Sorry General

It is unacceptable for a military commander to seek to influence a US citizen’s right to Free Speech.

End of story.

48 Responses to “Sorry General”

  1. major dad says:

    Don’t agree there Bing since that nut job’s action will most certainly be fuel for the nut jobs in Taliban land and that means the U.S. military will be the ones that have to deal with it. I think the General has the right to his opinion.

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    Our existence is fuel for the nut jobs.

    Some douchebag at a church with 50 members should be allowed to say whatever he wants…and be completely ignored. But the MSM wants to promote their anti-conservative agenda so they promote these idiots all out of proportion.

    The General has a complete right to his opinion, but not when he is in uniform. Sorry. It is fundamentally dangerous to the health of our democracy for the military or police to attempt to coerce speech. He may not think he is doing that, but since he has the guns that is the effect.

  3. major dad says:

    I think all he did was voice concern that it would cause problems and I don’t think that pastor is worried that a tank is going to show up at his doorstep. I do believe State and the WH have also made their displeasure known isn’t that a bit more worrisome than a General 8K miles away? The pastor in question is the one who is promoting this event, he announced it and is basking in the attention in spite of the MSM.

  4. Skyler says:

    I’m with Bing on this one.

    It is inappropriate for the general to make such comments.

    The real center of effort in the war is at home. The general is responsible for the direct part of the war but it is not the most important part.

    We are a free country and if our citizens don’t recognize this as a religious war, despite what our politicians want it to be then we will never win it.

  5. tree hugging sister says:

    It’s called a threat assessment. He sees one and called him on it.

    In one instance, a Quran fell to the ground when an American officer opened a locker during an inspection of Afghan trainees’ barracks. The rumor quickly spread that the officer had thrown it to the ground, angering the trainees at the camp. “He quickly apologized, but rumors took off like wildfire,” Gen. Caldwell said. “It was so hard to get the misperception turned around we stopped all training for the rest of the day.”

    “Some douchebag at a church with 50 members”, that “CHRISTIAN”, that “PATRIOT”, should also have to face the mother of every single person in uniform in harm’s way there. As if their everyday fears weren’t enough?

    And God forbid one of them DIE in something DIRECTLY related to the trumped up violence this asshole’s fomenting, for no other reason than he CAN.

    Sure, he’ll have proved that Islamics are whirling fucking dervishes. Aw, jeez, like we didn’t already fucking know and the millions of pictures of Rage Boy on the front of Time/Newsweek/NYT for the outrage of the fucking week didn’t already prove that they’re mindless members of the Koran Collective.

    But what if someone’s son or daughter isn’t coming home now?

    General Conway said Obama’s timeline was giving aid and comfort to the Taliban. “True”, said everyone. General Petraeus says, “”It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort,” Gen. Petraeus said in an interview. “It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.”

    And he’s become the equivalent of a brown shirt? For trying to protect his troops by pointing out (and no more than that ~ he uses ‘could’ through the entire thing) that some of them could DIE because of this douchebag’s actions?

    He had a duty to speak, I believe. A fine line to tread, no doubt, but American lives in jeopardy to defend, and I’m sure he did so in the manner he felt best.

  6. Mr. Bingley says:

    Oh stop with the brown shirt hyperbole already.

    His oath is to the Constitution, not to the troops under his command.

    The example you excerpted from the article perfectly illustrates that the people over there will use anything to justify their attacks on us, even if it involves making shit up. The answer is not to continually cave to their demands. The answer is to say “tough shit.” The answer is to say in America you can say what so ever you want. He didn’t have to say anything. When asked the question he could have simply said that freedom of speech is a fundamental part of America. By saying what he said he has in fact given those scumbags some cover for whatever stupid murderous shit they were probably going to do anyway…and thus given some politician further down the line a little more leeway to restrict our speech.

  7. Skyler says:

    Agreed, it’s a fine line.

    The real problem is that he should be using this as a tool to identify which ones are the enemy. If they react like this then they have no business fighting on our side.

    Afghanistan is not Iraq. They are the ones that attacked us and they merit nothing until they surrender unconditionally.

