Afghans eager for a U.S. exit smell more than burning Qurans. They smell weakness.
And to radicals suckled on racism, sexism, nihilism and religious hatred, that’s like smelling salts.
There’s not much you can do for such people.
The violent, inconsolable, irrational reaction of large numbers of Afghans to the Quran burning on a U.S. base – leading to the deaths of half a dozen Americans – makes you wonder if our time there needs to be cut even shorter than President Obama had wished.
Despite the president’s bizarre claim that his administration’s repeated apologies for the Quran burning had actually calmed things down, the murderous violence only continued. Many now believe the apologies may have been counterproductive – perversely validating the over-the-top Afghan anger and showing signs of weakness amid a culture that esteems only strength.
Then again, the president’s long-stated goal that U.S. troops would be leaving might also have sent such a message.
We’re not among those who argue the U.S. should not have apologized at all, though the administration probably should have been more dignified and less groveling about it.
But now the question is: Where the heck is their apology? Let’s have some perspective: We burned some holy books that, arguably, had already been defiled by Taliban prisoners passing messages in them. But we’ve had half a dozen of our people killed. There’s no moral equivalency.
Writer Ben Shapiro provides a bit of context:
“Let’s say you’re driving on a city street with your daughter in the car. You accidentally rear-end a sketchy-looking fellow in a pickup truck, scraping his bumper. He immediately climbs out of the truck, baseball bat in hand, and proceeds to wallop your little girl in the head. Should you apologize for rear-ending him?”
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday we should tell Afghan President Hamid Karzai to apologize for the American deaths – we would add profusely and publicly – or see U.S. troops exit his country,
We agree – except that we’re not sure any apology should slow us down.