I swear, the American public has had a mental melt down and is now totally MESHUGGINA (Yiddish for crazy).  The biggest crisis of the past few days has been generated by a Florida “pastor” with a 50 member congregation who would like to burn copies of the Koran.  Who is upset, even apoplectic, over this?   Everyone from the President on down, including the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the  head general of our invasions of Muslim countries, CNN, NPR, PBS, the New York Times, and just about everyone else in the U.S. elite has been worked into a snit over a dimwitted, attention-seeking, fundamentalist preacher who thinks that burning a few copies of the Koran is his religious duty.  There are several reasons this whole affair should be ignored.

First, sane or crazy, any man or woman has a right to burn any book he or she so chooses.  Let them do it.  Why make an attention seeker famous for competing with Fred Phelps for designation of “America’s Crazy Preacher Laureate?” Had he been ignored by the press and our government officials, he would have had a little fire in his little church parking lot and, consequently, would have stayed ensconced in an obscure, psychotic little corner of the universe.  But no, the press loves these kinds of guys.  The media folks can’t bring themselves to ignore a spectacle that might grab attention from their competitor’s viewers, readers, and listeners.

Second, the idea that a crazy preacher’s Koran burning event places our troops in harm’s way is laughable. Believe it or not, our President absurdly claimed this very morning that a nutty preacher in Florida could be responsible for attacks on American military personnel in Afghanistan.  The fact is, he and his predecessor are responsible for putting Americans in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In our Petraeus-designed, perpetual, never-ending wars with Muslim populations, insurgencies have naturally developed and will continue until we take our troops out of their lands.  The number one thing an insurgent in Afghanistan and Iraq would like to do is kill or at least seriously hurt an American soldier.

What really makes these populations angry and prone to finding ways to hurt Americans, is what they see as an invasion by foreign troops – especially an invasion by a super power that claims to be primarily Christian. As long as we arrogantly think we have a right to station our troops in Muslim countries and build military bases throughout the World, we will find resentment, hatred, and insurgencies.

Third, as Andrew Bacevich has pointed out in his recently released book Washington Rules, the U.S. elite has been able to reprise and strengthen a delusional American credo, which was seriously undermined by the Viet Nam and Iraqi military misadventures.  According to this credo, “the minimum essentials of international peace and order require the United States to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism (page 14).  This is Viet Nam on steroids.

Militarism – with Muslim countries as the target of our aggressiveness – will cause far more harm to Americans than nutty, Muslim-hating preachers.  Did everyone forget that the terrorist hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi Arabians and that they were motivated to commit their dastardly deed because  American troops were on Saudi soil?   It is the arrogance of power (to borrow a term from J. William Fulbright) that will kill Americans in Muslim countries.


  1. Sorry Dave, but with the 24 hour news cycle, the blogosphere and every bozo with a camera on his celphone, this kind of sensationalism will not be ingnored.
    Pictures of torture inflamed otherwise the non-radical and this will do the same. As of now 6:19pm on 9/10, pastor with more mustache than brain says there will be no burn. Let’s hope this is the last of it.

    • I agree Phil. Even Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow have been throwing a hissy fit about “Pastor Jones.” I like both of them but they are part of the political entertainment industry.

      I find it interesting that the media addresses these guys with such respect as “Reverend Phelps,” and “Pastor Jones.” It sort of gives them an air of legitimacy. It won’t be long and “Pastor Jones” will be the head religious guy at the National Prayer Breakfast – the one put on by “The Family” cult.