that ruled the world during the WEST DARK AGES..

Doesn't Christianity calls for fighting the enemies of Christianity...yes it does but as Islam it is in the context of a time of War, obviously you are not going to stand waiting to be shot at...

So lets put facts in context and do not try to misrepresent the facts

Posted by: Kmd1 | April 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I am sooo sick of war with anyone over any-thing. I am 73 and have lived thru many wars and I firmly don't believe you can bomb the H out of people and that will make them love you. I am more afraid of our government than I am of Iran's.

Posted by: sassparilla | April 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

ebayfella Wrote;
"You show what a IDIOT you are because there IS NOTHING in the Constitution about separation of church and state.".........
--------------------------------------

After enduring the explosion of religious nuttery during the eight year reign of Bush the Idiot, I dare say if it isn't there,it should be. And yes,Mr. Cohen, they are that stupid.

Posted by: slim2 | April 21, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Ahoy!

@ebayfella

If YOU are bound to Heaven some day - I want to go to Hell and abide with DECENT, INTELLIGENT People.

Posted by: lufrank1 | April 21, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@ebayfella

That's a nice quote you provided on the history of the term "Separation of Church and State". It's also verbatim from Wikipedia. Interesting that you presented that information as your own instead of referencing the source. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state

Posted by: isbjorn | April 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

ebayfella - try reading the first amendment of the constitution, where it says congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

Posted by: usblues1 | April 21, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Gee, it's as if we had a President who counted among his friends someone who bombed the Pentagon. Would that be stupid, or what?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | April 21, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Graham’s upcoming visit was revealed and denounced by the indomitable Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer who naively accepts the Constitution at face value and believes in the separation of church and state.

You show what a IDIOT you are because there IS NOTHING in the Constitution about separation of church and state. But any of you other idiots out there that think that this is true go read the Constitution. You mindless twits can rail on Christians all day long without a OUNCE of truth in your accusations. To bad you don't really read the constitution and know what is in it. I know you are not bright enough to read the Bible so I will not even ask you to do that since you barely can read your own liberal propaganda.

Reflecting a concept often credited in its original form to the English political philosopher John Locke, the phrase separation of church and state is generally traced to the letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, in which he referred to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as creating a "wall of separation" between church and state. The phrase was quoted by the United States Supreme Court first in 1878, and then in a series of cases starting in 1947. This led to increased popular and political discussion of the concept. Concept NOT a LAW or part of the constitution. So maybe you need to get your Facts straight Mr. Cohen before showing off your ignorance publicly.

Posted by: ebayfella | April 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

First--of course this is from Wikipedia--where any damn fool can make an entry and pretend it's akin to gospel truth. The Founding Fathers were zealously against mixing religion and politics, and any review of their writing would illustrate for you that this country was NEVER meant to be a symbol of a Christian nation. The men who founded the country had seen, up close and personal, what religion did to almost destroy Europe as the Reformation and Counter Reformation played out. As a group well read in Enlightenment philosophy they rightly saw that the only way to free and open political discourse was to debate fact based ideas, not gibberish based on faith. What EXACTLY do you think the establishment clause is there for? The quick answer is to ensure that in a policy debate, one side CANNOT say "God says this is the way"--because that ends a debate--how would one argue with an allegedly omnipotent being? Before you post any more claptrap here, read some Thomas Jefferson or John Adams--perhaps it will prevent you from looking Palinesque in your verbal dribbling...

Posted by: bklyndan22 | April 21, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The Pentagon is the last place in the world where Franklin Graham needs to be.

Posted by: muslim1908 | April 21, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

kmd is wrong.

Koran has written in it that the elimination of infidels is fine, because under the eyes of allah, infidels are already dead.

sorry all for kmd's misleading claims, kmd just needs an education.

Posted by: docwhocuts | April 21, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse


This only means there are still some

idiot Bushies left at DOJ, and that some hapless dridge put them on the 'religion'
committee.

Whether they are worse or equal to the dual loyalist Israeli firsters is a close question. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and Feith and co. are at least gone.

But clearly the Pentagon needs another good cleaning out. PRofessionalism first, how about? Grown ups who put America first might be nice this time.

