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Aug 21

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:43 AM 

Photo: Major General Hammond apologizing for the Koran sniper incident.

I was on a plane to Europe on June 6, the day this column by Col. Hunt appeared on the Fox News website, and missed it until someone sent it to me this morning. It's about the Koran Sniper incident, which, I am reminded, took place at the end of May. When I looked up my own two columns on the subject, I was actually surprised at how recently these events took place in a blur disgrace that never receieved the appropriate amount of clarifying attention. Col. Hunt puts it all into sharp focus by concentrating on the chain of abject apologies from the military in Iraq to the president  in Washington, and what it means to our ultimate war effort. It's called "Time to Bring Them Home." He writes:

That’s right, bring the troops home now. Its over, the bad guys won, terrorism is victorious, we have been defeated!

I never thought I would write such words, ever. But then again, I never thought I would ever hear the president of the United States apologize for the actions of one soldier. I never imagined, even as bad as the military leadership has been in this war (and it has been awful), that a two-star general in the United States Army would utter the words, “I come before you seeking your forgiveness … I look in your eyes today and say please forgive me and my solders.”

The presidential and general officer apologies, and the pictures of a U.S. Army Officer kissing the Koran and handing it to an Iraqi, should tell us that this war is over. These defeatist words were a completely wrong headed reaction to the criminal activities of an ignorant, ill disciplined soldier who shot at a Koran and wrote graffiti on its pages.

For a general officer in today’s military to make such a statement, as Major General Hammond did last week, he would first have to clear it with his three-star boss, who would have to clear it with his four-star boss who would have to clear it with his secretary of defense boss. And, after hearing the president utter the words of apology, it is clear that this one general’s remarks were cleared all the way to the White House.

All this checking with bosses does not occur in a vacuum; the generals and their boss’ staffs talk before, during and after such an event. All actions of our military, especially anything that even hints at a political action, are approved on a computer, on the phone or with a fax. The point here is that what happened with the Koran and how our government dealt with it was cleared all the way back to the president of the United States. Things that are cleared by the White House become policy, so I am saying our “policy” is one of apology not victory.

Hell, when the president speaks, his words can become policy. So we can all now more see clearly that this administration is so strangled by politics and political correctness that it cannot see beyond the actions of one soldier or get that when a nation has to apologize for stupidity it is seen as less than by our enemies, not serious, not worthy. The nation that apologies in this manner is not interested in winning.

If we are not in this for victory then stop throwing our soldiers lives away, bring them home now.

Our military leaders have zero independent thought and even less action, this incident with the Koran apology is emblematic of why we have as a nation have been losing this war, despite the bravery of our soldiers. Did I mention that the president apologized? We have had over 4,000 soldiers die and more than 35,000 soldiers wounded defending Iraq and one of our soldiers makes a mistake and we kiss the Koran and beg for forgiveness? You have got to be kidding me. We have this recent success in Iraq with Basra and Al Anbar Province and we celebrate these successes with an APOLOGY? Don’t blame the press or another political party, neither of them had a damn thing to do with this incident or the insipid policies that led to it.

We have lost the high ground, we have lost our clarity, and we have become weak and unworthy of the sacrifice of our soldiers. You cannot have soldiers dying on the battlefield on one hand and generals and presidents apologizing for those same brave soldier’s mistakes on the other. Does anyone see a problem here? My fear is that this incident has gone completely unnoticed and that the rest of us are paying more attention to “American Idol” than to this war. I pray I am wrong. I pray we are worthy of our soldiers. I pray that we are the people we imagine ourselves to be.

Get this, war is an ugly thing but there are some things uglier, one of them happened on 9/11, we seemed to have forgotten that.


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