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Obama and the right to burn the Koran

President Obama was certainly right to be disgusted by "Reverend" Terry Jones's threat to stage a public burning of the Koran, a plan that was mean, stupid, intolerant, and spookily evocative of Hitlerian book bonfires. But I am also troubled by Obama's efforts to hector Jones into changing his mind. Everyone should worry when presidents invoke wartime security, or similar arguments, against constitutionally protected free speech, even -- or especially -- when the speech is offensive, outrageous and unpopular.

Strictly speaking, there was nothing unconstitutional about Obama's campaign, abetted by an all-star cast of national security officials, to get Jones to back off. Presidents have free speech, too. But when was the last time an American citizen got a phone call from the Secretary of Defense urging him to call off a political demonstration? Invoking his status as commander-in-chief, Obama accused Jones of, in effect, abetting America's enemies: "This kind of behavior or threats of action put our young men and women in harm's way. And it's also the best imaginable recruiting tool for al-Qaeda."

This was pretty heavy-handed use of the bully pulpit. The president seemed oblivious to the contradiction between his pressure on Jones and his view, repeated at Friday's press conference, that the U.S. must strictly follow the Constitution when prosecuting terrorism suspects -- lest the terrorists win by getting us to curtail liberty. "We can't be frightened by a handful of people who are trying to do us harm," he said. Yet to the extent Obama opposed Jones's exercise of free speech -- including mere "threats of action" -- because it might trigger a violent reaction, he was expressing, and yielding to, fear of those very "people."

Obama should have condemned what Jones wanted to do, but defended unequivocally his right to do it.

In response to calls for censorship from around the world, he should have explained clearly that the U.S. president doesn't have that power -- and that he's glad he doesn't. He should have declared that America is great in part because its people are free to study the Bible or the Torah or the Koran or the Constitution -- and, yes, within very wide limits, to burn them in protest. He might have added that many Muslim-majority countries could themselves benefit from more such freedom of thought, speech and expression.

Instead, he offered the tepid affirmation, in an interview with ABC News, that "part of this country's history is people doing destructive or offensive or harmful things. And yet, we still have to make sure that we're following the laws. And that's part of what I love about this country."

Instead, the president of the United States broadcast his fear that a U.S. citizen's exercise of his liberty will provoke Muslim violence -- without even calling upon Muslims to refrain from such attacks, much less declaring that they would be completely unjustified, and correspondingly resisted.

Worst of all, Obama set a precedent for presidentially-encouraged self-censorship based on the anticipated mood swings of mobs and fanatics.

Terry Jones created a bad situation; the president's reaction may make it worse.

By Charles Lane  | September 10, 2010; 5:20 PM ET
Categories:  Lane  | Tags:  Charles Lane  
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Comments

Wouldn't defending Rev. Jones' right to say (do) something offensive be more in line with our history? Patrick Henry maybe? "I disagree with what you say, sir, but I will defend to my death your right to say it?" Voltaire?

Why is no one defending Rev. Jones' right - no matter how stupid/offensive/repulsive his statement?

Didn't we fight the revolution to keep the King from telling us what to say? Isn't this the same?

Rev. Jones is an idiot. Political figures (on both sides) trying to shut him up are failing the Constitution.

Posted by: Amelia5 | September 10, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Good day America, what is the problem with the Rev Terry Jones defending the rights of christianity, the Muslim world is on a crusade , one that is gathering momentum because of the do gooders of the world that believe they are peace loving movement,here in the UK we have a situation that is getting worse by the day, our troops returning from Afganistan are spat on and attacked by these scum,As with our prime minisster your pesident is worried of the reprocussions of the "suicide bomber" How far are we to be pushed, I cant believe that the Muslims arebeing allowed to build anywhere near ground zero, I am watching the TV at the moment about telephone calls from the towers, Obama you are so wrong and you could have nipped this in the bud, its only gona get worse,A mosque is only the muslims lighting the fuse, you should have put it out as soon as the application went through

Posted by: mickbower14 | September 10, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama hit exactly the right tone. He made it clear that our system of justice doesn't give the government the right to deny anyone the right to say what he means. His affirmation of that right was not 'tepid' - it was unequivocal. He also said it would be stupid to burn a Koran. He asked him not to do it. That's exactly what he should have done. Lane and other Republican apologists can go on thinking that America can spit in the eye of Muslims and achieve our goals in the Middle East. The President doesn't have that option.

Posted by: Roger11 | September 10, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Roger11 if your president does not have any options then the USA will suffer , he could have told the NY planners that it was a stupid idea to let the muslims build,im sure he had that option, he opted to tell the Rev Jones that it was a stupid idea to burn the koran,lets look at his options in the near future, he is weak and I as a Brit am worried as we follow the U.S. The pesident has played into the hands of the radicals as they must have known that the Christian people in the states would react to this disgusting and disturbing desicion to buid a muslim building at ground zero

Posted by: mickbower14 | September 10, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Comes now the Obama bashing, Krauthammer wannabe Lane.

Posted by: areyousaying | September 10, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama should also tell the New York Imam to move the mosque to anoter location. Otherwise he is practiing double standard and shold be considered a hypocrite.

Posted by: kisna | September 10, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama should also tell the New York Imam to move the mosque to anoter location. Otherwise he is practiing double standard and should be considered a hypocrite.

Posted by: kisna | September 10, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

mickbower14, I apologize on behalf of Roger11. He should know that if there's anyone who has the right to lecture others on how to manage an empire, it's a Brit. We obviously don't have _quite_ the sense of self-entitlement that allowed you to screw up the known world for centuries. That takes people of a truly rapacious mindset, one that we're still not as proficient in adopting. Maybe one day we'll be able to live up to your ideal of strength (i.e., violence).

Posted by: treetopflyer | September 10, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse


Lane is a silly little punk, as usual.

But there's something new of interest:
It's being suggested in many quarters now that it's NO coincidence

that the fury at Israel over the flotilla, and Wall Street over economic pain...

was suddenly supplanted by the big fracas over the Muslim building plan in New York...
a plan that passed with no comment, much, until suddenly, WHOOSH....

If so, a very successful pr campaign...by sneaky clever vicious people. Who, like
Lane, ran really fast with it.
And still are.


Posted by: whistling | September 10, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

areyousaying. What are you saying? the christian people should do nothing in the face of whats happening?that the American people should not dare question the desicions of the prsident? for if they do they will be branded as right wing hitler loving muslim hating nuts? There are brave young American soldiers fighting alongside British and other nationals defending our rights, and some are being killed or injured if you havnt noticed, I bet you would not even think of joining the forces as it might upset your communist left wing beliefs, The Rev Jones has had enough and can see that thing are not right, Obama has to take the blame for letting this get to where it has, if he is not more decisive then the right wing movement will climb onboard , then you will have problems

Posted by: mickbower14 | September 10, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Rev. Jones struck a nerve and finally forced the issue of who we are fighting and what their religion is to the forefront? President Hussein and his paladins in both parties refuse to call the kettle black.

Posted by: garrafa10 | September 10, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

treetopflyer, Im actualy Irish, born here married here and have children here, but dont believe in the stupid movement that caused and causes death to Christian people both Catholic and Protestant,the Kenedy scum and Noraid should wake up and smell the coffee

Posted by: mickbower14 | September 10, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

whistling:
"But there's something new of interest:
It's being suggested in many quarters now that it's NO coincidence

that the fury at Israel over the flotilla, and Wall Street over economic pain...

was suddenly supplanted by the big fracas over the Muslim building plan in New York...
a plan that passed with no comment, much, until suddenly, WHOOSH....

If so, a very successful pr campaign...by sneaky clever vicious people. Who, like
Lane, ran really fast with it."

_________________________
Why don't you be more specific Whistling? Who is (sneaky clever vicious and) running with this story?

Posted by: leithkeven | September 10, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with most of what Mr. Lane has to say here. First, the president in no way abused his power or did anything counter to the constitution. He simply recognized that this pastor's actions could potentially be a threat to US persons, both civilian and military, and decided the threat was sufficient to warrant high level officials' attempts to dissuade him from starting riots. If Obama had instead decided that the potential threat was none of his business, he would have been doing a disservice to the American people both in his capacity as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief.

I'm more concerned about the widespread reaction of those who actually wanted the government to step in and force this lunatic to stop what he was planning. That was a case of Americans being willing to abandon principle simply because of their fear of reprisal in the wake of a crazy person exercising his 1st ammendment rights, disgusting though his plan was.

The problem is twofold. One, there are clearly a lot of people who would be willing to throw aside some of our fundamental rights when their repercussions get too scary. Two, the perception of fear that those Americans felt may well have been justified. In a way, this lends credence to some aspect of pastor Jones' point, though I hesitate to give him any credit for anything in this mess.

Posted by: botvinnik48 | September 10, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Everybody wants to tell the President what to do.

Geesch!

The book burning probably got a call from a terrorist and that made him stop in his tracks, knowing that if he did burn that book on TV, everybody in the world would have known exactly where to find him.

That just might have made this guy cancel his plans.

Someone ought ask him if he got any threatening phone calls.

Posted by: lindalovejones | September 10, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

TO: kisna who wrote:
“Obama should also tell the New York Imam to move the mosque to another location…”
^^^^^^^^^^^

The President used to teach Constitutional Law, why would he, the POTUS, threaten to deny any American their Constitutional Rights.

Telling people where they can and cannot build in New York City is the Mayor’s job, Michael Bloomberg, and it was Bloomberg who approved the project.

Some people just love to badger the President, even though they know the President does NOT issue building permits.


Posted by: lindalovejones | September 10, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Would there be such an outpouring of emotion if a Muslim said he was going to burn a Bible?

Chances are no.

Posted by: creste | September 10, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

No matter how you spin it, Obama just doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.

I am totally disgusted that the nation's leader used and abused his political power to take a stand against a citizen.

From this only one Imam grew a pair and stepped up to the plate to try to join the two men in conference, only to be slapped down by Rafu who made a public statement that he has not intention of meeting with Jones, nor does he intend to change his plans to build his mosque where he wants to build regardless of how Americans feel.

Posted by: asmith1 | September 10, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

That's a truly excellent article. Mr. Lane may be the lone voice of reason here.

Posted by: eugene8 | September 10, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Jones is a cult leader. General Petraeus called him out in no uncertain terms and let the world know that Jones was putting troops in danger. Jones has the constitutional right to free speech, and he will not be charged with sedition, treason or aiding the enemy. That is what the 1st amendment protects Jones from. Obama did the right thing, as did every other politician who spoke out against Jones.

The Republicans were by and large silent, since Jones and his flock vote Republican. This is their base.

Posted by: LeftGuy | September 10, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Has the President announced the date of Burn the Constitution Day? (I'm jes' askin')

Posted by: Farnaz1Mansouri1 | September 10, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I think that the issue everyone is making about not inciting the radical Muslims, by burning the Qu'ran, is the wrong message.

If Muslims around the world think we don't want this pastor to burn their holy book simply to quell vengeful violence against our troops, then it is a rather pathetic message we are sending them. Surely there are better reasons to not burn the Qu'ran. Maybe the Washington Post could have a contest to see who can come up with one.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | September 10, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"This kind of behavior or threats of action put our young men and women in harm's way. And it's also the best imaginable recruiting tool for al-Qaeda."

No, the fear demonstrated by Obama, Gates, and the "leaders of the free world" is the best recruiting tool for al-Qaeda. The world trembles before them.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | September 10, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

President Obama needs lessons on America's Rights. He also needs lessons as to his sworn Oath as Commander in Chief and duties there of, for he has failed on both accounts. These two things have caused very much of the Anti-Obama feelings in America, as well as his fall from grace in American Polls.

Posted by: dennismartin60 | September 10, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

President Obama needs lessons on America's Rights. He also needs lessons as to his sworn Oath as Commander in Chief and duties there of, for he has failed on both accounts. These two things have caused very much of the Anti-Obama feelings in America, as well as his fall from grace in American Polls.

Posted by: dennismartin60 | September 10, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe how many people on here are agreeing with Lane. If Obama had defended Jones' right to burn the Koran, you people, led (by the nose) by Lane, would have knifed him for putting the lives American soldiers at risk. Really. You are so damn transparent, it's scary.

Obama did the right thing. He's the commander in chief. Next question.

Posted by: mrsaun | September 10, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

My compliments to Lane. He is a principled liberal, a rare find at WPO. He is totally correct to point out the inconsistency in Obama's positions regarding the Mosque and the Pastor.

Posted by: jkk1943 | September 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

If Terry Jones want to burn the Koran in front of his church, that's his business and we live in a free country.

I'm so tired of hearing how we NEED to change our behavior here in the US because a bunch of imbecile Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indonesia will go rioting and killing each other if we don't.

Well, let them go riot and kill each other, I don't care.

Can you imagine if gay people went rioting every time some religious jerk had something nasty to say about homesexuality? They'd be on the streets rioting 24/7.

And what if Christians around the world went rioting every time Bill Maher makes fun of their talking snake?

No, it's always the Muslims. And it's always us that need to restrict freedom in our society so as not to offend them. Well, no way! Go ahead Terry Jones, burn those Korans!

Posted by: tess9 | September 10, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qq4gue6TO0

This is a freedom of speech issue and a freedom of religion issue.

My opinion is not important. However being able to have an opinion is important.

The Pastor says Islam is of the Devil, and that the Quran is barely worthy of using for kindling. That is his opinion and he is entitled to it, and he certainly is entitled to burn the Quran, or use it for toilet paper if he wants. Every opinion is not worthy of respect just as than all religions are not worthy of respect. But the right to have a religion, or an opinion, and to demonstrate is worthy of respect.

Posted by: louisrose | September 10, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

mrsaun said: "I can't believe how many people on here are agreeing with Lane. If Obama had defended Jones' right to burn the Koran, you people, led (by the nose) by Lane, would have knifed him for putting the lives American soldiers at risk. Really. You are so damn transparent, it's scary.

Obama did the right thing. He's the commander in chief. Next question."

That sounds about right.

Posted by: botvinnik48 | September 10, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

No, Lane, the Hitler stuff is rubbish. Hitlerian book burning was a political act. Anybody who had them was in true danger. Terry Jones's book burning is purely symbolic, a form of anathema. Nobody is in danger, -- not on this earth. Actually, I suspect Jones wants people to read the Koran for themselves, so they'll understand that what he says about Islam is exactly right.

Unfortunately, Jones has made himself an easy target for those who like to parade their superior sensibilities, their ostentatious tolerance, which, though a virtue, is the most facile of virtues, used by the sanctimonious, along with its cousin multiculturalism to cloak moral laziness and cowardice.

That Islam -- not just "extremeist" Islam, but essential Islam -- has been at war with civilization since its founding should be apparent to anybody not in a coma. But apparently, in their need to depict themselves as "nice," the deliberately delusional paint anybody who wants to stand up to Islamofascism as a bigot or racist.

If I'm permitted by political correctness to hate Hitlerian Nazism, then I'm permitted to hate Nazism which cloaks itself under the immunities of religious freedom. Is this too difficult a concept for Lane, Bloomberg, Obama and their ilk to wrap their heads around?

Posted by: lbjack | September 10, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately, Jones has made himself an easy target for those who like to parade their superior sensibilities, their ostentatious tolerance, which, though a virtue, is the most facile of virtues, used by the sanctimonious, along with its cousin multiculturalism to cloak moral laziness and cowardice.
Posted by: lbjac"

-------------------------------------------------

One of the best and most spot on description of the sniveling disciples of political correctness and multiculturalism that I have ever read.

Posted by: garrafa10 | September 10, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Talk about "constitutionally protected speech" and hinting at violations of the First Amendment is a massive distortion of the situation perpetrated by less than honest writers like the present one. The First Amendment protects against the use of the law and coercion by government to restrict and/or punish expression of beliefs. Neither Obama, or Gates, or Petraeus, or Clinton or anyone else of major importance has even hinted at using government coercion against Koran burning. They have attempted to persuade this "pastor" that burning Korans would be a big mistake. The latter is an example of not just the right, but the duty of responsible officials to speak out about irresponsible actions that would undermine US national interests. The effort to turn this into a First Amendment issue is absurd and dishonest partisan posturing, and I think this writer knows it.

Posted by: twm1 | September 10, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Why do the liberals’ suddenly love Islam so very much? They don’t care a bit about freedom of religion. For example we didn’t hear any complaints from Mr. Obama or Mrs. Pelosi when the homosexuals stormed and trashed Christian churches this year. Liberals are cowards and homosexuals are cowards that are why they pick on peace loving Christians. The brave little homo loving liberals will never disrupt a Mosque or say anything negative about Islam because they would cut their heads off.

