The Corner

Re: No! No! No! No!

I agree with Mario Loyola, but I would add a fifth “No!” Even if one accepts the good intentions of General Dempsey, his attempt to ameliorate the situation actually makes it worse. In telephoning a private citizen over a movie he’s made, he is giving the impression that the content of a work of “art” falls within the purview of the United States government. This is the same mistake that moronic tweeter at the Cairo embassy made. General Dempsey is, therefore, legitimating the strategy of the mob in taking out its anger over such work on U.S. government facilities. Thus, he makes it more likely that, come the next cartoon or teddy bear or whatever, embassies and other buildings will be attacked — because General Dempsey has confirmed that this is the government’s business.

This is a truly stupid move on the General’s part — and a reminder of why free societies have civilian control of the military: When you’ve grabbed the Terry Jones pin, you’re way off the ops-room map.

Personally, I think the General and the Cairo tweeters should be fired. But nobody in American government gets fired for anything anymore . . .

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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