At roughly the same time President Obama’s letter of apology for the accidental burnings of discarded Korans was making its way to Afghanistan, a man dressed in an Afghan military uniform murdered two American soldiers, at a protest outside a U.S. military base.
From the New York Daily News:
The statement from President Hamid Karzai’s office says the U.S. ambassador delivered the letter on Thursday.
In the letter, which is quoted in the statement, Obama expresses his “deep regret for the reported incident” and offers his “sincere apologies.”
According to the statement, Obama wrote: “The error was inadvertent; I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.”
If that is not what Obama put in his letter, the White House needs to get out in front of this, pronto.
Apparently no one felt motivated to apologize for the murder of the American soldiers, or the deaths of at least three Afghans during the increasingly violent riots. It’s enough to make one doubt the possibility of having a civilized discussion with people who fly into a murderous rage over the accidental burning of a book.
Not surprisingly, the Taliban – our new “partners in peace” – jumped on the incident to encourage the killing of more Americans. From an MSNBC report:
The Taliban urged Afghans Thursday to target foreign military bases and kill Westerners in retaliation for burnings of copies of the Quran at NATO’s main base in the country as a third day of violent protests began.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered across the country, some chanting “Death to America!”, Reuters witnesses and officials said. In eastern Kabul, hundreds of youths threw rocks at police, who fired shots into the air to try disperse the crowds.
“Our brave people must target the military bases of invader forces, their military convoys and their invader bases,” read an emailed Taliban statement released by the insurgency’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. “They have to kill them (Westerners), beat them and capture them to give them a lesson to never dare desecrate the holy Quran again.”
As of this writing, I don’t believe we have any confirmation on whether the man who murdered those American troops was an actual Afghan soldier, or an insurgent wearing a stolen uniform.
At least the Afghan government we sacrificed so much blood and treasure to install has our back, right? Not according to the Washington Post:
Protesters and many members of the Afghan parliament, some of whom are meeting with Karzai on Thursday to discuss the incident, also have called on Afghan soldiers and police to turn against their American counterparts.
For his part, Karzai told lawmakers that he might demand a trial for the Western troops responsible for the Koran burning, according to Afghan politicians present at the meeting. Karzai has strongly condemned the act but also urged protesters to refrain from violence.
This is all sending a powerful message to the forces of anti-civilization, but not the one we should be sending.