Posted by: USMC73 | September 10, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Freedom of speech is one thing.
To commit an act, which knowingly will cause SEVERE consequences, around the world no less, is and should not be considered a right. If some of the world leaders are 'afraid' of someone's actions....that should be concidered an act of terror. I am glad the 'pastor' backed down however, if he did not do so, I am truly astonished that the "powers that be" had their hands tied all in the name of religion....
Again...book burning is one thing, the ACTUAL MEANING/AGENDA behind that 'simple' law-abiding,act is another, especially when it provokes terror in others.

Posted by: bertzel | September 10, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Well said. Thank you.

Posted by: lisatann | September 10, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

When Muslims pulverized the giant Buddha statues in afghanistan, did anybody in muslim world condemned that? They are very communal and respect only theirs and hate everything about others.

Posted by: hakam1 | September 10, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

The funny part is that the Reverend is palnnig on buring an english book,which cannot be the Koran since the koran is in arabic only. Furthermore the Koran is the spoken word, not the written one,for that the written words are to be checked by the people who have memorised the Koran and passed it down from one generation to another .As a matter of fact if you burned every single book on earth, the koran will stay beacuse it is spoken not written.
It is always fun to watch yahoos in Afghanistan and now (Sigh) Florida have a fit over nothing.
Almost forgot: burning the book of Koran is not offensive to Muslims.The cartoons were actually more offensive, not burning the book. The whole thing is a display of insanity and ignorance.

Posted by: marioliggi | September 10, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Where's the damn ACLU?

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | September 10, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse


In America whack jobs and other people have the right to burn the Koran, put crucifixes into bottles of urine, draw mustaches on cartoons of Mohammed, insist Jesus and Mary Magdalene had babies, mock Hindus for venerating cows and toss Torah scrolls into ditches and make hex signs at Wiccans.

This nut job has his rights to speech and bonfires (if he gets the proper burning permits).

The media and the Prez and all those other commentators have made psychological mayhem: what are they willing to do to the rest of us the next time someone threatens to do something that annoys someone? The co-dependency of the response by left and right has been appalling. We can't prevent people from doing bad things to others because they don't like something we have a right to do.

What do we do the next time a Muslim artist writes a book or wears a bikini the Imams disapprove of? What happens the next time a small-time ill-educated not-too-smart Yayhoo wants attention and threatens to do something else that ticks off some fundamentalists of one sort or another? Does the President and the entire media establishment give them their attention as a reward for juvenile attention seeking??/

Subsidiarity, people - not all actions and values are the same size or rank.

Posted by: practica1 | September 11, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

We should all detest burning of books which was championed ironically by Muslim invaders like the Caliph who burnt the library of Alexandria and the Muslim invader who burnt the huge library at Nalanda in India.

However, people should have the right to question or critique any religious book, including Quran. Blind following of any religious book does not make people spiritual. Religion, if it is not voluntary, is meaningless.

All people including Muslims, non-Muslims, agnostics and atheists should have the right to interpret or criticize all religions including Islam. Freedom from religion is as important as freedom of religion. Also, freedom of religion does not stop at the borders. Freedom loving people should demand freedom of religion in repressive countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan, as well. When politicians start lecturing about religion, watch out!

Posted by: vasukinagabhushan | September 11, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Could the President extend his concern for Muslim pain at the burning of books to our pain at the incineration of 2700 human beings.

Posted by: miriamac2001 | September 11, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Come on! As a former military person it's hard for me not to resent you folks who allow some wing-nut with fifty followers to jeopardize the lives of our troops. Having lived through Viet Nam with the draft you first amendment scholars would be running for the hills if you faced a draft to face the hate engendered by the good Pasteur. Cowards all! I'm glad that my five boys did not face the draft but get nauseated when you jerks sit back and spout the first amendment when your butt is not on the line. Some heroes!! I agree with the reverend's right to do what he does under the constitution but that is a cheap belief since my butt is not on the line. Your view is even cheaper!

Posted by: Fergie303 | September 11, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane's article is ridiculous - President Obama did exactly what he had to do in order to protect our troops and guard against another attack on our soil. His job is to protect our country, it's citizens, and the men and women fighting for our freedom. The only ones that are helping our enemies are the hate mongers in our media that have stirred up the mosque controversy and promoted anti-Islam sentiment. These media personalities act like children who use vicious words with no thought of the possible consequences. The sad reality is that they are adults and know exactly what they are doing.

Posted by: Hope9 | September 11, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

What would you expect from a Muslim President, and a coward General. I hate to break the news to you folks but are troops are in harms way every day. We can't aford to back down from a confrontation with the Muslim World because they see that as a weakness. The only way to deal with a threat from a bully is attack and beat the living daylights out of him and he will never bully you again; however, if you allow him to bully you he will continue to bully you the rest of your life. I learned this very simple lesson in grammer school.

Posted by: viejo70 | September 11, 2010 2:16 AM | Report abuse

"To commit an act, which knowingly will cause SEVERE consequences, around the world no less, is and should not be considered a right. If some of the world leaders are 'afraid' of someone's actions....that should be concidered an act of terror. I am glad the 'pastor' backed down however, if he did not do so, I am truly astonished that the "powers that be" had their hands tied all in the name of religion....

Ok, so let's see how this works.

When civil rights proponents in the 60's pushed for integrating schools and other public places they knew that in many cases they were going to cause unrest. So I guess they should have been arrested and silenced by the gov't.

Same for anti-war protestors in the 70's. You don't think that the N Vietnamese were happy to see violence in US cities over the war?

The real problem is that we have too many leaders and people who are afraid. Many people who denounce the Patriot Act because it tramples on our rights are more than willing to have the gov't lock up some clown because they are afraid he might offend someone.

Where does it end? What's next? I guess if some Ayatollah says he will call for all Muslims to riot if all US citizens don't wear green hats on the 15th of next month, the gov't will be handing out green hats.

"Again...book burning is one thing, the ACTUAL MEANING/AGENDA behind that 'simple' law-abiding,act is another, especially when it provokes terror in others."

Ahhh, so now the gov't should be the thought police. I think you are going to have a hard time getting that dog to hunt.

So if you are afraid of the 6'5", 300 lb biker that walks up to you, do you think you are going to get a cop to arrest him because you are scared and you THINK he might want to hurt you? Does that make him a terrorist?

Your fears are your own, and you seem to think yours outweigh anyone else's. You emphasize "pastor" and "ACTUAL MEANING\AGENDA" like you know Jones' motives. You don't, anymore than I do when I think he's a sham looking for a spotlight.

My biggest fear is seeing the US become a place where the fearful take over, and the gov't "protects" us by making sure no one can say anything that might offend another.

Posted by: BEEPEE | September 11, 2010 2:28 AM | Report abuse

The Muslim World hates all Americans and would kill all of us if they them selves weren't cowards. They burn the Bible and you say nothing, they kill innosent civilians and you say nothing, they attack our ebassies and you say nothing, they bombed one of our Navy Ships and you say nothing, but when some pastor wants to burn the Quran you shake in your boots and run for cover. What the Muslims see from all of this is that Americans are worthless cowards and they can do anyting they want and we won't retalliate. I think it is time for you to wake up and relize that you can not become friends with Muslims. They will never be Americans because they are only loyal to Mecca and Alah that is why they are in the streets of New York bowing to the East (the direction of Mecca) and praying to Alah. You can't be nice to them and expect that they will be nice back, look at their violant history against each other and then you think that you can be nice to them and they won't hurt you, get a life and wake up.

Posted by: viejo70 | September 11, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

AUM.
QURAN BURNING IS A LIVE ISSUE

By Chitranjan Sawant

It is good for the law and order enforcing agencies that the proposed Quran-burning issue has subsided for the time being. Pastor Terry Jones of the 50-member church that is non-denominational and unattached to an organised Christian body, has deferred the burning issue. The event, however, has not been cancelled as was reported wrongly by a section of the media.
Pastor Terry Jones and Imam Musri of Florida propose to fly to New York on Saturday, 11th Sept 2010, the Ninth Anniversary of Islamist Terror episode in New York to have a chat with the Imam who is the moving spirit behind the ill-conceived construction of a mosque and an Islamic Centre just two blocks away from Ground Zero. The aim of the exercise is to convince the Muslim leaders there to shift the location of the proposed Muslim activity and thus avoid hurting the feelings of those Americans and foreigners who had lost their loved ones on 9/11 in the Islamist terror attack.
The travel plan is fine but the Imam of New York has already taken a stand not to budge an inch on the issue. He is acting like Duryodhan of Mahabharat who was not prepared to concede even land to Pandavas even equivalent to a needle point. Everyone knows that death and destruction followed thereafter.
FLEXIBILITY OF APPROACH
Flexibility of approach to the problem is need of the hour to avoid bloodshed all over the world. Pastor Jones has changed his stand on burning the Quraan which he called an Evil that incited its followers to kill men and women of other faiths, and now wants Muslim leadership in New York to accommodate sentiments of Christians, Hindus, Jewish people and the rest of them all by shifting the site of the proposed mosque and the Islamic centre from the present location. It is time saner instincts prevailed and the Muslim leadership in New York found a way out of this impasse.

CLASH OF CULTURES

It is not for nothing that almost the entire western comity of nations has turned heat on the rigid Muslim community. In Potsdam, Germany, at a function to felicitate the Danish cartoonist who had caricatured Prophet Muhammad, Sallallah Wasale Wasallum, and where even Chancellor Angela Merkel was present, eminent speakers had criticised the Turkish Muslims settled in Germany for not joining the main stream of German life but remaining secluded in ghettos, keeping their women veiled and not learning the German language. Further, as per reports of the Intelligence services the Islamist terror threat to Germany has increased. Let us ponder over the point that those who threaten other cultures can never be friendly with them. It is advisable for men and women of all faiths to live in peace and shake off prejudices born over a period of time.
The anger of the Muslim community over the proposed burning of Quran may subside if they assimilate lessons of history and atone for sins of their ancestors who had burnt down temples. AUM.

Posted by: vedicupvan | September 11, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Just Burn it, Ive read what you all think and this paper must be the "daily Coward" Viejo70 and a few others know this and are not afraid as most readers here are, look at most social network sites and you will see that the muslim world are laughing at you,Grow a set and have a huge Book BBQ ,dance around it and pray that Bin Laden is soon on top of it

Posted by: mickbower14 | September 11, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Amelia5, but am surprised at the hypocrisy of this event versus the Ground Zero Mosque. Think about it. This President can probably bend over and balance himself holding his ankles he's so used to this by now. Not real happy with him anymore.

Posted by: Princeatplay | September 11, 2010 3:31 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Amelia5, but am also surprised at the hypocrisy of reaction to this event versus the Ground Zero Mosque. Think about it. This President can probably bend over and balance himself holding his ankles he's so used to this by now. Not real happy with him anymore.

Posted by: Princeatplay | September 11, 2010 3:32 AM | Report abuse

MickBower14, I appreciate your comments and thank you for trying to argue with the pusillanimous posters here who are a disgrace to both our cultures. I think it was Ben Frankin who said, "He who gives up liberty for security deserves neither and will lose both." Glad you are out there.

Posted by: Princeatplay | September 11, 2010 3:42 AM | Report abuse

I think this emphasis on "free speech" is mainly a distraction. In my view, Jones very clearly does not have a right to engage in an act that is so offensive to billions of people that it will undoubtedly lead to more hatred and violence. At least "yelling fire in a crowded theater" would not lead to countless deaths and years of animosity. The problem is that even if Jones' actions were blocked, some other crackpot would do it instead.

Lane's article is fairly typical of the conservative approach, treating Jones rather gently while focusing on Obama's "mistakes". This general distraction strategy is exactly what one would expect, given the fact that Jones is an extreme right-winger. Lane and other conservative pundits are motivated to dilute the stupid and ugly nature of his actions, because Jones is just an extreme example of the conservative mind.

Posted by: dougd1 | September 11, 2010 4:02 AM | Report abuse

There is a legal equivalence between book burning and the New York mosque -- both are protected by the First Amendment, the former as symbolic speech and the latter under the clause protecting freedom of religion.

But there is no moral equivalence between the two. Constructing a community center for a religion peacefully practiced by some 600,000 New Yorkers (including some who currently worship in Lower Manhattan), cannot compare with book burning, which history has demonstrated to be an intrinsic evil.

It is unfortunate that so much attention has been focused on the potential reaction of Muslims around the world to the proposed book burning. The reason to oppose the book burning is the evil that it represents -- the effort to suppress ideas and, inevitably, the people who hold them.

It is completely false to suggest that Obama is adhering to a double standard. In both cases, he has acknowledged the First Amendment protects the activity at issue. But he has criticized the one case that is far more worthy of criticism. And, although I do not suggest that fear of Muslim (or any other reaction) should dictate our own behavior or freedoms, it was reasonable for him, as commander in chief of the military, to express concern for the safety of our forces overseas.

As to the Muslim bashing going on here: For the person who said Islam has been at war with civilization since its founding, read a little history. For some centuries, the Islamic world was far more civilized than Christian Europe during the Dark Ages. For those who claim that Islam is at war with the world, I suggest that Christianity, too, has plenty of history of violence associated with its missionaries, conquests, and forced conversions -- the Crusades, the forced conversion of the native populations of much of Africa and the Americas, and the Spanish Inquisition, just for example.

It is distressing to see just how much hate and ignorance has been unleashed by 9/11 and the last nine years.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 11, 2010 5:04 AM | Report abuse

"Wouldn't defending Rev. Jones' right to say (do) something offensive be more in line with our history?"

The right of free speech has not extended to cases where there is a 'clear and present danger' since the Supreme Court ruled in Schenck v. United States. The problem with prosecuting this guy is that there has yet been no law dosallowing his actions. There is obviously a danger though, so maybe we ought to re-examine the law regarding a citizen intentionally inflaming religious zealotry; even better we should examine the role of the media in assisting this kind of inflammation. The first amendment applies to both the pastor and the media equally.

Posted by: sql_yoda | September 11, 2010 5:13 AM | Report abuse

What all the media coverage regarding the Quran burning has done is arouse an interest in American populace on what Islam is all about, and as the Japanese admiral who commandeered successful attack against Perl Harbor said “We may have been successful but I am afraid we awoke a sleeping Giant”. For those who have hard time deciphering analogy, sleeping Giant is this country. More Americans now know what al-taqiyya and sharia are. And please ask yourselves what would have happened if the time square bomber succeeded?

Posted by: MIAAN | September 11, 2010 5:20 AM | Report abuse

In other words mission of Terry Jones was successful...

Posted by: MIAAN | September 11, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

"Come on! As a former military person it's hard for me not to resent you folks who allow some wing-nut with fifty followers to jeopardize the lives of our troops."

I feel compelled to say I agree 100% with Fergie303. The law and the police may not be able to stop this senseless act that will endanger our men and women in uniform, but conscientious citizens can and should.

Posted by: sql_yoda | September 11, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

I can't help but feel that it should be President OSAMA!

Posted by: griffiths1936 | September 11, 2010 5:33 AM | Report abuse

The next time you see demonstrators in the streets of Tehran and they are burning the American Flag or an effigy of Uncle Sam or the President know that if they burned a Koran or an Iranian Flag they would probably be arrested. The hypocrisy of the rest of the world knows no boundaries. I am glad to see that the Florida Pastor is not stooping to the level of foreign mobs and burning the Koran. His stunt was for publicity and that is sad. But the United States should not fear the response from those abroad when someone in this Country exercises their freedoms. Never.

Posted by: bobbo2 | September 11, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

The next time you see demonstrators in the streets of Tehran and they are burning the American Flag or an effigy of Uncle Sam or the President know that if they burned a Koran or an Iranian Flag they would probably be arrested. The hypocrisy of the rest of the world knows no boundaries. I am glad to see that the Florida Pastor is not stooping to the level of foreign mobs and burning the Koran. His stunt was for publicity and that is sad. But the United States should not fear the response from those abroad when someone in this Country exercises their freedoms. Never.

Posted by: bobbo2 | September 11, 2010 6:06 AM | Report abuse


Everybody wants to tell the President what to do.

Geesch!

The book burning probably got a call from a terrorist and that made him stop in his tracks, knowing that if he did burn that book on TV, everybody in the world would have known exactly where to find him.

That just might have made this guy cancel his plans.

