Sunday, March 04, 2012

Barry Rubin: Obama: Please Apologize for Burning American Credibility

By Barry Rubin
Don’t apologize. Your enemies won’t believe it and your friends don’t need to hear it.
--Bumper sticker

It should be obvious by now that President Barack Obama and his administration don’t know some basic things about the conduct of international relations. The apology to Afghanistan affair is an example of this problem but not quite in the way that the debate over it posits.

Now it is being reported that five U.S. soldiers and an Afghan interpreter are going to be charged with burning the books. If this happens, not only will these hapless soldiers who had no idea they were doing anything wrong have their careers ruined, and might face prison time, but they will have the possibility for the rest of their lives that Islamist terrorists will come after them. As for the Afghan interpreter and his family, the odds of their being murdered are very high.

The way the story has been reported--though much of the mass media has not mentioned the initial cause of the problem--is as follows. Some Taliban prisoners were writing secret messages in their Korans to pass back and forth. The books were confiscated and in order that the messages not go any further someone ordered something and these Korans were burned. I don't know the true details of this incident.

So far more than two dozen people have died, riots have proliferated, several U.S. soldiers were murdered, and Obama apologized for the destruction of the Korans.
Continue reading Obama: Please Apologize for Burning American Credibility

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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