It’s not often that I react strongly to the words of a politician.  Usually, I am more concerned with what they do than the banal, calculated script that they seem to recite when in front of cameras.  But today was different.

   Earlier this week, troops at a military installation in Afghanistan burned several Qurans which sparked demonstrations and acts of violence throughout the country.  2 American troops were killed in an attack by an unknown assailant wearing an Afghan National Army uniform.  In response to the incident, several members of the U.S. government including Pentagon officials and the President issued a formal apology to the people of Afghanistan and the muslim world in general.  And this is where the problems started.

Obama said in the letter delivered by Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan,

“We will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, including holding accountable those responsible”

The commander of NATO’s ISAF, Gen. John Allen, apologized Tuesday. The materials had been gathered for disposal and were inadvertently given to troops for burning, Allen said.

“It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam, it was a mistake. It was an error. The moment we found out about it, we immediately stopped and we intervened.”

The Taliban rejected the apologies and called on Muslims to attack NATO military bases and convoys and to kill soldiers following the admission that NATO troops had incinerated the books at Bagram Airfield.

Supporters of the Jamiat Talba-e-Arabia group chant slogans while burning a U.S flag during an anti-American rally in Karachi February 22, 2012.

Protests in Pakistan related to Quran burning.

    When I read about President Obama’s apology I almost fell out of my chair.  Why is there no apology from Afghan President Karzai regarding the troops that were killed when an angry mob attacked a NATO base?  Does Obama not understand the implications of what he has done?  By apologizing to the Afghan people (and muslims everywhere), the President has, in no uncertain terms, stated that human life is less important than inanimate objects…in this case, books.  Additionally, this apology condones the barbaric reaction of the mob.  By expressing contrition about the book burnings, the President has given tacit approval for the use of violence as a means of expressing disagreement or apostasy.  He is trampling upon the fundamental ideals that this country holds as central to our identity.  There is no argument of logic or ethics that can justify murder as a means of dealing with opposing points of view.  I don’t care how offended a group of people are, no civilized society should condone acts of violence as a response.

   As if that were not bad enough, the apologies issued by the President and the Pentagon dishonor the soldiers that were killed and every service member in uniform. This apology reduces the perceived value of our soldiers to a station below that of a book.  It’s inexcusable.  I have not seen a reaction by our government this bad since President Clinton sent our troops running home from Somalia after the “Black Hawk Down” incident.  Both then and now the highest levels of leadership in this country failed to live up to the principles that they supposedly covet: honor, duty, loyalty.  Instead they sold us out for political expediency.  Unfortunately, we can’t count on our main-stream news services to call this what it truly is, an act of cowardice.  Our government is more concerned with not offending someones beliefs that condemning barbaric behavior.

And people wonder why I don’t vote!

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4 Responses to Insult and Injury

  1. Capt Steve Land says:

    I was right with you all of the way Untile you said that you do not vote. That action cheapens our fighters lives and it cheapens American as a people. It cheapens the processes that we went through to get to be the Great Nation that we used to be.

  2. Eric Collazo says:

    I would disagree with you concerning voting. While I appreciate the sacrifices that were made to secure the liberties we enjoy as Americans, I do not think that voting is mandatory. I will vote if I believe a candidate is the right person for the job, however I will not vote for the sake of voting. I find that to be a meaningless gesture.

    • Capt Steve Land says:

      I will not argue with you but I will say that if you vote for the best of the picks you at least try and be a part of what happens. Griping ; even though your grips do have merit; that is only the first of two steps in the process. The last step and of as much merit is to pull that lever. You know kind of like show what you think by actions. Words are easy. Actions are not always that way. Though I DO respect your right not to vote. By not doing so you cheapen your words. Show your conviction. Vote these guys out. Put what you feel beside mine. Enough of us will vote him out. Your non vote just could be the one that let him stay.

    • Eric Collazo says:

      Actually, I think I have a better position to “gripe” from. I can always say “at least I didn’t vote for him/her!”. If the “best” of whats available is not someone I think is fit for office, it would be ignorant of me to vote for them. I would just perpetuate the problem. Voting just to vote is empty (to me). If I take action, it must be with purpose.

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