Should President Obama have apologized for the inadvertent burning of Qurans?
February 28th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Should President Obama have apologized for the inadvertent burning of Qurans?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says President Obama's apology over the burning of Qurans in Afghanistan was "the right thing to do." But not everyone agrees.

The president has come under fire for apologizing to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for something Obama calls "inadvertent" and an "error."

The Qurans that were burned were among religious materials seized from an Afghan detainee facility.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says the president's apology "shows weakness." He says that the burning of Qurans was a mistake and that the president of the United States shouldn't apologize for something that was unintentional.

Mitt Romney says that for many people,Obama's apology "sticks in their throat," seeing as we've lost thousands of troops there.

And Newt Gingrich has compared Obama's apology to "surrender." Gingrich said Karzai is the one who should be apologizing for the deaths of U.S. troops.

At least four American troops have been killed in apparent revenge attacks in the past week. Dozens of Afghans have also been killed and hundreds more wounded.

The ongoing violence is why Clinton believes the president is right to try to calm the situation. She said "it is out of hand, and it needs to stop."

Clinton adds that the ongoing criticism of Obama is inflaming the situation in Afghanistan.

Here’s my question to you: Should President Obama have apologized for the inadvertent burning of Qurans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark in Berwyn, Pennsylvania:
I am still waiting for an apology for 9/11. Anyone from the Middle East ready to apologize for that? Anyone?

If you visit someone’s house and accidently destroy something that has value to them, I have always been taught that an apology is in order. The notion that they should be thankful we are there in an effort to insure their democracy and that we should be held harmless in this situation is absurd.

Richard in Malvern, Pennsylvania:
There is no way that Obama should, once again, apologize to our enemies. What happened was unfortunate and an accident. The only apology should have come from the base commander because this happened under his direct command. Every time Obama gives in to our enemies, I get acid reflux.

As a proud member of the armed forces (who served my country in this area), I believe an apology was the right thing to do! This is not an issue to take lightly and in situations like this, we need to de-escalate hostility and not increase it! We've just seen a tragic response to this issue that was mild compared to what it could have potentially been!

Mark in Oklahoma City:
President Obama does not have a Foreign Policy....he has an Apology Policy. I'm sure that when Israel and Iran start fighting Mr. Obama already has his "apology" ready to issue to Iran. General Patton is turning over in his grave.

Posted by
Filed under: Afghanistan • Muslims • President Bill Clinton
soundoff (340 Responses)
  1. Brig

    for the safety of our soldiers and our nation....yes. The problem is the people who killed the two Americans are not the type to accept an apology and will continue to kill.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  2. David Edenden

    Yes he should have to protect the backs of the US soldiers in Afghanistan. Only those politicians with HUBRIS ... the first of the seven deadly sins ... (see Wikipedia) would say otherwise

    February 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  3. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!.................again again he just knows if he continues his love fest with people that want to kill
    every one of us he can change history.AND!!! Iran just laughs and laughs at us............the fools..... as we watch
    George Bush's fabulous democracies fall to ruin along with lives and 2 Trillion dollars.Apologizing shows just how much
    Obama does not get it nor understand a 5000 year old tribal culture,nor did/does Bush.Why do we think WE MUST !!!
    spend tax payer's money to change the world when it doesn't want to be changed..................BUT!!! we know better RIGHT!!!

    February 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  4. diridi

    Yes. Pres. Obama did right thing. You burn their Quran, and expect to keep quiet. Ha...nonsense. Nothing wrong with apology. Pres. Obama is smart and we need him one more term. God bless Obama, and the USA. period. Do not make it big, people laugh at you....

    February 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  5. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Apologizing isn't the worst thing to do, and it may not defuse the situation. Newt was against it, I guess he would have told them to go to hell. I've seen where Congress has apologized for slavery some 140+ years after it ended, did it change anything or make things better? I don't believe so. Has Germany ever apologize for killing 6 million Jews and millions of other people? The list goes on.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  6. Dr. Michael D. Knox, Tampa

    More importantly, he should apologize for all the people we have killed in Afghanistan since he took office. Then he should bring the troops and contract workers home. Dr. Michael D. Knox, Tampa

    February 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

    Presiden Obama does not have a Foreign Policy....he has an Apology Policy. I'm sure that when Israel and Iran start fighting Mr. Obama already has his "apology" ready to issue to Iran. General Patton is turning over in his grave as we speak.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  8. Ron WPAFB

    President Obama said what had to be said. We are sorry, we did not intend on burning those Qurans. On the other hand those savages should be bombed and shot on sight if they pose a threat. I say, Bomb the daylights out of the country and leave! They don't deserve help, education or food from us! They are a s corrupt as Pakistan and do not even deserve a seat at the toothless UN!
    But in your crazy crooked logic, Jack, you blaming the President???? The Book does not allow you to kill for books!!!
    However, Our Bible does not allow for the Catholic Church to sexually assault children or keep women from Health Care! Our Bible does not allow the likes of Pat Robertson and other evangelicals to play politics to beat down gays, and what good is Right to Life if you abandon the Children after they are born by taking away their Health Care???? Our Bible does not allow the mistreatment of our Elderly who the Republican Platform strips of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security!

    No Jack, it's by no means Obama's fault that the world is the way it is and we can't bad mouth others when we are trying to be as bad to our own people! That's the Republican Platform!

    February 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  9. Paul From Austin Texas

    I see no problem that Obama apologized for such a stuipd mistake. If I was Obama I would want to know who was in charge of and just how Qurans became part of waste to be burned. It is the same as Bible burning and should not have been done for any reason. I would want the person in my office to explain step by step just how such a stupid mistake was allowed to happen.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  10. Kevin SD CA

    He shouldn’t have apologized; and he should be discharging every person involved with this ignorance out of the military with dishonorable discharges for being so stupid!

    This smells like more conspiracy to destroy our Country is all!

    Are we in the twilight zone? The media is so stupid; they can’t consider real responsibility for this ignorance either!