    It’s been nine years and I have yet to see any Muslims condemn the attack against us and condemn those that conducted it.

    No pity. I’m going there soon. I will do as ordered, of course, but we should do more destroying and less building until they cry uncle. Then we should rebuild and welcome them to civilization.

  8. JeffS says:

    I’m with Major Dad on this one, Mr. B. It’s the general’s opinion, it’s based on facts in evidence, and is solidly in his turf, i.e., the protection of his troops.

    I also note that there’s a distinct difference between manufactured outrage (as we’ve seen before) and deliberate provocation. The motivation of this pastor is questionable as well.

  9. major dad says:

    I still say the general has his right to speak up. He has not infringed on anybodies right to free speech. Wouldn’t you be concerned if you were in command over there? The general is concerned with his area of responsibility. The “war” back here is a political one and will only begin to be won when we get some people with balls in power who don’t go spineless the first time the media goes after them.

  10. JeffS says:

    And I must note, Mr. B, that while the general didn’t swear an oath to his troops, he has a duty to make sure they are fit for duty. If some idiot pastor back stateside threatens their well being by unnecessarily increasing their risk of wounding or death through a publicity stunt (which is what this is), the general certainly has (at the very least) the privilege of pointing this out.

    Sis might have expressed this a bit sharply, but her point is valid. If an accident cranks even our nominal allies up, why do it deliberately if there is no net positive gain?

    In comparing the risks taken versus benefits gained, I don’t see anything positive here.

    But it’s an emotional issue, especially coming from the one general (remember “General Betrayed Us”?) who understands how free speech can be abused. And I think he considered your concerns as well. I doubt that he did this lightly.

  11. major dad says:

    Bing, I’m not sure what you are saying with the “not to the troops” comment, his oath is to the constitution but the troops are his responsibility. He’s worried about not that the Taliban will use this, they will, but that the other rank and file will lose their minds and endanger the troops. I would say Gen LeMay’s doctrine of “bombing them back to the stone age” would be what’s called for if they weren’t already in the stone age. I do have a question though, if 90% of the population is illiterate what do they know of the Quran?

  12. Skyler says:

    In world war II, did any generals ever come out and say, please don’t burn any swastikas, it might make the Germans mad?

    Or even closer to the current facts, if anyone had burned an effigy of the shinto god, Hirohito, would General MacArthur or Admiral Nimitz have complained?

    The general has done well so far, but that doesn’t mean he is infallible. He erred this time, and he is still taking the army bureaucratic road of failing to identify the nature of the enemy.

    Our enemy is radical islam. Our enemy is the suppression of freedoms. With his statement, he has called for suppression of our freedom of speech.

    The general’s job is to fight the war and identify the threats to our way of life. Those that would react to burning korans in the way he seems to fear are the threat to our way of life, they are not our allies.

    Gen Petraeus knows counter-insurgency, but I submit that we are making a mistake at allowing this war to be treated as a counter insurgency. We should be fighting a total war and punishing the people of Afghanistan for attacking us, thereby deterring others from doing the same.

    If our political leaders won’t do it, and our generals won’t do it, then the people have a right to help escalate it. More power to them.

  13. Skyler says:

    “I do have a question though, if 90% of the population is illiterate what do they know of the Quran?”

    They know a lot orally. Many people memorize the entire koran and recite it.

    Also, it’s like football. You don’t need to understand every rule and strategy of football to enjoy watching Notre Dame win the national championship. You don’t need to be a koranic scholar to believe it is a holy book that should be protected. And being illiterate is no excuse for being violent when others rightfully show their contempt for it.

  14. Gary from Jersey says:

    Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, but not in this case. Petraeus is right, in or out of uniform: an illiterate mob with IEDs and RPGs isn’t going to listen to reason when the core of their miserably backward existence is threatened by some bookburning, brown-shirt religious whacko in Florida.

    I expect big trouble from this and for no good reason.

  15. Skyler says:

    Gary, the problem is that we haven’t threatened them enough. They should be absolutely terrified to even contemplate ever raising arms against us ever again. That they aren’t is evidence of our continuing failure.