Posted by: whistling | April 21, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. The idea came from the fact that the English Monarchy and the Protestant Church of England are inextricably intertwined. The Founding Fathers did not want such an entity in the United States. They wanted the USA to be a place open to all faiths. Therefore, it is unconstitutional for the US Military to show sides on this so-called Day of Prayer. The military is free to allow religious observance by its members, but not favor or hold one religion above another. The harm comes from over-zealous Evangelical Christians making life miserable for Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and other minority faiths on military bases throughout the world. These so-called Christians attempt to convert or isolate "non-team players" (or those of non-Christian faiths) by taunting and derision. These evil Evangelicals are sick in the head.

Posted by: bruce19 | April 21, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"It follows, in fact, the clever operation at Abu Ghraib – weren’t those pictures wonderful?" The depictions of torture are likely protected by soldiers asserting their First Amendment Rights -- according to the SCOTUS. But wait, all you have to do is find some clever lawyers who can re-define the torture "depictions". So maybe the "depiction" of Romans crucifying Jesus of Nazareth are protected by First Amendment Rights. ON the other hand, it is hard to "depict" someone having their head cut off by a swift sword. Anyways, the military usually runs a tight operation, but when it comes to religious bias, the common battle song remains the same: "ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS." Some things never change.

Posted by: rmorris391 | April 21, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I would bet money not a single muslim in any country knew about this visit until it was just mentioned. I rather suspect we're just not that intresting to the rest of the world that they wait on every utterence and move down to whose giving sermons at the Pentagon.

Posted by: kchses1 | April 21, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

This is America Jack! We have freedom of religion here - NOT freedom from religion. Get over it!

Posted by: Independent23 | April 21, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse


Is there nothing to choose from at the Department of Defense

besides the born-again right wing nuts and the Israel first neocons
Bush stocked it with. To such great result.
Two unnecessary wars. Debts to our eyeballs,the disrespect of our decent allies (not Israel who loved it)

Clean out DOD and forget the little committees on religion that bring in the likes of the idiot Muslim basher Graham.


Posted by: whistling | April 21, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Let me see, many in Islam openly denounce us, burn our flag, have threatened us, even attacked us on our home ground, but it is "stupid" to invite a Christan minister who is critical of Islam to come speak at one of our government buildings.

I say, invite the gentleman to speak.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | April 21, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

We have freedom of religion here - NOT freedom from religion.
- Independent23

Really? Prove it!

Posted by: elentir | April 21, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

To Richard Cohen:

Man, you're lucky ebayfella showed up to distract everyone. Because people aren't even noticing how insanely poorly written your piece is. I don't care about the "incredibly" typo -- but, dude, if you go to all the trouble of writing a column to be published online at the venerable Washington Post, at least make it sensible and easy to follow. If you want to be sarcastic, then be sarcastic. If you want to be earnest, be earnest. But don't mix sarcasm and earnestness back and forth with no rhyme or reason, because that's incredibly hard to follow. Are you being sarcastic? Are you not? Who knows? And after a while, who cares?

Posted by: Urnesto | April 21, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

To Richard Cohen:

Man, you're lucky ebayfella showed up to distract everyone. Because people aren't even noticing how insanely poorly written your piece is. I don't care about the "incredibly" typo -- but, dude, if you go to all the trouble of writing a column to be published online at the venerable Washington Post, at least make it sensible and easy to follow. If you want to be sarcastic, then be sarcastic. If you want to be earnest, be earnest. But don't mix sarcasm and earnestness back and forth with no rhyme or reason, because that's incredibly hard to follow. Are you being sarcastic? Are you not? Who knows? And after a while, who cares?

Posted by: Urnesto | April 21, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not concerned about a southern Christian bigot being invited to give a pep talk at the Pentagon. I'm far more concerned that my country has been roped into an endless religious war in the Middle East by religious bigots posing as something else.

Posted by: politbureau | April 21, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Now you talk!

Rev. Franklin Graham should address the Knesset - the Zionist Parliament. Graham sounds like a true Blue-White AIPAC Zionist.

Posted by: telavivPEACEagent | April 21, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Independent23 wrote:

This is America Jack! We have freedom of religion here - NOT freedom from religion. Get over it!

------

You are not too bright, are you? Freedom from religion IS freedom of religion. Otherwise I could establish a religion and make you follow it. Think, man, think.

Posted by: scientist1 | April 21, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Why should a propaganda mouthpiece for Zionist false flag terrorism care about Billy Graham's appearance at the Pentagon? Perhaps, your dreal objection is that Graham doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.

Posted by: markoller | April 22, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Islam is no worse than undiluted Christianity with its eternal hellfire. Theonomy means god law, and the theonomists wish to bring back stoning as specified by the Bible. Download "Christian Statesman" stoning.