    February 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  11. Paul - North Carolina

    No, but since he has and the apology has been thrown back in our face it's time to get all of our troops out ASAP. This is a country that hasn't changed in a thousand years and never will. Let them go back to growing poppies and fighting the same old battles among themselves. Bin Laden is dead and there is no strategic advantage to having US troops in Afghanistan. Bring them home and spend the money we're wasting there on nation building in the USA.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  12. Charlie in New Mexico

    The Quran is a religious representation and as such needs to be treated with as much dignity and respect as the Bible and Torah. When I was a young marine squadleader in "beeautiful southeast Asia", I had had Christians, Jews AND Muslums in my unit. To disrespect any of their religions is to disrespect them. As CIC the President is reponsible for the actions of any member of the armed forces and as such, YES he should apologize for such an act of disrespect of ANY religion.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  13. thom richer

    An apology may not be out of line but the extreme reaction from the incident is just that...extreme. The Quran, Bible, or any other book of religion are just that...a book. If it were the original work itself, it may be a major desecration but copies destroyed by fire unintentionally should matter little unless done to provoke hatred and disrespect of one's beliefs. However, this act aside, it further confirms that we of different faiths, beliefs, and politics do not belong over there and should leave them to their own way of life. No matter how much we wave our flag or claim good intentions, does not change the reality that our intentions are not 100% pure and noble. Unless they are 100% pure and noble, we do not have the right to interfere in other's lives, culture, religion or politics. Would we passively and docilely allow another country to do the same to us? I think not. Apologize? Who knows what is right anymore?

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    February 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  14. JD in NH

    Absolutely. And George W. Bush should apologize for the deaths of over 100,000 innocent Iraqis.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  15. Leta

    DIPLOMACY IN ACTION – President Obama truly deserve his Nobel Peace prize!

    February 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  16. BILL, WI

    There is nothing wrong with an apology for an incident that was clearly a mistake. What was wrong with Pres Obama's apology was that he also said that they (the U.S. Govt) will hold those individuals responsible accountable. Accountable? Was a crime commited? The answer is no, so to what degree does he and the DOD have in mind for punishment for those individuals responsible? Only about 30% of the people living in Afghanistan back these violent demonstrations, but I suspect that 100% of them will be waiting to see what action is taken by the government towards those responsible.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  17. Jk from Minnesota

    I the apology makes it safer for our troops in that country then he absolutely should – especially if Obama, the Pentagon and Congress insist on stayingt there. If the books were being used as a tool for the Taiban, then let that should be publicized also. My next door neighbor is in Afghanistan and since this incident, I think about him every time I hear there have been casualties. We really need to get the troops out and shift to counter terrorism.

    February 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  18. Conor in Chicago

    Yes. Any sensible leader is going to apologize for our soldiers inadvertently burning the Muslim holy book in a country where doing such a thing is tantamount to killing a million people. This way we, as Americans, can say that no matter what happens next we did all we could in apologizing. Any violence on their part is now inexcusable. Also, the violence that has occurred since serves as a justification for all people who are tired of this administration and the previous one trying to bring the Enlightenment to the most backward people on the planet. Reason will never defeat religion. The best thing you can do is try to contain it where it exists. I think we can do that in Afghanistan without occupying the country . Get the hell out of there now. Let these people fester in the 7th Century where they belong.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  19. Bill of New Mexico

    Remember 9-11?

    The Moslem world cheered and danced in the streets for what Allah had done to the Great Satan!

    Instead, get all the Americans out of all Moslem countries, and bring all Americans home.

    America is being conquered by debt.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  20. Gary Street

    Of course he should have apologized. This is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of common decency, something the Republican radicals can't seem to understand.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  21. Ken from California

    No! He should have fought fire with fire. He should have sent them some Bibles to burn, and told them, "we are now even".

    February 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  22. Evinia Bruce

    Of course!!!!..that you should even ask this question again re-enforces the arrogance of the USA.... good luck with that 'winning the hearts and minds".. bringing democracy nonsense ..
    .why doesn't ANYONE ever talk about the REAL reason the
    US is in Afghanistan? ... mineral rights and a gas/oil pipeline ..which is why there will never be meaningful withdrawal of American soldiers. they need to protect and monitor the bases built along the route of the pipeline ..look at any map of Afghanistan... where the bases are located ..
    .i'm a Obama fan ..but in this instance he has been as dishonest as all his predessesors [ spell ].....BC CAnada

    February 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  23. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    President Obama made the mature and polite gesture when he apologized. However, there are two groups involved in this issue who should be ashamed of their own behaviour. First are the Afghani protesters who act like spoiled children throwing public tantrums and all the time not realizing that the Quran is not the paper it's printed on but ideas which cannot be burned. Second are the Republican candidates trying to look macho but appearing as reactionary fools. A plague on both their houses.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  24. Bob C

    If you visit someones house and accidently destroy something that has value to them, I have always been taught that an apology is in order. The notion that they should be thankful we are there in an effort to insure their democracy and that we should be held harmless in this situation is absurd. If we failed to apologize, the results may have been much worse. Apologies are not a sign of weakness but simply a matter of respect. If we don't show respect, how can we expect it in return.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  25. pat in michigan

    Yes he should have .We screwed up and should be honest enough to admit it.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  26. neverquit

    The President must do as neccessary to lessen the risk to our troops, an apology is a small price to pay if it saves lives. In the long term let's get the hell out of there!!!

