‘Pastor’ Terry Jones: American Traitor
let’s face facts:
(1) we invaded Afghanistan and we’ve occupied Afghanistan for years now. a lot of the population hates us just for that. every invader up to and including Alexander the Great has regretted that decision. we’re in the process of learning it. after all, how would you feel if the US was invaded and occupied for a decade?
(2) we can barely perform an air strike that doesn’t kill innocents. if we had an airstrike on the Moon or the Sun, we’d probably kill innocents somewhere. that’s also fact. how would you feel if our occupiers killed American innocents by airstrikes or other means?
(3) the world has only just come to realize what Afghans have known for some time: some of the occupiers have killed Afghans for sport, taking trophies, as in the worst days of the Vietnam Era. how would you feel to know that murdered Americans were desecrated in that manner?
(4) the majority of Afghans want us out, including Karzai. we act in ignorance of Afghan culture, which hurts our efforts. some time back, Karzai was exasperated enough to half-threaten joining the Taliban because Allied demands were so pronounced and out of line with Afghan ways. Karzai has little or no control outside the cities, and many of the Allied efforts have done little to increase Afghan governmental influence beyond the cities.
added to that is the unspoken assumption that we are trying to make them over into something we want, which is inherently wrong. their way is going to have to be an Afghan way, regardless of our wishes; and we cannot impose our will. however, pundits still talk of our efforts to ‘save Afghans from themselves’, which is offensive in itself.
(this does not take into account the corruption in the Afghan government, including Karzai’s; that’s a separate matter.)
(5) many or most of us grew up in a secular society, predominantly influenced by Christianity. the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and religion (Dick Barton, our own fundamentalists, Dominionists and Reconstructionists to the contrary). Afghanistan is historically and culturally without these things. a Constitution cannot be accepted and imposed, with immediate results expected. it takes time, sometimes generations, creating a democratic republic, let alone any type of democracy.
(6) as i understand it, in many Muslim (Sunni) societies, the government functions as a representative of Allah, and sharia law is often the case. yet sharia differs from one Muslim country to another: THERE IS NO UNIFORMITY IN DEFINITION. Southeast Asian sharia is not the same as African sharia; neither is MidEast sharia. geographical, cultural and historical factors will indicate the type of sharia to be followed, as will the inclusion/rejection of hadiths. this is much like the evolution of any religion, including Christianity, as it spreads its influence over time.
even if not a direct theocracy, religion is interwoven with politics in ways beyond our own, more secular forms.
(7) Afghanistan is primarily tribal, moreso than Iraq or other countries. they are very conservative. they hold on to old, accepted and trusted ways, which aren’t necessarily our own. there are even instances where tribal law is favored over sharia or Islamic law. as such, they’ll take a hard line to what they’d consider blasphemous or idolatrous.
(8) Terry Jones was repeatedly warned back in September of 2010 not to proceed with the Koran burning. among the people who warned him were General Petraeus and SecDef Robert Gates. he promised not to do so. however, he is a narcisstic sociopath. he wants attention, and he doesn’t care who gets hurt or killed, as long as his point is made.
" “It was intended to stir the pot; if you don’t shake the boat, everyone will stay in their complacency,” Mr. Jones said in an interview at his office in the Dove World Outreach Center. "
(9) on March 20th, Jones carried out his mock trial and broadcast it over the internet, showing himself to also be a liar and a hypocrite, by going back on his assurances not to do so. the quote above shows that he did so precisely to provoke a response, although he had been warned it would endanger the lives of Americans, troops, and allies.
the news was broadcast in foreign media, and finally made its way to Afghanistan. the response was predictable: rioting, followed by death. a UN compound was attacked and members killed (as well as Afghans). the next day, an American base was attacked by suicide bombers (which failed), endangering American troops. riots continue to the present moment.
Jones is unrepentant. his action was the last straw, provoking a people who’d been increasingly frustrated over and over by the invaders within their midst. he set off this fire, yet (1) claims he isn’t to blame and (2) demands immediate action against Muslim nations.
he helped create this horror, he blames the people he incited to violence, and he smugly sits as the center of attention again.
Terry Jones, in my opinion, has committed treason against the United States. Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."
Terry Jones has given aid and comfort to the enemy, if that enemy is considered as the Taliban and/or al Qaeda. he’s given them propaganda–on video–that will last for years and years as a recruiting tool. he couldn’t have given them a better gift. that video can be used over and over and over to recruit new members, stifling any efforts by the US/NATO to the contrary. given the tribal culture of Afghanistan, it’s the gift that keeps giving, and Terry Jones gave it to our enemies.
(in my opinion, Terry Jones is no different from our enemies. if our laws were lax enough, he’d behave exactly as they do.)
terrorism works more efficiently through propaganda than through violence, especially these days. with computers and cell phones, videos can be made or altered to suit the purposes of terrorists and broadcast widely as a means of recruitment or intimidation. i have no doubt the Taliban and others will use Jones’ video for recruitment purposes.
the influence of propaganda has been made visible in one nice little monograph: "YouTube War: Fighting in a World of Cameras in Every Cell Phone and Photoshop on Every Computer"
moreover, unlike Julian Assange, we have direct proof that his actions have directly endangered Americans and their allies. this will also continue for some time to come. i believe he could also be prosecuted for that, as well, since he was specifically warned of the possible harm to our efforts if he proceeded to hold his mock trial and burn a Koran. he was warned from the highest levels of the United States Government.
(as an aside, this is probably an additional propaganda tool in Karzai’s efforts to get the coalition out of Afghanistan. he’s been having trouble getting the mercenaries out, too.)
Terry Jones has probably set back any ongoing efforts of the US/NATO coalition for some time. they are now going to have to worry about the increased probability of attacks, no matter where they are. once-trusted friends or allies may no longer be so in the face of seeming American hypocrisy, and many efforts may have to be renegotiated or begun from scratch.
Terry Jones is no different from the enemy we are fighting. he cares for his ego and his worldview; he cares nothing for this, country, anything or anyone else.
some will cry out ‘freedom of speech’, yet it has been decided time and again that speech can be censored where it will cause harm to others. many if not most states have laws against speech that incite violence, and Jones, as he himself stated above, deliberately set out to provoke. Supreme Court decisions on that matter have been on the books for quite some time.
no one is blameless in this matter, yet Terry Jones, as the instigator, bears the weight and the brunt of the guilt. it’s my belief that he should be brought up on federal charges, since he’s done more damage to the United States (via propaganda) than a terrorist attack in an American city. if found guilty, he should be imprisoned for (1) aiding the enemy and (2) endangering the lives of American troops.