By now most of you have heard that the nutcase preacher down in Florida (whose name I won't mention so there's less chance of linking to his site) who had threatened to burn a Quran last September 11 has gone ahead and done so. His actions, which received almost no press in this country, appeared on his church's web site for the whole world to see. Islamic extremists in the Middle East saw, rioted and people died and are still dying. So, what can be done?
Let's first get out of the way that the guarantees of the First Amendment protect this dumb ass from being prosecuted for doing dumb ass things. And don't think that I'm about to argue why this clown and his actions should be exceptions. I'm an absolutist when it comes to the First Amendment, so as far as I'm concerned, there ain't no exceptions. But this case and other examples, like the riots after a Danish newspaper printed "offensive" cartoons of the Prophet, should raise a red flag or two. At least as this relates to our future dealings with the Middle East and their oil.
See, whether one agrees with the concept that Muslim extremists want to foment a religious war or not, the Quran burning and the reaction to it happened. I think that we may have to face the fact that the start of such a war is out of our hands. And by "our hands" I mean those of use who are rational!
It now appears as if any nut case, or group of nut cases, can get a reaction from religious extremists half a world away with no more expense than a book, some lighter fuel, a match and a web cam. And there's not one thing we can do to stop them. What we maybe can do is try to defuse the reaction from the Muslim world. We could try and make clear that burning holy books is not the country's policy but the actions of a few. Of course, we could also get our troops out of their countries. And stop propping up dictators. And stop buying their oil.
Oh heck! I don't think we can stop it at all. So the question has to be, what group or groups in our country might want to start a world wide religious war? I'll deal with that soon.