    February 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  27. Greg Turman


    In 2004 the "media" told a story that Korans had been flushed at GITMO. Riots broke out in Pakistan resulting in 17 deaths. Weeks later we found the story to be false. Do not recall an apology from anyone.
    Recently, we hear a story of burned Korans and U.S. soldiers being murdered. The commander in chief apologizes??
    Next thing you know U.S. tax payers will be shook down for Afgan birth control.
    Gregory Turman

    February 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  28. Doug Ericson

    Oy. How can you say on one hand, it is ok to blow peoples heads off in a country, but on the other hand you can't burn a bushel full of fairy tales. ( I am against gobbledeeguke from all of the religeons for the record). So Obama should not have apologized to the Afghans, but he should have apologized to the American people for prolonging the day we exit Afghanistan. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  29. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Of course. If Muslims accidentally burned Bibles, or the Torah, our Santorums would be rioting and we'd need Karzai to apologize to us. Apart from it being the right thing to do, anything that calms the Afghans means more of our troops coming home alive. Cheney never heard Dylan sing, "It's just that one should never be where one does not belong."

    February 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  30. Ed from Texas

    Yes. If it can save just one of our soldier's lives in Afghanistan, then it's ok by me.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  31. Annie, Atlanta

    Of course he should have, not only as our President but as our Commander in Chief. Didn't Bush do the same thing? Where were the howlers then? Oh, that's right, it's only ok if you're a Republican. Silly me, I forgot.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  32. Jim, Denver CO


    At least he had the decency to do so. You know the 4 Republican candidates would have had a hissy fit if a Bible had been burned and would have demanded an apology. It goes both ways.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  33. AbdulKhaliq

    Yes indeed.

    Even if the excuses given are that they were old and torn Qur'ans and they were being disposed of, you give them to the religious authorities, the mosques in Afghanistan, so that the clergy may dispose of them.

    Already there is an atmosphere that Islam is being attacked and that Muslims are targets of a geopolitical agenda; such actions do little to help relations between Muslims and the Non-Muslims.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  34. Jeff In Minnesota

    Given the fact that the apology has done little to quell the Afghan people, it was an appropriate, but meaningless, gesture.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  35. Conor in Chicago

    Sun Tzu’s famous war maxim is “know thyine enemy and thyine self”. Any serious military commander following this maxim, and operating in a Muslim country such as Afghanistan, would know that there is far more to be gained by apologizing than there is to be lost. A novice leader would lament the need to apologize and act like a child in the face of conceding an error. Behold that latter, your current crop of Republican presidential candidates.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  36. Ed from Texas

    Our nephew is being deployed to Afghanistan. As far as his safety goes, Obama's apology makes more sense than Bush saying, "Bring it on!"

    February 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  37. Barbara W. in Sherman Oaks, CA

    Yes, Jack, the apology was warranted and appropriate. As if anyone in this country wouldn't have been outraged and demanded an apology if someone not from this country had burned the Bible on American soil.. Add to that the fact that the US Military is still not looking so good after the whole "Marines photgraphed urinating on dead Afghan bodies" incident and I think in the aggregate, an apology was warranted...people behaving badly, even if advertently (as the news has reported that this Quran burning was not done willfully, and we still don't know that for sure) should never go without some kind of acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  38. Susan-NJ

    I think the President has already apologized but how about court martials for the guys who started another war? Surely they knew the consequences of such a stupid action would be.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  39. Steve Newman

    Of course. First, it was the right thing to do, whether in Afghanistan or another Muslim country. When you enter another country, you play by the rules there, just as we expect that they would play by our rules when visiting our country. If his apology saved one American life and it may well have, then it achieved its purpose.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  40. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    If they burn the Koran because it contains some messages, the Bible is full of messages and one of them is for Israel to occupy some land that God has given to them. I don't see Muslims burning the Bible, and Obama's apology was correct.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  41. Paul P

    I don't understand the Archie Bunker attitude some Americans possess that states they should never apologize for anything, that somehow to show contrition is a sign of weakness. When we were young our parents told us to apologize to others we have wronged, regardless of what the other person did or didn't do. At what age in our lives does that standard expire?

    February 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  42. Olga O. Pina

    Benito Juarez, a Mexican hero said, "El respeto al derecho ajeno...es la paz." Translation: "Respect for other people's rights is the pathway to peace."

    If those committing this unconscionable crime of burning someone else's holy book forgot that they represent our country and thereby, we are ultimately responsible for their uncontrolled 'hatred'.

    Yes, President Obama did the right thing by apologizing for their stupidity and lack of empathy for others religious beliefs.

    Austin, Texas

    February 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  43. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Absolutely. An apology is appropriate whenever a religion is disrespected. Just because we're Americans doesn't mean we have the right to trample over the feelings of others. To me the bigger man is the one who apolgizes for a mistake instead of playing the macho bully.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  44. Richard C.

    There is no way that Obama should, once again, apologize to our enemies. What happened was unfortunate and an accident. The only apology should have come from the base commander because this happened under his direct command.
    Evertime Obama 'bends over' to our enemies, I get acid reflux and look for the Tums!
    Get out of this hell-hole, NOW.
    Malvern, PA.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  45. Outbama2012

    Obama will no doubt set another apology tour to middle east for the koran burning that claimed 2 American lives ...

    February 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  46. james in greenville nc

    Absolutely not. Why apologize to someone who is not listening? This is just another example of why we should be withdrawing as we speak. The end result will be the same if we leave today or in ten years. Remind me again of why we are still there in the first place. I keep forgetting or maybe I never knew. Oh well, as Obama would say, "I'm sorry."

    February 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  47. Vinny in Connecticut

    NO, he should not have! These people need to get over themselves. We inadvertantly burned some Korans, so they kill American soldiers and advisors, and riot day after day?! Did Karzai apologize for the killings and tell his people to stop the violence? Of course not. Enough, Obama, with all the apologies. You keep making the US look weaker and weaker and the laughingstock of the world. We need a STRONG leader and Obama is not that person.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  48. Pete in Georgia

    His apology is about as meaningful and effective as yelling at a barking dog...........................from a mile away.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  49. Ann from Charleston SC

    Shouldn't we all apologize if we offend someone? That is certainly what I learned when I was growing up and still think it is the right thing to do.The Afghan people were offended by the action of those American soldiers, and we should apologize – even if it was unintentional. Don't we apologize if we accidentally bump into someone?

