There are no apologies in war — from either side

It’s easier to vilify the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghans than it is to chew out the treacherous and feuding people of Afghanistan whose weary internal apathies have caused the deaths of 1,912 Americans — unapologetically and without compunction — during the 10 years that we have been there; first to rid the Taliban, and then to repair and restore order in the tattered nation.

There are no good or bad guys in war, just winners or losers, and history will judge the isolated incidents of U.S. turmoil as the unfortunate collateral damage that they are.

The accused — a husband and father — was deployed to Afghanistan after three tours in Iraq which claimed part of his foot and left him with a traumatic brain injury, reasons enough for his deadly outburst, which came the day after he saw his buddy’s leg blown to bits, said his lawyer.

The incident highlights the acute stresses, terrors and raw emotions immersing American troops as they juggle enemies and friends in a land where enmity and violence are national symbols of pride.

A month before the killing spree, an Afghan soldier fatally shot Lance Cpl. Edward J. Dycus of Missouri, making his murder the seventh in six weeks of a U.S. service member by a would-be Afghan ally. President Hamid Karzai issued no apologies then — and none when 30 U.S. special forces troops, including more than 20 Navy SEALs — were killed when their helicopter was shot down last August.

The Afghan leader also refused to relent when two U.S. military advisers were killed last month by an Afghan soldier angered by the U.S. military’s accidental burning of Korans, resulting in mass riots and Afghans burning a black dog effigy of President Obama in the streets. There still isn’t a peep from mainstream Muslims, though, whose allegiances are still very much up in the air.

The recent Koran-burning uproar incurred apoplectic apologies from Obama, who seemed oblivious to the fact that Muslims couldn’t possibly respect the Koran as much as they claim to, or else they wouldn’t put up with the mosques being used as terror havens to recruit, finance, and train jihadists to commit acts of violence. That much was confirmed when the 9-11 plotters perfected America’s worst day at the al Quds mosque in Hamburg, Germany. And when American-born Imam Anwar Awlaki preached anti-American hate to the likes of the Fort Hood murderer at Virginia’s Dar al-Hijra mosque. And when militant Muslims laid an eight-day siege at the Red Mosque in Pakistan that left 87 people dead.

American soldiers are bearing witness to some of the worst atrocities on the planet today, including the commission of child suicide bombers by the re-emerging Taliban to kill them.

That most definitely is a very valid excuse for the isolated — even paltry — acts of gratuitous violence committed by U.S. soldiers compared to the wholesale murder of Americans that seems to be sanctioned, sealed, and certified with blessings from the Muslim world.


Shavana Abruzzo's column appears every Friday on BrooklynDaily.com. She can be reached at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com .

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