Was Obama's Apology to Karzai Appropriate?
Once again, President Obama is elevating Islamic beliefs above the vital interests of the United States.
The media and NATO are largely reporting the Quran-burning incident in Afghanistan as a major U.S. military blunder -- an accident, if you will. As such, Obama's written apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai should not provoke outrage because the military inadvertently burned Islamic books in violation of Islamic law. It appears to be axiomatic to the establishment that the military had no right to destroy the books.
What's largely missing from the reporting is the reason the U.S. military removed and destroyed the books from its library at the United States-run Parwan Detention Facility next to the Bagram Airfield.
The most we've gotten is that handwritten "extremist messages" by prisoners were apparently found on the pages of the Islamic books. We're told that prisoners were exchanging hidden messages within the high-security prison. Afghan workers at the base noticed the Islamic texts in a trash pit and pulled four Qurans from the smoldering debris.
NATO's military commander U.S. Gen. John Allen explained that the books were mistakenly sent to a burn pit on the base. Allen stated that he is "working together with the Afghan leadership is the only way for us to correct this major error and ensure that it never happens again." NATO has called for an investigation and is "gathering the facts."
Well, it would appear that they already have some relevant facts that aren't being released or discussed. If we know that "extremist messages" were found in the books, why not disclose the messages? After all, the messages apparently were the real reason the material was destroyed.
Secondly, we know that the Islamic texts were the property of the United States military. The books were made available for the good pleasure of the prisoners who are trying to kill the infidels who provided the material.
The United States has no obligation to provide any reading material to non-uniformed enemy combatants. And the military exercised its right to remove the books from its library and to destroy the material. If Afghan Muslims are unhappy with the consequences, maybe they should channel their excitements toward the individual prisoners who "defiled" the Qurans by writing in them. It is unreasonable to expect that the U.S. military should be compliant with sharia religious law in destroying its own property.
The AP reported that a delegation of Afghan Islamic leaders and government officials called for an end to the Afghan protesting and violence. But the delegation also said it expects that U.S. military personnel will be criminally prosecuted for the Quran-burning via the U.S. court-martial system.
On a bright note, Obama's letter to Karzai stops a little short of calling for prosecution of the infidels. As reported by USA Today, here's what Obama recorded for history:
I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident," Obama wrote in the letter delivered to Karzai today, and released by the Afghanistan government. "I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies. The error was inadvertent," the letter added. "I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible."
Of course, the military personnel in charge of taking out the trash on the day in question may feel a little uneasy about what Obama means by "holding accountable those responsible." I don't think Obama is referring to the murdering Afghan protesters.
Newt Gingrich didn't parse words in condemning Obama's apology to Karzai. He pointed out that within a few hours after the Obama groveling, an "Afghan soldier had killed two U.S. troops and wounded others in retaliation for the Quran burning." Gingrich noted that:
"There seems to be nothing that radical Islamists can do to get Barack Obama's attention in a negative way and he is consistently apologizing to people who do not deserve the apology of the president of the United States period," Gingrich said. "And, candidly, if Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, doesn't feel like apologizing then we should say good bye and good luck, we don't need to be here risking our lives and wasting our money[.]"
It seems to Newt, and I think most Americans, that the president of the United States should be demanding an apology from Karzai. After all, this is the same President Hamid Karzai who unequivocally vocalized his contempt and lack of appreciation for the United States. When Karzai announced in a 2011 TV interview that "he would side with Pakistan in the event of any war with America," that alone was sufficient reason to pull all U.S. troops from Afghanistan immediately.
Mr. Gingrich made another observation regarding Mr. Obama: "This president has gone so far at appeasing radical Islamists that he is failing in his duty as commander in chief."
Well, maybe not. At least not according to Obama's understanding of his duty as commander in chief. Recall Obama's subversive words from the infamous Cairo speech:
I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.