As ThinkProgress previously reported, earlier this week General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, warned that the planned burning of the Quran by the extremist Dove World Outreach Center “could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort.”
Now, Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of Redstate.com and CNN contributor, has responded to Petraeus’s warning to be respectful of Muslim sensitivities by excoriating the general. He writes that he thinks it is “bad form for the military to start applying pressure to influence the political activities…of American civilians” and notes that Petraeus “made no similar pronouncement about the activities of antiwar demonstrators who, at least arguably, caused American deaths.” He even goes as far as to say that Petraeus’s actions “teach the same lesson to both us and the Islamists that the Mohammed cartoon did” — that Western governments and elites will “fold like a cheap suit” to violent Islamists:
I think it is bad form for the military to start applying pressure to influence the political activities (and this is clearly a form of political speech) of American civilians. Petraeus is essentially attributing direct responsibility for American deaths to the activities of American citizens (and I hasten to point out that he made no similar public pronouncement about the activities of antiwar demonstrators who, at least arguably, caused American deaths by giving the jihadis reason to believe they could drive us out of Iraq given enough casualties). […]
More specifically, Petraeus’s actions teach the same lesson to both us and the Islamists that the Mohammed cartoon did: Islamists learned if they are sufficiently violent Western governments and elites will fold like a cheap suit.
Erickson also writes that Petraeus’ actions taught us that “Islam, as practiced by large swaths of the [M]uslim world, is a violent religion that apparently can’t operate in tandem with a civil society.” He ends his screed by saying he does disagree with Dove pastor Terry Jones’s actions, but implies that Arabs are inherently violent, writing, “I would encourage this pastor to stand down — but I’m not going to wring my heads over it. If not this, there’ll just be something else causing riots in the ‘Arab Street.’ This is just today’s excuse.”
Two dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders from across the country gathered in Washington yesterday to condemn the proposed Quran burning, saying in a joint statement that the plan is “a particularly egregious offense that demands the strongest possible condemnation by all who value civility in public life and seek to honor the sacred memory of those who lost their lives on September 11.” At a press conference, Rev. Richard Cizik, the president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, said that while Rev. Jones and his followers are “conservative Christians” like himself, their hateful acts and speech against Muslims “bring dishonor to the name of Jesus Christ”:
,In 2007, Erickson complained that the left was demeaning Petraeus, writing, “[The left is] calling into question General Petraeus’s bronze star and whether he really has earned all the medals he wears.
That’s right, according to the left, General Petraeus is a liar and a fraud. According to one DKos (surprised?) poster, General Petraeus did not deserve the medal and so if it was really given to him, it had to be a GOP job to boost his credibility.”