"Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan - and around the world - to inflame public opinion and incite violence," Petraeus said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.Yeah, we wouldn't want to hurt our reputation among members of the Taliban, Iran's Revolutionary Guard, or Hamas...
What if some Northerners wanted to burn a picture of Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. Could you imagine General Sherman publicly warning them not to engage in such acts lest we offend the South? Same in World War II or any other war where America's leadership actually had bothered to identify and fight our enemy. Would Petraeus have asked us to goose step around and wear swastikas while we fought the Nazi's so as not to offend them?
The very fact that an American General must issue a warning to Americans not to engage in actions protected under our Constitution is proof of the danger of that enemy! The enemy is acting to quash dissent and subjugate individuals to the dictates of Islamic law. That is why they are the enemy!
Now, I am not a fan of burning books, and I am certainly not a fan of this reverend, however, this protest is perfectly legal under the First Amendment and should be vigorously protected by our government. The First Amendment is not about protecting speech that will make everyone happy. It is about protecting speech that is likely to upset a lot of people. The armed forces exist to protect the individual rights of Americans, not to goad us into not exercising our freedom in order to not make those who oppose that freedom angry at us!