I wrote on Thursday about Pastor Terry Jones from Gainesville, Fl and his threat/plan to burn copies of the Koran on 9/11. For the moment that plan has been cancelled although there are others expressing a willingness to take over. This event has been so confusing on so many levels it reminds me a little of Bizzaro superman in whose world everything was opposite or perhaps like Alice in Wonderland when she follows the White Rabbit into a strange universe all its own.
Let’s see, what else? Thus far I have only seen a comment from Michael Bloomberg that defended Jones’s actions under the aegis of religious freedom, no matter how distasteful they may be.
I wanted to lead with a this is what we know approach but I am uncertain as to what we really know. For starters, the president weighed in during a press conference with his main point a defense of Islam. He also confirmed that he ordered Sec Gates to call the Florida pastor which seems to be a bit of an unusual approach. He has since been questioned about what role the White House may have played in escalating the situation. Predictably, none at all was the response.
So now a little time has passed and Jones was true to his word. He burned no Korans. There was an unidentified person who did and some others who shredded pages of the Koran. There were reports of demonstrations in Afghanistan but nothing of any consequence .Unsurprisingly, the misguided folks of Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church proceeded with their Koran burning as well as an American flag. The quite apropos headline on The Topeka Capital Journal website said that the church’s flames produced little heat. No phone calls, no comments from celebrities, no demonstrations,etc.
So, are there lessons here worth learning? Michele Malkin produced a post entitled the ” Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage” which detailed current and past examples of events that have stirred passions among Muslims. Some were silly, others were scary in their escalation. Ann Coulter wrote an article way back on Wednesday entitled ” Bonfire of the Insanities” which also seems well titled, even more so in retrospect. There were good points vis-a-vis Gen Petraeus comments on threats to American troops as well as the wingnuts right to burn a Koran, stupid though it may be.
Is there a bottom line yet other than an obscure pastor gaining unneeded notoriety? Probably not.
Never been to Gainesville,Fl before although I have been nearby. I also have never met Pastor Terry Jones who leads a small church of about 50 folks named the Dove Outreach Center. Remarkably, Jones has managed to make himself notorious on an international level, quite a feat in itself. He has received a number of death threats and has started carrying a gun himself. So, what has this heretofore unknown person done to draw attention from Gen David Petraeus, Hilary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Eric Holder , Rush Limbaugh, ( who appropriately calls him a lunatic) Robert Gates, Angelina Jolie and countless unnamed but now angry Muslims worldwide?
He has for some inexplicable reason announced a plan to burn many copies of the Koran on of all days, 9/11/2010. How many copies seems to depend on how many gullible people send them to him. That is by far the easier of the questions involved. Based on some earlier actions, Jones seems to think that Islam is evil. I will agree that there are followers of Islam have done some evil things and alas if his plan goes through they will probably do more of those things. ( Gen Petraeus is quite concerned about that.)
I have given a lot of thought about why Jones is doing this. Publicity, notoriety, name recognition ? He has gotten all of those to be sure. But , assuming he is a legitimate Christian minister, which I have no reason to doubt, what is doing for the furtherance of his ministry or for the “image” of Christianity or for that matter his native country. Oh, just a qualifier. He actually has the right to do this but for me it’s one of those “rights” that just because one has it, one does not need to exercise it.
Cannot imagine the potential damage he can carry out, unless by some miracle he chooses to call a halt to the event. At this point, that looks unlikely.
Some words from a song came to mind today that at least from a Christian perspective define my feelings quite well. The artist is Wayne Watson and the song came from his 1988 album The Fine Line. The title is “That’s Not Jesus.” I will just relate a line or two that seems to fit what is happening with pastor Terry Jones.
- That’s not Jesus, he doesn’t carry on that way,
- Just some flesh and blood like you and me
- Somehow gone astray
- That’s not Jesus, no matter what they say
- He doesn’t need us to defend him
- He just wants us to obey
Shalom and amen
Related Articles :
- Petraeus: Quran Burning Threatens Troops, Afghan Effort (israelnationalnews.com)
It is no secret what “objective” journalist Chris Matthews thinks of President Obama. I almost hate to mention the “tingles” episode that occurred during the 2008 campaign, although I have seen the word used quite well as a nickname for Matthews. Not so long after Obama took office, Matthews proudly admitted that it was his job to make sure that Obama succeeded.( Remember for a moment that Rush was roundly criticized for hoping that Obama failed.) I cannot recall any approbation at what Matthews said.
