President Bush has apologized to Iraq’s prime minister for an American sniper’s shooting of a Quran, and the Iraqi government called on U.S. military commanders to educate their soldiers to respect local religious beliefs.
One of a growing list of things that Bush and Clinton have in common is their love of apologizing for stuff they’re not to blame for. In Clinton’s case, slavery, and in Bush’s case the Koran shooting. Indeed, Bush likes apologizing to Muslims almost as much as Clinton liked apologizing to black people. Maybe that’s why Muslims are “the new black man.”
As for the offending soldier: doesn’t he know that you don’t play target practice with the Koran? The Koran plays target practice with you!
And that’s what makes the Koran-shooting incident so controversial. I’m sure his disciplining officer will set him straight on that point.
While we’re apologizing, our Iraqi proteges are already threatening us:
[Prime Minister Nouri] Al-Maliki’s office said the Iraqi Cabinet called on Tuesday for the “severest” punishment against the sniper and warned of “grave consequences” if similarly offensive actions were committed in the future.…On Tuesday, Khalaf al-Elyan, a senior Sunni Arab lawmaker, said the sniper must stand trial, preferably in Baghdad.
Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, the commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, met with tribal leaders in Radwaniyah on Sunday to apologize while another American officer kissed a copy of the Quran before presenting it to the chiefs.
On Monday, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, paid visits to al-Maliki as well as Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi and parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, both of whom are Sunni Arabs.
Al-Hashemi, the top Sunni Arab in the government, told Austin that “the feelings of bitterness and anger cannot be eased unless there is a deterrent punishment and real guarantees” such an incident won’t be repeated, according to a statement from his office.
Al-Hashemi expressed his appreciation for the visit but asked for a written apology from the U.S. military.
The vice president’s Iraqi Islamic Party also issued a tough statement saying an apology alone was not enough and the U.S. military should impose the “severest punishment” on the soldier.
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