  16. major dad says:

    Skyler since you opened the tangent that we haven’t threatened them enough I will say IMHO the root to a considerable amount of our problems with the Muslims are two inactions on the U.S.’s part one we should have obliterated or threatened to Iran when they took the hostages back in 79, I was on boat prepared to be part of such a plan but Carter wussied out. The second was that we didn’t obliterate Iran and a good part of Syria when they blew up the Marine Barracks in 83. Huge strategic mistakes I think. Back to the orginal argument we should also be prepared for unrest in Malaysia and Europe aside from the Middle East. These nuts go on a rampage over nothing and they will with this.

  17. Skyler says:

    It’s not too late to fix that, major dad. It’s not too late at all. It appears, however, that the muslims may be right and we are just paper tigers and they are free to dictate to us whether we should have freedom of speech or any other freedoms.

  18. Cullen says:

    I’m with Maj. D and Jeff on this one. I don’t see the General as attempting to shut down free expression, but rather voicing his in-the-field opinion that this action is going to negatively impact his soldiers. Which it is already doing.

  19. major dad says:

    I agree Skyler. I don’t think we are ever going to fix the Afgan problem they are too tribal. But I think overwhelming force needs to be used more often as in “obliterate” the Taliban. But that’s just me. I do love the term obliterate when used with military applications.

  20. Skyler says:

    Sadly, I don’t see the term “obliterate” in the MCRP 5-2A, Operational Terms and Graphics.

  21. Gary from Jersey says:


    From what I’ve seen threats and actual violence only encourages them. Islam is a disease that can only be cured by building giant walls around its followers and shooting anyone why tries to escape. What they do behind the wall would their business and we could live in peace (until Obama does something else really stupid).

  22. Skyler says:

    Sure Gary, but we can go behind that wall and kill them, too.

  23. Skyler says:

    Maybe they’d stop stoning innocent women if we did.

  24. tree hugging sister says:

    (Hyperbole, me? And here I thought I was merely answering it. **bats eyelashes**)

    The answer is not to continually cave to their demands. The answer is to say “tough shit.”

    I’m with you AHUNNERTPERCENT, if they’ve decided they won’t checkout bacon at TARGET, all of a sudden and sue the store! BUT what a canard, in this instance! What “demands” have Muslims made ON Preacher MuttonChops? HE IS, in fact, the Agent Provocateur, the PissChrist artist, IS HE NOT?!?!
    What the fuck is he proving by burning the Koran? Whoopdeefuckingdoo. Act of courage there and a couch on Good Morning America at 9.

    The general is pointing out that, in this instance, this particular invocation of the First Amendment has ramifications beyond the blazing pile of paper that specifically concerns those in his care. And you would chastise him?

    You know what “tough shit’s” gonna take courage? Being the 18 year old Army E-3 in riot gear at the main gate in Bagram (or on watch at your lonely little Afghani outpost) if 3000+ charter members of the Death to America Club come calling the day after Pastor Douchebag torches his burnpile. That’s courage. And that’s his “tough shit” consequences to First Amendment actions that folks need to be made to think about before they take them, even if they have a right to.

  25. major dad says:

    Gary, look up “Hama Rules” and you’ll find out that violence, obliteration (there’s that word again)in the case from where the term comes from works with Islam.

  26. major dad says:

    I see that there is unrest, go figure, in Indonesia. It just takes a spark from any source to ignite these gasoline soaked turds.

  27. JeffS says:

    Sadly, I don’t see the term “obliterate” in the MCRP 5-2A, Operational Terms and Graphics.

    Equally sadly, the Uniform Code of Military Justice doesn’t prohibit free speech. At least, not by my reading:

    Well, Article 88 might apply if this Pastor was an official. But he ain’t. Ditto for Article 89.

    Article 92, MAYBE, if there’s a regulation forbidding the offering of opinions in this context. Never heard of one while I was in the Army, nor can I think of a reason why there should be, even with the current administration. (Not yet, anyway.)

    Article 116? Meh, he’s trying to prevent riots. Alas, there’s no awards clause under UCMJ. Pity, that.