Someone ought ask him if he got any threatening phone calls.

Posted by: lindalovejones
==================================

So what you are doing is supporting the right of a terrorist to prevent a US citizen from exercising his rights in the United States.

Dear Linda, are you wearing a veil right now? If not, how would you like to get a phone call?

Siding with terrorists is a foolish idea...

Posted by: rohit57 | September 11, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Of course there is a double standard.

What Jones was planning to do "might" result in violence towards US troops.

But the proposal for the mosque has ALREADY resulted in a Muslim taxi driver being slashed in New York.

When Obama bullies Jones into calling off his plan, but supports the mosque, of course there is a double standard.

There is a Pakistani Muslim, a professor at American university in Washington who cuts through all this nonsense.

His article,

National security does not "hinge" on mosque

http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/akbar_ahmed/2010/09/national_security_does_not_hingeon_mosque.html

has more common sense than Obama has shown. The mosque is a bad, bad, idea but Obama lacks the courage to say so.

Liberals are constantly inveighing against Beck, Palin, any Republican who comes into their heads. They know perfectly well that Palin will not come after them with a bomb - believe it or not, she too respects the constitution and your rights.

But liberals lack the courage and the common sense to stand up to terrorism or to the threat of terrorism.

Posted by: rohit57 | September 11, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

"Everyone should worry when presidents invoke wartime security, or similar arguments, against constitutionally protected free speech, even -- or especially -- when the speech is offensive, outrageous and unpopular."

Really? We should worry? I personally "worry" more watching the demonstrations taking place in other countries over this crackpots actions. Of course, the clowns that started and fueled the hate - jones, liz cheney, gaffney, pam gellar and fox news and other right wing organizations will walk away unscathed like the cockroaches that they are. Innocents will pay the price for their vitriolic actions. They've been stoking hatred for months - they've targeted blacks, hispanics and now the muslims. And we now see the fruits of their efforts. The laws may not be able to stop this nonsense, but civility and sensibility should, something obviously in short supply on the right. Remember these are the same folks that hijack patriotism and religion for political gain - why not hijack hate too. They're pathetic.

Posted by: JilliB | September 11, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane you write with such certainty about what a president should say and then impute his words with your feelings. The president's fear I sure is not something he communicated to you. You should get a second opinion because you do not undertand this president.

There is evidence apparently, that Rev. Jones exercise of his rights is causing problems abroad. People from various fields have asked that he reconsider his intentions and been turned down. It is unfortunate, but necessary, that heavy handed pressure was needed. Please consider the source, the potential New York center is now the issue after sending a message to radicals was the original purpose. And now we are to believe that Jones has settled an issue that the mayor, the governor, Donald Trump and a host of intermediaries could not.

Sarah and Newt conflating issues is bad enough. You should not add your voice to the chorus.

Posted by: concerned13 | September 11, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

"Wouldn't defending Rev. Jones' right to say (do) something offensive be more in line with our history?"

The right of free speech has not extended to cases where there is a 'clear and present danger' since the Supreme Court ruled in Schenck v. United States. The problem with prosecuting this guy is that there has yet been no law dosallowing his actions. There is obviously a danger though, so maybe we ought to re-examine the law regarding a citizen intentionally inflaming religious zealotry; even better we should examine the role of the media in assisting this kind of inflammation. The first amendment applies to both the pastor and the media equally.

Posted by: sql_yoda
-----------------------------

There is no "clear and present danger" in something that someone might do, somewhere, as a result of your words.

It is quite different from yelling "Fire" in a theatre where the danger is not only clear but also present.

If you extend the notion of clear and present danger to such unforseen events - some time, somewhere - by other people, then you put unacceptable limits on free speech.

Lots of free speech is likely to make someone angry. And that angry person might do something rash.

Indeed the Bloomberg-Rauf proposal has already resulted in a New York taxi driver being slashed. Do you extend your censorship to them also??

Posted by: rohit57 | September 11, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Sarah and Newt conflating issues is bad enough. You should not add your voice to the chorus.

Posted by: concerned13
================================

Have you READ what Sarah Palin said about either of these events? I suspect you did not because you are conflating her with Gingrich simply because you are taken in by propaganda. Gingrich said some harsh things about Muslims, Sarah Palin DID NOT.

About the mosque, she pleaded with the Muslims not to go ahead with the project. Yes, she used the word "please".

And about Jones' actions, she made it clear that she disapproves of it.

You Democrats have created a carricature of her, and you do not even bother to ask what she actually said about something. You just make up something she "must have said" and then condemn her on the basis of your imaginings.

Posted by: rohit57 | September 11, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Shades of last summer and Obama's "the Cambridge, MA police acted stupidly" !

It was another knee jerk reaction from a man with a muddled mind, as your column pointed out.

Posted by: Concerned14 | September 11, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

I wish there had been media coverage and outrage such as this some years ago when an "artist" decided to display a Christ on the Cross crucifix placed in a container of urine and call it art. I would say that was a hate crime against Christians (just as burning the Koran is a hate crime against Muslims), but the mass media either did not say a word or simply acted like anybody who objected was a doofus, not someone who objected to their holy symbol being desecrated.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | September 11, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

That's your opinion Mr. Lane.
My opinion: you are deadly wrong.

Posted by: castro714 | September 11, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

What a load of bull. Why not just shorten this article down to "Everything Obama does is wrong".

Obama: "This kind of behavior or threats of action put our young men and women in harm's way. And it's also the best imaginable recruiting tool for al-Qaeda."

This statement is also TRUE. Your spin on it is false. There is nothing heavy handed or contradictory about it about it.

""We can't be frightened by a handful of people who are trying to do us harm," he said. Yet to the extent Obama opposed Jones's exercise of free speech -- including mere "threats of action" -- because it might trigger a violent reaction, he was expressing, and yielding to, fear of those very "people.""

Might trigger a violent reaction???

There is a big difference between a handful of extremists and the entire Muslim world of a billion. When you say "these very "people"" you are calling all Muslims terrorists to be feared.

When will the post shed these yellow journalists with their twisted opinions.

Posted by: timothy2me | September 11, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane seems to fail to understand the difference between the President and others persuading Jones to not burn the Koran versus outright arresting him and locking him up. No freedom of speech has been violated in the former instance whereas it would be in the latter.

Posted by: levermontois1 | September 11, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I fully agree. Maybe Pastor Jones is crazy, but he is not violent. Islamic terrorists are both crazy and violent. Jones had every right to protest and exercise his right to free speech. What kind of precedent is Obama setting? From now on will every expression of free speech involving Islam by Americans require prior clearance by the Department of Defense for national security impacts? It seems even the slightest indication of potential irreverence towards Islam, such as Danish newspaper cartoons, can set off a violent worldwide reaction by Muslims. Imam Rauf has recently issued a thinly veiled threat of worldwide violence if his mosque is not built. Our right to free speech is a Constitutional right and it sickens me that we have caved into threats of violence. That may be the Sharia way; it is not our way. If Muslims are serious about gaining respect for their religion by Americans they are going to have to grow up and stop threatening or committing violence every time they do not get their way. Sadly, it seems like they have learned nothing from 9/11.

Posted by: Djones121 | September 11, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Just as the Muslims have a right to build a Mosque down the street from the WTC, the Reverend Jones has the right to burn books, even the Quran.

Obama was quick to defend the rights of the Muslims to build, yet he failed to defend Jone's right to burn the books.

He can't have it both ways AND NOT have people wonder about his religious preferences. Or is he addmitting that we're afraid of Muslims? Either way, Obama has chosen a political loser of a positions, again.

Posted by: jimbo561 | September 11, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Ever since Nat Hentoff's column stopped being carried by the Washington Post, there has been no columnist - until now - to defend civil liberties.

Posted by: alannuta | September 11, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Obama has the responsibility to protect the lives of serviceman and other americans who are endangered by the silly and disgusting book burning plan of Jones. So does Gates and Petraeus and these three have spoken about the dangers posed by Jones's plan. Lane doesn't feel responsible for anything, and it shows.

Posted by: lynch1 | September 11, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

We can't yell "fire" in a theater and yet Lane seems to think it's okay for this yahoo to burn Quorans which might lead to the deaths of hundreds of people. And, we can't paint a swastika on the side of a synagogue because it is a hate crime. Burning Quorans is not a "hate crime"? This is obviously not just a matter of "free speech." Obama is trying to balance the freedom of speech with the responsibility of protecting Americans. What is so complicated about this? Lane seems to be a bit intellectually timid.

Posted by: gary16 | September 11, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree, Jones' actions look well balanced compared to Obama's and the Muslims' hysteria. I am already tired of Americans being told they have to tip toe around Muslims or "BOO" something bad will happen.

Here's a suggestion that might help our troops, pull them out of the ME and bring them home. Let the Muslims fight themselves as they are dying to do, or is Obama worried about getting oil. What is the point of all this???

Posted by: JudiBug | September 11, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I find it ironic people are all up in arms about burning the Koran but the same people see no issue with building a mosque on Ground Zero.

The same "right" that gives a pastor the ability to burn his own personal property on his own private property gives a muslim cleric with ties to Hamas the right to build a mosque on his own private property.

The moral of the story which most left wing idealogues don't perceive is very simple.

In both cases, just because you have a "right" to do something doesn't make it RIGHT.

Posted by: MalvenueZ | September 11, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Estmates of the number of Muslims in the world range from 1.6 billion to 1.8 billion, depending on how you count them eg China probably understates its number. However you count them there are only about 3 million of us. Blaming the vast majority of Muslims for the actions of 20 of them- mostly Saudis our allies who have US bases in their country - is dumb. Its like banning Lutheran or Catholic churches because of what a Christian country did in WW2 (6 million murders). How about banning Buddhist temples because of what the Japanese did in the Pacific? The majority of Muslims were against the twin tower attack. Just because fringe members of a faith commit a crime, it does not mean that the vast majority who are moderate, cannot have a church/temple/mosque. Some Christians ( not true Christians) have committed appalling atrocities including the Holacaust. Does this mean we ban Christian churches- of course not. there may well be 1.8 billion Muslims in the world- there qre 300 million Americans. Are we going to hate them all? It is silly.
the people that committed Abu Gairab were nominally Christians- does that entitle their victims to characterize all Christians as evil?

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Obama missed what he often likes to refer to as a teachable moment. What he should have said and didn't is; that there is absolutely no difference between what the people who want to build "Cordoba House" (a reference to the Cordoba Mosque built in Spain; built over the ruins of a conquered Catholic church)are doing so to purposefully give offense to all Americans; and that the pastor who wants to burn the Korans in Florida is doing so to purposefully offend all Muslims. What he could have said is that while both actions are legal and unfortunately permissable, they are equally ill-advised. Instead, he took the position that the Muslims had a right to the mosque and that the pastor shouldn't burn the books. With Obama, past behavior is always predictive of future behavior and we can depend on him to continue to berate Americans as he declares his allegiance to his boyhood religion.

Posted by: ronadolph | September 11, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Nobody questioned Jones' right to do it. He was just told tat our troops would be put at risk. Nobody including our President banned him from doing it; they merely asked him not too. fair enough when we are trying to negotiate peace in the middle east- the conflict that is at the root of a lot of the trouble.
Surely the commander-in-chief is wise to ask him not to- just as Petraeus.
Islam is a mainstream religion (admittedly with some members who are extremists like the twenty 9/11 monsters); and as a mainstream religion it contains a majority of normal people. The haters should visit a Moslem country such as Malaysia and see how lavish the hospitality is. There are 1.8 billion of them and most of them are very broad minded towards the 300 million Americans in the world

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Sept. 11th 2,800 Americans died in a stupid act of violence and in their memory can we get back to being Americans with rights or must we now feel sorry for Muslims instead.

Excuse me but I want to remember those we lost.

Posted by: JudiBug | September 11, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't sure I wanted in on this debate, but here goes.

Many people are connecting the NYC mosque with Pastor Jones. A closer analogy would be, say, our policy towards radical Muslim clerics that voice support for groups like al-Qaida. Like Pastor Jones, they are antagonizing an already dangerous situation, and we ask (or demand, in some cases) that they stop inflaming people's passions.

The NYC mosque, on the other hand, is closer to, say, the Westboro Baptist Church, who protest outside of funerals for soldiers because they believe America's position on homosexuality is an affront to God. You might agree with what the Westboro church says, or you might not, but many agree that their actions are deliberately provocative and disrespectful to the tragedy that is a funeral. However, it is their constitutional right to act as they wish, so long as they don't violate any laws.

Similarly, you may agree or disagree with the beliefs of Islam, and you may feel that building a mosque near the former World Trade Center is disrespectful to the tragedy that happened there. BUT UNLESS THEY ARE VIOLATING SOME LAW, THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE THERE.

There are degrees of freedom. If Pastor Jones wants to condemn Islam as an abomination before God, I will defend his right to do so to my last breath. However, if he begins saying "and therefore it is our Christian duty to kill all Muslims", then we have a problem. If someone wants to protest or condemn, that is free speech. If they want to commit acts that are deliberately gauged to provoke a violent response, that is not free speech; that is stupidity, and I would kindly ask them not to do so, for the safety of everyone. I would not, say, violate a statue of Jesus Christ with a dildo in front of a church on Sunday, not because I can't, but because doing so would probably cause a riot. I would not encourage homosexual flirting with members of the Westboro church, not because there is some law against it, but because it would probably cause a fight. There is free speech, and there is fight-mongering. What Pastor Jones did was the later, not the former, and for all of our sakes, I hope people do not emulate him.

Posted by: Pellinore | September 11, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Mickblower14 talks about cowardice and exalts other brave anonymous bloggers such as he who "stand up" to 1.8 billion mostly normal people, by peddling hate (like bin Laden does against Christians). You are so brave so why don't you get out from behind your pen name?

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Islam is a primitive death cult

Islam subjugates women

Islam executes homosexuals

Islam is at war with us

Liberals want to appease Islam.....Islam will eat them first...liberal lifestyles and Islam do not mix

This conflict will only grow until Islam wins or the west grows a pair.

Posted by: georgedixon1 | September 11, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"We should all detest burning of books which was championed ironically by Muslim invaders like the Caliph who burnt the library of Alexandria and the Muslim invader who burnt the huge library at Nalanda in India."
So says the Hindu, vasukinagabhushan and similar from Chitranjan and Rohit57
Note that these are 3 Hindu names from India where the hate from right wing extremists Hindus as typified by the BJP. They clearly have an anti Muslim agenda. I love India and have been there many times but I have seen how the very extreme Hindus bully Muslims there.
Now look here fellows, do you think that extremist rednecks like your good selves any more than your subcontinental brothers? Don't kid yourself . How about listening to Ghandiji about religious tolerance (an extremist Hindu killed him remember?)
Namaskar baithiye and try following your great religion of peace and tolerance for a change. And Vasu going back to Alexandria is absurd. Its like destroying the mosque at Ayodyha.

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Obama to-date has shown no intention of his ability to stop "Acting STUPIDLY"! BO continues to believe that he can be neutral or vote PRESENT on these serious situations, showing him to be less of a president and more of a lackey, with NO BACKBONE!

what a travesty that this clown got a nobel prize when there were literally hundreds of more deserving recipients. and yet BO still accepted.What a narcissist!

Posted by: morphy | September 11, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

georgedixon1 - I would agree with two of your points - Islam does both execute homosexuals and subjugate women. I oppose both. However, you other points are just fatuous - Islam is no more a death cult then Christianity worships zombies; Islam is not at war with America, Islamic extremists have attacked America (it's like saying Catholicism was at war with Britain in Ireland); and liberal lifestyles work just fine with Islam - you just have to pay extra taxes (which Liberals are fine with).

Come up with more truthful, or more imaginative, criticisms. You're only 2 for 5 - .400 is a pretty good batting average, but it's a lousy debate average.

Posted by: Pellinore | September 11, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

PS anyone seen the Glenn McCoy political cartoon about this whole affair? http://wpcomics.washingtonpost.com/client/wpc/gm/ I think it points out one of the least analyzed part of this whole farce.

Posted by: Pellinore | September 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Characterising all 1.8 million Muslims as extremist evil doers is the same as what bin Laden does when he slanders all Americans and all Christians. Its b/s. Great minds like the flagrant bigots posting hate speech here are too obtuse to see they are fanning hatred just as bin Laden does. Two sides of the same coin;same syndrome different masks.

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

You will never find one muslim that wants to burn the bible, that says a lot.
By the way, republicans under Regan trained and gave weapons to alqeda in afghanistan to kick russia out.
republican white suprimacists suck.

