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White House Gets it About Right on Terry Jones

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney toed a difficult line yesterday in answering questions about Koran-burner Terry Jones, one walked less successfully by apologists for the behavior of rioters in Afghanistan who killed UN workers and others over the weekend in mindless outrage over the burning over their holy book.

Carney balanced condemnation of the Koran burning with a clear statement holding those who committed murder responsible for their crimes.

One, we absolutely condemn the burning of a holy text.  We think it’s un-American and inappropriate — one.  Two, nothing justifies — absolutely nothing justifies the kind of violence and fatal violence that we saw that took the lives of workers at the United Nations in Mazar-i-Sharif — absolutely nothing.

While I’m not too comfortable with the White House determining what is American and what is un-American, the fact is that Jones’s act is un-American. But Carney was unequivocal and forceful in condemning the Afghan violence, unlike some who have pinned all the blame on Jones or sought to explain the behavior statements like that of Time magazine Deputy International Editor Bobby Ghosh, who asserted that unlike the bible, the Koran is viewed as the direct word of God and so burning it is worse for Muslims.

Or, for example, this statement by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who fails to hold the Afghans accountable for their outrageous behavior.

His intolerant act has directly resulted in the deaths of at least 22 civilians and United Nations personnel in Afghanistan over the weekend.

Actions have consequences, and I am disgusted and saddened at the outcome of Mr. Jones’ narrow vision of the world. While we respect freedom of speech, this is tantamount to crying fire in a crowded theater.

Carney declined to answer a question about whether Americans have the right to burn the Koran, which is at least better than saying we don’t, because has horrible a thing it is to do, we have the right to burn the Koran, the flag, or anything else that’s not a house or a person. But if Carney came out sand said we have the right to burn the Koran, he might have endangered U.S. troops.

And thankfully, Carney indicated that the inept and craven policy of U.S. officials contacting Jones to implore him not to do this is over.

Our interest is not in elevating somebody whose behavior is inappropriate and un-American, or does not represent what we believe are America’s values.  Our focus, however, is also on condemning the heinous acts that took the lives of U.N. workers in Afghanistan.

What do you think about this and how we should handle Jones going forward? Apparently, he’s headed April 22 to a mosque in Dearborn, Mich., the home of many Muslim Americans, to create more problems.

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27 Responses to White House Gets it About Right on Terry Jones

  1. How do we handle Jones? We ignore him. If major media outlets hadn’t reported on him and his Koran burning, nobody in Afghanistan would have heard of it. If he actually breaks a law, then deal with it, but otherwise ignore him, don’t talk about him, and leave him alone.

  2. Denmark got in deep problems after the publishing of a Mohammed caricature. Then the Swedish artist Lars Wilks made another caricature of Mohammed for an art gallery. Somehow the government managed to subdue the Muslim wrath but it is clear that there is self censorship in the cultural and media world nowadays when it comes to Islam. The Danish and the Swedish artists fear for their lifes ( several murder attempts) and has to live with various security measures. I think they are very brave. Maybe it was foolhardy but somebody has got to do it. Islam must be provoked and Muslims must learn to cope with it if they want to be welcome and accepted in a free world. I think Carneys words about the Koran burning was rather diplomatic and balanced but I wonder what Obama himself is really saying about it.

    • I agree completely SL. I’m really glad to hear a European say it, because the self-censorship and political correctness over there – even worse than here, I think – is endangering the European societies we value so much over here.

  3. U.S. President bombs a Muslim country so Muslim maniacs slaughter aid workers -not because they were bombed but because a U.S. maniac burns a book. This is all pretty much summed up in the line, “LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!!!”

    I think I’ll use that tomorrow…

    ML

    • Look forward to seeing if you do Mike. I’d really like to read a transcript of the thought processes in these people’s minds that turns them at the sound of a burning Koran from shepherds to ululating murderers.

  4. I’m with William…ignore the idiot. He is like the Westboro church freaks. My opinion of the pastor is that he is a deranged fundamentalist who should not have burned any religious symbol; however, the protesters in Afghanistan would have found some other excuse to riot. Karzai is whipping them up in an effort of self-preservation. He can see what is coming down the pike and being a friend of the U.S. doesn’t fit in that picture. We need to get out of Afghanistan. Our troops hands are tied over there and they are being used for target practice. Afghanistan can not be made into a nation state, and we need to stop sending our young men and women to slaughter in war we can not win.