    This criticism of the apology makes me question the moral character of the Republican candidates. President Obama certainly has more class than they have and has behaved as a Christian who actually practices his religion.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  50. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Yes I think it was the right thing to do for the president to apologize. I look at it this way, what if it were us and we were invaded by another country and they burned a bunch of Bibles by mistake. I think we would've been crying for and expecting at least an apology. I would apologize and tell them we're sorry and it was a mistake and leave it at that. Then I would tell them it is time for us to leave. We are wasting our money and our soldiers are getting killed in order to give Afghanistan a democracy which they do not want and will never have.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  51. RickFromDetroit

    Burning the Qurans was in poor taste and should not have done, but the riots over this event appears to be more of a "get out of town" message for the U.S., than a rebellion over the Qurans. Lets not forget that the reason we are in Afghanistan is because we decided to overthrow the Taliban Government and blow up half of the Country because U.S. Intelligence "suspected" Osama bin Laden was hiding in the Country.

    It is unlikely that we, the U.S., will ever be welcome in Afghanistan, and probably anywhere else in the Arab Region.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  52. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    I am an Obama supporter BUT I think the blanket "apology" to these 15th Century Afghanistan FREAKS was a mistake esp after they murdered American servicemen. time to GET OUT of that money pit and leave then to STARVE. the ONLY thing that is propping up their economy is the money spent by coalition forces.

    IF the Taliban or al-Qaeda come back, we can always BOMB THEM like we did the Germans and Japanese in WWII. I'm sick and tired of "pussy footing" with these people.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  53. Karl in Flint, MI

    If our troops burned them, then he should apologize. Any religious article from any religion should not be destroyed indiscriminately, as apparently these Qur'ans were. They should have been turned over to Afghan authorities. Unfortunately the GOP has become the cesspool of ignorance and total religious stupidity of late as is demonstrated by all of their remarks in this case and too many others. All of them are an embarrassment to the United States and Christianity. Anyone that agrees with them should be ashamed of themselves.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  54. Gordo from NJ

    Not to trivialize, but if I inadvertently step on someone's toe, I apologize. By what code of human decency would America not apologize for inadvertently the burning Korans. For Rick Santorum to criticize this apology shows the shallowness of his supposedly Christian values. However, what is sorely missing from this tragedy is President Karzai's apology to the families of the Americans killed by his soldiers. America is waiting.

    February 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  55. Shirley, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Absolutely! One human life saved is more valuable than American face-saving. The results of the burning were foreseeable. Who's in charge over there anyway???

    February 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  56. Rick McDaniel

    NO. The killing of our personnel, is far worse than burning a book.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  57. Loren

    Yes. It was a cultural faux pas, and while I believe that Moslems violate the Quran by their idolatry of the Quran,a polite person acknowledges when they do something wrong and apologizes. The reaction of Islams to the burning, however, ought to be apologized for by the leaders of Islam as well. When people acknowledge a mistake, you accept the apology gracefully and don't burn and murder. I think all things being equal, the behavior of Islam adherents undercuts any claim to it being a civilized religion.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  58. Ed from California

    If we want a quick end to that war...then yes...say whatever, just get the hell out.....or, turn that sand into some very hot glass!! Either....blank, or get off the pot.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  59. Cy Gardner

    Yes. When you make a mistake you should own up to it and take responsibility. Those who say we should always dictate to weaker nations and act like insensitive bullies are the same chickenhawks who want a state of perpetual war. Failure to apologize reinforces our enemies contentions that we are selfish, mindless bullies. That should only be true of the idiots who vote Republican. cy from arlington, va

    February 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  60. Erin in Sacramento CA

    Jack-If the burning of these Quarans was not the intent then yes, an apology was the right thing to do.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  61. mymedensan

    Yes! You apologize for accidents and inadvertent actions. You don't apologize for things that you intend to do.
    Nester Joseph

    February 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  62. TomInRochNY

    Yes, president Obama should have apologized. If you've done something wrong, whether you knew it was wrong or not, you apologize. It's called respect. If we don't respect the beliefs of others how can they be expected to respect our beliefs. I believe all religions are mythology. But, that does not give me the right to be disrespectful of others religious beliefs. If I'm wrong about religion at least God may give me some leeway and not it the 'smite' button on his keyboard come judgment day.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  63. 1st

    1st from Bklyn,N.Y Jack, An American sized "YES". Reason being as already known, "MANY AMERICAN LIVES ARE IN JEOPARDY". Republicans who say otherwise should question their care for the men & women over there, in and out of uniform. Jack may I add, America is well aware of Action & Reaction and/or Cause & Effect. God bless America, you and yours Jack, and more our men & women defending our GREAT COUNTRY. 1 LIFE, 1 LOVE, 1 KING = LOVE IS LOVE ALWAYS.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  64. Sylvia in San Diego

    No. The more we make it into something significant, the bigger the demonstrations.... Time to move on.....

    February 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  65. Gia in Los Angeles

    That's a silly question, Jack. Obama did the right thing. Of COURSE you should apologize when you unintentionally say or do something that hurts or offends someone else. If you do it intentionally to hurt or offend someone else, why would you apologize? You meant to do it! You would only apologize if you didn't mean to.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  66. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Yes, the character of a country and a person is based on the ability to admit when a wrong has taken place. Unlike the GOP candidates, the President is doing the right thing regardless of what the other country does or does not do. The party of NO and No Apology are being just like the terrorists that are killing Americans. The only real solution is bring all of our military home, TODAY!!

