General Petraeus is concerned that a planned "burning of Quran's" by a Florida Church will incite violence in Afghanistan or elsewhere in the Middle East. Is he right? Perhaps.
But there is a bigger question- Would NOT burning the Quran's STOP the violence? NO.
Terrorist's like Bin Laden have been with us for centuries. The "Marine Hymn" speaks of "the shores of Tripoli." Rarely do Americans remember that in 1785, when Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to London to negotiate with the Tripoli envoy, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman. The response to the US was over unprovoked attacks on our ships was, "It was written in [the] Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every Muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise."
Attacks against us have continued, and it was the Islamic extremists who fired the first shots. We have over the last nine years said over and over that we as a nation do not fault all Muslims for the actions of a few. We as a nation have "bent over backwards" to accommodate and be sympathetic to Muslim concerns and beliefs. Despite this, the attacks on our citizens have continued.
Should this Church in Florida burn the Quran? Maybe not.
But to think that NOT burning the Quran will decrease Islamic extremism and violence shows at minimum a lack of understanding of history-- and possibly a naïve, "Pollyanna view" of how the world really works.