The "Koran riots": an opportunity?

It may be hard to remember, but we have tens of thousands of troops in Aghanistan ostensibly because we are at war with Islamic fundamentalists. Let me repeat: we are at war.

One of the characteristics of war is that you use all necessary force to achieve your objectives, up to and including killing the folks who are working against those objectives. In war, you do physical violence to your enemies to achieve your aims. And one of our big challenges in this particular war is that sometimes it’s hard to distinguish enemy from friend – or, more subtly, enemy from unfriendly civilian.

The Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan who are now running around committing murder and mayhem, claiming to be outraged by a book-burning, are pretty clearly putting themselves in the category of actively hostile enemy. Which means they are valid targets for military reprisal. This is a useful distinction. Our troops in harm’s way can now take action against the perpetrators of this mob violence, without any of that nagging doubt that they may inadvertently harm civilians in the heat of battle.

In other words, Pastor Jones has done the inestimable service of “smoking out” the enemy. Wouldn’t we now be better off taking advantage of the opportunity he has created, rather than whining about the danger our troops now find themselves in?