    February 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  67. David, Canada

    Devoutly religious Republican candidates should understand better than anyone the need for apology – Golden Rule?, so they now really look like fools and hypocrites for attacking both Obama and Muslims.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  68. John Lake Charles, LA

    Past presidents have apologized to foreign countries also Jack. The difference here is that this is an election year and the Republicans are criticizing him for his apology. However, if he didn't apologize, they would have criticized him for not apologizing. I guess that's how politics works.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  69. Susan UP of MI

    Yes, it was the right thing to do.
    If Afghan Muslims had burned the Bible, these same people who are complaining about the apology would be screaming for one from Pres Karsai and if they didn't get one that was "sincere" enough they would be screaming for the POTUS to nuke the Afghans.
    Whether you're right or wrong about something it never hurts to apologize.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  70. David of Alexandria VA

    Nope - he should have exporessed deep regret that an error had occured which could be deeply offensive to some religious groups. Oops, Jack – were you asking about birth control?

    February 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  71. 1st

    1st from Bklyn,N.Y Jack, would it be safe to say according to their comments. Rick Santorum wouldn't apologize for any unintentional mistake made. Mitt Romney wouldn't be able to get the lump out his throat to apologize for something that contributes to the thousands already lost, and will add to the number of those lost. And Newt, would just make matters worst? Let America vote.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  72. Jeff In Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, this is no surprise... obama has always been abnormally & enthusiastically sympathetic to these third world islamofascists... bowing and apologizing to third world people with third world mentalities practicing a third world religion...

    February 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  73. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    Apology given, did you hear an acceptance? This is way too much about nothing. It happened a mistake, lets all move on and troops get ready to move out. Its enough. The region will fall apart no matter what year we leave, let it be now. Obama said his only necessary apology, lets not use this as a political football, game over.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  74. Jenna Roseville CA

    Should President Obama have apologized for the inadvertent burning of Qurans?

    Yes of course he should have. we were wrong. 10 years later we still can't seem to get it right even when we know what we did was wrong we snubbed our noses at them. What was the cost? More American lives lost. How soon Americans forget that we still have active troops in Afghanistan so we need to calm the storm that we created. Those that are protesting are the Taliban fanned unemployed Afghan people.

    Those that don't get it are low information voters.

    Roseville CA

    February 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  75. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Of course he should have, and good for him in doing so. He's not "appeasing our enemies", he's trying to calm the violent backlash, which is smart. These candidates talk tough when its someone else taking the bullets like our troops are.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  76. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    President Obama did the correct thing in his apology for the burning. I try to understand the reasoning for the relentless hatred of the President and I have come to the conclusion it is because he is an intelligent, educated black Democrat and he sits in the White House, that he is bringing the county to recovery after 8 years of the disasterous Bush administration and the Republicans seem to feel they are entitled to the presidency. As a former Republican, I am ashamed of what the once-proud Republican party has become. They will never again get my vote. Obama in 2012

    February 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  77. Vince Latona - Las Vegas

    The answer is that they now want to burn the White House. So...do you think Mr. Obama got the message ?

    February 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  78. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Should those individuals who decaputated Pearlman apologize?

    February 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  79. John from Alabama

    Jack: Yes. I know alot of people in this country believe apologizing is a sign of weakness. Those people that do not want to apologize do not want to compromise with their citizens. We all make mistakes, and we have apologoized, now it is time for Afghanistan to forgive. We can leave Afghanistan, and take the best and brightest of its citizens.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  80. bud rupert

    Well let's see The GOP version of Curly, Mo and Larry – Little Ricky, Willard and the Newtser are critical of the Presidents Apology. Now that's a shock!...The Defense Department says it was a mistake but I would not be terribly surprised if the burnig was a deliberate act by some 19 20 year olds and the truth got out. I trust the Presidents judgment.even though I am loath to apologise to those people

    February 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  81. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Absolutely. The buck stops with him. We need to negotiate our way out of Afghanistan by redrawing boundaries so that the Tajiks are in Tajikistan, the Uzbeks are in Uzbekistan and the Pashtun are in Pakistan, with Baluchistan an independent country, including the portion now part of Iran. For this, we need al Zawahiri's head on a platter or at least the right to hunt him with impunity.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  82. Greg in Arkansas

    YES, since when is it NOT acceptable, much less expected to apologize for making a mistake??
    Proper etiquette and good manners dictate that mistakes warrant an apology, so,.... if an apology shows "weakness" or "surrender" as the GOP’ers argue, HOW do they plan to respond IF they make a mistake IF they are elected???
    Or... is the President of the United States not supposed to have good manners?.....can't have it both ways...

    February 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  83. Nardo F Cape Coral Fl

    The only thing I can say to that is NOWAY , way too many American's have lost thier lives trying to help those people, bring our troops home, end it now

    February 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  84. Mitoosense

    A house divided cannot stand.... Abe Lincoln

    February 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  85. Leo in NC

    Of course he was right. It shows our humility in the midst of a world that has little. Regardless of what anyone else does, WE set the example, and live by OUR biblical principles. The U.S. cannot lower its standards to meet others. Critics are only showing arrogance, and know that if the shoe was on the other foot we would both demand and expect an apology.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  86. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Absolutely not! No way, no how. None of those animals apologized to us when they knocked down a few of our buildings and I’d be willing to bet the farm that there were a few Bibles that got burned in all of those buildings. But the difference is that what we did was an accident. What they did was intentional and they bragged about it. The only thing that needs to be apologized for is being there at all.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  87. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    Yes it's something that never should have happened. What would be our reaction if a Muslim came here and burned a bible(s). I dare say it wouldn't be 'ho,hum, stuff happens".

    February 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  88. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Imagine if Afghan troops inadvertantly burned Bibles belonging to American soldiers. What would have been the reaction of the religious right as well as the Republican standard bearers, Rick " I'm holier than thou" Santorum and Mitt whichever way the wind blows" Romney ? Thank goodness the nuclear briefcase will never be within their reach.

    February 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  89. marybeth, massachusetts

    Yes, I think the President did the right thing. I don't understand Santorum's statement that an apology is unnecessary because the Koran burnings were unintentional and all that was needed was an "I'm sorry". Ummmm....that sounds like an apology to me. And that's wrongheaded thinking to state that intent is needed in order for there to be an apology. You apologize to someone if you bump into him, if you unintentionally step on his foot. You didn't mean to do it, but the trespass or injury is still there, so you apologize.

