Six U.S. military men have been murdered by Afghan security forces seized by what may be labeled Quran-Burning Rage.
On Feb. 20, a NATO-Afghan security team at the Parwan Detention Center -- adjacent to the U.S.-run Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul -- began destroying files, books and documents from the detention facility library.
Much ink has flowed over the recent apologies from President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and General John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, following the burning of copies of the Koran and their careless disposal. An apology may have been justified. A national mea culpa was not.
Most wars have a turning point that either signals the road to victory or the ditch of defeat. In Vietnam, the 1968 Tet Offensive by communist troops against South Vietnamese and American forces and their allies is regarded as the turning point in that conflict.
President Obama apologized this week for the U.S. military's accidental burning of Qurans in Afghanistan. "I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident," said Obama. "I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies. ... We will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible."
Forgiveness is a discipline that transcends cultures and bridges many divides when words fail. Without it, the world would look like the chaotic mess that is Afghanistan these days, where an alleged Quran burning by the U.S. military supposedly inspired deadly riots and the murder of U.S. troops.
"I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. ... I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies."
Amb. John Bolton: "Apology is a sign of weakness"