Greyhawk - So, maybe they won't burn a Koran. Or maybe they will. Or maybe Fred Phelps will.
The whole thing's a story I was going to stay out of. But I got an email from a friend in Afghanistan who's a long way down the totem pole from General Petraeus, and thought I'd share.
Burning the Koran is going to fuck us all up over here. REALLY bad idea. Unless what you're trying to do is cause a mess. Be prepared for some serious shit that we over here seriously don't need. Not kidding.
And yes, the Afghans are aware and waiting to see what happens. No, they are not happy. Yes, it does matter. No, I'm not kidding and I've not gone native. All humor aside, it is important and not a single person is going to do anything to stop them from costing lives. My honest appraisal is that it will cost lives and turn people who take this very seriously against us. Needlessly.
So, there you have the thoughts of a guy who's actually engaged in defending freedom from extremists - at risk of life and limb. Personally I consider that at least as worthwhile as the opinions of those who enjoy the fruits of his labors, or are hypothetically willing to join the fight as demonstrated by their courageous typings on the innernets.
Daily brief: Quran burning protests sweep Afghanistan
Thousands of enraged Afghans and Pakistanis protested a small evangelical church's plans, currently on hold, to burn Qurans on September 11 by burning American flags and chanting "Death to Christians" (BBC, Pajhwok, AP, AFP, Post). Insurgents have reportedly handed out pamphlets in some areas of Afghanistan comparing the Quran burning to Draw Muhammad Day earlier this year, and a Pakistani Taliban commander in South Waziristan said his group is telling people the planned Quran burning is on par with drone strikes (ABC, Newsweek). Thousands of Afghans hurled rocks at a small NATO base in the northeastern province of Badakhshan in protest, and according to the head of UNAMA Staffan de Mistura the country-wide protests could delay Afghan parliamentary elections, scheduled for September 18 (AFP, AP, Reuters, Tolo).