    Article 133? I’m sure that some people would like to try to zing General “Betrayed Us” with that one.

    Mayhaps there’s some provision under the Code of Federal Regulations, Sklyer.

  28. Skyler says:

    Article 133, Conduct Unbecoming, JeffS.

    Besides, no one said he’s not allowed to say what he said, just that it was unwise and unprofessional. He injected himself into a political matter that he should not have. Such a comment was best to come from the commander in chief, who is allowed and expected to merge military and political issues.

  29. Skyler says:

    I’ll back track on that. I don’t want to say he was unprofessional. I have a lot of respect for him. I’ll just say that I disagree with him, and I think this shows a fundamental problem with our war aims and strategy.

  30. Mr. Bingley says:

    Sis, I don’t disagree. The “preacher” is a total asshole who should be completely ignored; that is obvious.

    But what’s also obvious are the demands that these muslims and their apologists/enablers have made; not perhaps specifically on Pastor Muttonchops but in fact quite clearly on all of us: you shall not under any circumstances in any way shape or form do anything that might possibly by the most paranoid of hyper fanatics be seen as any type of slight or insult to islam.

    Yes, he is correct to be concerned about his troops; absolutely.

    Yep, that Army E-3 at Bagram daily shows a hell of a lot more courage than muttonchops (or me, obviously), no doubt. But I fail to see how we make him, or ourselves, any safer by continually deferring to inflamed sensitivities; this only further erodes our rights and leads to further demands and concessions.

    Yes, I do chastise him for saying this to a reporter. You would think that he might have learned from recent history involving reporters there. As I said above he has now shown them that if they push he will bend a little, that we will bend a little.

    And that only invites more pushing.

  31. major dad says:

    Unwise of the General to speak? Perhaps. Unacceptable? No. Unwise for the the douchebag pastor to burn the book? Absolutely. Unacceptable? No. Short of us going Crusades mode on all of Islam we are going to have to deal with the nutjobs. Obliterate comes to mind…

  32. JeffS says:

    He injected himself into a political matter that he should not have.

    This is your opinion. As major dad points out — and as I tried to do — it’s an acceptable opinion.

    But since this is a debate on an emotional issue: free speech. So perhaps a blunt assessment is in order:

    You say that General Petreaus shouldn’t express his opinion, even though it’s not expressly forbidden by UCMJ and supported by the Constitution, and he’s just trying to safeguard his troops.

    But you say that the Pastor should express his opinion, under the First Amendment, even though he’s trying to suppress free speech….by burning books, in a cheap publicity stunt.

    Anyone else see the small discontinuity in thinking?

  33. tree hugging sister says:

    So, Bingster, what you’re saying is that all rude, obnoxious, inflammatory anti-Islamic tantrums ~ if they have no actual basis in any personal affront, like Dr Douche here ~ are okay with you, and the consequences be damned, because they’re nasty and they just God damn deserve it. You know, just “because“.

    And FUCK poor Lance Corporal Schmuckatelly, because he shoulda listened to John Kerry and gone to college, I guess, huh? But tough shit for him, ’cause everyone back here has a warm fuzzy that we sure showed those Muslims we could stick a finger in their dirty eyes ANY TIME, ’cause, well…we just can. So take THAT.

    REALLY? I mean, I wanna rip a burqua off the head of the chick at the Winn Dixie as bad as the next redneck in line, but Imadinnerjacket et al being a dick doesn’t make it okay!

    And I don’t agree with you at all, Skyler. It leaves the “political” arena the SECOND it becomes a security issue for his command.

    Perfect example ~ the Ground Zero mosque. Lots of torrid rhetoric on both sides there, right? Even the President shot his mouth off, right? Freedom of this, oppression of that, right? And the PERFECT place for a stand, I agree. But no Petreaus?! Und warum dass?

    In effect, Ground Zero’s about hurt feelings, not the potential for someone under his command being hurt.

    And it’s pretty fair to ask this tool of a preacher whose side he’s on. (As well as ask the geniuses who bought Korans for him to burn if they thought about who got all that money after Barnes and Noble got their cut.)

