Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rev. Wade "sword of vengeance" Burleson responds to my post on the Kandahar massacre

The Rev. Wade Burleson, who called at the end of February on his blog to bring down "the sword of vengeance" on them thar savage Afghan Muslims who were outraged over the Qur'an-burning incident at that time, finally responded to my criticism at him by adding the following update to his post The Absolute Absurdity of Apologizing for Burning the Koran 02/27/2012. (Update 10/29/2012: The Rev. Burleson has changed the name and graphics on his blog to Istoria Ministries Blog; he seems to have kept many of the posts from his previous blog but not the one quoted here. As of this update, the post is cached here.) He never allowed my comment to appear in his comment section, but the link in the text below is to my original post on the subject, which included the text of that comment:

(Update) - The U.S. soldier who murdered women and children in Afghanistan should be executed. In fact, he should be handed over to the Taliban and let them execute him. To murder women and children, as what happened in 9/11, is not war, it is genocide. Anyone guilty of genocide should be put to death (see the Nuremburg Trials). And, any moron who tries to equate the unconscionable actions of this murdering US soldier to the actions of other soldiers fighting a just war against genocidal murderers should move to Afghanistan and live with the Taliban.
Now, I'm not sure the good Reverend's update is consistent with his statements in the same post:

When dealing with religious fanatics who believe murder is an appropriate response for the burning of their religious material--ONE SHOULD NEVER APOLOGIZE.
[Referring to atrocities by Gen. Pershing in the Philippine War that he recommend the US follow in Afghanistan:] Either way, Pershing definitely NEVER APOLOGIZED for anything.
You don't apologize when at war. If you have to apologize, you shouldn't be at war. The United States is at war. NO MORE APOLOGIES. The more you apologize, the weaker you look. The weaker you are perceived, the more your people are murdered.
Muslims should be free to worship in the United States, but any Muslim terrorist or nation who devalues human life, refuses liberty for his neighbor, prevents the pursuit of happiness, or kills someone who refuses to be a Muslim, should be a a terrorist or nation that is dealt with by force, not apologies.
Technically, I guess the Rev. Burleson didn't "apologize" for the soldier's murderous rampage at Kandahar. He "only" recommends, "he should be handed over to the Taliban and let them execute him."

You can refer to my recent posts on the subject, not just the one he links, to see if there is anything remotely resembling his description of me as a "moron who tries to equate the unconscionable actions of this murdering US soldier to the actions of other soldiers fighting a just war against genocidal murderers". I'm certainly impressed with the Christian spirit of his lying about the content of my post. I'm sure his suggestion that I belong together with people he describes as "genocidal murderers" who he has made clear in his post he wants to see subjected to the "sword of vengeance" with "NO MORE APOLOGIES" was also meant in the same generous spirit of Christian love.

Since this kind of discourse is typical of blowhard warmongers, I'll point out a few things here.

The good Reverend's update rant fails to address the issue of how his, uh, intemperate warmongering from a couple of weeks ago contributes to the atmosphere of hatred, violence and revenge that is the backdrop for incidents like the Kandahar massacre. I'm not surprised. Preaching hatred and violence against Muslims is what Christian Right fundamentalists do these days.

I'm a Catholic Christian and I actually do agree with the US bishops' opposition to the death penalty, so I can't go along with Rev. Burleson's demand that the Kandahar shooter be put to death. Plus, the guy may genuinely have been nuts or suffering from a brain condition sustained in his several Iraq combat deployments.

And it's certainly chivalrous of the Rev. Burleson to condemn the US soldier who "murdered women and children in Afghanistan". I assume if he found the murder of the adult male victims in this rampage objectionable, he would have stated that, as well.

The idea that the US military should turn an accused or even convicted soldier over to the Taliban or even the Afghan government in the current situation is ridiculous. (He wrote "Taliban", not the Afghan government; let's presume he knows the difference.) I've written here over the last week how dimly I view the Pentagon's record on prosecuting war crimes by US soldiers and the negative effects of that. But the Rev. Burleson doesn't even want to see the soldier's rights protected by American military law. Aren't Southern Baptist ministers supposed to "honor our troops"? I say that seriously. No one should honor the commission of war crimes, though some substantial portion of Americans do. But our soldiers are still entitled to due process when accused of crimes, however quaint our current Attorney General may consider that "due process" notion.

And, actually, no, Rev. Burleson, as horrific as the massacre of 16 people is - yes, even the murder of the adult male victims was horrific - it is not genocide. Nor did the even bigger murder of 9/11, which of course defenders of war crimes bring up routinely. Genocide is a specific kind of crime in international law, though the Rev. Burlson's post shows he clearly cares nothing about international law or even American law on war crimes.

The train of his Christian reasoning in his kinda-sorta response is worth noting: I want that soldier killt, killt, I tell you, give 'im to them Talibaners to kill 'im! So there, see? I hate the guy's guts, so don't blame me for promoting massacres like this!! Hell, I was only writing about tying men up to posts and shootin' 'em, not women and children, too! And what that guy did was genocide like them Muslims did on 9/11 - 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! - and everybody but that guy is fighting a just war and you're equating him to all our soldiers so why don't you go live with the genocidal Taliban?!

God bless the Rev. Burleson, and, as the President often says, may God bless the United States of America.

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