Posted by: MumboJumboo | September 11, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Washington Post op-ed policy: Whatever Obama did was wrong.

Posted by: jondnorton | September 11, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Reverend Jones just makes the world safer by changing his mined .
What a better way to used the power given to him by GOD & the constitution of the united states of America.

Thankyou Mr. JONES.

Posted by: fexjr39 | September 11, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

President Damned if He Does-Damned if He Don't, wasn't thinking of Pastor Jone's right to burn a Koran. He was thinking of some ignorant soul in Afghanistan (that can be manipulated with a live TV stream of another ignorant soul in America) holding a AK 47 aimed at a U.S. soldier, just waiting for the burning to begin.

If he saved one soldier's life because of the position he took with that grotesque clown masquerading as a preacher he did exactly the right thing. The pastor wasn't directing his anger at our government, he was directing it at 1.5 billion other peoples religion. Our right's come with a price. And that pastor needed to understand that he was paying it with the blood of our soldiers. Apparently he got the estimate for the bill and decided it was a price he wouldn't pay. Thank God!

Posted by: AverageJane | September 11, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"Rev. Jones is an idiot. Political figures (on both sides) trying to shut him up are failing the Constitution."

Politicians criticize the content of people's free speech all of the time. Now this is a problem?

Posted by: jondnorton | September 11, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a disgrace.

Again and again, he shows his petulant side. Again and again, he speaks out of both sides of his mouth.

He cannot hide behind his words anymore.

Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, et al, understand this now, and he will be defeated come 2012. Nothing he can do or say will alter that. He is a con man, and it is now known.

EVERY Democrat I know has turned away from him in disgust. Every single one. Because he is not the Democrat of old. He is insidious.

Posted by: notbuyingit | September 11, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

This is a fine example of a dog chasing its tail. Round and round we go, getting nowhere.

But perhaps venting and ranting is good for the soul, be it Christian or Moslem. Or Democratic or Republican, or Tea Party. or Libertarian or what have you.

Posted by: Geezer4 | September 11, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Great column, and congratulations for putting the "Reverend" in quotes. Now, when will the Washington Post start doing the same for the "Reverend" Al Sharpton?

Posted by: Rob_ | September 11, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

9/11 was pure evil. Any one with a heart is deeply saddened by that atrocity.

In answer to the Muslim haters on this blog need to do what the great American Mark Twain did and acknowledge when we have committed atrocities on Muslims. Lets get real here.

Just because some soldiers in Afghanistan have committed murders, as the Pentagon has acknowledged recently, (fingers for trophies etc), it does not follow that Americans are bad... it does not mean Christians are bad. The people that did it were bad- not all Americans. We are not all guilty of what a few do. Nor are all Muslims. To those making generalized statements about evil Muslims maybe you don't know about the following (source Wikipedia in this case and many other sources too):
The Moro Crater massacre is a name given to the final phase of the First Battle of Bud Dajo, a military engagement of the Philippine-American War which took place March 10, 1906, on the isle of Jolo in the southern Philippines. Forces of the U.S. Army under the command of Major General Leonard Wood, a naval detachment comprising 540 soldiers, along with a detachment of native constabulary, armed with artillery and small firearms, attacked a village hidden in the crater of the dormant volcano Bud Dajo. More than 600 mostly unarmed Muslim Moro villagers (including many women and children) were killed by the Americans, of whom fifteen soldiers were killed and thirty-two were wounded.
Gen. Leonard Wood called for the extermination of all Filipino Muslims since, according to him, they were irretrievably fanatical.[1]

Mark Twain a great American, exposed this atrocity and stood up for innocent Muslims in this instance.

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Charlie, well spoken. We are not in a single polar world. While it is a pathetic spectacle about the Koran, the Muslims themselves share the blame for their troubles with the rest of the world. These same people erupt en masse at even the rumor of a Koran or Muhammad desecration, but gleefully ransack and step on every other religion. These are the same people who do not tolerate any other religion amongst them, but insist that they are revered by all else. Most Muslims all over the world, particularly the American ones, never condemn seriously the outrageous treatments their people do to others. Even on 9-11, there was no American Muslim condemning their fellow Muslims, while many were dancing in the streets. Where are the compassionate and loving ones among them who stand up and condemn Iran for holding the three Americans? Where are the so called Imams who denounce their acts during their Friday sermons? For them, it is all one way, their way or the highway. From Karachi to Kazakhstan, it is the same thing. They are the ones asking for our understanding. For that, the start is, let us see some genuine efforts from their own sides to stand up for the rights of others, among their people worldwide. Let us see some Imam screaming at the top of their voices the atrocities of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, and on and on. Let us hear something. For a silly act by one person in this country, from the President on down profusely apologized to the Muslims at large, appealing for their forgiveness. It is all about them, all the time. While it is perfectly legal, what audacity to believe that a mosque next to ground zero builds bridges. Someone better shout, hey it is not all about them all the time.

Posted by: patriot0523 | September 11, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"Where's the damn ACLU?"

Since you asked... Their position is that the Rev has the right to burn the Koran, and other people have the right to condemn his actions.

Posted by: jondnorton | September 11, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Not buyingit I am not buying your spin. Every Democrat you know is turning away from Obama in disgust you claim without substantiation. Well who are the 50% that approve in the approval ratings? "Disgrace"... "insidious"... 'petulant". Like most extremists, bin Laden included, you love throwing labels and unsubstantiated, unsupported allegations around
Sorry but I and 50% of Americans at least- including intelligent conservatives- are not buying your dodgy product.

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised he didn't want to have a beer summit.

Obama is a biggest fraud to ever steal elected office.

IMPEACH THE THUG!

Posted by: cvicic1959 | September 11, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Where was Barry when another idiot "reverend" was GDing America?

In the front row, smiling.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | September 11, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Why do we not want Rev.Jones to burn the Koran, because we are afraid. Afraid of the consequences, nothing else.

What will happened in the future , will we have to change the way we are dressed, what we eat or what religion we practice to accommodate Muslim beliefs.

If today we allow them to stop Rev. Jones, what is stopping them tomorrow try to stop something else that they don't like?

This is America, no matter what you think about Rev. Jones , he can do whatever he wants and if this brings chaos on us ,then let it be so. Appeasement only works for short period of time before you have to face the problem anyway.

The question should be. What will be less painful to deal with the problem today or tomorrow. We will be forced to deal with it one day no matter what.



Posted by: haroust | September 11, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

It is simply untrue Patriot 0523 to say that "These same people erupt en masse "... what same people? Since there are 1.8 billion of them you would know it if they erupted in large numbers. Be reasonable; the protests were quite small. Have a look at reputable sources and try not to bear false witness as our Holy Bible commands. Try not to lie... it gives patriotism a bad name.

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Do citizens of the US go out and kill people for burning the Bible or a Torah? No they do not. Perhaps we, as US citizens should go out and riot every time someone burns an American flag.

But the most important thing is that the press gave that nut in Florida a pulpit. He is a nothing pastor of a small church and did not deserve a single mention in the press. If anything negative had happened as a result of his burning the Koran, the members of the press who gave him coverage would have been responsible as they were the ones who spread the nonsense worldwide and caused the problem. Why could they not just ignore the guy? He is an expert at manipulation but they do not have to be manipulated.

Posted by: tenshi1 | September 11, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

It looks like we have a president and administration that has determined it is their responsibility to personally protect Islam from those who might offend it. No longer are we allowed to show our disdain for a "religion"that teaches murder and domination is the way to heaven. We are to tuck our tails between our legs and hide in individual corners,never ever speaking badly about the "religion of peace". Because if we do then muslims across the oceans and even right here in the USA might be offended and want to retaliate.

America is definitely not the country my grandparents knew,and when my grandchildren are ready to take her reigns she will be even less noticeable.

Posted by: mcap52 | September 11, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

This is just another example of American's cowaring in the face of threats from Islamic terrorists.

When depicting any religion but Islam in an unflattering, though true, light we see that as freedom of speech. Witness the cartoon series South Park as it made fun of the Scientologists, the actor reading for Chef quit as he was offended. Never mind that South Park has spoofed all religions. So Chef quits yet he does not threaten violence on anyone.
Then South Park spoofs Islam and gets threatened and reacts by censoring the episode. Now a pastor wants to burn the alleged holy book of Islam and the President is begging him not to due to fear of reprisal.

Burn the holy book of any other religion and you may get outrage but you will not get the President of the US begging you not to out of fear.

By giving into the demands of an unreasonable group we are pretending to appease them however what we are really doing is letting them rule us through our fears.

When is the world going to stand up to the giant religious bully known as Islam?

It is like the bad dog on the block that everyone has to tip toe around to keep from waking it up.

Posted by: manapp99 | September 11, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Why can't Obama call on Muslims to restrain themselves as well? Does he somehow believe that they are incapable of doing so? He said not one word about the extensive burning of churches, Bibles and crosses across Gaza last week. Not a peep. Not mere threats of violence, but actual violence that offended billions of people of that faith. What about the desecration this week of temples across America during the Jewish faith's High Holy days? Again, no condemnation from Obama. It seems that he reserves that for those who "might" tick off Muslims, while failing to ask Muslims to act in a civilized manner by restraining themselves from violence. America sees and condemns your double standard of conduct, Mr. President, and we are ashamed of you for throwing other faiths under the bus.

Posted by: samwoods77 | September 11, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Patriot0523 there were mass protests in the middle east from Muslims against the 9/11 atrocity. I was in Hindu India that day where there were no mass demonstrations against it. So don't buy the extremist Hindu fake concern on this forum earlier.
It is well known that there were protests against the 9/11 attack in Iran
'Huge crowds attended candlelit vigils in Iran, and 60,000 spectators observed a minute's silence at Tehran football stadium.[20][21]'(Wikipedia)
Moreover
"Communications Professor Martin Löffelholz explaining that in the images one sees jubilant Palestinian children and several adults but there is no indication that their pleasure is related to the attack. The woman seen cheering (Nawal Abdel Fatah) stated afterwards that she was offered cake if she celebrated on camera, and was frightened when she saw the pictures on television afterward.[25]"
I am not suggesting all Muslims are angels. That is certainly not the case. Some are indeed evil violent extremists. But patriot0523 don't lie... it doesn't help.

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Out of the huge number of Moslems in London today 100 protested about the Koran issue and they were fringe Moslems.... source CNN 9/11/10
Self described PATRIOT 0523 that is hardly erupting en masse as you say. Sounds like the vast majority of mUSLIMS THERE did not erupt at all.
Not all muslims are good of course but most of them are just normal people like most Americans are.

Posted by: KingWen | September 11, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Although I have been a liberal I respect religion and its practitioners. I've been dismayed at the disrespect US liberals show toward Christianity- a statue of Christ in a bottle of urine being hailed as a work of art for example. Now liberals tell us that Americans must not rile the fine sensibilities of muslims. One reason given is that muslims will get angry and retaliate. This after years of muslim attacks on the US- embassies in Africa, the USS Cole, Mohammed Atta and his 9/11 gang, the plot to bomb LAX, the attempted Times Square bombing, the shoebomber, the slaughter at Fort Hood and more. When rational people mention these, liberals irrationally bring up Timothy McVeigh as if there were any correlation. Now the most dangerous cleric liberals know of is a benighted US Christian pastor whose plan to burn the muslim holy book is viewed as a provocation to the masses of illiterate muslim fanatics. One thing I hope we can agree on- islam must change.

Posted by: mhr614 | September 11, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

mhr614:

Great post.

You sound like a conservative.

Maybe you should think about leaving the dark side of politics.

Posted by: cvicic1959 | September 11, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

A Pastor says he will burn Qur'ans and the Media goes . . . ballistic.

Muslims murder Christians and the Media goes . . . silent.

Posted by: cruzcontrol7 | September 11, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Dear Theoretical Columnist: Let's hope you're not the innocent American tourist who will be murdered in, let's say, Denmark because you couldn't see the practical reason to stop the kook cleric in fl. If this is really a "war" on terror, then we take out those who aid the enemy before their aid can damage our side. Free speech is absolutely not absolute (search the constitution for "treason"). What is treason? Whatever our commander in chief says it is. Slippery slope? You bet. And so what.

Posted by: owen1 | September 11, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Dear Theoretical Columnist: Let's hope you're not the innocent American tourist who will be murdered in, let's say, Denmark because you couldn't see the practical reason to stop the kook cleric in fl. If this is really a "war" on terror, then we take out those who aid the enemy before their aid can damage our side. Free speech is absolutely not absolute (search the constitution for "treason"). What is treason? Whatever our commander in chief says it is. Slippery slope? You bet. And so what.

Posted by: owen1 | September 11, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The backers of the ground zero Mosque have a Constitutional right to develop their property as they see fit. The Pastor in Florida has a Constitutional right under the 1st amendment to burn Quran's. Both would cause tremendous pain and outrage, and doing either is terribly wrong. Yet Obama leaped to the defense of, and lectured the entire nation on the right of the backers of the ground zero Mosque to inflict tremendous pain on the 9/11 families. Yet there was no defense of the Constitutional rights of the Pastor in Florida. Suddenly the Constitution didn't seem to matter to Obama. I think after these events we know where Obama stands. He stands with extreme Islam and against the American people!!!!

Posted by: valwayne | September 11, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Christians are forced out of Bethlehem by Muslims, Jesus Christ's birthplace.

Where is the Media coverage?

Imagine if Christians forced Muslims to leave Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammed.

Media double-standard and hypocrisy at it's finest.

Posted by: cruzcontrol7 | September 11, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

President Obama is not Christian.

President Obama had Franklyn Graham kicked out of the Pentegon on National Prayer Day because ONE Muslim complained.

President Obama believes in *Collective Salvation*

President Obama does not believe Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to Heaven.

President Obama is not *Saved*

Posted by: cruzcontrol7 | September 11, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I watched MSNBC yesterday morning... Pat Buchanan... ranting about how Rev. Jones should be arrested by obama... and figure out the charges later.

Patrick Buchanan is crazy, and no conservative. The MSNBC bunch loved it, of course, being leftists.

I think it may be time for another revolution; Seems like Government has forgotten about the Bill of Rights.


Posted by: wilsan | September 11, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

So what if a Redneck preacher burns Korans. It's a bunch of paper, which I assume is his property. He aims to burn it (or, did) ON his property. The people who print Korans can surely print more and surely will. Like it or not, it is a protected form of expression, which the media (and our foolish President,) should have ignored.

Additionally, the people who are trying to build the Mosque near the site of the WTC should get some class and build it somewhere else. End of story. Let's move on, because our problems with the economy should be the number one priority.

Posted by: BigMac4 | September 11, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@KingWen.

The facts are the facts. Obama is a disgrace. Petulant. And, insidious.

Petulance?
http://spectator.org/archives/2010/08/18/obamas-petulant-presidency
or, maybe:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/07/obamas_mean_streak_1.html

Disgraceful? Insidious?
http://obamalies.net/list-of-lies
or, maybe:
http://www.humblelibertarian.com/2009/04/first-100-days-list-of-100-of-obamas.html
or, maybe:
http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/4701/long-post-complete-list-obama-statement-expiration-dates

It's pretty ugly, isn't it. Shall I go on? Do you really want how ugly this POTUS is revealed moreso?

Facts, facts, facts. Such tricky little things.

Worst. President. Ever.

Disgraceful. Insidious. Petulant.
Yes.

Posted by: notbuyingit | September 11, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the point made about the ACLU - without checking, I am sure that that organization has expressed that Jones has the right to burn the books, queitly on their website.

What I and the original poster believe is that if it was muslims or atheists burning the Bible, the ACLU would have a coningent on site, and a full court press in the media in support.

It's a matter of their quite apparent bias against Christianity.

Posted by: BigMac4 | September 11, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

As usual, the most Useless President in US history shows his total misunderstanding of presidential power and influence. He disappears on D-day but weighs in on a ridiculous cult leader's grandstand play. Aren't there any adults around to prevent this man from embarassing the whole country and making an utter fool of himself over and over again? No, there aren't. His handlers are just as clueless and tone-deaf as he is. I had thought Biden at least might have a normal level of testosterone, but apparently not. Nobody wants to tell this dangerously impotent emperor that nearly everything he thinks and does is nakedly stupid.

Posted by: cjbenner | September 11, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Not a lot is being said about the government intimidation of this guy as well, which the ACLU should be very concerned with. He recieved a visit from the FBI, and has everyone from the President to General Petraus jawboning him (allthough Petraus is right to be concerned bout his troops.) This is America, not Castro's Cuba or Chavez's Venezuela. The guy's an idiot, but the government should leave him alone, we should all ignore him, we should all grow up.

