Friday, May 23, 2008

Sniper shooting Koran hardly “criminal behavior”

Diana West just sent us an email — her latest column didn’t quite make the deadline for newspaper publication, so she has posted it on her blog.

Her editorial concerns the recent incident in which a soldier in Iraq used the Koran for target practice. When news of the incident emerged, Major General Jeffery Hammond was forced to make an abject apology to tribal leaders, and another officer kissed a copy of the holy book to demonstrate his repentance (and that of the U.S. Army).

The situation would be ludicrous except for the fact that — predictably — people have now been killed in Afghanistan during demonstrations about the incident.

What is it about Muslims and the Koran that can reduce even the U.S. military to such a state of slavish submission?

Here’s what Ms. West has to say about the whole sorry affair:

Sniper shooting Koran hardly ‘criminal behavior’
by Diana West

It is late August 1939. American columnist Augusta “Gusto” Nash, played by the incomparable Claudette Colbert in the 1940 movie “Arise, My Love,” is sitting in a French railway car taking her from Paris (and love interest Ray Milland) to her next assignment: Adolph Hitler’s Berlin. Not surprisingly, she is boning up for her new post in the Nazi capital by reading “Mein Kampf.” Turning the pages, she looks increasingly disgusted, finally becoming incensed to the point where she slams the book shut and tosses it out the window.

The audience doesn’t learn precisely what that final straw was, but given the book’s notorious anti-Semitism, racism and militaristic plans for world domination, it’s not hard to imagine. Which makes me wonder: What if, in a 21st-century update of the movie, a columnist were filmed en route to Riyadh reading the Koran? Given the book’s notorious anti-Semitism (not to mention anti-Christianism), Islamic supremacism and jihadist exhortations for world domination, what if a postmodern-day Western-reared correspondent were depicted becoming agitated to the point of throwing the Koran out the window?

Not very easy to imagine this scenario coming to a multiplex near you. At least not without bomb threats, bombast and boycotts from the world of Islam (not to mention assorted yelps and cries from the stateside sensitivity police).
- - - - - - - - -
But it’s a setup worth considering — quietly, privately, in that shrinking mental domain still free from speech controls (for now, anyway) — if only as a bit of a culture check on a real-live news story that came out of Iraq this week when a U.S. sniper was discovered to have used a Koran for target practice in the former insurgent stronghold of Radwaniyah.

And what is the point of comparison here between movie fiction and recent fact? Namely, the contrasting reactions to these two manifestations of contempt for anti-liberty ideologies. Americans in 1940 widely shared Gusto Nash’s loathing for Hitler’s totalitarian message. In 2008, the superiors of the soldier in question, right on up the chain of command to commander-in-chief George W. Bush, only express their respect for, and, in a very frightening way, submission to the Koran despite its totalitarian message — and even at the expense of the soldier’s Constitutional rights.

The fact is, assuming this Koran belonged to the soldier, there is nothing illegal about shooting it or throwing it away. Impolitic, perhaps; but snipers — trained rather specifically in this conflict to kill jihadists, who are, above all, inspired by the violent exhortations contained within the Koran — are not diplomats…

Read the rest at Diana West’s blog.


closed said...

He violated orders.

He was ordered to not do stupid things like that and stir up the superstitious muslims.

His act endangered the lives of his fellow soldiers.

That is what he will be punished for. Not for defacing his own property by shooting it.

Spinoneone said...

Kbarrett said: "He was ordered to not do stupid things like that and stir up the 'SUPERSTITIOUS' muslims.

Are you kidding me?!! Muslims are not "superstitious" but they are very attuned to the opportunities presented to promote dhimmitude among the idiot kaffirs who do not know or understand Islam and the fact that it is NOT a religion but rather a socio/economic/political construct whose aim is total world domination and control.

We seem to be working overtime to help them achieve their goals even thought that is most definitely not in our own best interests.

spackle said...

"What is it about Muslims and the Koran that can reduce even the U.S. military to such a state of slavish submission?"

Respect that borders on insanity for the physical book is something that is practically in Muslims DNA. When I was about ten years old one of my best friends was an Indonesian boy who was a couple of years older then me. One day I put a glass of soda on top of a book which turned out to be the Koran. The next thing I remember was seeing stars. My "friend" slapped me so hard I fell out of the chair. He then balled me out for putting my drink on his holy book. Needless to say, that was the end of our friendship.