    He’s not on my side by a long shot and this is NOT the champion of free speech I would hoist my banner for.

    Now, go away before I taunt you a second time.

  34. major dad says:

    We’re all for free speech I believe and the asshat/tool/douchebag pastor can say anything he wants but just as if some Muslims was denouncing the U.S. I wouldn’t like it but he has right to say that here but if he were to say stomp on the flag or burn it in front of me I might just have to kick his ass. A simplistic analogy of what is going on here.

  35. Skyler says:

    I know nothing of this preacher or the reasons for the koran burning. But the very fact that our enemies are over reacting to it is all the more reason for him to do it.

    It’s just like flag burning. There is no epidemic of Americans burning flags and there’s no reason to outlaw it. But the minute they outlaw it, I’ll be burning one every day.

    I have no interest in burning korans, but since those medieval minded muslims seem to hate it so much, I see it as an opportunity to identify targets.

  36. tree hugging sister says:

    You two are such Jarheads.

  37. Laura says:

    We need to send serial killers over there.

  38. Gunslinger says:

    I’m just plain ol’ disgusted that Muslims now dictate what ordinary citizens in any free country say or do by behaving like savage berzerkers.

    Muslims do not care about niceties or civilities. They see it as weakness.

  39. tree hugging sister says:

    We need to send serial killers over there.

    See? I can get behind that. I’m reasonable, for God’s sake. But major dad’s pointing out behind me here that Hannibal Lector’s not exactly into such unclean heathens, so we’ll have to go cheap.

    And you’re right, Gunslinger. If they were just tearing up themselves like they normally do, I could give a rat’s ass. You’d think they’d fuckin’ learn eventually, like a lightbulb or SOMETHING would go off in some unemployed, screaming, bearded face, holding a “Kill the Joos” sign, just. FUCKING. ONCE.

    But no.

    Never does. Oh, Islam and enlightenment. Mutually exclusive terms.

  40. Mr. Bingley says:

    Small discontinuity? I don’t settle for no steenkin’ small discontinuity! I demand a big honking one!

    Let me try to explain in a way that even I might understand. There is a strong tradition, dating back before the founding of our nation but exemplified most clearly by the person of George Washington, that the military basically doesn’t interject itself in Constitutional issues, in effect, because of the still fresh fear of the military strongman taking over. All of the Founders knew not only the history of Rome but also the very recent history of Cromwell in England (and in a few short years their wisdom/fears would be again played out in how the French Revolution developed). It was, and is to this day, a brilliant, bold and honorable tradition that has rightly elevated the American military’s officer corps heads and shoulders above their peers throughout the world, and history has repeatedly confirmed the wisdom of their actions. Just look at any country south of our border in this hemisphere and most of the other countries throughout the world and you see examples of the dangers that this policy, this unwritten tradition of honor has helped us to, almost uniquely in the world, to avoid. There have been but a few times in our history where a General has flirted dangerously with this, the most obvious examples being McClellan and MacArthur. While this is in NO WAY on that level, in my mind it is a baby step down that path. If the General strongly implies today that burning Koran’s “hurts the troops” then what about large anti-war protests? Don’t they potentially “endanger the effort” in Afghanistan? It’s a dangerous slippy slidey slope that we must not step out on.

    As Allahpundit said on a slightly different angle

    By Petraeus’s own admission, though, the Koran-burning incident now involves the same culture of intimidation: He’s not merely worried about hurt feelings among innocent Muslims if the Koran burns, he’s worried about U.S. troops being killed for the offense. What incentive is created (or, rather, reinforced) if the event is now called off for that reason? I heard these same arguments from the “hearts and minds” crowd during the “Everybody Draw Mohammed” kerfuffle — we must censor ourselves so as not to alienate non-violent Muslims, even though in the process we end up giving the violent ones precisely what they want — and I’m as confused as ever as to where the line is, assuming there is one. If the Koran-burners change the protest from a book-burning to some sort of shoutfest about how “Islam is the devil” or whatever, would that make it better? If so, why? When, if ever, is it acceptable to offend Muslims? On behalf of “South Park” fans everywhere, just give us some guidelines.
    …If whipping the enemy up means 50 more attacks on Americans and protests mean only 10 more attacks, is the latter an acceptable number while the former isn’t? Are both unacceptable? If “South Park” showing Mohammed means 10 extra attacks, does that justify self-censorship? Is there a minimum number of attacks we’re willing to tolerate? I’m not offering this as an argument against anti-war protests, mind you, just as a stark illustration of the moral calculus this sort of thinking gets you into.

