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Phil In The Blank


Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio


Still learning from 9-11



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September 15, 2010 - Sept. 11 fell on a Saturday this year, which made possible a whole day of 9/11. MSNBC ran coverage of the terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington D.C., Shanksville, as they happened nine years ago. The History Channel cleared its entire day's schedule for it.

It seemed to bring to a head the "Ground Zero Mosque" and "burn a Koran day" issues, at least for now.

I don't agree with what the Koran burners did. I respect Muslims and their religion. I even went to war to defend them. I have a Saudi Arabian Liberation of Kuwait Medal to prove it.

One argument against it was annoying, that it "puts our troops at risk." It's saying our troops are like hostages, to be killed whenever the terrorists want, instead of heavily armed soldiers trained and experienced in killing them back if they try anything.

But someone buying a Koran and burning to send a message is the sort of thing we do here. Freedom of speech. The whole "I disagree with what you say, but will defend to my death your right to say it" thing.

It exposed how people really feel about freedom of expression. When President Obama preaches about tolerance and freedom of religion when discussing the New York City Mosque, the next logical question is, do you also support the Koran burners' right to free speech?

Well, no.

So kudos for not letting folks off the hook, holding their feet to the fire. In the end, it didn't even require burning the book to make the point, although some did.

***

Speaking of freedom of expression, it occurs to us that squashing a debate on whether Clarkston should be dissolved or not isn't.

What kind of American pressures other Americans not to have a discussion, in America, on any issue, no matter how "premature."

So we'll do it. We have a studio with microphones, cameras, lights, and everything. Watch for details next week.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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