David Petraeus is a retired U.S. Army general — the four-star variety. He served in combat and commanded troops in the fight against international terrorists.
He served for a time as the nation’s spook in chief, aka the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
He’s written a compelling essay for the Washington Post in which he argues forcefully against those — that would include you, Donald J. Trump — who propose to ban visitors to this country based solely on their religion.
Here’s the crux of what Gen. Petraeus is trying to convey:
“I have grown increasingly concerned about inflammatory political discourse that has become far too common both at home and abroad against Muslims and Islam, including proposals from various quarters for blanket discrimination against people on the basis of their religion.
“Some justify these measures as necessary to keep us safe — dismissing any criticism as ‘political correctness.’ Others play down such divisive rhetoric as the excesses of political campaigns here and in Europe, which will fade away after the elections are over…
“As policy, these concepts are totally counterproductive: Rather than making our country safer, they will compound the already grave terrorist danger to our citizens. As ideas, they are toxic and, indeed, non-biodegradable — a kind of poison that, once released into our body politic, is not easily expunged.
“Setting aside moral considerations, those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims should realize they are playing directly into the hands of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. The terrorists’ explicit hope has been to try to provoke a clash of civilizations — telling Muslims that the United States is at war with them and their religion. When Western politicians propose blanket discrimination against Islam, they bolster the terrorists’ propaganda.”
Take a look at the complete essay:
How about returning sanity — and intelligence — to this issue of protecting ourselves against those who seek to do us harm?