    I think it would be far, far worse if the President had not issued an apology. They didn't mean to burn the religious items and the Koran. But they were burned, and the right thing to do was to step up, take responsibility, and apologize.

    The Republicans who are slamming and criticizing the President for this are playing politics to inflame their base, to engage in demagoguery. It serves no other purpose.

    Can you imagine how Santorum, Romney, or Gingrich would react if Afghan (or Syrian or Egyptian etc.) Muslims had burned their Bibles? They'd have used it as an excuse to invade those countries, and would have demanded apologies, even if the Bibles were not burned intentionally. Hypocrites, is what they are.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  90. Imam Abu Sulayman

    Yes Jack. I think the president was right in apologising if only to show the Muslim world that truly America is not at war with Islam and is not against the religion of Islam. When the YouTube video surfaced of American marines pissing on dead Afghans, de afghans didn't go on rampage. but when their holy book is torched they went nuts. And if the President hadn't apologised it would have hurt America's standing in other Islamic countries.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  91. David in Mississippi

    Yes, this put our troops at risk and anything that might lessen that risk is worth taking some flak from those that have never been in harms way.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  92. Michael Clifford

    What bothers me is the incompetence the military has displayed here. Maybe the materials did need to be burned, but why in the heck would you ask Muslim laborers to do it? This just goes to show home utterly tone deaf some of our people over there are. If anything Obama should have apologized for that reason.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  93. Maine Liberal

    President Bush has
    apologized to Iraq's prime minister for an American sniper's shooting of
    a Quran, and the Iraqi government called on U.S. military commanders to
    educate their soldiers to respect local religious beliefs.

    Bush's spokeswoman
    said Tuesday that the president apologized during a videoconference
    Monday with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who told the president that
    the shooting of Islam's holy book had disappointed and angered both the
    Iraqi people and their leaders.

    "He apologized for
    that in the sense that he said that we take it very seriously," White
    House press secretary Dana Perino said. "We are concerned about the
    reaction. We wanted them to know that the president knew that this was

    February 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  94. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    No. Obama could have said that it is a shame the whole incident had to happen but that this is the price of War. Both sides have experienced needless losses.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  95. Fred

    No, should have never apologized to those beasts over there.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  96. Dave

    The apology was stupid, displayed weakness, and further inflamed the religious fanatics that predominate over there. Why in the hell are we still there?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  97. Kevin

    Of Course Jack ...we burned someones holy guide...what kind of sick person says no.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  98. Thomas Spillane

    Once agin, the "president" makes a bad decision...how many more will the American people tolerate? November can not come soon enough.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  99. Robert Burns

    Last time I checked when you make a mistake you apologize. At least that's how I and everyone else I know was raised. These are American Values. Isn't that what an apology is for. It is not a sign of weakness to apologize when you are wrong. quite contrary it takes exceptional strength.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  100. Bob

    Nice work to everyone that voted him in. All he can do is vote present and make us look like a bunch of wimps.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  101. Big Bob

    He could have said the incident is regrettable and leave it at that. But if you must, say sorry to the locals. Don't send a Pentagon official to apologize to American Muslims in a Virginia Mosque. Sharia isn't the law in the US...yet.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  102. janelle

    Jack, I think President Obama was in too big a hurry to get in front of this, that he didn't get all the facts and think it through first. No, he should not have apologized.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  103. NextSubjectPlease

    Bush apoglized to Afrgan people when a marine used a quaran it for target practice

    February 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  104. Rick

    Since when does an apology for a mistake become a sign of weakness? When you are bozo that has never been in harms way and want to sound a lot tougher than you really are. It is easy to be tough when someone else will pay the price for your mouth.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  105. Big Bob

    How do you people sleep at night?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  106. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Let us not forget the big picture. ".Fight there so that we don't have to fight here". We are talking about the national security for our homeland. I would think that national security is more important than how someone might perceive us if we do the Christian thing and apologize for something we didn't intend to do. We are in these people's country and the vast majority of them could care less about the global political theater that's being forced onto them or for that matter the about the United States. If Afghanistan civilian citizens are experiencing the extent of collateral damage that civilian Iraq citizens suffered and we truly did not intend to burn their bibles or offend them, then by all means let's apologize. Especially if a few words of apology will save just a single U.S serviceman's life.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  107. lisa, N.J.

    I wish the Presidents apology was better received by the Afghan people. How they justify murdering four U.S. servicemen in retaliation for a mistake which was acknowledged almost immediately is beyond my comprehension.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  108. Terry

    It is a shame that the News media is making this into a tabloid issues. You are not helping this situation but stroking the flames higher and in-deed since the folks who committing these murders after the fact are relying on the fact that you are putting them in the spotlight as to how to hurt us!

    Now do you get it; When Clinton said all of you folks are not helping the SITUATION.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  109. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    My disgust is never ending in how politics get in the way of doing what is right and helps us forget that it takes real courage and strength to admit when we are wrong.

    And we were wrong in burning a holy book and bringing deep sadness to these people, and no justification can change that, we can only be responsible for our own actions, therefore to acknowledge the sorrow resulting from our actions, it is more than appropriate to say we are sorry. And every politician, service member, citizen, and human being should come together and say to the people of Afghanistan, we are truly sorry for our mistake.