    I think the answer is you can’t draw the line, so the strength of our history is that we don’t even try.

  41. Mr. Bingley says:

    Sis, I’m ok with all sorts of rude, obnoxious, inflammatory anti-Christian tantrums, anti-Red Sox tantrums; I don’t care. I think people should be allowed to make as big an ass of themselves as they can, because I will enjoy laughing at them. Freedom of speech can be ugly, but it beats the dog snot out of the alternative.

    No, I don’t think “Fuck the Corporal ‘cos I feel so macho.” Do you really think that any attacks on US troops over the next few months will be solely caused by this, really? That if Douchy McMuttonchops and his vast reich-wing conspiracy of 35 tea partying congregants never became NPR’s poster boys for the Religious Reich in the US there wouldn’t be any attacks on our troops?


  42. Skyler says:

    There’s also the point that by objecting to it he legitimizes the enemy’s outrage and encourages them to react.

  43. tree hugging sister says:

    “ANY” attacks? Nope. That’s just another excuse and another IED on the list.

    But nutjob crowds screaming for blood at the gate the week of the brush fire, which is what I’ve been TALKING ABOUT THE WHOLE TIME?



  44. kcruella101 says:

    One more thing that will keep me up at night.

  45. tree hugging sister says:

    Well, that answers one thing about Minister MuttonChops. He and his 35 fellow douchebags PROUDLY stand shoulder to shoulder against homosexuals with Fred Fucking Phelps and his band of merry marauders. From their co-protest this spring:

    Westboro Baptist is not anti-military or anti-USA. Rather the opposite, actually. Do some research. They go to funerals because the Bible says that a fallen soldier is a sign of God’s wrath and a reminder of the condition of this world, a fallen world, in sin. We all know that. None of us want to fight wars. We have to, and we honor the fallen for their sacrifice, but funerals are also a chance to repent and get our lives right with God before our own comes along.

    The soldier who is already dead knows what’s coming, whether they are in heaven or hell. I think they would be glad for the extra reminder to loved ones that they still have time to make a choice and use the rest of their time given here for God rather than wasting it, in a spiritual sense.

    At DWOC we are also very pro-America, pro-Military, AND super, radically concerned about people’s salvation. That’s why we go after Islam and say it is of the devil – it is anti-Christian and anti-America. In this liberal world, names and labels get thrown about and twisted at random. Don’t we all get angry with the media for preaching half truths which amount to lies?
    To my Christian friends, get your Bibles out and read the OT Prophets. They were hated too for speaking God’s words of truth, then killed. I would rather be right with God than right with facebook friends. Where are you?

    And another answer:

    If we lived in a sinless, no devil world, there would be no war. We have chosen sin, there are therefore wars, and we all suffer, we all need to repent. I’m OK with your thinking I am sick, but think about the fact that the Bible is what I am talking about, not my own ideas. Don’t you think that a fallen soldier reflects some of what is wrong with the world? Not the soldier but the war itself?

    The PERFECT religious and moral authorities to start this.

  46. Skyler says:

    Didn’t much know about that. In fact, I never even heard about the koran burning until Patraeus chimed in on it.

    The point is that by addressing this issue, the good general has done more to publicize it and encourage reactions from our enemies than these morons could have done all by themselves.

    Additionally, these groups are so tiny that there is no reason for any news organization to cover it at all except that they like to foment controversy. The press are the real villains here. Again.

    And if the general really wanted to safeguard that lance corporal he would have been wise not to fan the flames himself.

  47. Ave says:

    I find these people who would burn the Koran in Florida to be publicity-seeking cowards. They should do it in a Muslim country.

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