Posted by: BigMac4 | September 11, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

In todays world you have to live by the moment and try to prevent another terrorist act. The President and everyone else did that, and our troops are a little safer because of this. A grade school child could understand this, and I think the writer does, too, but instead fans his words into an inflamation against our President, and his administration.

Posted by: Mars7 | September 11, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

In todays world you have to live by the moment and try to prevent another terrorist act. The President and everyone else did that, and our troops are a little safer because of this. A grade school child could understand this, and I think the writer does, too, but instead fans his words into an inflamation against our President, and his administration.

Posted by: Mars7 | September 11, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

owen1 wrote:

"Dear Theoretical Columnist: Let's hope you're not the innocent American tourist who will be murdered in, let's say, Denmark because you couldn't see the practical reason to stop the kook cleric in fl. If this is really a "war" on terror, then we take out those who aid the enemy before their aid can damage our side. Free speech is absolutely not absolute (search the constitution for "treason"). What is treason? Whatever our commander in chief says it is. Slippery slope? You bet. And so what."

Your high school teachers would probably weep to hear how little you learned about the Constitution in their classes. Treason? You can't even define the word.

For all of those who think like you do, what will you say the next time an American get's killed by terrorism somewhere in the world. Will it be Jones fault because he WANTED to burn a Koran? Should we outlaw TALKING about the Koran at all because THAT will no doubt cause an American to die somewhere?

When the day comes that we define a crime as whatever one person says it is, why not join the North Koreans or bring Saddam back from the dead? For them, that's exactly how their law works.

As far as giving aid and comfort to the enemy, what could give greater aid and comfort to the enemy than to see that all they have to do is make threats to have us overturn our most precious legal rights?

This is indeed a great recruiting tool for Al Queda. It shows the world that this group of perhaps a few thousand people has brought this country to her kness in fear. It shows that we are so afraid that a single American will die anywhere that we will violate our own laws. It shows that they don't even HAVE to FIGHT us anywhere, just organize a demo and burn a few of our flags, and the whole government wants pay obeisance to their demands.

Even Jefferson, by nature one of our least martial of Presidents, refused to pay tribute to the Barbary States of the Meditterranean, choosing to send the navy instead. Before that, it had been the practice of the govenment to pay tribute to them. We are now offering up our Bill of Rights to Al Queda. Why not just pay them cash as well for not demonstrating and threatening American lives. That might work!


"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Ben Franklin

Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Aside from the gratuitous name-calling at the beginning, very well said.
Do we really want to be in a position where any criticism of Islam results in the speaker being entirely responsible for any violence committed by Moslems in
respons?
It gets more and more surreal for the President and the overwhelming majority of the media to refer to Islam as a religion of Peace that can't be defined by a handful of fanatics - at the same time the heads of our national defense are warning that the troops are in danger from raging mobs of moslems in numerous cities if anyone criticizes Islam.

Posted by: ronthompson4 | September 11, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The basis for the President objecting was that he believed an american exercising his free speech rights could prompt islamic extremists to commit more acts of violence. This is the same reason European socialists begged cartoonists not to draw -- it might drive islamic radicals to more grotesque violence. When will people wake up and identify the real problem -- those who resort to violence at every perceived offense against their understand of God. This is either a pretext or intolerance of the highest order that we shouldn't enable by begging americans not to engage in protected expression lest people be be-headed somewhere in the world.

Posted by: ericnestor | September 11, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

ronthompson4 wrote:

"Aside from the gratuitous name-calling at the beginning, very well said."

Ah, I am so shocked by how cavalierly people will throw away the Bill of Rights that I get a little emotional about it sometimes.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This is what the Information Age means - 50 nuts in Florida can become media darlings by threatening to burn the Quran. Better to let them do what they want than give them the attention they crave.

Posted by: charles_odell | September 11, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

We think we have a right to self-expression when we disagree with something.

Muslims think they have a right to burn, kill, and bomb when they disagree with something.

We would gladly leave them to themselves.

Their religion FORBIDS them leaving us to ourselves.

Posted by: GregBuls1 | September 11, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This incident well illustrates the greatest danger to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is posed not by Islamic terrorists but rather by our own government.

No matter what one feels about the book burning it is in fact a citizen exercising his Right of Free Speech.

And the response? A coercive demand from the President and the military that this man censure himself and forfeit his own Constitutional guarantees.

The reason? Exercising his Constitutional Rights might make some Muslim some where, angry.

It is time to end the fiction that Islamic terrorism is the act of a small group of extremist lunatics. The truth is 10s of millions of Muslims support Islamic terrorism and it's goals.

The best way to defeat this is to exercise our liberties, not destroy our Constitution.

The President, putatively a "Constitutional Law Professor" should be ashamed of himself along with those in the military who support him.

Posted by: krankyman | September 11, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

King Obama comments on too many issues.

Posted by: greatgrandmasue | September 11, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Krankyman
You are very true when you say:
It is time to end the fiction that Islamic terrorism is the act of a small group of extremist lunatics. The truth is 10s of millions of Muslims support Islamic terrorism and it's goals.
KingWen: You should read the above and understand the character of your people. You must be an Indian Islam. While you were in India on 9-11, I was uncomfortably close to the Pentagon. I saw the destruction of your terrorists, and I will never forget that, nor forgive on whose behalf they did it. An animal that bites your hand that feeds it, is no friend. PC won’t solve our homegrown terror cells from your people. More mosques is not the answer.

Posted by: patriot0523 | September 11, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who are defending the President's argument on the basis that he is protecting the troops, well, I am the troops and I (and we)do not care for that kind of protection. We have put ourselves in harms way .. our very mission .. is to ensure that Americans will continue to have the liberty to burn a Qu'uran, or a Bible, or an American Flag - without fear that a foreign entity will fly airplane into our house in retaliation. If we have already given into their demands, then exactly what is the President sending us out to do? A LtCol USAF (unlike General Patreaus, I have not had my comments vetted by the White House)

Posted by: squarebird1 | September 11, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who are defending the President's argument on the basis that he is protecting the troops, well, I am the troops and I (and we) respectfully decline the offer. We have put ourselves in harms way .. our very mission .. is to ensure that Americans will continue to have the liberty to burn a Qu'uran, or a Bible, or an American Flag - without fear that a foreign entity will fly airplane into our house in retaliation. If we have already given into their demands, then exactly what is the President sending us out to do?

Posted by: squarebird1 | September 11, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

squarebird:

I agree entirely. Don't be too hard on Petraeus. You know this wasn't his idea, but came straight from the President. I voted for the man, but this pusillanimous behavior and bringing in AG Holder to comment ahead of time about a case that might require his consdieration is outrageous.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Isn't trying to avert potential disasters a part of the president's duties?

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | September 11, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Isn't trying to avert potential disasters a part of the president's duties?

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | September 11, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Isn't trying to avert potential disasters a part of the president's duties?

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | September 11, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Are there no adults left in Washington?

The Cordoba House is to be built in an "in your face" manner, but Rev. Jones is verbally abused by officials for "insensitivity" ?

Has no one noticed how many death threats President Bush received from "sensitive" people? Or American flag burnings by fine, dedicated citizens?

Posted by: donx65 | September 11, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I have something very important to say that could bring peace to the world and cure cancer....but I need to make sure that anything I say doesn't offend the Muslim world.
I'd call the ACLU but I think they've filled their ears with wax and are hiding in a dark room.
I'd guess the 1st Amendment has been Amended.

I don't agree with Jones but I support his right to do so. Forcing him to back down, did the FBI threaten him in some way? by implying they we're going to make his life miserable?

Terrorisom wins when we're afraid to live our lives as Americans often do by protesting in a way that is unacceptable or unpleasant to others.

Posted by: dannyboyrules | September 11, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

17% of americans out of work,
and not a peep from obama...
one fruit cake in florida
threatens to burn a bundle of
paper?
and the great obama is busy busy
busy... oh the horror,
starving american children?
they are too fat anyway...
this guy was definately raised moslem...
no wonder he wouldnt be photographed
with a jew.

Posted by: simonsays1 | September 11, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

let me tell you people by the people and for the people ,brothers and sisters in united states of america land of the free home of the constitution,

remmber ,
one of the american boss carried on his shoulder the 2 american bi/bull,the juchristian bible and the democratic constituition bible and invaded people land killing and stranded 5 million people?

the boss not only deluded the american nation and the democratic consituition but the entire world and draged the nation to bankrupcy not only in money but values and principals of the entire constitution,and this happen recently just the very begining of this century not in mediavalism?

mr lane and the majority are still living in plato,s republic of america ,land of the free home of greco/romanism.

Posted by: mono1 | September 11, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

treetopflyer, Im actualy Irish, born here married here and have children here
---------------------------------------------------
Well, that changes everything. I take it all back. Turns out the only thing your people ever screwed up was Boston. My apologies.

Posted by: treetopflyer | September 11, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Islam = terror:


"I studied the Koran a great deal. I came away from that study with the conviction there have been few religions in the world as deadly to men as that of Muhammad...it is the principal cause of the decadence so visible today... its social and political tendencies are in my opinion to be feared."
--Alexis de Toqueville, 1843

Posted by: pat1425 | September 11, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

If Obama hadn't stepped in, the burning had gone on as planned and hundreds of American soldiers and civilians died overseas as a result, you'd be singing a different tune. You'd be wondering why Obama didn't try and stop this from happening. You'd accused him of being patriotic, cowardly, not using his position as president wisely. You would, in other words, be doing everything you're doing right now. Your hate for this president isn't based on facts, it's just a pre-existing, fill-in-the-blank template that needs to be exercised no matter what the excuse.

Posted by: treetopflyer | September 11, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"The president seemed oblivious to the contradiction ..."

This statement says it all. This President is oblivious to he sentiments of anyone who ever disagrees with. For someone who is supposedly a very intelligent attorney, he seems to lack one of the most basis skills of an attorney to understand both sides of an argument. Rather he seeks only to demonize and minimize alternative points of views. Though he recognized the incendiary nature of Pastor Jones' actions he seems completely blind to the incendiary nature of the mosque being built near ground zero (no matter the rights of the builders). The President may feel the need to bow before every other leader of the world, but this is not the nature of America.

Posted by: bbouey | September 11, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, your comments are tripe and irrelevant.

Posted by: m1kem1lls | September 11, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Yeah yeah, right, religions freedom, NY mosque, same arguments from both sides.

Let's look at the bigger picture. Ted Koppel is totally right. All we have been doing is inciting the entire Muslim world against us. Obama was wrong in escalating Afghanstan, further alienating Pakistan. Islam has quite a long history in all of these countries, let's get the troops out of there.

GWB helped start an Iranian "empire" situation, in all of its emboldened actions, unfortunately Obama's escalation has continued the same "help Iran grow and continue to embolden" outcome. I think tactically now it's too late to do anything, Iran is the new empire in the middle east.

Israel is in trouble, no one is willing to face the new reality. What the heck is Afghanistan accomplishing? And everyone is wasting their time arguing about the Koran fringe guy and the NY Mosque. Business as usual thanks to the idiots running the U.S. media.

Posted by: joshmw | September 11, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Lane is exactly right. Obama blew it, again. His agenda is not upholding the Constitution but in being instrumental in destroying what he sees as the true villian in the world -- the United States of America. Like Dinesh D'Souza writes in Forbes this month, Obama is mentally, emotionally, and intellectually ruled by the ghost of his father.

Posted by: Antoinette1 | September 11, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

If Obama hadn't stepped in, the burning had gone on as planned and hundreds of American soldiers and civilians died overseas as a result, you'd be singing a different tune. You'd be wondering why Obama didn't try and stop this from happening. You'd accused him of being patriotic, cowardly, not using his position as president wisely. You would, in other words, be doing everything you're doing right now.

Posted by: treetopflyer | September 11, 2010 2:51 PM
========================================
No, my tune wouldn't have changed and here is why:

We have a Constitution that recognizes certain, inalienable Rights. The struggle of We, the People, is to ensure those inalienable rights are never usurped or denied by anyone, including this President.

Free Speech is perhaps the most precious Right. If this President, and his military minions, are afraid to defend this Right then they are, in effect, denying We the People of our most precious Right. A Right they supposedly swore to defend.

If a bunch of Terrorists murder US citizens, either here or abroad, then that is an assault on our Rights which should be met with an active defense and not some supine appeal to "sensitivity".

I, and perhaps only I, see such pronouncements as an attempt by a government official to stifle Free Speech so that only the Government's voice is heard.

This President, this "Constitutional Scholar" should be defending this citizen's Right to Free Speech and not coercing censure.

Posted by: krankyman | September 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse


Obama preaches religious tolerance. He was'nt very tolerant of a crucifix which was above the door of a catholic school in which he was addressing students. his aides wwre told to cover it up or get rid of it before he entered. How this black person, above all other black persons became president I think we all know.

Posted by: murphj818 | September 11, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

treetopflyer wrote:

"If Obama hadn't stepped in, the burning had gone on as planned and hundreds of American soldiers and civilians died overseas as a result, you'd be singing a different tune. You'd be wondering why Obama didn't try and stop this from happening. You'd accused him of being patriotic, cowardly, not using his position as president wisely. You would, in other words, be doing everything you're doing right now. Your hate for this president isn't based on facts, it's just a pre-existing, fill-in-the-blank template that needs to be exercised no matter what the excuse."

You mean unlike the hundreds of Americans who have died around the world in the last 8 years without Jones help?

Cowardly is being so afraid of demonstrations and riots overseas that you throw away the Bill of Rights here at home.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

'Ahhh, so now the gov't should be the thought police. I think you are going to have a hard time getting that dog to hunt."

The government damn well better be thinking! They actually thought enough about this guys actions to address him via television and phone conversation.

"So if you are afraid of the 6'5", 300 lb biker that walks up to you, do you think you are going to get a cop to arrest him because you are scared and you THINK he might want to hurt you? Does that make him a terrorist?"

Not only is that a "weak" arguement, I am not afraid of bikers.

"Your fears are your own, and you seem to think yours outweigh anyone else's. You emphasize "pastor" and "ACTUAL MEANING\AGENDA" like you know Jones' motives. You don't, anymore than I do when I think he's a sham looking for a spotlight."

These were not my personal fears, in fact I am pretty sure MY life would not be in immediate danger. These were however, the fears of world leaders, were they not?
If not, why did so many try to convince him not to proceed?
I emphasized "pastor", because in my opinion he was not acting like a 'man of the cloth.' The man obiviously has/had an agenda. I'm willing to bet that he knew what was at stake...hell, he admitted he was willing to give his life for 'his cause'. That would even have to give "you" an idea where this guys head was at...

Posted by: bertzel | September 11, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

If the Islamic world is threatened by what a tiny church in Florida does, then the Islamic world is simply not worthy of respect.

As a Christian, when a Muslim burns a Bible (and this happens all the time as "protest") I could not care less. What they are burning is just paper and cardboard. A copy of the Koran is nothing more than just paper and cardboard, too. If Islam contains any truth, that truth is unaffected by burning paper and cardboard. Infantile outrage over Koran burning merely underscores the fundamental weakness of the outraged.

As to the idea that we must curtail our liberties, or ask other people to do so, in order to quell Muslim anger, is profoundly offensive and incredibly short-sighted. Where does such accommodation and appeasement end?

Also, Muslim extremists killing Americans has been going on for decades. Burning Korans is no more a "recruiting tool" for Islamists than anything else we do. These people would kill us because we allow our women to wear short skirts. They want to impose Sharia law on us. This is their cardinal demand.

We are Americans. We are free. If the Muslims do not like it, too damn bad for them.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

END OBAMA's BURN IN HELL

Posted by: md18 | September 11, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

BERTZEL WROTE:

"These were not my personal fears, in fact I am pretty sure MY life would not be in immediate danger. These were however, the fears of world leaders, were they not?
If not, why did so many try to convince him not to proceed?"

This was an attempt by the Obama administration to score what it perceived to be political points for the fall. Do you think Petraeus made his statement on his own initiative? I won't repeat my prior posts, but read some of mine and ESPECIALLY read the one by squarebird. If you are a blog and comment junkie, as I am, you will find military people all over the internet who are upset by these Administration statements. They understand much better than these posters, or the administration for that matter, that calling off the burning was more of a victory for Al Queda than holding it would have been.

Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama, American politicians and religious leaders (including Muslims, Christians, Jews, others . . .) should say something like this to the world, particularly to the Muslim world:

"Look, people. The vast majority of us have loudly condemned this idiot Jones's plan as being ignorant and hateful, not to mention counterproductive and irresponsible. He represents a very small, if very annoying, minority. So if you still want to believe that all Americans hate all Muslims, you're being ignorant (and probably hateful) yourselves. Stop listening to thugs like bin Laden. And don't let your otherwise-justifiable distaste for his pathetic act of juvenile incivility provoke you to commit similar acts of your own. We've all seen the consequences of those fanatics who CLAIM to be your co-religionists. "Religious" violence, whatever/whoever the source, is and has been about the ugliest there is.

But notice this: in OUR country, we value freedom of conscience and the protection of personal liberty SO MUCH that we ALLOW so-narrow-minded-he-can-look-through-a-keyhole-with-both-eyes morons like Jones to be morons, however obnoxious they may be. Are YOU that tolerant in YOUR country? Until you are, don't start lecturing us."

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | September 11, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"Freedom of speech is one thing.
To commit an act, which knowingly will cause SEVERE consequences, around the world no less, is and should not be considered a right.. especially when it provokes terror in others."

I see. So if someone says to you, "Stop writing blog posts in the Washington Post, because if you do not stop, I will cut the throat of someone," you would see yourself as "provoking terror" if you continued to write blog posts.

Burning books is freedom of speech, no different in its essence from writing blog posts. Your logic, therefore, falls to pieces.

What you are really rationalizing, instead, is cowardice in the face of a bully. But cowardice in the face of a bully never makes him stop being a bully. It just increases his demands. At some point, you either become his vassal or you fight back. It's pretty clear where you stand.

The Islamists are on record as saying American entertainment (e.g., movies and TV) is a spiritual cancer and that they are deeply offended by it. This hatred of our culture animates much of their violence. They have said so in their annoucements, fatwas, and manifestoes. Will you next argue that Hollywood needs to be shut down?

If your logic can claim any consistency, then you must argue that we must modify our culture to meet their demands. And that's where giving away your liberties ultimately leads: to having none at all.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Lane is as crazy as that retarded preacher in Florida. We have well over 150,000 troops in two Islamic nations - waiting to be butchered if Jones torches their Koran. Every American in the world would be in danger of retaliation.

Somebody had to stop Jones - and it is a good thing Obama stepped in with his me, too.

Obama's problem is being perceived as a pro-Muslim politician when nerves are still frozen in time to nine years ago.

Posted by: alance | September 11, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

HEY IT'S NOT LIKE JONES THREATENED TO IMMERSE A LIKENESS OF JESUS CHRIST ON A CRUCIFIX IN A PLEXIGLAS TANK OF URINE OR ANYTHING LIGHTEN THE HELL UP.

blah blah blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Posted by: fourbuttons2003 | September 11, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse


Good blog, Lane.

Obama again showed the world that he is a weak leader who is cowering to the extreme Muslim groups who would be offended if Jones burned the Koran.

Obama did not defend Jones' right to free speech. Instead he wanted to stifle Jones' right because it would provoke violence by Islamic extremists.

Much like Imam Rauh gave a veiled threat that if he cannot build the mosque that it may also provoke violence by those extremists.

If you notice, the only time Obama mentions the Constitution is when he's defending an issue he favors. Otherwise, he tramples on it.

America has always defended free speech and stared down those who would threaten it. America is no coward.

However, Obama as our leader gives that perception of Americans.

Now those extremists will be more brazen and we have no one to thank but Obama. Will he then stand up to them or will he dither and downplay it as he did with the Ft. Hood extremist?

Posted by: janet8 | September 11, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

One wonders whether President Obama would have denounced avant garde artists displaying such provocative works as Piss Christ or Elephant Dung Mary?

For some reason I can't imagine liberals muzzling artists regardless of how tasteless or offensive their work was. It would seem as long as artistic expression is aimed at lampooning Western culture or Judeo-Christian religion anything goes.

Are the symbols of Muslim religion more deserving of respect? Or is it just the perpetual threat of violence from radical Islam that leads usually blase liberals to suddenly "get religion."

Posted by: millerroberta | September 11, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Face it!! OBAMA DOES NOT HAVE A CLUE!! He still thinks he is a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago with Rev Wright watching his back!

Posted by: wheeljc | September 11, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

alance wrote:

"Lane is as crazy as that retarded preacher in Florida. We have well over 150,000 troops in two Islamic nations - waiting to be butchered if Jones torches their Koran. Every American in the world would be in danger of retaliation."

So what will you say tomorrow if any American in the world is murdered? Will that be because someone CONSIDERED burning a Koran? The troops that are "waiting to be butchered" as you put it, don't seem very worried. Read the post by squarebird and others of this page. If 150,000 US troops are in danger from an organization that numbers at best maybe a few thousand, we should bring all of our troops everywhere in the world home, because clearly we are "outnumbered".

Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse


As disgusting as it gets. Even at the WaPo.

Nothing left at this zionist rag except the low class Lane types.

Talentless, snarky little brat. When will we get American papers again?

Posted by: whistling | September 11, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

The unfortunate Florida--so called--pastor who threatened to burn copies of the Quran is
no better than someone who thinks it's okay
to yell FIRE is a crowded movie theater. Not
caring about the adverse consequences of such an act was not the intent of our constitutional
founders.

Posted by: DeployedFan | September 11, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: whistling | September 11, 2010 5:34 PM

As disgusting as it gets. Even at the WaPo.

Nothing left at this zionist rag except the low class Lane types.

Talentless, snarky little brat. When will we get American papers again?
.......................................
I had not previously heard of the Washington Post referred to as a "Zionist rag" but this diatribe intrigued me. I did a Google search of the term "Zionist rag" and found the following newspapers and Magazines similarly described: The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, Time Magazine, and last and perhaps most puzzling, Sports Illustrated.

I would be curious if Whistling would reappear and enlighten us as to what he considers American papers?

Posted by: millerroberta | September 11, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me, but I thought the Secretray of War and the lead General in Afghanistan, also condemned Jones' bigotry. Why do you attack the President for doing the sane and same thing other than to be snarky and partisan?

Posted by: manv | September 11, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The only similarities between the planned Koran burning and the building of the Islamic Center near ground zero is that they would both be used by religious radicals to justify some violent reaction.

Posted by: chickenhead | September 11, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane seems to miss the point that at no time Obama attempted to stop the burning of the Koran by law enforcement. He implicitly admitted that he did not have the power to stop him, but he had to try very hard to dissuade him. The burning of the Koran would have been caused immense damage to the US in Muslim countries. That the people in Muslim countries are not sophisticated enough to understand the limits of political power in the US is unfortunate but that is the reality we must live with.

Posted by: serban1 | September 11, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Serban1. Wake up and smell the coffee people. This man Jones is a threat to American troops and it is the responsibility of the President of the United States to speak out on their behalf. We just happen to be in the mix. Open your little minds Mr. Lane. If you truly think about what this so called Pastor is doing you'll see that the words and actions that he's using is simply a terrorist act/threat. The only difference, he's a white man living on American turf. If this were a Muslim man making these threats on American turf he would have been arrested immediately.

Posted by: cbutafly14 | September 11, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Serban1. Wake up and smell the coffee people. This man Jones is a threat to American troops and it is the responsibility of the President of the United States to speak out on their behalf. We just happen to be in the mix. Open your little minds Mr. Lane. If you truly think about what this so called Pastor is doing you'll see that the words and actions that he's using is simply a terrorist act/threat. The only difference, he's a white man living on American turf. If this were a Muslim man making these threats on American turf he would have been arrested immediately.

Posted by: cbutafly14 | September 11, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Destroying things as a supposed part of "free speech" is stupid. Take it to psychotherapy. Sickos probably have the right to defecate and urinate on themselves too. I don't need to make noise to defend this "right". People should be encouraged to act sanely.

Posted by: Matthew_DC | September 11, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Matthew_DC: The United States Supreme Court has upheld burning the American flag as protected free speech. It's hard to argue that it is not speech. But forget setting a match to things. Let's suppose a billionaire pastor bought billboards in the urban areas, proclaiming Allah to be an immoral fraud.

I imagine you would object to this, too. Because, in your mind, it would not be "responsible." And what you deem not "responsible" should, in your mind, not be allowed.

If you really feel that way, you would be very comfortable in a totalitarian state.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It is quite interesting to see how Pastor Terry Jones folded so quickly when "official pressure" was put upon him. I would have loved to been the "fly on the wall" when this conversation was going on. Tho I disagree with the pastor vehemently, I agree with his freedom to do this in America. God bless America, land where freedom of speech is freer for some of us than it is for others.

Posted by: barrysal | September 11, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

"Excuse me, but I thought the Secretray of War and the lead General in Afghanistan, also condemned Jones' bigotry. Why do you attack the President for doing the sane and same thing other than to be snarky and partisan?"

Obama, Gates and military officers had no business whatsoever intervening in, or even commenting on, this matter. It's not the business of the United States Government to pressure a private American citizen not to express himself.

And if the government would have simply ignored the Florida "pastor," far less attention would have been paid to him. So officials of the government have, as usual, made the situation worse.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

"Open your little minds Mr. Lane. If you truly think about what this so called Pastor is doing you'll see that the words and actions that he's using is simply a terrorist act/threat. The only difference, he's a white man living on American turf. If this were a Muslim man making these threats on American turf he would have been arrested immediately."

This is almost embarrassing even to read. The only threat Jones made was against collections of paper and cardboard called books. Muslim terrorists, meanwhile, threaten and actually kill any human being who gets in their way.

To equate the two in any way is proof of extreme moral and intellectual poverty.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Lane wouldn't feel this way if the Nation of Islam were burning Bibles.

Posted by: mlrice710 | September 11, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure Lane wouldn't feel this way if the Nation of Islam were burning Bibles."

And President Obama--if he could be pulled away from his difficult schedule of serial vacationing and golf outings--would run to the microphone to condemn any American who objected to the Bible-burning as undermining the "tolerance" that made this country great.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Its nice to see all you libbies out in force today, I know its been a tough week with "the stupid one" giving speeches and sticking his foot, ankle deep in his mouth. I especially liked the blame all republican and his gentle reminder that he inherited this mess for the thousand time. Maybe Iman Obama will get on the American train but I doubt it. He's more likely to approve of Sharia law by executive order then agree with the majority of American on anything. I can see November from my house.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | September 11, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Thank You Mr. Lane for saying the obivous!!
The Emperor has no clothes on - the Annointed One is totally lacking in LOGIC!
How else could he totally IGNORE the fact that JONES has the RIGHT to burn the Koran.
BHO REFUSED to comment on the WISDOM of placing the mosque on Ground Zero, but immediately shot down Jones. I agree that Jones was UNWISE - but so is the IMAM Rauf! Obama is ALSO UNWISE!

Posted by: LastLaugh | September 11, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Pastor Jones' right to burn a book is protected by the first amendment in the general sense. One should not overlook the constraints that come with every protected right.

In this case the constraint refers to a court opinion, Schenck v US, 1879, the first amendment offers no protection to the person who "shouts fire in a crowded auditorium."

I do not like the us of the "military or country safety" rationale either. But, one should consider if, in this circumstance, the fire in the auditorium notion applies. I believe it does.

Mr. Lane, if you are going to discuss the Constitution, please be sure to talk about its constraints as well as its protections.

Posted by: pbarnett52 | September 11, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Hay people be careful don't burn obamasbook he reads to his children at bed time it will make him mad and want to put a boot on your neck even though this book is unholly it has no God in it. Show me in the KJV bible where it says islum is one of the chosen people,they aren't and there idle worship will send them to hell why do you think they want us dead,so they can take our place in Gods eys but it will not work even if they kill us all Gob will not take take them because of there hatrid,and belive me they will use nuks.if they can. They are waiting for iran to come through with there nuks. and we are just sitting around on our fat rear ends and they will do it.The only one we can blame is obama for protecting his brothers.

Posted by: br5491 | September 11, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. (hopeless moron) Lane,

Since that horrible day 9 years ago, we have struggled mightily against the temptation to step over the bounds so clearly stated in our Constitution. Under the prior administration there was a strong sense of "so what - they attacked us and send hit squads for my papa" attitude.

Pres. Obama's response to this wing nut in FL (Who'da thunk we'd find any there!) was minimal. Given the threat to national security his offensive and moronic stunt posed, Dick Nixon would have had J. Edgar off him (accidentally, of course)!

The State is required to permit political and religious speech in any form, but is unconstrained in answering it VERBALLY when it is wrong and is required to when it poses a direct threat to national security.

May all of our 24 hour hour "WHAT'S THE MOST SENSATIONAL NON-STORY WORKING" media burn longer and slower than a succulent SC pig roasting at a 4-day a week BBQ (at least the pig will have served a good use!)

That a fringe wing nut like this needs more public attention than the John Birch idiots of the 50s is only another indication of how horribly our educational system is regressing.

Posted by: fr3dmars | September 11, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Great analysis that points out the inconsistencies of Obama's pathetic attempts at using the bully pulpit. Certainly we don't want the heavy hand of government twisting the arms of every American citizen who engages in protest or incites the anger of peaceful jihadists. www.oneconservativevoice.wordpress.com

Posted by: rhondaonecvoice | September 11, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Just giving to Muslim blackmail. American Liberals are very good at appeasement the black race baiter's like Rev. Sharpton. Rev. Wright & Jackson have been blackmailing American liberal for years!

Posted by: american1 | September 11, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Just giving to Muslim blackmail. American Liberals are very good at appeasement the black race baiter's like Rev. Sharpton. Rev. Wright & Jackson have been blackmailing American liberal for years!

Posted by: american1 | September 11, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Just giving to Muslim blackmail. American Liberals are very good at appeasement the black race baiter's like Rev. Sharpton. Rev. Wright & Jackson have been blackmailing American liberal for years!

Posted by: american1 | September 11, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Fire in a crowded theater is the worst analogy possible. Jones, idiot though he is threatened no one. He committed no act of violence. He did not call for others to commit acts of violence. He was more in danger from others threatening him than vice versa. The possible violence and rioting by other in other countries can NEVER be considered in a 1st Amendment case. That would clearly be insane, and the death of our freedom of speech. Why do all of you excoriate OUR Bill of Rights to silence this guy and consider it a victory?

This was an attempt by the Obama administration to score what it perceived to be political points for the fall elections. Do you think Petraeus made his statement on his own initiative? I won't repeat my prior posts, but read some of mine and ESPECIALLY read the one by squarebird. If you are a blog and comment junkie, as I am, you will find military people all over the internet who are upset by these Administration statements. They understand much better than these posters, or the administration for that matter, that calling off the burning was more of a victory for Al Queda than holding it would have been.

Today,Islamic extremism won a crushing victory over our nation, without ever firing a shot.


Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

There are several alarming issues here.
1. It is apparently now US policy to try to appease our enemies for simply threatening violence.
2. Expect to see a big push to make whatever the government thinks is hate speech illegal.
3. The president of the United States a constitutional scholar, chose to use the power of his office to pressure an American Citizen for doing nothing but exercising his free speech rights.
4. Everybody and their brother in law are taking the position that the guy burning the Koran is responsible for potential violence perpetrated by others, namely Islamic extremists. Sadly no one appears to be pointing the finger at the people actually committing violence.
5. The US military directly involved themselves in and pressured an American citizen to prevent him from exercising free speech.

What in the world happened to my country???

Posted by: hdc77494 | September 11, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

The president saying that there are no laws that would allow him to take away a citizen's right to free speech is not the same thing as actually defending that right. It's an alarming and cowardly answer.

Posted by: hdc77494 | September 11, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

pbarnett52: Your logic is horribly flawed. Shouting in a crowded theater is an act of malice, no different from reassuring someone about to drive off a cliff that there is no cliff to worry about. The intent of the speech is to cause harm. Moreover, in no sense is shouting fire in a theater akin to political protest.

Jones' Koran burning, on the other hand, is nothing but political or religious expression. It contains no intrinsic violence at all toward any person. No Muslim anywhere in the world will be harmed by someone burning a Koran in Florida. Sure, they may be upset about it, but someone else's emotions are insufficient reason to surrender our liberties.

(Many Muslims appear to be touchy about many things. Perhaps they need to realize humanity does not revolve around their peculiar ideas. Since none of their societies practice meaningful tolerance, why should we spend a millisecond making ours less tolerant in order to sooth their petulant opinions?)

