The following is an excerpt from an article in Russia Today regarding protests in Afghanistan directed at the US:
Thousands of protesters in Afghanistan rallied against the US this week after discovering that Americans had charred and purged copies of the Koran. President Obama was quick to extend an apology, but some of the GOP want things the other way around.
“I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident,” Obama wrote this week to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.“I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies.”
Gingrich responded to the president’s attempt to qualm anti-American sentiment by insisting that Obama is in the wrong for trying to make peace with people whose religion has been ridiculed by US troops. American officials are calling the Koran incident inadvertent, and, nonetheless, Gingrich says there is no point in the president saying he’s sorry.
“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 told supporters during a campaign stop Thursday in Washington State.
“This destructive double standard whereby the United States and its democratic allies refuse to hold accountable leaders who tolerate systematic violence and oppression in their borders must come to an end,” Gingrich added in a statement.
Administration spokesman Jay Carney told reporters early Thursday that Obama’s apology was “wholly appropriate, given the sensitivities to this issue, the understandable sensitivities.”
“His [Obama’s] primary concern as Commander-in-Chief is the safety of American men and women in Afghanistan, of our military and civilian personnel there,” said Carney. “And it was absolutely the right thing to do.”
Gingrich said hours later that things should be reversed, in his opinion. “It is Hamid Karzai who owes the American people an apology, not the other way around,” said the speaker.
“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 on somebody who doesn’t care,”he added.
You’re right Mister Gingrich, what was Obama thinking? We spent billions of dollars on the war in Afghanistan, investing a decade of our precious time invading their country and we are the ones who have to live with the burden of killing tens of thousands of the Afghani people and desecrating their dead bodies. They should be apologizing to us. I mean, what were we supposed to do not invade their country and kill their people? If they can’t understand our glorious reasons necessitating our continual war against their country then they don’t deserve us.
All sarcasm aside, however, Gingrich is actually right on two counts here:
1. The United States’ foreign policy is indeed plagued by double standard. We impose sanctions and threaten military aggression against Iran because we think that maybe they could have nuclear weapons in the future – yet we have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, with no move made towards disarmament, we remain the only country to have ever used a nuke with a nuclear program with even less transparency than Iran’s and we’ve been involved in two wars of aggression in the last decade while Iran has engaged in . . . zero. We spout on and on about how much we love democracy, how we want to bring it to the rest of the unenlightened world, and about how our wars abroad will spread democracy but we give foreign aid to dictators around the world – in fact, we give more foreign aid to Israel’s enemies than we do to our ally, Israel. We talk about how our national defense is under constant threat yet we have the single most aggressive foreign policy in the world resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of foreign civilians.
2. We do not need to be in Afghanistan risking our lives and wasting our money. Because it is a waste: in both of our country’s time, resources and human lives. We need to bring our troops home out of harm’s way and let the Afghani people run their own country.
My only question, though, is this: If our military is “inadvertently” burning Korans are they inadvertently burning Bibles as well? Maybe we should demand that Afghanistan apologize for our military’s hypothetical Bible burning as well.