Another Disgraceful Apology Frenzy

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.


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Two recent news stories about Afghanistan reveal the delusional mentality of those conducting our foreign policy. The first is about some Marines who urinated on the corpses of Taliban fighters. Such behavior, of course, is mild compared to the sort of brutal treatment of both the living and the dead typical of all wars ever fought. Nonetheless, this act is contrary to the rules of war and the professional code of the Corp, and as such should be punished. That’s all our official spokesmen need to say about the matter, for it concerns a violation of our military’s high standards that have helped make it the most professional, lethal, and ethical force in the world.

The foreign policy establishment, however, has fallen all over itself issuing solicitous apologies. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her “total dismay,” a reaction stronger than her comments about the Egyptian military slaughtering Copts. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta phoned the utterly corrupt and duplicitous beneficiary of our power and money, Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, to assure him that those responsible would be found and punished for such a “deplorable” act. Of course, this is a part of the world where brutal violence against civilians is routinely used as a tool of politics, and where torture and mutilation of the living, let alone the desecration of the dead, are standard operating procedure. Yet we cede the moral high ground to Karzai, who said the soldiers’ behavior was “inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms,” something I don’t recall him ever saying about the terrorists murdering our soldiers. Even more risible was the response of the Taliban, who condemned the “inhuman act of wild American soldiers,” one “in contradiction with all human and ethical norms.” This from a group that when it ruled Afghanistan, used a European-built soccer stadium to bury non-shari’a-compliant women up to their necks and then stone them to death, and to machine-gun and behead other miscreants.

I know the rationale for all these anxious protestations of our “dismay.” As one of the consistent purveyors of such pointless public relations efforts, The New York Times, put it, the video raised “fears in Washington that the images could incite anti-American sentiment at a particularly delicate moment” in the war. This is the same old delusion that has conditioned our behavior for a decade now: the notion that jihadist hatred of us is the consequence of our bad behavior and offenses against Muslims, and so we have constantly to apologize and remind them how much we respect and honor their wonderful religion. Even before 9/11, our foreign policy officials took every opportunity to tell Muslims how wonderful their faith is. Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, called Islam “a faith that honors consultation, cherishes peace, and has as one of its fundamental principles the inherent equality of all who embrace it.” Except, of course, for women, homosexuals, and infidels. George Bush wasn’t much better, claiming in his first address after 9/11 that Islam’s “teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.” Bush’s Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, called Islam the religion “of love and peace.” Hillary Clinton is on record praising Islam’s “deepest yearning of all––to live in peace.” No surprise, then, that these days official government policy proscribes any mention of “jihad” in public communications, and forbids any linkage of jihadist terror to Islamic doctrine. Of course, all this puffery is contradicted by Islamic theology, jurisprudence, history of conquest and occupation, and the continuing record of religiously sanctioned terrorist violence––18,283 attacks just since 9/11.

Complementing this flattery has been our hysterical reactions to bad behavior, both real and invented, perpetrated by our forces. The abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, most of which rarely rose above the level of a fraternity hazing, was labeled “horrific” by the Times, making us wonder what adjective the Times could use to describe what went on in Abu Ghraib when Saddam Hussein ran it. Then too, multiple investigations and public apologies followed from the government. Worse yet is the reaction to outright fabrications, such as the lie that prisoners in Guantanamo were abused and tortured, or the absurd allegation that a Koran was flushed down a toilet. Once again, apologies and investigations poured forth from the government in response to transparent propaganda. The reason for all this public breast-beating is the fallacious belief that Muslims really want to like us, but our insensitive misdeeds against their religion leave them psychologically vulnerable to terrorist “highjackers of Islam” who promise justified payback for infidel disrespect.

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  • Alvaro

    The administration is just after an easy way out. They want to say they didn't lose the war. That it was a negotiated peace. So they obviously are against US soldiers urinating on the enemy, while they themselves don't mind urinating on their own troops who gave their lives. Disgraceful.

    The only apology that should be made in this matter was that they didn't bury the civilian clothed Taliban bastards in pig skins.

  • al Kidya

    We should be pissing on live Taliban…not dead ones.

    • Rocky Mountain

      Excellent

  • oldtimer

    how soon we forget. what about the men whose bodies were dragged through the streets, hung by there feet and all televised.
    and this country should bow or apoligize to no one. remember also, clinton and obama never served in the military.
    more were killed in the towers than at Pearl Harbour. never condone evil.

  • davarino

    So your saying I have to piss on them BEFORE I kill them. Got it.

    The tide will turn. I never saw any of these stupid idiots taking history classes in college so they dont know that America only takes so much. Then when the line is crossed all hell will rain down on our enemies. One of these numbnuts will do that one thing that will trigger the response that will end it, once and for all.

  • al222

    there are two types of Americans: those who add up the plusses and minuses of our history and conclude that, warts and all, this is the best nation on earth. then there are those who make the same calculations and conclude that America must be "fundamentally transformed." unfortunately, the electorate opted to put the latter group in charge of running the nation. hopefully the same, perhaps wiser, electorate will kick them to the curb in 2012.

