Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Verdict first, sentence later

Or, in the modern world, which is so topsy-turvy that Lewis Carroll would find it far too confusing, apology first, inquiry later. Apparently there were reports, so far unconfirmed, that some Korans might have been burnt by NATO troops after "books were taken from prisoners after the US uncovered a secret Taliban message system".

As soon as those unconfirmed reports went out crowds gathered outside Bagram, with people getting hysterical and one person being hurt when NATO troops fired rubber bullets.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the reports that the Koran had been burnt, as did the Taliban who said the incident would hurt the feelings "of one billion Muslims around the world".
To be fair, this is excellent propaganda for the Taliban whose care for the feelings of Muslims (particularly those they murder and torture) is well known and not much else can be expected these days from President Karzai who is looking forward to a very uncertain future. However, when it comes to NATO commanders one would prefer to expect something more rational:
The Nato commander in Afghanistan has apologised over reports foreign troops may have burnt copies of the Koran. Announcing an inquiry, US Gen John R Allen said any "improper disposal" of religious materials was inadvertent.
Would it not be a good idea to have that inquiry first and try to establish what happened and only then apologize, if necessary, rather than give propaganda points to the other side?


  1. I'm tempted to take the heat off the Yanks and burn a few Korans meself...

  2. Oh don't. We'll never hear the end of it.