Just to elaborate. This insane respect for the Koran and Islam didnt stop his father (an Indonesian diplomat) from enslaving the housekeeper (an untouchable from the motherland) and using her as a sex toy. Last I heard she ran off (literally) and married a white guy she was seeing in secret. Good for her.

spacecase said...

Dhimmitude exemplified!
At the very least, we should demand reciprocity; didn't the terrorists who escaped Israelis into the Bethlehem Church use a Bible as toilet paper?

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Well, in the 'stan just yesterday a perfectly good Lithuanian soldier was shot dead by a crowd that attacked the Lithuanian PRT base in Chaghcharan, an otherwise peacefull and pro-ISAF province. The koran thing was the supposed reason for the crowd, though smart money says that someone put the crowd up to it (and paid them for it), the koran thing was just the trigger and excuse.

I'd be happy to use the damn book as toilet paper, but there are consequences, which sniper PFC Careless may have considered before shooting the koran. If we're going to do them muslims wrong, it should be the President or some major-general or someone similar organizing it properly and en-mass, not just SGT Asswipe being a jackass. That gets folks killed and queers the mission, which until further notice, still consists of playing nice. As is pointed out by William Lind and Abu Muqawama among others, when working COIN you either play nice or you go nasty all the way which ain't going to happen soon, so we're stuck with play nice. And sadly that means playing at least lip service to their muslim sensibilities, at least in cases where we really get SFA from offending them.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Sorry, links :

Lithuanian soldier killed in Afghanistan

Lind : In a nutshell In this kind of war, unless you are going to take the "Hama model" and kill everyone, success comes from de-escalation, not from escalation. Commented at length elsewhere by Lind and based on work by Martin van Creveld.

Abu Muqawama COIN blog : Stupid soldier, quick response

Anonymous said...

Seems the consensus of comments here so far is yes, we must submit, if only to keep the peace.

Magnus Zinnen said...

I think kbarrett and Fellow Peacekeeper are right; it was a dumb thing for this soldier to do, whether or not it was his koran. If he, as a private citizen in the west, had shot at the koran, or thrown it out the window of a moving train to protest the idiocy and hatred of the koran, I would certainly defend his right to do so. In this case, though, he is a representative of the U.S. and the coalition forces, and ought to have better sense. His actions are going to cause problems for the mission and could get some of his fellow soldiers killed. Since right now we're not at war with every Muslim in Iraq, we shouldn't try to make things harder on ourselves.

That's why I don't find Diane West's comparison all that valid. The reporter in her example is a private citizen; she doesn't in any way represent a government, especially a government that is occupying the country. It's an entirely different scenario from what happened with the soldier. Imagine the president of a company or a university telling a mildly sexist joke to some of his buddies when they're out fishing...if we found out about it and feminists started raising hell, I think most people would just roll their eyes and wish the feminists would get a life. But if he told the same joke at an official company or university function, the response would be different. We might still think that the feminists are overreacting, but I think most people would realize that it was stupid thing for him to do.

Profitsbeard said...

Leaving a shot-up Koran for the irrational locals to find is about as bright as saying "Hi ugly!" to a big, scar-faced biker thug.

This is a case of a dumb soldier endangering his fellow soldiers for nothing but silly fun and games.

Shoot Korans, if you get the urge, but at least have the brains to clean up the mess left on the firing range if there is a majority Muslim population nearby.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Fellow Peacekeeper

I blundered into Hama on my motorbike in early 1982. After the bombardment, but while they were still doing the roundups.

Still don't know how I got out alive after having been pinned down by a soldier pressing his rifle into my left nostril.


As far as Syria was concerned, it was effective though.

The Arabs now have a concept called "The Hama Rules". The Hama Rules are that there are no rules - and the populations of almost every Arab country fully understand that they all live permanently under the Hama Rules.

christian soldier said...

The number of Muslim students at one of the military academies has grown exponentially since 2002- a mini mosque has been built to accomodate them--has the same been done at the other four?

A ??? was asked within the article as to what is happening to our military and its view of the Quaran.