  • hammar

    How do you expect people with no faith such as obama and clinton to react but to bow down to the false religion of islam. These marines where doing the job they were sent to do. Kill
    terrorist.

  • The Infidel

    Has noone noticed also that obumbler has ordered our troops to show respect towards islam and the afghan culture? This is precisely what those brave soldiers did, although they showed respect in a very mild way, they didn't hack the bodies to pieces, didn't castrate them, did not drag them behind their humvee or hang them burning from the nearest lamp post.

    So what is the dingbats in the whitehouse complaining about, they ordered it after all.

  • sedoanman

    Where are the liberal demands that obama take responsibility for this just like they demanded Bush for Abu Graib?

  • mrbean

    Oooooh dear… the bad old marines made a wee wee on the talibans, Howww awful. How will we ever face the world, ooooh dear…

  • Steve Chavez

    Seriously, what experience did Hillary Clinton have in any government position to be the Secretary of State? Being First Lady on your resume might get you a job at McDonald's but only if you speak Spanish which I don't think she can so what else could that make her qualified for? President or Vice-President which is about to happen when Obama replaces Biden, who will "resign to be with my family" with Hillary. Now those who voted for the First Black President will now get to vote for the First Female Vice-President which will be a stepping stone for President. Both votes are racist since they voted only due to the color of his, which made MLK's Dream a Nightmare, and then voting based on gender.

    Hillary may be a bright woman but you still some experience in the field. When she's giving policy speeches, sometimes not in sink with her boss, I cringe thinking how gullible she probably is in tough negotiations which need to forcefully lay down the U.S. position which in many times, are long-standing.

    Panetta too is inexperienced in the field of Defense and the CIA.

    The whole Obama administration is a JOKE and the whole world knows it!

    • mrbean

      Hillary Rodham Clinton has never done anything significant in her entire life and her inflated opinion of herself is downright laughable. If she had not chased and married Bill Clinton and hung on his coat tails she would never have been a "carpetbagger" New York Senator from Arkansas, and for damn sure she would never have been an also ran failed contender for the Democrat Party 2008 Presidential candidate nomination. Hillary Rodham Clinton has never gotten one single job on her own anywhere in her life. And when she got them she botched every single one of them. But now this inept failure is the Secretary of State and again failing miserably in every way.

  • magic

    By electing Obama, the American people offered up the biggest apology to the muslim world. Now what Clinton does, or Condoleezza said pales into insignificance.

    What's more, people have realised that the first apology was perhaps not sufficient for the muslim world and if the polls are anything to go by, the Americans are going to apologise again!

  • bill

    overthehillbill
    I have to go along with what Rep. West of Fla. said: If you have never been shot at by
    the taliban just shut up!!!

  • mrbean

    Sorry about that. But when you gotta go you gotta go! heh heh heh

  • LindaRivera

    My deep concern is the horrific atrocities that are done to LIVING NON-MUSLIMS every day.

    In Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs live in daily fear of Muslims.

    I am outraged that government leaders and media are SILENT about the terrible things and barbaric murders that are perpetrated by Muslims on LIVING NON-MUSLIMS every single day.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    How about telling them that if they stop desecrating the corpse of dead Americans, we'll stop pissing on the corpse of dead Taliban.

    • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

      You didn't piss on any Taliban, Jim. I mean you blog, so you piss in the wind, but that's about it.

  • pagegl

    So much for ever having another general like Black Jack Pershing. If any of our generals were to do what he did the heads of the idiot left would explode due to apoplexy.

  • BLJ

    I still think it was a waste of perfectly good American urine. They should have used some pig feces instead.

    I could care less what Karzai thinks. He is a corrupt lowlife who stabs us in the back every chance he gets. Let Afhganistan rot.

    Hillary Clinton is the worst Sec of State in American history. Seems to take after her clueless boss.

  • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

    Where are all of the Paulans here to cheer this witch on??

  • Ghostwriter

    Could someone forward this to Michael Scheuer? It might teach him a few things.

  • mrbean

    missy hillally, you want big stud boyflend? Meh soo Hawnny! Meh so hawny! Meh ruv you rong time! Meh numba wun frocky – socky! You neber go back tah Bill!

    • Ghostwriter

      Good grief,mrbean. Join the 21st Century. Please stop with the "Amos n' Andy" routine? It's getting real old real fast.

      • Tanstaafl

        I agree.

        On the subject of Islamic appeasement, the alligator may eat you last, but it will still eat you.

  • john freethinker

    Those Marines do not need punishment; they need a lesson. Where I come from, predators do not get pissed on. Their skins get nailed to the wall.

  • EamonnDublin

    The only way by which the military (any military) can do its job properly in a war situation is to de-humanise the enemy. This is a fully acknowledged method of coping with killing other human beings. It is practised by all military organisations. So, with that in mind, how can the likes of Mrs. Clinton and her fellow apologists, whose only involvement in war is sending young men out to do battle, kill and be killed, cry "foul" when a soldier urinates on a corpse which he does not really consider to be the remains of a human? Yes, the soldiers should obviously not have done it, but Mrs. Clinton and her ilk should be concerned with far more important matters. Éamonn, Dublin, Ireland.