General Petraeus has warned that if Korans are burned by Sauronic bigots our troops will be in greater danger. This has ignited a fascinating debate over at Huffingtonpost as to whether these imbeciles have the right to burn the book. Pretty much lost in the discussion is a far deeper issue: that between empire and liberty.
If we had no troops over there none would be at risk. Equally importantly, if we had no troops over there these imbeciles would almost certainly not be burning the Koran, and if they were no one would pay them much mind.
In empire there is no longer a distinction between internal politics and foreign policy. Decency and freedom both ultimately lose. If we preserve these people’s constitutional right to act like Nazis, troops who volunteered to serve their country will possibly be killed. If we seek to preserve these troops by denying these bigots their freedom, a precedent will be set that is open ended whenever government can argue Americans acting freely endanger foreign policy goals. And believe me, they will.
Free societies and empire do not mix. As Britain became freer she gave up her empire when keeping it got in the way of the rule of law and principles of liberty. As we become more an oligarchic empire, we give up our freedom.
Cry the beloved country.