The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Thursday, March 1, 2012

On the administration’s apologies for the burning of Korans by US military personnel in Afghanistan:

Well, the president’s apology — look, I understand the reason he did it. And I’m sure he is sincere. But I think he is simply wrong. I mean, he is wrong for the same reason he was wrong at the beginning of the administration [when] he went abroad and apologized everywhere for everything — including, for example, apologizing to Iran for what happened in the first year of the Eisenhower administration. Thinking it would calm things down, ameliorate relations.

It didn’t. It doesn’t.

If I thought for a moment that a string of apologies that the administration made over this [Koran incident] in Afghanistan would save a single American life, I’d support it. But demonstrably it hasn’t. After the apology of the president, after that string of groveling apologies, you had the grenade attack in Kunduz. You had the shooting of two Americans at the interior ministry. You had the bomb attack in Jalalabad. And now you had what happened today, the cold blooded shootings in Kandahar—[there’s been violence] all over Afghanistan.

If anything, the apologies, these strings of apologies from high level of the United States, betray a kind of defensiveness, uncertainty and even a sense of guilt that the ordinary Afghan would think, “the Americans are going through a ritual of high level apologies,” [therefore] there is something large happening here.

I think it’s demeaning and it’s ineffective.

[You do] one apology, one acknowledgment of the commander on the ground to the effect that [the burning] was a mistake. It was unintentional. And that is it. And then to say we will not tolerate attacks on Americans.

That is the correct response.

On President Obama’s failure to marshal public support for the war in Afghanistan:

Look, he has been conducting a war that he himself has surged. To use a term from the ’60s, “escalated.” Tripling the troops and doubling spending. And he has not supported the war rhetorically or by investing any political capital. Leaders of a war, from FDR to George Bush, [understood] if you are investing in a war, you are committing soldiers who are going to die in a war, you need to go to the public for… support.

Obama has not. That is a huge failing. And it betrays a sense [that] he may not have had his heart in this at any time.

On the death of Andrew Breitbart:

First of all, it’s a terrible tragedy. A man so young, a wife and four young kids left behind.

I didn’t know him. But I watched him and knew of him. He is a man of incredible passion and commitment. And courage. He is the guy that brought down ACORN, one of the great corrupt institutions that nobody in the media wanted to go after.

And, you know, when people die, you say they are irreplaceable as a cliché. But I think in his case, it’s true. A guy that was pursuing the truth with utter fearlessness — that is not easy to find in our business.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


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