MY guess P C !!!

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Sir Henry Morgan,

No kidding, you almost managed to be in Hama at the time?

The use of Hama as a paradigm of extreme kill-em-all measures came to Lind via Martin van Creveld, the great Israeli military historian and theoretician. I presume that this is quite deliberate using a otherwise little known Arab-centric event instead of how the Romans dealt with Carthage or the Genghis Khan did to Khorasan (where repeated Muslim uprisings in the cities through central Asia were dealt with by extermination of upwards of 90% of the population - brutality overcoming fanaticism).

Defiant Lion said...

There is some rather odd logic at play in the comments here.

If we're worried about endangering soldiers lives, maybe we shouldn't send them into a distant land where they aren't welcome. Whether they deface the Koran or not, they are targets because they are infidel invaders in dar al Islam.

If the soldier was being punished for disobeying orders, why mention the actual act of shooting the Koran? Discretion and diplomacy sometimes have a place and could have been used here instead of making it all public.

Muslims kill their own koran-reading people. All they need is the slightest excuse to rant and rave, protest hysterically, violently, muderously. Islam is as Michelle Malkin rightly observes, "the religion of perpetual outrage". Its insane fanatical followers crave to be "offended victims" to justify mayhem and intimidation and that is exactly what this is about.

We should be imposing by force our superior values and way of life so we destroy Islam and give those people over there a better and brighter future free from the shackles and oppression of this vile, retarded death cult.

If we aren't prepared to do this then we tie one hand behind our soldiers' backs and it is we who are placing them in danger, not some individual using the koran for target practice.

Sir Henry Morgan said...


What happened there would have been world news if it hadn't been for the fact that the Falklands war started at about the same time.

How did I blunder into a still cordoned off town? - Well, there's a strange thing about cordons - they always face one way, and though it may be impossible to get out of an inward-facing cordon it's a piece of cake to get through it from behind ... and the other way around for an outward-facing cordon. It's a bit like prisons - almost impossible to escape from, but a piece of cake to break into - we have a bit of a fuss going on here at the moment about people breaking into prisons to sell drugs to inmates.

I've read various accounts of casualties from Hama ranging from 5000 dead up to 40,000. Most of these must have been from the roundups after the bombardment because the structure damage to the residential areas wasn't THAT bad.

When I got to where I was going (Qatar) I went to talk about Syria with one of my Arab work colleagues (a military contract with the Qatar Armed Forces) who was part of their security service. He told me 40,000.

I actually had my closest call at Homs later the night I got out of Hama. The Brotherhood attacked the hotel I was in (I assume to kidnap me) for the night, but the army had anticipated the possibility and had laid an ambush in the park just across the road. A lengthy gun battle. Fancy that eh - used as bait and I didn't even know it. I should have guessed the Hama operation hadn't eliminated the Brotherhood. Of course, we now have our own problems with the Brotherhood's successor/related organisations.

They've never tried again in Syria though - perhaps there's a lesson to be learned there?

Defiant Lion said...

I think the picture of the week and the description below it over on the religion of peace website makes the point for me far more eloquently than my last post.

Muslim Hypocrisy

ole said...

Kbarret said "they violated orders"
So what ? As a soldier you often " violate" orders when they get too stupid or redigilous.
In more-or-less quiet periods an army often spits out countless regulations about this and that, which everybody happily forget about when the bullets starts flying around.
Or atleast that's how it works in the IDF.

Henrik R Clausen said...

The comment from The Religion of Peace bears quoting:

Two things happened in Iraq last week. A US soldier shot a discarded copy of the Qur’an, and al-Qaeda strapped explosives to an 8-year-old girl, killing more Iraqis in the name of Allah. Only one of these acts enraged Muslims. Do you know Islam well enough to know which?

That book *deserved* to be shot!

At least, instead of issuing an apology, we could have demanded an explanation from Islamic scholars why in any way it can be otherwise.

I still didn't see a picture of the 'crime', though...

Zenster said...

I suppose that right now wouldn't be the very best time to mention my deep-seated and unsatisfied yearning for rolls of toilet paper with the entire Koran printed on each one.

I want to give this book the sort of cover-to-cover attention it truly deserves.