    Then maybe, the world can come together.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  110. david doherty

    The quran is a book right, is every quran ever written still around? Did the world end when some of these books got trashed? I understand that we p-off a lot of muslims, but lets face it, thats not real hard to do. Is the destuction of ink & paper any reason to kill? Yes the President should have apologized, and that should of been the end of it. By destroying the book in no way destroys the message it contains.
    Dave from peterborough, NH.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  111. Saheb

    Yes, it was the right thing to do. You can only expect an arrogant response from the republican candidates.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  112. Matt

    This back and forth garbage from both parties is really sickening. What we need is a strong truly independent party so we can finally rid ourselves of both Democrats and Republicans.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  113. Pam from Texas

    Yes. He had to apologize for this just as he had to for the soldiers who recently urinated on the dead enemy. The people/soldiers who did the burning only added to the already unstable atmosphere in that region. Do they want their fellow Americans killed for their stupidity? That is what Secretary Clinton is referring to in her statement. This is what our President did with his apology. We Americans are better than that. And also there is that thing called the Geneva Convention. How would we all feel if that was done to our soldiers and to any of our Holy Books?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  114. Caroline Brooks

    We just need to bring all of our troops home from crazyville.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  115. Gary H. Boyd

    Of course not Jack, it should have been left to subordinates but then, with his Muslim background, who is really surprised. His apology is simply the latest mistake in a series of mistakes going way back because everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong, in this on-going 10 year Afghanistan debacle.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    February 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  116. Rational Discourse

    Obama was correct in apologizing for the burning of the Koran – both as Commander in Chief and as POTUS, the buck in theory stops with him when it comes to our soldiers or government officials committing a faux pas such as this. It shouldn't matter what Holy Book was burned, It could've been the Torah or the Bible, or even Dianetics ffs, and it wouldn't matter. The predominant/state religion of the Country was offended. We needed a Mea Culpa.

    To anyone who's about to start whining about how we allow people to burn flags (and whatever holy books we want) here in the US – the difference is that we have no state religion, the flag is not a religious symbol, and our constitution protects us to not only burn those objects, but to speak out again burning then.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  117. tom in connecticut

    Secretary Clinton's apology would have been more than enough. No Mr Obama should mot apologize for this kind of error – it be littles his stature.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  118. Andy

    In a world where too many people are afraid of phantom terrorists around every corner, it seems stupid to go out of our way and offend people when a simple apology can go a long way. Call me crazy, but I like our diplomats to be diplomatic. We made an error, we should cop to it.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  119. Bill R in Oakland

    From 2008...

    "President George W. Bush has apologized to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and promised prosecution of a U.S. soldier accused of using a copy of the Koran for target practice, Iraq said on Tuesday."

    How do you spell "double standard"?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  120. Steve Morgan

    Yes, I beleive he did the right thing in acknowledging the mistake. Otherwise it is taken as the Arrogant American's stance once again. Obama is striving to calm the waters so progress can be made. If we follow the Republicans lead, it will only lead to more war and violence and widen the gap between peace and terror. We apologize and we move on to finish the job so our people can come home for good and if it is even possible, leave the country in a good condition to survive and not subcome to the Taliban.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  121. John Hollstien

    No different than if I accidentally burned my neighbor's fence down. I certainly did not intend to do it but would not hesitate one second to apologize. Is the Republican position now to disdain even common decency, civility and consideration?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  122. Karter2010

    Once again it just shows that Obama is the adult in the room. There needs to be stricter punishment to those who undermine all the time and money the US has spent there by burning Qurans.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  123. Doug K.

    If Obama believed that an apology might reduce violence against Americans, he did the right thing. His #1 job is to keep Americans safe, and sometimes it takes courage to show deference if it means getting the right outcome.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  124. John

    I don't see how an apology for a mistake can hurt. If it can make someone feel better, how does it hurt us? It might help tone down the violence, which seems out of proportion to the mistake. Anyone who makes a mistake should apologize. We can't expect the soldiers involved to do it. It would risk their lives. We can promise to do better in the future. Let us all be grown ups and admit the mistake and apologize, if it might help.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  125. jfraber

    Yes he should have apologized. It was insult to all the people in Afghanistan not only the detainees. President Obama showed class and Santorum should know it is proper to apologize especially for a mistake. Americans are offended if the flag or bible is burned.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  126. Lew P.

    I'm no Obama fan, but apologizing was the right thing to do in this case. Those who assert otherwise are making the stupid mistake of equating all Muslims with our enemies. Burning copies of the Quran is an affront to all Muslims, and failure to apologize simply plays into the hands of the small minority of Muslims who engage in combat against the U.S. and Allied troops. How would idiots like Gingrich, Romney and Santorum react if a foreign government's actions resulted in burning of the U.S. Flag, the Christian Bible, or copies of the U.S. Constitution (or all three at once, which comes closer to the comparable meaning of the Quran for Muslims).

    Only if your aim is to get more US troops killed, then failing to apologize is a good strategy. There are plenty of legitimate issues on which to chriticize Obama. This is not one of them. It's a cheap political shot that demeans those who took it.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  127. Has

    I wonder how Santorum would feel if Bibles had been burned by soldiers. Would he be ok with it, as long as it is an accident- no apology necessary? I doubt it.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  128. Margie Rosenthal

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says the president's apology "shows weakness." He says that the burning of Qurans was a mistake and that the president of the United States shouldn't apologize for something that was unintentional.

    Silly me, I thought apologizing for a mistake is exactly what you apologize for. You certainly wouldn't apologize for something you did intentionally and thought you were right. If my child was over in Afghanistan, I would hate to think that "Presidents" Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich would be so blind to diplomacy that they wouldn't do everything possible to tamp down the violence in the streets. Should there be rioting in the streets over this, no, of course not, but thank goodness President Obama understands foreign policy and protects our troops.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  129. Gigi Oregon

    How long are we going to take advice or criticism from a party that does not practice what it preaches. Mrs. Clinton was/is correct if we want to call ourselves a Christian/Godly nation. If we make a mistake it is the Godly thing to do, own up to it. Unless we don't give a da–. How can we turn our country around when our leaders act ungodly and expect the people to say "God bless America", when they/we behave in such a manner. God gave us a set of Ten Commandments and He doesn't want them rewritten. Because they belong to and for His world.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  130. Mike in Houston

    Obama is the adult here. Yes, things are complicated and there casualties on all sides, but saying an apology makes us weak is the position of thugs with the mental development of a teenager. Actually, I am mistaken, my three year old knows that you apologize for 'mistakes' you make. I apologize to teenagers for comparing them to the GOP.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  131. Arlington