But at least Matthews is consistent. He remains firmly on the Obama/Democrat bandwagon. In a recent interview with Democrat senatorial candidate Joe Sestak ( from Matthews’ native state of Pennsylvania) who is running against Republican Pat Toomey, Matthews openly longed for Sestak and the Democrats to do well in November by saying this.” I hope your party gets organized and wins this thing.”
But, there is even more. Matthews seems to be moving beyond the cheerleading/publicizing phase into the advising stage. I actually watched the video clip with Matthews providing this advice, so I am not making this up. His first piece of advice was to replace Def Secretary Robert Gates with, guess who? You will never get this one, so I’ll just tell you. It is Hilary Clinton. Wait, there is more. He has two options for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; either Treasury Secretary of Chief-of-Staff. No mention of who would succeed Mrs Clinton ( Bill maybe) or what would happen to the current hatchet man,Rahm Emanuel.
This advice brought to mind something used by a number of former presidents, the “kitchen cabinet.” I believe Truman actually coined the phrase for his group of informal advisers, although it was quite popular with Jefferson and Jackson among others. Guess the only difference is that Matthews is self-appointed. But just think of the benefits. The Democratic National Committee could pay Matthews annual salary of $5 million and he could continue his tv show just like it is and work for the White House on the side. Better than Obama accepting Michael Moore’s offer to replace Emanuel, huh?
…..wasn’t it supposed to be over and done by now? Something about December and deadlines and agreements and how Russia has smoothed it all over and wasn’t all the Arab world going to fall in love with us? You remember the speech in Egypt that was so great, do you not?
And just the other day, Defense Secretary Gates held out hope for the sanctions to work. And now Hilary has given an interview that kinda says Iran is not the real problem since they don’t have a bomb,yet.
Don’t I remember somebody using the phrase “axis of evil” and being roundly condemned for it. Why that cowboy diplomacy that makes the world hate us,how dare he!
And yet, today I read that Iranian President Ahmadinejad has told his atomic agency to significantly enrich the country’s stockpile of uranium. And German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg referred to the farce being played out just like in the past. “The outstretched hand of the international community has not only been taken but pushed back.”
What did Herr Guttenberg mean do you think? We will agree with the UN plan maybe says Iran. If more sanctions were imposed it would a 4th round, if you’re counting, and neither Russia nor China seems all that excited about it.
I just feel that I have written all of this before and yet here we are again. Wonder what Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel think about it all? Are they watching closely?” Bet your sweet bippy” they are. In fact he is in Russia as we write on a “long-planned trip.” Wonder what they will discuss?
Move over Hilary, forget it Gates, a new sheriff is on the way. Her name, Kathleen Sebilius. One of the by products, by design or not, who knows, will give the HHS secretary quite a bit more clout than she now possesses.
Traditionally, the HHS Secretary is not headed by a household name, either when their term begins or when they are done. Try naming the most famous or notable occupant of the position. Not easy is it? How about even naming her predecessor? It was Utah’s own Moon Landrieu. Probably the office’s most celebrated occupant harks back to when it was Health, Education and Welfare. That would be our friend Jack Kemp.
But, if the health care bill lurching along through the Senate becomes law, Secretary Sebilius is poised not only to become very well-known but also significantly more influential than she now is.
According to an article in the Washington Examiner by Susan Ferrechio, HHS would become a “giant” federal powerhouse. Devon Herrick is a health care expert at the National center for Policy Analysis. He says that there are almost 1,700 (1,697) times in the bill when the when the HHS secretary is given leeway to create, define or determine things in the bill. Seems that HHS will have quite a bit of wiggle room to interpret things in the bill. He cites an example or two. One of the biggies, perhaps the biggest, gives HHS the authority to regulate insurance, currently a state function. The feds would no doubt perform all sort of wondrous things to improve the insurance system or maybe just regulate it death. Who really knows? Here is another. HHS would be empowered to create a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation which could make cost savings cuts on its own without the approval of Congress. Sounds just peachy. This is just one of a potentially large number of new government agencies that are likely to arise. And remember, this bill is revenue neutral. Riiight!!
I have got to wonder if Hilary maybe would be interested in a do over on this Cabinet position stuff. She would have a lot more power as HHS secretary than she now has. Besides, I seem to remember that health care reform was once her bailiwick.