And if Muslims decide to adopt the Koran burning as a pretext to continue their campaign of violence, we should be intelligent enough to understand it's only a pretext, and not the cause.


Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Muslims have achieved a lot through violence and terror and threat of violence. Obama and other libs are helping Muslims.

Posted by: rajneeshiK | September 11, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@hdc77494: You raise excellent points. The Obama Administration elevated this strange pastor into a front-page story. If not for the Obama administration, the Koran burning would have been a non-story.

And you are correct: the specter of a military officer telling a private citizen what sort of political or religious expression he should have, is appalling. That's not the way this country works. I like David Petraeus, but I believe he should be immediately cashiered from the Army for this conduct.

And when the Republicans take back at least one house of Congress in January, there should be a public investigation into whether the Obama Administration forced Petraeus to commit this gross and un-American impertinence.

The last thing this country needs is military officers telling people what they should or should not say. That is a very dangerous road.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

@rajneeshiK: I agree. Radical Muslims have a de facto friend in Obama. He will apologize for them and to them. He will rationalize their behavior. He will equate Hezbollah and Israel. He will blame America or Americans for their murder. Time and again, we have seen this trait in Obama and his cabinet members.

And even when Obama purports to make war on the radical Islamists, he effectively does so with an wink and nod. "Don't worry about this surge in Afghanistan. It's all for show. We're leaving next year, anyway. So kill some of our guys and then just wait us out."

Under Obama, America is going to lose this phase of the War on Terror. Winning a war requires a commander in chief who believes in victory. Obama has explicitly said he does not believe in victory.

Fortunately, 2013 will almost certainly see a new president--and just about any president will be better than the current one.


Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lane, as well as many of the people commenting on this article, has gotten it all wrong. The President did not missuse or abuse his position by coming out and saying that Rev. Jones' demonstration was a very stupid thing to do. I will first like to remind everyone that we are not just fighting the enemy on the battlefield, we are also fighting them in the media, and on the internet. This enemy is using every means at its disposal to wage their evil campaign. When we first began this conflict, the planners told us that we had to be prepared to fight a long and unpopular war against a very resourceful and determined enemy. For all the gains we have made on the field of battle, we have lost just as much in the battle being wage via the media. We have been loosing the propaganda war for some years now. Every time a tape of Bin Laden is released, all the major networks air it, enabling Bin Laden to reach a wider audience. Everytime there's a bombing or attempted bombing, the media airs it, dissects it to no end, and then finds someone to blame for not stopping it or knowing about it before the event takes place. All of this coverage only lends more credibility to their evil cause by letting them know that their movement still has the strenght and resources to strike the enemy. And now, here we are arguing over our 1st amendment rights and our freedom of religion. We are becoming the very hypocrites that the enemy professes us to be to their followers and those who are on the fence about joining their cause. As Americans we need to stop the partisanship, stop being so divided and unify about upholding each American's Constitutional Rights whether we agree with them or not. As a Retired Soldier who has served in Iraq, believe me when I say that Burning a Qu'ran would only do harm to those servicemenbers who are still serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, because it really would embolden more fence dwellers to join the fray and take up arms against us. So I for one am happy Rev. Jones changed his mind. We need to stop doing things that continue to cause us to loose the propaganda war. President Bush always made it a point to say that we were not in a war against islam, but a war against radicals who want to missuse a peaceful religon for evil purposes. He knew what was at stake if he did not stress this point to everyone around the world. We never questioned him or said he was wrong for making those kind of statments. I ask, so what has changed that some continue to ridicule President Obama and question his leadership when he makes the same statments as President Bush, with regards to religous intolerence and the US not being in a war against islam? Are we really a nation of hypocrits? I for one believe we are not.

Posted by: pebrooks | September 11, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

"As a Retired Soldier who has served in Iraq, believe me when I say that Burning a Qu'ran would only do harm to those servicemenbers who are still serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, because it really would embolden more fence dwellers to join the fray and take up arms against us."

I take it you do not see the problem with your logic. Here it is: You seem to saying: "But for what we do, the Islamic radicals would instead be nice people." Don't provoke them, don't challenge them. Just let them tell us how to live and all will be well.

You may not realize your sentiments are a victory for them, but it is true. And if we do not protest their ideology now, what is next?

What if they make a demand that Hollywood stop making movies with sexual content because it offends them? What will you do then?

What if some Muslims do in the USA what they have done in Canada and Europe--demand that their neighborhoods be governed under Sharia law, and if we object, well, there might be violence? What will you do then?

If your logic is consistent, you would tell Hollywood to stop making movies with sex because, after all, smut may embolden the "fence sitters."

If your logic is consistent, you would cave to the Muslims wanting Sharia law to replace U.S. law in Muslim-majority communities. You would cave because your highest priority appears to be appeasing the radicals.

And isn't tolerance a two-way street? While a crank pastor or two wants to burn a few Korans, the Muslims for whose sensibilities you have such a touching concern have been beheading or torturing Christian missionaries for centuries.

Is burning a Koran somehow worse than that?

Or should we not bring up the 1400 years of Muslim atrocities aimed at "infidels" because, gosh, it just might upset them?

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

No one has said Jones does not have the right to burn books. What Obama did was simply state the truth of what the action would result in. Had Obama stood by while a citizen put troops in harms way, he would be called out for it. Obama did the constitutional thing, he pointed out the truth and did not take away the rights of Jones. Well done Obama!

Posted by: Fate1 | September 11, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it was pretty outrageous. The soft racism of low expectation is alive and well amongst progressives. As for the angry Arab street - we can't live our lives and practice our liberties in fear and subjugation. http://bethsaidafigtree.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/rage-on-the-one-way-street/

Posted by: nomasir | September 12, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Readers of this article and Mr. Lane will greatly benefit by reading Talal Asad's "Formations of the Secular". It might help them think about the liberal promise of free speech/democracy and about Islam/Middle East in more nuanced and less intellectually repugnant ways.

Posted by: stareen1 | September 12, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

"Is burning a Koran somehow worse than that?
Or should we not bring up the 1400 years of Muslim atrocities aimed at "infidels" because, gosh, it just might upset them?"
Posted by: SARileyMan

So you seem to be saying the wars we are involved in are not against specific terrorists or nations, but are against Islam. Bin Laden has said as much, so you agree with bin Laden it seems. But it is the policy of the USA that we are in no war with a religion but are instead in a war with extremists and terrorists who happen to be muslim. Had you been around in 1942 would you have advocated burning the Catholic's bibles (Germany is like 90% Catholic)?

The first thing anyone deciding to wage war should understand is that you need to know your enemy. You do not seem to know America's enemies.

Posted by: Fate1 | September 12, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 11, 2010 11:54 PM

I do not care if Muslims play nice. Nor do I care if Muslims protest in the streets of any American city. You are free to protest their Ideology, protest their religion,a nd protest the very existance of thier being because you are a American living in a country whose laws allow you the freedon to do so. What I care about more then anything else is that we do all we can to prevent the unnecessary lose of American lives, by being smart about how we as Americans conduct this war on terror. Our ideals and beliefs speak for themselves. And please do not dilute what I am saying with issues or subjects that have nothing to do with my statement. Furthermore, your arugment that I am somehow caving into muslims is absurd. If you read my statement you would have clearly understood my position, which would have prevented you making such a ridiculous accusation. Its very easy to call to arms when you have no intention of going yourself....isn't it? Rule of thumb, never question the motives or beliefs of a military man..especailly when you have no concept of being one yourself or how to even wage war..

Posted by: pebrooks | September 12, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

@fate1: The Islamists have made this war explicitly about religion. It is they who define this war in theological terms. It is they who recruit terrorists in theological terms. It is they who justify their extreme barbarity in theological terms.

If it is USA policy not to recognize that this is, in the minds of the enemy, a religious war, then USA policy is misguided. You cannot ignore the fundamental purpose the aggressors are making war on us and expect to have success. The goal of the Islamists is the extermination of Western liberties because those liberties conflict with their religious ideology.

You seem to be saying that because our enemy defines clothes itself in religious terms, we cannot criticize that religion. This is like saying: "Gosh, please don't criticize or ridicule Hitler, as it will just make the Nazis fight harder." It is not logic; it's a perversion of logic.

Here's a question: In Europe they are censoring literature and cartoons critical of Islam. Is that good in your eyes? If you're consistent in your logic, you must endorse that censorship. Do you?

For someone preaching about understanding our enemies, you seem woefully inadequate to the task.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 12, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

@pebrooks: Most military men and women I know are not ostentatious about the fact they are military men and women. I am a former Army officer myself. That fact adds nnothing to my comments, and the fact that you wore the uniform adds nothing to yours. So let's dispense with that nonsense.

Military men are not infallible, and a strong argument could be made that today's Army is more concerned with being politically correct than in perfecting and executing the art of destroying the enemy. Indeed, when a Muslim officer massacred over a dozen troops in Texas, and did so in the name of his faith, the top Army general's main lament was that this latest example of Muslim butchery would set back the efforts to make the Army "more diverse."

Given this kind of blather from the top, maybe an Army pedigree today is not such a good prism through which to see and understand things, eh?

When you ask Americans to stop exercising their rights because such exercise will inflame our enemies, you are indeed "caving" into the extremists. There's no other way to put it. And this is true whether or not you ever learned the Soldier's Creed.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 12, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

What about the Wikileaks, and the papers published last year from the CIA, and the ACLU going after the government about the photos... all those things also put our troops in danger and nobody did or does a big thing about them....?

Posted by: UnaArgentina | September 12, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Obama is arrogant and contradicts himself.
You cannot honestly defend the rights of the WTC Mosque builders and also condem and not acknowledge the right of a Florida pastor to burn the Koran.

Both are offensive and both are legal acts in this country.

Muslims are getting special treatment by Obama because of their propensity to commit violence without thinking logically.
A cartoon, a burning of a book...what ever they dont like...they take to the streets with the "Death to America" business.

Is Obama going to get a rough draft of all the cartoons including south park episodes?? To make sure they have removed all the potentially Muslim offensive material?

This is a free country. Islamic countries dont understand freedom of thought or religion.

Posted by: jalexander11 | September 12, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

@ SARileyMan: Waging war is about being precise in how you attack your enemy. You define the enemy, you analyize his strenghts and weaknesses...and you create a plan to exploit him at every point you can. Islam did not attack America, radical islamist did. Islam is not waging a war against American, radical islamist are. What you fail to see is that you cannot castigate a entire religon for the actions of a few. Also, no one is making the arugment to not criticize Islam, we are making the point to not confuse the actions of a few with their religous beliefs; even if they use it as the motive for thier actions. As for Europe, their laws allow them to do that; we could never get away with censoring anything here in America.. Damn...there goes that 1st Amendment again. I have spent years understanding our enemy and I have taken that knowledge and put it to good use. Maybe you should also spend some time understanding our enemy.... I think you would then understand what their true motivations are. We are dealing with fanatics unlike any we have ever seen in the history of this nation. When I man is so motivated to strap a bomb to hisself and run into a crowded tent, dining hall, shopping mall, or even run head-on into a moving military vehicle...you have truley met someone who is dedicated to their belief...as skewed as it may be.

Posted by: pebrooks | September 12, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Obama is arrogant and contradicts himself.
You cannot honestly defend the rights of the WTC Mosque builders and also condem and not acknowledge the right of a Florida pastor to burn the Koran.

Both are offensive and both are legal acts in this country.

Muslims are getting special treatment by Obama because of their propensity to commit violence without thinking logically.
A cartoon, a burning of a book...what ever they dont like...they take to the streets with the "Death to America" business.

Is Obama going to get a rough draft of all the cartoons including south park episodes?? To make sure they have removed all the potentially Muslim offensive material?

This is a free country. Islamic countries dont understand freedom of thought or religion.

Posted by: jalexander11 | September 12, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

@UnaArgentina:

Excellent point! I do think Obama took three or four minutes away from his golf game to make a murmur of protest about Wikileaks. That's about it.

And, of course, those leaks are felonies deserving of criminal prosecution because the documents were stolen. The silly Florida pastor was going to commit no crime, yet Obama beat a path to the microphone to talk about it and made sure it became front-page news.


Posted by: SARileyMan | September 12, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

@SARileyMan: I wear my pedigree as a Soldier proudly and I believe it does have a place in my argument. I not only know the Soldiers Creed, I also know the Code of Conduct, my Genral Orders, the Laws of War, the NCO Creed, and the Rules of Engagement. The Army Values I lived by for over 30 years...still shapes me to this day. This Sir is not nonsense..it is truth seen through a prism that has been shaped by years of experience and knowledge gleemed from some of the best and brightest men and women who have ever served in uniform. Lastly, I would agree with you on one point...which is your being a Army Officer adds nothing to your argument.. That Sir, is the most accurate of all your statements in this forum.

Posted by: pebrooks | September 12, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

@pebrooks: You wrote: ". Islam is not waging a war against American, radical islamist are."

Well, Islam cannot wage war or eat breakfast, for that matter. Islam is a set of religious ideas.

On the other hand, it is Muslims who are waging war against us. They are doing so in the name of their faith. You call them "radical," as if that modifier somehow makes a difference. Every Nazi was a fanatic. This did not mean we were not at war with Germany as a whole.

You wrote: "We are dealing with fanatics unlike any we have ever seen in the history of this nation."

First, this is not true. The Japanese in World War Two were the epitome of fanatics. We had to destroy them one island at a time across the Pacific in unimaginably bloody fighting, and obliterate two of their cities with atomic bombs. We lost more men at Iwo Jima in a fortnight killing those fanatics than we have lost in the whole war on terror. It is simply not true that we have not faced and defeated nihilist evil before.

Second, how many "fanatics"? Do you know? Do you have any idea at all? Is it one percent of Muslims or ten percent or fifty?

When the Muslims blew up our troops in Baghdad, an awful lot of Muslims helped them do it and silently applauded it. This is true, as you know.

So, we're not talking about a tiny sliver of Muslims. We're talking about a significant fraction of Muslims who are, in some way or another, abetting the violence against our people.

And, you know, we really do not hear a lot from the supposed majority of good Muslims, do we? Why is that? If there were a such a big, committed majority opposed to the Islamists, they would stamp out the tiny fraction of Islamists overnight.

From the way you and others talk about this situation, you seem to want us to believe that just a few thousand Islamic "radicals" are making the other 1,200,000,000 good Muslims cower in fear and silence.

That's a ridiculous idea. The notion that only a tiny sliver of Muslims wish us ill is laughable. Our enemy in this war is a large fraction of the Muslim population. How large I do not know. But it's a lot more than just a "tiny minority."

And it's time we face up to that, rather than appeasing their sensibilities.

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 12, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

@SARileyMan: So by your argument, the only recourse we have if we are to win this war on Islam "as you choose to call it"..is to fully exterminate all Muslims from America and the face of the earth. If this is your true position, then wouldn't that make your beliefs more like Hitler's with regards to the Jews?

Posted by: pebrooks | September 12, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

First, the Constitutional amendment granting freedom of speech applies to the government infringing on the individual's expression. Second, you're forgetting the reason the Founding Fathers deemed it necessary to protect said expression. In a democracy, debate is fundamental. For some reason most Americans seem to think that free speech means you can say anything you want, and everybody else must accept it as being true because it is your right to say it. The freedom to say something doesn't impregnate the statement with truth.

A concept from Mill's On Liberty: all ideas should be expressed and debated, for it is the collision of two ideas that will prove which is better or result in a combination of the two. But in our sound-byte media, debate and opposition aren't important. The President did what any American who cares about this country should do: question intolerance.

Posted by: TomJoad1980 | September 12, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

The Muslims incinerated 3,000 men and women and children nine years ago today.

Our president, the leader of the free world, our commander-in-chief, is terribly afraid of the reaction abroad if one Koran is incinerated by a pastor no one has ever heard of.

Muslims run riot with far less provocation - cartoons for example. Our leaders are afraid of what might happen if we protested the murders of 3,000 of our citizens.

Somehow, I suspect Obama has - again - gotten things backwards.

By the way, does anyone have an estimate of the number of American flags that have been burned by Muslims?

This is beyond mere appeasement and is instead rank cowardice. I'm quite certain it's recognized as such by our enemies, even though the gobvernment and our clueless media pretend otherwise.

Posted by: rick0101 | September 12, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

The Muslims incinerated 3,000 men and women and children nine years ago today.

Our president, the leader of the free world, our commander-in-chief, is terribly afraid of the reaction abroad if one Koran is incinerated by a pastor no one has ever heard of.

