Obama and the right to burn the Koran

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Trader666, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. 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.
  2. Obama had no problem defending the bulding of the ground zero mosque on constitutional grounds, now he won't defend an Americans rights.

    The muslim street is one way period. Who gives a fuck if they are angry, when are they not angry?

    We need to build a big fence around their countries much like a child's play pen because that's all they are just a bunch of little children that need to be babysat and treated with a stern hand.
  3. This is a clear case of the inmates running the asylum. We are fucked. You can't reason with law and pffttt.. Logic? Emotion? Fughedaboutit.

    I suppose the most one can hope for is to "manage".

    Hence don't piss the Muslims off. They have nothing to lose.

    Tough to win a fight with someone who has nothing to lose.

    Is this a way to run a country? Assimilation is for wimps, I suppose.

    Imo, the Mosque at GZ? There'll probably be a permit to build another Mosque at GZ before Obama leaves office. We ain't seen nothing yet.
  4. You don't turn your back on people that have nothing to lose. If you do, YOU lose.

    In the game of hockey, teams employ the "enforcer" to "keep the piece" when some jackass would start taking cheap shots at the skilled players.

    Take the enforcers away and the suddenly the other team feels liberated to have its way as the fear of getting the shit kicked out of them is gone.

    There have been more terrorists attacks in the US under Obama's presidency than in the 6 years under Bush after he invaded Iraq.

    What's the difference? We've taken the "enforcer" off the ice.
  5. Makes sense.

    Taking the troops out of Iraq may provide great PR but how do we go back to Iraq if the need arises. We expended many resources to Kuwait, then left. Back again to Iraq years later. Now we leave, no way is there the political will to return if the need arises again.

    It is much easier to avoid inflamming the Muslim population than to calm everyone down after proving we have the right to burn the Quran.

    Seriously, law enforcement blows off the constitution everyday of the year somewhere in the US (if they can get away with it) what's the big deal if we ask the citizens to refrain from their constitutional right to burn the Quran?
  6. Nothing.

    The political and media class chose to frame the opposition of the mosque as people being anti constitution since it was all about the First Amendment rights to freedom of religion.

    However, when it came to defend the free speech of the FL pastor, they asked for him to be sent to prison and sent the FBI down for a visit. Yet, just days earlier Gov. Charlie Crists said: "I know there are sensitivities and I understand that but I think Mayor Bloomberg is right and I think the president is right. This is a place where you're supposed to be able to practice your religion without the government telling you that you can't."

    Both issues, the burning and the mosque, are both just bad ideas and have nothing to with rights.

    The only liberal I've heard defend the FL pastor was Bloomberg. But I'm guessing it was only because he realized he had to show his support since he had insisted that the mosque be built in order to prove our religious tolerance here in the United States.
  7. patoo


    Its always amazing what humans do in the name of religion.

    And burning the other guy's book solves what?
  8. Its always amazing what humans do in the name of religion.


    Its always amazing what humans do in the name of ------------- (fill in the blank).


    so on so forth...

    point being.

    People live emotional lives.
  9. It shows that we are free and we are not afraid of them.

    They burn our flag, we burn their holy book.

    quid pro quo clarise, quid pro quo.

    #10     Sep 12, 2010