Monday, September 6, 2010

Even David Petraeus is scared of the American far right

Can't blame him, either:

KABUL—The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said the planned burning of Qurans on Sept. 11 by a small Florida church could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort.

Gen. David Petraeus said the Taliban would exploit the demonstration for propaganda purposes, drumming up anger toward the U.S. and making it harder for allied troops to carry out their mission of protecting Afghan civilians.

"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," Gen. Petraeus said in an interview. "It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."

Hundreds of Afghans attended a demonstration in Kabul on Monday to protest the plans of Florida pastor Terry Jones, who has said he will burn copies of Islam's holy book to mark the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Afghan protesters chanted "death to America," and speakers called on the U.S. to withdraw its troops. Some protesters threw rocks at a passing military convoy.

From the Wall Street Journal (h/t jblaque on Twitter).

Interestingly, my dad recalls hearing a French journalist interviewed (perhaps on BBC news, though I'm not 100% sure of that). This guy had actually learned the language and got to know actual Taliban people. What was interesting was that among the numerous countries they were fighting against, the only country that they actually seemed to hate was the US. (Canada was apparently not mentioned in the interview, so I don't know if they see us as distinct from Americans or not). If anyone recognizes the interview, let me know in a comment; I'd like to find a link if one is available.

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