Every terrorist act in recent decades was also a Zionist false flag operation including the Oklahoma City bombing.

Download:

"The Oklahoma City Bombing"

http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/OK/ok.html

McVeigh's "Confession"

http://apfn.org/apfn/mcveigh2.htm

"The OKC - Elohim City Connection"

http://www.wingtv.net/elohim.html

Posted by: markoller | April 22, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

This is off topic, but I want to know if I am the only one unable to download the comments section of "Obama, don't forget Jerusalem," by Richard Cohen, April 20, 2010. Is the comments section being blocked deliberately? There is certainly good reason to hide it.

Posted by: markoller | April 22, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Christians and Jews are not on worldwide movements trying to subjugate all under a barbaric set of religious laws. Islam is. Islamic terrorism has been going on for 1400 years, and Islam is the anti-thesis of America. It should of never been allowed to be practiced here in the first place.

For more on the issue.

http://loganswarning.com/

Posted by: Christopher3 | April 22, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Islam is not evil!
Graham family is evil!

Posted by: BOBSTERII | April 22, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

So Mr. Cohen, our man from Kenya - who's helpless without a teleprompter - writes his own books and speeches? That's just one of the many compound lies. Literary experts do not agree.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=71001

>The Founding Fathers were zealously against mixing religion and politics, and any review of their writing would illustrate for you that this country was NEVER meant to be a symbol of a Christian nation.

Garbage. And before you go quoting the irrelevant "Treaty of Tripoli", the treaty remained in effect for only four years, replaced, after more war with Tripoli, with another treaty that does not have the famous words included.

John Adams and many historians have referred to the Mayflower Compact as the foundation of the U.S. Constitution written more than 150 later.

America was founded as a white, Christian country. If you do not believe it, read Title 42, Section 182 of the United States Code.

Years ago the "Christian nation" part of this was being passed around, incorrectly attributed as a saying of George Washington.

All agree that there are vagaries involving the Arabic text of the treaty, which was translated into English by the American official, John Barlow.The Barlow translation is at best a poor attempt at a paraphrase or summary of the sense of the Arabic . . . . Most extraordinary (and wholly unexplained) is the fact that Article 11 of the Barlow translation, with its famous phrase, 'the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,' does not exist at all [in the Arabic]. There is no Article 11 [in the Arabic]. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter, crude and flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlow translation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery.

"Islam is not evil"? If you're Muslim, then the end justifies the means. Most people would take "They desire that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, so that you might be all alike; therefore take them not as friends until they fly in Allahs way; but if they turn back, then seize and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them a friend or a helper" (sura 4:89) as primitive egotistic evil.

Posted by: Spike31 | April 23, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"..who for some odd reason do not think that their religion (Islam) is not evil..."

Yes, I agree. With daily incidents of Muslims targeting and killing civilians, why do Muslims think that their religion is not evil? And why are they surprised when others think so?

Posted by: rajeetishi | April 23, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@Spike31 - It doesn't matter that the Treaty of Tripoli is no longer effective. It was put in place by the founders and they stated legally that we are not a Christian country. And they passed the English (Barlow) translation unanimously - regardless of what the Arabic version said. So if the Arabic translation didn't include it, either they didn't know or didn't care as they were going off of the English version.
What is USC Title 42 Section 182? I can find no such entry.

Posted by: elentir | April 23, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, political correctness by our military will certainly be the continuation of our undoing.

So now the Pentagon bows to the demands of CAIR?

1. Where is the outrage by the US over the gender apartheid and subjugation of women imposed by Saudi Arabia's sect of Wahhabi Islam?

2.What about honor killings, some happening right here in the US?

3. What about the spread of Wahhabi mosques across the US (one in my own neighborhood) funded by the Saudis? No churches nor bibles are allowed in Saudi Arabia.

4. Wahhabi Islam is the most hateful and virulent form of their faith. Yet, we ALLOW this "cancer" to thrive and grow here in the US. The Taliban and insurgents and terrorists are mostly Wahhabi followers.

4. What other main religious group in the Name of Their Religion has used terrorism against innocent men, women, and children, not only here in the US but also in India, England, Holland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Israel, and other countries?

5. Strict Muslims believe in using our freedoms to advance their cause and religion but won't "suffer" to hear about Christianity's or Judiasm teachings on their turf!!

And now we have censorship coming from terrorists against the writers for "South Park" because of their parody and portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed.

Posted by: littleleers | April 23, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

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