First it was the Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones, who was in no way connected to the U.S. government.
This week a man deeply embedded in the Obama administration, Virginia-based military instructor Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, raised the spectre of a disturbing American Islamophobic trend once again, when he virtually called for a “Hiroshima, Nagasaki” – style “destruction” of the holy Islamic sites of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
Within what Dooley described to his increasingly nervous classroom last month as a potential “Counter-Jihad Op Model” for the U.S. he spoke of the need to reach a position where “Saudi Arabia [is] threatened with starvation, Mecca and Medina destroyed [and] Islam is reduced to cult status.”
When several students raised objections and brought the material to the notice of superiors in late April, the Department of Defence (DOD) suspended the course and was also said to have suspended Dooley, although he reportedly still has his job teaching at a city college in Norfolk.
At the time Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordered the directors of joint military education institutions to examine the scope and content of training and education courses dealing with Islamic extremism “to ensure they are appropriate and in keeping with U.S. values and principles,” according to officials.
In his talks Dooley also had harsh words for efforts within the U.S. to promote inter-faith harmony. Specifically he addressed the controversial “Ground Zero Mosque” project, called the Cordoba Initiative, asking the class, “Why the name Cordova? Why timed to 10 year anniversary of 9/11?”
Reacting to the now publicly-available text of the lectures, General Dempsey was quoted as saying, “It was just totally objectionable, against our values, and it wasn't academically sound. ... We're pushing back on liberal thought. This was just objectionable, academically irresponsible.”
While officials admitted that the course had been taught at the staff college since 2004, it was only this week that the details of the class curriculum came to light, with Wired.com’s Danger Room blog obtaining hundreds of pages of course material and reference documents from a source familiar with the contents of the class.
Among the more troubling arguments contained within the lectures, Dooley spent significant time disputing against the presence of a moderate, tolerant mainstream Islam. “We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam,” Dooley noted in his July 2011 presentation.
“It is therefore time for the U.S. to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction,” he argued.
He also pressed the point that the U.S. was founded under a “Judeo-Christian” ethic of reason, and said to the young recruits in his class, that as professional soldiers their oath forced them to pick a side.