Today's Washington Post carries a story, first reported by McLatchey Newspapers, about a Marine based in Fallujah who has been "suspended" for handing out what the paper described as "only a few coins" inscribed in Arabic carrying two lines from the New Testament. One side of the silver-colored coin read: "Where will you spend eternity? (John 3:36)." The other side read: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)."
This, of course, comes under the heading of proselytzing, which military regulations prohibit. (Question: Is this regulation specific to Islamic countries? Has it always existed? I don't know.) But to get to main point, let's just say, OK, fine. Knock it off, Marine.
Here, again, as in the Koran Sniper story, what is most significant is not the action of either the target-practicing sniper, or the proselytizing Marine. It is the REACTION of both the US military and the Iraqis to these two, from any Western frame of reference, extremely minor incidents.
What these reactions reveal is the suicidal fact that our national institutions, perhaps led by the military, no longer function using a Western frame of reference, but rather have willingly submitted to the Islamic point of view.
"We are sorry for this behavior," said Mike Isho, a U.S. military spokesman in Anbar province, which includes Fallujah. He said the Marine, whom he did not identify, distributed only a few of the coins and that the episode was under investigation.
"This incident doesn't represent the morals of the Marines," he said.
I'll come back to that bizarro-noxious comment in a moment. Now, for the Iraqi point of view:
Mohammed Amin Abdel-Hadi, the head of the Sunni Endowment in Fallujah, an institution responsible for overseeing the sect's mosques, criticized U.S. troops"--
...who, by the tens of thousands, risk their lives, their limbs and their frontal lobes each and every day to try to bring security, civility and air conditioning to this benighted land...
--"whom many in the city view as occupiers, for acting like Christian missionaries. He said the coins were part of a pattern of insensitivity toward Muslims, citing the outcry this month over a U.S. sniper in Baghdad who used a Koran, Islam's holiest book, as a target for practice.
"We demand the Americans leave us alone and stop creating religious controversies," Hadi said. "First, they shot the Koran, and now they come to proselytize inside Fallujah."
Mohammed Jassim al-Dulaimi, 43, said a Marine forced one of the coins into his hand Tuesday morning as he passed through a checkpoint at the western entrance to Fallujah. He said he was shocked when he read it.
"The claims that the occupation is a Crusader War make sense now," Dulaimi said.
Now, just to refocus your Western frame of reference, think of the last time the doorbell rang and you opened it to find a gaggle of ladies with large handbags who wanted to leave you with the latest copy of The Watchtower, or some other Jehovah's Witness literature. Were you "shocked"? Enraged? Did you foam at the mouth? Or did you thank them for their "gift" and, as they moved on to your neighbor's house, toss it away?
The story continues:
Police were placed on high alert and deployed around Fallujah's mosques. Officials feared violence after Friday prayers, when imams are expected to rail against the distribution of the coins and the shooting of the Koran, said police Capt. Ahmed al-Jumaili. He added that U.S. troops had reduced their presence on the streets of the city.
Back to the Jehovah's Witness visit: Did police in your neighborhood go on high alert? Did officiala fear violence at the neighborhood church or synagogue in case the minister or rabbi "railed" against the distribution of The Watchtower?
Such behavior is, in a word, nuts. But what is crazier still is the way in which the US has assumed the placating role of the codependent, catering to this tick-tick-tick pathology by tying on the gag of self-censorship and playing along with the fanatsy of victimhood (which, by the way, is a quote from my book, p. 162).
"This incident doesn't represent the morals of the Marines," the military spokesman said. Freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion doesn't represent the morals of the Marines?