So, now they are a problem. One of the charter members of George Bush’s much maligned “axis of evil” is now a threat. And, furthermore, it poses threats that are” even more lethal and destabilizing” than before. I am unsure what is the significant part of that, lethal and destabilizing or before. I have to ask, before what or perhaps when?
The comments referred to were made by Defense Secretary Robert Gates upon his arrival yesterday in Seoul. In speaking to a group composed of American and South Korean troops, Gates made a clear reference to the unacceptable possibility of North Korea possessing nuclear weapons.
It seems that in rather typical North Korean fashion, mixed messages are being sent. Release detainees (thank you Mr Clinton), engage in short range missile tests.
But, in spite of North Korea’s hinting at being part of the nuclear club, Gates is saying, no way. I applaud that. A nuclear armed North Korea would be a nightmare on several levels. So, Gates affirmation of our support for South Korea is to be commended.
Of course, on this side of the Pacific, Secretary Clinton chimed in with these comments. The United States will never have a normal relationship with North Korea until it abandons its nuclear program. Sanctions will not be relaxed “until Pyongyang takes verifiable, irreversible steps toward complete denuclearization.” Wonder if she intends to meet with North Korea’s #2 nuclear negotiator Ri Gun, when he arrives in Washington?
Could be verrry interesting. We say no more nukes, they say ?
On one side, we have President Obama and vice-president Biden. On the we have other side we have Prime Minister Putin( a clear case where the #2 man is really #1) and President Medvedev. Without any more information than that, which pair outweighs the other? And is it important? Sad to say, and I mean that sincerely, I fear that the Russian duo is the weightier of the two. I remember Bush saying that he had looked into Putin’s eyes and found him trustworthy. This was in June, 2001. It did not necessarily turn out that way in the ensuing years . So, now Bush has moved on and Putin( remember, once KGB , always KGB) is still there.
I suppose that 2, maybe 3 things really started me thinking along these lines, one more so than the other. In recent weeks, both Shimon Peres and Benjamin Neyanyahu have been to Russia and at the least met with Medvedev. Did they meet with Putin, doesn’t really matter, now does it? Medvedev made the announcement that Israel was not planning a strike on Iran. Now, examine this a bit. Israel is our ally, Iran is Russia’s, yet a really important statement was made by Russia on behalf of Israel. Perhaps, while there, Netanyahu pushed for Russia to restrain Iran. Did they agree, hard to say as the bear seemed to play his cards close. However, Medvedev reserved the right to sell S-300′s , classified as defensive weapons by Russia, among other unnaned weapons, to Iran. This particular thing had to be galling to Israel which has tried in vain to prevent such sales.
Then Putin says just few days ago, that he and Medvedev might “switch” places again. In theory then, Putin could be around for another 10-15 years. Really comforting thought, huh?
Finally, there is the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic that was and now is not. Russia is pleased, conservatives are up in arms, opinion in Eastern Europe seems mixed , Obama says just chill out guys. It was never about Russia anyway. Perhaps, perhaps not. I will admit to a bit of confusion about the issue. Should we interpret this as a win for Russia, and a loss for the United States or maybe a win-win.Do we want better relations with Russia, perhaps want and need is a better way of phrasing it.
What is interesting is that Senator Lindsay Graham, R, SC and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have different views, significantly different, of the President’s views. Realizing that this has been a bit of a ramble, let me just say that a somewhat significant shift on our part would go down better if there had beena reciprocal token, albeit small, from the bear. One will note that there was none, for Israel or the United States.
Live from Pyongyang or those missile launches just keep on coming. I believe the latest total is six for the week and more are undoubtedly on the way. We are sending our special envoy, Stephen Bosworth and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg. Their itinerary will include South Korea of course and China, among other stops. Though Hilary just went to China a week or so ago. I would have thought that was sufficient, but, alas, it must not have been.
Both US and South Korean troops are on high alert but Defense Secretary Robert (not Bill) Gates says no more troops are needed at this time.
Meanwhile the United Nations debates tougher sanctions, sure to make North Korea even more unhappy . They probably should not worry since many uUN members already ignore existing sanctions, so big deal. Our president has already said that ” North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community.” That, my friends, is true. But balance that statement with one by national security adviser James Jones. He said a few days ago that they’re not an imminent threat. He added that nothing they have done has surprised us. How would you like to be part of the 25, 000 + American troops stationed there as sort of a tripwire. You go after South Korea, you go after us.
I certainly hope the Obama people don’t get surprised down the road, since I am not so sure that even Kim-Jong-Il knows what he is doing next.
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