  5. Carney is right for once.
    In his defense.
    Several of the UN workers were beheaded.You can not justify, reason or align with 7th century thinking.
    When I say this I say it it the politest terms/example I can think of,it does in NO way mean to be offensive. Personally I think we should evacuate the women and children from Afghanistan and Pakistan, remove Pakistan’s nukes,by force if necessary,hermetically seal the border and let them sort it out.And any other bunch that we can grab be it chunks of Hamas,or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad we should. Grab the monsters that are wrecking havoc in the world and throw them in the cage.By themselves,unable to cause anymore strife in the world.Eventually overtime they will slim down and reform,if not oh well,they are in a box.Sounds mean,oh well.This crap is beyond disgusting,and if they wanna squat in a field and live in a mud hut and kill each other let them,just seal that bitch off like Jurassic Park. Yes it would be a open air prison,but a big one.So what.Unless this mess is stopped now,close your eyes and think what it will be in 2020 at this rate.Then think of 2050.Thats right,get started on that fence. Deals with a major chunk of the heroin problem too.

    You try to ignore a foolish idiot like Jones, or the Westboro Baptist’s.. These leaches on the weak minded souls they prey on, KNOW exactly what they are causing when the pull these stunts..He should be charged as a accessory to the murders by his actions by the UN,it is within their power,and he ultimately has none.I say snatch him,goodbye.Throw him AND the Westboro bunch in the box too.Kim Jong Il can even come play barn boss.
    They want to be dirt farmers,fine.They want to kill any and all non believers?fine Cage Match with zero contact to the outside world.Immediate laws,you get caught commit acts of terror in the world,throw em in the cage. Barry can even close Gitmo,just throw that rabble in the cage.All of them we have.Empty out the terrorists serving in the worlds prison systems and dump them all in the cage.(Keep them where they are now spreading the cause?I dont think so.)It can be a global effort to babysit,India,Russia and China and the NATO can take a side and stop this nonsense.It is getting out of control.Muslim violence is spreading at a geometrical rate and if you look it is in every country of the free world causing problems.No country is immune from these monsters.
    Its time for the world to just man up and become a true world organization and contain this horror show once and for all.
    Pbbbt,Sorry

    • And dont forget to clean out Somalia and the pirates,they get a entry ticket to the cage as well.If this world is ever going to prosper and survive as a whole,something must be done before it consumes us all.

  6. There was draw Mohammed day. The woman who suggested the event went into the witness protection program because of death threats, Where was the media’s outrage?

    I recently saw a You Tube video of a brave woman reading inflammatory passages from the Koran while burning its pages. She asked people if they would join her in this effort. I hope they do.Once again, the outrage is misplaced.

    As people have written what is really harming our soldiers is the American military itself with its rules of engagement limiting our soldier’s response.

  7. It is American in every sense of the word to burn any book, insult any person, stomp on any flag or to state any opinion, no matter how unpolitic.
    That the spokesperson for the Prez would declare RevJones actions as “unAmerican” is, well, un-American in itself.
    Of all the rights granted to us in our Constitution, the freedom of speech is the cornerstone and must be defended.
    RevJone’s actions were impolite but in no way an excuse for the murder of anyone.
    The non-Muslim world must speak out against these murderous mobs and demand that they become enlightened. If there really is such a thing, the moderate Muslims must also speak out against these barbarians who insist on living by centuries old ideas.
    The nations and religions of the world are now connected and can’t be dominated by one theology or one political message.

  8. Molly Norris is unavailable for comment too…memba her? She is the cartoonist, who in response to the Denmark RIOTS over ‘you know who’ being drawn as a cartoon, suggested ‘Lets All Draw Mohammed Day’ on FaceBook.

    The feds said they couldn’t protect her…so she went ‘ghost.’ Her life, her identity TAKEN AWAY to pacify the ‘beliefs’ of others. For SUGGESTING drawing a cartoon…in solidarity with another cartoonist.

    When is the line (real or cartoon?) drawn in the sand?

    • Mary: I’m a cartoonist and painfully familiar w/ the tragic Molly Norris. This poor woman naively drew a very amateurish kitchen table “cartoon” and after threats to her/family went into witness protection program. Beyond comprehension that this can happen in America. Over a cartoon.

      • I used to live down the street from Arlington, which is filled with the graves of Americans who fought to ensure we can draw any damn cartoon we want in this country. I was not aware of Molly Norris. It’s very upsetting, and I do wonder if this is the kind of future my children have to look forward to.

    • This is one of the most insidious problems we face. Jones is an ass, but we cannot become a society that puts aside freedom of speech to appease the furies of members of a single religion. People who choose to live here must accomodate to the mores of the United States, and not the reverse. And we can’t change our society because we are frightened a bunch of nuts will take to the street overseas, or do worse.

  9. So the “muslim world” (re: Middle Age barbarians) ‘hate’ America because some hill-billy in Florida burned a Koran a month ago? How did those stone age Afghans even hear about it when they have no radio or TV…?

    I guess it has NOTHING? to do with President Obama/USA launching 100+ Tomahawk Cruise Missiles OR dozens of airstrikes against Libya (a Muslim nation) with No Strategy OR Planning…

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