Thursday, March 15, 2012

An apology?

According to the New York Times Afghans aren’t angered by the recent “alleged” murder of 16 Afghans at the hands of an American soldier.


KABUL, Afghanistan — The mullah was astounded and a little angered to be asked why the accidental burning of Korans last month could provoke violence nationwide, while an intentional mass murder that included nine children last Sunday did not.

“How can you compare the dishonoring of the Holy Koran with the martyrdom of innocent civilians?” said an incredulous Mullah Khaliq Dad, a member of the council of religious leaders who investigated the Koran burnings. “The whole goal of our life is religion.”

That many Americans are just as surprised that what appears to be the massacre of 16 people at the hands of an American soldier has not led to mass protests or revenge killings speaks volumes about a fundamental disconnect with their Afghan partners, one that has undermined a longstanding objective to win the hearts and minds of the population. After more than 10 years, many deaths and billions of dollars invested, Americans still fail to grasp the Afghans’ basic values. Faith is paramount and a death can be compensated with blood money.

That the mullah was astounded and a little angered is subjective not objective and is a matter of opinion. Still this is an old trick where you find one person with a particular view that jibes with whatever propaganda you are spreading which in this case would be Afghans are religious fanatics. Yet with just a quick search on the net we find a totally different story coming from the Guardian and is in fact reported one day prior to the NYT story and with the vast resources available to a media giant such as the Times omitting the protest reported on Tuesday in a Wednesday article had to be purposeful in order to slant the news though in this case it is more like an outright lie.


Around 2,000 students in the Afghan city of Jalalabad join a protest on Tuesday against the US-led military campaign in their country …

And keep in mind we don’t really know what is going on in Afghanistan having to rely on the likes of the NYT and the Guardian and the rest of the media which never questions anything the government says. We simply don’t know yet compare what we do possibly know which is that there were 2,000 Afghans involved in a protest and were outraged by the murders and compare that to what the NYT implies. It seems clear that the NYT is trying to portray Afghans in a poor light. They are fanatics, crazy, and accept “blood money”, they aren’t like us “normal” and “sane” Americans that shoot small children and laugh while doing so as some reports say happened in the murder spree. Then the NYT tells us that Obama apologized when in fact the quote they use is not an apology by any stretch of the imagination.

“The statement coming from President Obama, saying the killing of Afghan children felt the same as if they were American children, was reported widely by the local press,” Mr. Humayoon said. “Previously you would have a bland apology.”

It may be a statement of empathy but it is clearly not an apology not even a bland one. An apology would be something more like “We are truly sorry and apologize for the people who died as a result of American violence.” True apologies usually contain the words apologize and sorry. To imply that all Afghans are not moved by the death of small children and others because of the opinions of one Mullah is like saying all Americans are crazy because of what one American may have said. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to believe that Afghanistan may be just as diverse in its population as most other nations are.

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