Over the past few days there has been quite an uproar over the planned quran burning in Gainesville FL. Just as over the past few weeks there has been just as much uproar over the planned building of a mosque near ground zero. I’ve heard over and over again how everyone involved has the “right’ to do these things. And they do. But with rights come responsibilities. Just because you have the right to do something does not mean you should do it.
Last night I read something on facebook posted by Michael Yon. What he posted made a great deal of sense to me. Mostly because he had put into words what I have been thinking but could not quite articulate.
Probably most people on here would have little difficulty explaining to their children, or to a little brother or sister, the difference between facile appeasement and gratuitous provocation — until it comes to the Ground Zero mosque and the “Church” Quran burning. Then some otherwise thoughtful… people lose the path and wander into a killing field of their own making.
Most good parents likely try to inoculate their children against manipulation by pointing out to them the signs and pitfalls. Yet in the case of the provocateurs in New York City, and Gainesville, they are led like raging bulls, and they will snort and charge the red cape over and over, and the crowd will roar. A few will sell tickets, or beer, or bulls and capes, while others will learn the lessons of the matador to return with another red cape and a fresh bull. The dance is predictable. The possible outcomes are few.
Our people are hunting down the enemy even as we communicate here. Let’s make their jobs easier by being very, very quiet with words that spook the field.
I’m a mom so I often think of terms of parenting. For some people my thinking or analogies may be overly simplistic but I am who I am and have to use the terms I know best.
Watching the world today I am reminded of when my children we younger and would find that one thing that would set the other one off. That magic emotional button that they could push to get the best angered reaction from the other. They were daring the other to do something.. and then would be SHOCKED when they did. All involved got disciplined for these kinds of games though. They learned quickly that provoking a reaction got them a consequence both from the other sibling and from Mom. But as is human nature there was a lot of tit for tat going on as they grew up.
So we have the muslims building a mosque to tweak the nose to the US. And a “church” in Florida reacting but tweaking the muslims nose by publicly burning a quran. We have people all over the US screaming we should not appease, which I agree, but we also should not provoke. What most Americans do not understand when they react to Gen. Peteraus’ request to not burn the quran is that not all muslims in Afghanistan support the Taliban or similar organizations. In fact most just want to be left alone but everyone. BUT they like US citizens do not like having their faith insulted. By doing something so insulting to them as to burn their holy book you are taking those who would normally either be neutral or help our troops and pushing them into a role of enemy that they really don’t want to be in.
So to everyone involved who thinks they’re helping by demonstrating and burning Qurans…stop helping! Once again I am reminded of my children when they were very young and “helping” me bake a cake. In reality all they did was break eggs and make a huge mess. But unlike my toddler helping bake a cake, the mess made by those up in arms and “helping” are going to cost lives. Not just our military lives either. The provocations are escalating, emotions are on a low boil and not many are thinking clearly.
This is a battle. We have allowed the jihadist to make us react in an emotional irresponsible way. We have allowed ourselves to be provoked. And instead of responding in a manner that will fix the problem we are only making it worse. Stop and think for a moment be honest with yourself, when you go into a situation in an overly emotional state nothing good comes out of it. You can’t fight or think well if you let emotions take over.
Let’s face it one of the best tactics in winning a fight is to make the other person become overly emotional and lose their temper. Whether that fight be a debate of words or physical. We have allowed our emotions to take over. We’ve taken the provocation bait and that puts us in the weaker position. Do you feel manipulated yet?
I am not saying “why can’t we all just get along”. I am saying.. stop taking the bait and playing into the hands of those who want you to react emotionally. It weakens us.. Cooler heads should and will prevail. And if you chose to keep on with the “get a reaction, lets show them” mentality.. do NOT be shocked when you get the reaction your provoking will bring.