Muslims run riot with far less provocation - cartoons for example. Our leaders are afraid of what might happen if we protested the murders of 3,000 of our citizens.

Somehow, I suspect Obama has - again - gotten things backwards.

By the way, does anyone have an estimate of the number of American flags that have been burned by Muslims?

This is beyond mere appeasement and is instead rank cowardice. I'm quite certain it's recognized as such by our enemies, even though the gobvernment and our clueless media pretend otherwise.

Posted by: rick0101 | September 12, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

@pebrooks: You are now being dishonest. I did not say we should exterminate Muslims. I said we should realize that a significant fraction of them are trying to exterminate us.

And I said it is not for us a religious war, but for the enemy it is explicitly a religious war.

And if the enemy is defining this war in religious terms, then the absolute _worst_ thing we can ever do is sacrifice or limit important elements of our culture (i.e., free speech) to appease the enemy.

As Osama Bin Laden said, "America is the weak horse, and people want to go with the strong horse." Well, the president of the United States telling citizens they cannot criticize Islam in a certain way because it may offend our enemies.... well, it does not get more of a "weak horse" than that.

Is this really that hard for you to follow?

Apparently so!

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 12, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

@TomJoad: You wrote: "The President did what any American who cares about this country should do: question intolerance."

I guess it's just coincidence, then, that Mr. Obama's lectures on tolerance are almost always aimed at Americans--and almost never aimed at, say, Muslim fanatics, Chinese authoritarians, Russian thugs, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, or take your pick of African genociders.

Yep, just a coincidence!

Posted by: SARileyMan | September 12, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama sees America differently from the majority of his constituents. Why not? He's different from the majority of Americans. He hasn't, as pointed out in this article, had his Secretary of Defense call the imam to ask that the Muslims move the site of the new NYC mosque. I don't remember reading that the invoked the Constitution to defend Rev. Jones' desire to protest. In my case, Obama has lost nothing. I didn't vote for him and I will stay the course.

Posted by: Auburninbp | September 12, 2010 1:53 AM | Report abuse

A NON-ISSUE ISSUE!

This president does NOT know HOW to BE president. A moron down South threatens to BURN another religion's "BOOK," and this president and his administration take it PUBLIC and make it a "national" priority!

Now, IF the moron in Florida WAS a "threat" to soliders, and to other Americans, the RIGHT thing to do by this president would have been to quietly order the MORON to be taken into custody for putting this nation AT-RISK without all the MEDIA attention, etc.

This was much ado about nothing when this president MADE it "something."

The Moron in Florida is just as Moronic as the Morons in Afghanistan who put up a bogus "protest" when their personages have been destroying their own people, children, women, AND religious texts for centuries.

Let them demonstrate against the U.S. all the whiie the U.S. LEAVES that corrupt region to themselves. And, IF the other Morons actually acquire Pakistan's WMD's, the U.S, Russia, China, England, France and "Other" nuclear nations should make SHORT work of those with those weapons so that it never can occur in and by that region.

This "issue" is NOT about Religion, but about POWER that this president does not understand how to wield.

Now THERE'S an "issue!"

Posted by: gglenc | September 12, 2010 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Most comments spot on.

"...the president of the United States broadcast his fear that a U.S. citizen's exercise of his liberty will provoke Muslim violence..."

The Muslims will NEVER be satisfied, and if you think that you could exercise American-like 1st Amendment rights under Muslim control and Sharia law, you are crazy.

Keep your backbone, Rev. Jones, and speak out. Nothing gained by recanting, as you know.

Posted by: PaultheConsultantGuy | September 12, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

If Bush had called the NY Times leadership and said "Reconsider the General Betrayus ads from Move.On, or else" the American Left would have lost whatever mind they had remaining. The scary part is that this Koran burning chump can't do anywhere near the damage that the NY Times did. Their coverage so emboldened the enemy, they might as well have picked up a sniper rifle and shot at our troops.

Posted by: JohnnyGee | September 12, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't Obama support his constitutional right to burn the koran but not comment on the wisdom? Because he's white!

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | September 12, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

An excellent blog! Thank you for so well articulating my thoughts on this issue!

Posted by: Hadas1 | September 12, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

When the next American is murdered abroad, will we blame that on Jones too? How long can we make the connection? Are the next 100 deaths his, and then he gets out of prison so to speak?

Did Jones play a role in the deaths of all the previous Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan? Did Islamic extremists know that he was THINKING about this? So now we know we can't burn a Koran. How much farther should the President go? If disreputable people like Jones only plan to have a public READING of the most violent passages in the Koran should he be disusaded from doing that too?

Where is the end point of our suppression of our rights?

Posted by: 54465446 | September 12, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse


5446544 wrote:

"This was an attempt by the Obama administration to score what it perceived to be political points for the fall elections. Do you think Petraeus made his statement on his own initiative?

"I won't repeat my prior posts,"
but read some of mine and ESPECIALLY read the one by squarebird. If you are a blog and comment junkie, as I am, you will find military people all over the internet who are upset by these Administration statements. They understand much better than these posters, or the administration for that matter, that calling off the burning was more of a victory for Al Queda than holding it would have been.

Today,Islamic extremism won a crushing victory over our nation, without ever firing a shot.
Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 11:01 PM

I took your advice and you DID REPEAT your prior posts....

Posted by: bertzel | September 12, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse


5446544 wrote:

"This was an attempt by the Obama administration to score what it perceived to be political points for the fall elections. Do you think Petraeus made his statement on his own initiative?

"I won't repeat my prior posts,"
but read some of mine and ESPECIALLY read the one by squarebird. If you are a blog and comment junkie, as I am, you will find military people all over the internet who are upset by these Administration statements. They understand much better than these posters, or the administration for that matter, that calling off the burning was more of a victory for Al Queda than holding it would have been.

Today,Islamic extremism won a crushing victory over our nation, without ever firing a shot.
Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 11:01 PM

I took your advice and you DID REPEAT your prior posts....

Posted by: bertzel | September 12, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse


5446544 wrote:

"This was an attempt by the Obama administration to score what it perceived to be political points for the fall elections. Do you think Petraeus made his statement on his own initiative?

"I won't repeat my prior posts,"
but read some of mine and ESPECIALLY read the one by squarebird. If you are a blog and comment junkie, as I am, you will find military people all over the internet who are upset by these Administration statements. They understand much better than these posters, or the administration for that matter, that calling off the burning was more of a victory for Al Queda than holding it would have been.

Today,Islamic extremism won a crushing victory over our nation, without ever firing a shot.
Posted by: 54465446 | September 11, 2010 11:01 PM

I took your advice and you DID REPEAT your prior posts....

Posted by: bertzel | September 12, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

BTW..multipule above postings...not my doing tho quite amusing considering my prior comment.
Would like to add...5446544, you are really grasping here...Ever hear the comment, "two wrongs do not make a right?"

Posted by: bertzel | September 12, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

bertzel wrote:

"Ever hear the comment, "two wrongs do not make a right?""

Yes, I laughed as you did at the triple posting. I did plagiarize myself because I find some of what I read so incomprehensible.

As to your above statement, I actually believe the President was right about the mosque, although not politically wise, and defended him on these pages. He was wrong on the Jones, so I give him 1 for 2.

Neither you nor any toher poster on here has adressed my central premise however. If Jones was going to cause all this trouble and was stopped, why won't the killing end with this?


Posted by: 54465446 | September 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"...
Surely there are better reasons to not burn the Qu'ran. Maybe the Washington Post could have a contest to see who can come up with one. "

How about because nobody can compete with the burning of the library at Alexandria or the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan: We can't be sure of exactly who burned the library and why but there's no doubt about which bunch of bigots perpetrated the latter destruction or their religion and their relative outperformance of anything Pstor Jones might do.

Posted by: JohnSutton1 | September 12, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"... Surely there are better reasons to not burn the Qu'ran. Maybe the Washington Post could have a contest to see who can come up with one."
How about because it can't compete with the destruction of the statues of Bamiyan (one to rub into the wounds of every affronted Moslem who did not protest at the time) -- or for that matter with the destruction of the Library at Alexandria, although we can't be certain about who exactly perpetrated the latter destruction or why.

Posted by: JohnSutton1 | September 12, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it was pretty outrageous. The soft racism of low expectation is alive and well amongst progressives. As for the angry Arab street - we can't live our lives and practice our liberties in fear and subjugation. http://bethsaidafigtree.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/rage-on-the-one-way-street/

Posted by: nomasir | September 12, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Burn a koran daily until obama agrees to release his full birth certificate.

Posted by: steveb777 | September 12, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

So, if tomorrow I with some 50 loony followers of mine stage a Bible or Torah burning, would Obama urge me not to do it? Or there need to be violent protests in Vatican or Spain or Jerusalem, with Christians or Jews burning stuff and killing each other for that to happen?

Posted by: pihto999 | September 12, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

And people wonder why they think he's a muslim. (Which I personally do not) There is the right to build a mosque at Ground Zero, but not to burn the Koran. Personally, I'm against both. But this is a glaring double-standard by the President.

Posted by: bellagrazi | September 12, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, this is too delicious. Mr. Lane is venting the sort of oh-so-self-righteous cant that he constantly holds up as the bailiwick of The Left.

Odd that he doesn't see anything wrong with a thunderous horde of rabblerousers telling Americans to move their community center, but it's incredibly ominous if the President criticizes the craziest expression of right-wing free speech.

And he's even evoked an amen chorus of folks who don't care what Obama says, if he says it, it Must be wrong.

I think you should all enjoy your coven together.

Posted by: thmas | September 13, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Muslim response to Christian site of worship in Indonesia.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11279317

Group hug.

Posted by: jamesnic | September 13, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Muslim response to Christian site of worship in Indonesia.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11279317

Group hug.

Posted by: jamesnic | September 13, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Lane,
Your following statement is misplaced,a gross and foul understanding of the freedom of expression:" Obama should have condemned what Jones wanted to do, but defended unequivocally his right to do it."

The President was right-his position was both ethical and protective of US national security.

Posted by: asizk | September 13, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree, the President should not have weighed in on this. Likewise, the media is largely at fault for giving Jones, a nobody leader of about 50 people, so much non-stop coverage and creating this firestorm. But hmmm, why was Obama worried that Jones' actions might provoke retaliatory attacks on our troops? Isn't Islam a peaceful and non-violent religion?

Posted by: lynnb1 | September 13, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

In my opinion, this writer (Lane) borders on treason! What happened to the right wingers screaming "it is un-patriotic to criticize our President in a time of war" when their "saviour" W. Bush was in power? Hypocrits all.

Posted by: ginger470132 | September 13, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

King Wem.
Sorry to burst your bubble. Generally,Malaysian are nice people but the main races, namely the Malays (mainly muslims, Chinese and Indians hate each other's guts. We are tolerant only to each other but decades of special treatment towards the Malays have caused a lot friction amongst them and racial riots are conveniently hushed up. That's why, non muslims if they have the chance and money , are leaving the country and guess where .. they are going to the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and so on.

Posted by: penny_5959 | September 13, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

King Wem.
Sorry to burst your bubble. Generally,Malaysian are nice people but the main races, namely the Malays (mainly muslims, Chinese and Indians hate each other's guts. We are tolerant only to each other but decades of special treatment towards the Malays have caused a lot friction amongst them and racial riots are conveniently hushed up. That's why, non muslims if they have the chance and money , are leaving the country and guess where .. they are going to the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and so on.

Posted by: penny_5959 | September 13, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Lincoln, Obama's favorite president, would have had Jones thrown into the slammer for threatening actions that went against the war effort. Liberties are often curtailed - for better or for worse - during wartime; and we are at war.

For that matter, Lincoln may well have shut down WaPo for printing this viewpoint. He did that sort of thing in the North when editorials came out in support of the Rebel cause.

Jones had the right to burn the Koran, but doing so would have been an act of treason. I have a suspicion that Secretary Gates made that clear to him.

Posted by: GlennBeckReview | September 13, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm a bit older than you, so you won't remember, but it reminded me in an eerie and creepy way of President Nixon.

Posted by: MikeMcLamara | September 13, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

We need to ask ourselves, what or who exactly are we afraid of here?

Hint: The answer is neither an obscure southern pastor with quaint ideas or the notion of a political demonstration involving the desecration of something held sacred by someone else.

And so it goes...

Posted by: pgould1 | September 13, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

As for freedom of speech,give a person an inch and they take a yard...Jones is a fine example...

Posted by: jeanlovegrove | September 13, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Pres. Obama took the right approach and tone.

Posted by: rlj1 | September 13, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The Koran was in Arabic, written several centuries ago, is convoluted and therefore difficult to display a unified message.

The president speaks for to the world every time he speaks. It's always an opportunity to teach. It's easy to teach US conventions and rights. It's not so easy to teach what is both good and bad about the Koran.

Posted by: Tony-KS | September 13, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I just about choked when i read "Obama should have condemned what Jones wanted to do, but defended unequivocally his right to do it." What crap. No-one has a "right" to burn the Koran: simply, in the US one cannot be charged with a legal offence for doing it. There is a huge difference. And since when does an action-burning the Koran, killing abortionists -equate with protected "free speech"? For Obama to suggest it is defensible behaviour to burn the Koran in the US because there is no law against it offends against decency, judgement, and civility. Obama was perfectly correct in what he said.

Posted by: eyendall2 | September 13, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

eyendall2 - Question?

Are you really equating "burning the Koran" with "killing abortionists"? Talk about over the top!

It's legal to burn books in the U.S. It's also legal to burn American flags, pictures and dummies of a President, and wicker men. It's even legal to burn a picture of Mohammad.

Burning of various objects has been determined by the U.S. courts to be free speech. Since freedom of speech is a "right", people do have a right to burn a Koran, a Bible, or the U.S. constitution.

You may not like it, but that is your problem.

Posted by: pilsener | September 13, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I doubt very seriously that if this nut does burn or doesn't burn the Koran it will have a lot to do with our Soldiers: the bad guys will try and kill them whereever they see them and have the opportunity. It might be on a list left by some bomber but I am sure there will be other justification. The real sin here is the media giving this nut so much press. The People and the Soldiers would have been better served had the media gotten together and simply put a total black out on the guy and his stupidity. You guys, press, just want to sell papers.

Posted by: staterighter | September 13, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I doubt very seriously that if this nut does burn or doesn't burn the Koran it will have a lot to do with our Soldiers: the bad guys will try and kill them whereever they see them and have the opportunity. It might be on a list left by some bomber but I am sure there will be other justification. The real sin here is the media giving this nut so much press. The People and the Soldiers would have been better served had the media gotten together and simply put a total black out on the guy and his stupidity. You guys, press, just want to sell papers.

Posted by: staterighter | September 13, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

peace loving moslems,
often portrayed as
homosexual hanging,
women stoning,
bloody anti america
chanting, ideologues,
will surely realize,
this one man is simply
practicing his god given
right to be targeted and
hunted down and
killed by moslems.

Posted by: simonsays1 | September 13, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I disagree sharply. The burning of the Qur'an, an idiotic action, could have cost hundreds or thousands of American lives and millions in destroyed property. An irrational man was about to yell "Fire!" in a packed theater; preventive action was essential, and the Obama administration took it, non-violently. We should be grateful for their intervention!

Posted by: ejmurphy414 | September 13, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps there will be no need to burn Quar'ans anytime when Islam discovers this bit of info!

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will NOT be pleased when he will be forced to tell the Muslims about the history of Wall Street and how it got the name! Moreover, we know ALL Muslims believe that pork is unclean and they are forbidden to eat or touch pork!

How is the world of Islam going to react when they discover they would be praying to Allah in a Mosque erected on unclean and soiled ground by…PIGS?

Would he get a fatwa from the Mullahs for his demise or be commanded to STOP?

This is a perfectly great opportunity for Imam Rauf to take The Donald up on his offer and make a 25% profit on the building and the Governor Paterson’s offer to purchase property for a Mosque in New York City with tax-payer money! A WIN-WIN-WIN for ALL concerned!

Wall Street is just blocks from Park Place and the WALL, hence the name Wall Street, to prevent the pigs that were roaming, eating, defecating, and dying on land where Muslims want to build another Conquest Mosque.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s Ground Zero Mosque will be built on soil, ‘IF’ at all, that was owned by a Dutch Farmer where pigs and other unclean animals lived! It was also the place for slaughtering pigs and a graveyard for all of the unclean and diseased animals. I’m just saying.

Posted by: SIRJASON | September 13, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

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