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February 23, 2012 at 3:47 PM

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Newt of No Apologies

Newt Gingrich released the following statement about President Obama’s apology to Afghanistan:

It is an outrage that President Obama is the one apologizing to Afghan President Karzai on the same day two American troops were murdered and four others injured by an Afghan soldier. It is Hamid Karzai who owes the American people an apology, not the other way around. 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.

The Republican candidates (except Ron Paul) like to play the Nationalism Card, and Newt has made a specialty of portraying President Obama as weak, obsequious, and perennially apologizing for the United States. There is a certain sort of American who never thinks his country ought to apologize, and Gingrich is after his vote.

I don’t support Obama’s war. But U.S. forces are there, they are guests, and they have to respect the house rules. One of them is, you don’t burn the Koran. We don’t have quite the same rule about Bibles; to non-Muslims, making death threats over a book seems overdone. But it is their way. We know it’s their way, because this happened before when a grandstanding preacher in Florida burned a Koran on television. People died.

When this happens, smart people learn not to do it again.

What apparently happened this time was that some U.S. workers were chucking books into a fire. They were prison library books that had been used to send forbidden messages. From the account I read, it appears that the Americans burning the books didn’t know that some were Korans, I assume because the books were in a different language and alphabet, and they hadn’t bothered to check. The Americans were sloppy, maybe, and didn’t give a damn. They stopped burning the books when some Afghans screamed at them, but it was too late. Protests have erupted all over Afghanistan, several Afghan protesters have been killed, more than 50 wounded, and two NATO soldiers were shot and killed.

So Barack Obama apologized. He said, “I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. I extend to you (President Karzai) and the Afghan people my sincere apologies.”

The outrage is not that Obama chose to grovel, but that some thoughtless jerks put him in position that he had to do it.

Newt says he wouldn’t have apologized. He’d expect an apology from Karzai. I don't believe this. Newt's not that stupid. He's just trying to get a stupid man's vote.

At least, I hope so.

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