    We teach our kids to apologize when they have made a mistake. If it had been the Torah that was burned, they would be kissing Israel's ass. If it had been any other Holy book from any other religion, we would not be having this conversation. Obama apologized to save lives. Does being American, now mean, we never have to say we're sorry. Our arrogance, is what makes the rest of the world hate us.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  132. RobD

    President Obama is right to apologize. This was a dreadful error and is a setback to our efforts in Afganistan and in the Middle East. I am grateful we have a president that in times of mistakes, has the courage to apologize. Critics that say it is a sign of weakness to apologize for mistakes are wrong and clueless, it is a sign of strength.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  133. TheTraveler from Idaho

    The problem with taking the high road is that there are few others traveling with you these days. Look, we screwed up, burned some religious books and then, recognizing our error, apologized for it. President Obama did the right thing. It takes more guts to apologize than it does to compound the problem by denying it. Besides, what more can be done? It's not like we can "wave our hands" and make it all better. It's done. My message to Rick Santorum, "Blessed are the peacemakers." ...

    February 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  134. Brandon

    President Obama should absolutely have apologized, since he alone as a Commander-in-Chief is responsible for every action of our troops abroad. This is reported as having been an error. Since when has apolgizing for an error been a sign of weakness, rather than a sign of strength? And what about the message that we are supposed to be teaching our children about humility and being a big enough person to apologize when you are wrong?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  135. Leon from Cincinnati Ohio

    The president did the right by apologizing for the burning of the Moslem holy book. Although it was a mistake and the right thing to do as a president is to apologize on behalf of the troop. There is no religion that will like it if their holy books were burned. Many people may not agree to this or saying it was a sign of weakness, but there is a great strength in apologizing when you knew you were wrong.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  136. Chris

    It was the right thing to do. The burning of the Qurans was simply wrong and should never have occurred. Whether intentional or not, he is the Commander in Chief and assumed ultimate responsibility for the actions of the people who work for him. He did what a responsible individual would have done. The GOP candidates are simply looking for ways to deflect attention from their own lack of real substance and hypocrisy.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  137. Sam from MD

    We made a mistake. We apologized. That is the mature thing to do. I find it telling that the current crop of Republicans can't grasp this normal, adult process. That being said, I would like to see Afghanistan's leadership condemn the violent retaliation attacks. No amount of book burning legitimizes murder. Unfortunately, extremist Muslims have a reputation of turning to violence when offended. Everyone is offended every day - the rest of us have learned to live with it. It's time for leaders in the Islamic community to speak out against these acts.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  138. Ginny Sutton

    President Obama had to apologize when our troops burned the Quran. Our troops must not burn the most holy book of the country. We were disrespectful. We owe them an apology.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  139. John

    I have no religion of my own and extra disgust for Islam these days. I also understand these particular volumes were defaced-by Muslims-as a means of communications in warfare. Nonetheless, I avoid burning bibles and korans out of respect for the feelings of people who treasure them, and I would of political and military consideration alone NOT burned any korans in the land of Muslims. So while I am not happy with this whole thing (a demotion or two is in order for thoughtlessness), I see Obama's apology as an effort to minimize damage, and if it saves one life by lowering the heat it is a good thing. It is not like this was a possible win situation.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  140. corpsman

    You do something wrong, you own up to it. It's as simple as that. Gingrich and Romney's responses show clearly that they are unable to lead this country.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  141. Grant in TN

    Of course the president should have apologized. What is odd is that in this day and age, the media is puzzled that a president would do the right thing in a situation that is not morally ambiguous. We inadvertantly burned their wholly books. If the Afghan people had treated the Bible with the same level of perceived disrespect, we would be upset and outraged as well and expect at the least an apology from Karzai. Since when is simply doing the right thing considered a sign of weakness? And since when do we turn to a group of politicians with zero foreign policy experience to set the agenda?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  142. Andrew

    The idea that apologizing is a weakness is childish. The ability to apologize for harming someone, even inadvertently, is a great moral strength. The fact that Mr. Santorum and Mr. Gingrich fail to understand this speaks volumes about them and and the upbringing that they received from their parents.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  143. Cres


    Had George W. done the exact same thing, it would be ok. Just another case of the GOP candidates looking to
    find all excuses they can to criticize.

    Cres from Florida

    February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  144. Vianna

    What's wrong with apologizing for our mistake? To me, the safety of our troops mean much more than an apology.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  145. barbara in nc

    Imagine if we were invaded, and occupied, and then the occupiers started burning Bibles. Would sissy Ricky be saying the same thing? He's a nutcase. People in Pennsylvania should be imprisoned for felony stupid for electing him twice.

    President Obama did the proper thing. Can you imagine the world with rick in the CiC position? Wouldn't last two days.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  146. ahmed

    i think it is deliberately done to harm the US aims in Afghanistan to bring peace. and keep Afghans busy with chaos, Pakistan at alert, etc.
    The politicians in US are further alienating the tense situation by making senseless accusation; the roar will, however calm down in Afghanistan, at the end of the day, the poor man in afghnaistan needs bread, clothes and a house.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  147. dave

    It doesn't matter what Obama did. If he didn't apologize; the Republicans would still have cried about it. So he took the most logical approach and offered an apology. It's called being diplomatic, something the Republi-cants know nothing about.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  148. Will

    I think apologizing was the correct thing to do. Saying that it shows "weakness", and the U.S. "Surrendering" is just talk from the arrogance of the GOP candidates. If Bibles were burned would we expect an apology? what if they refused because some members of the military carried out rogue killings of innocent afghan civilians as a part of kill squads? just as they (the GOP candidates) would refuse to apologize because of our losses at war.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  149. new york

    The irony is; although it might of been the morally-correct thing to do, but not all Americans think in degrees. Instead majority think absolute-right or absolute-wrong. Just look at our political race! We are a nation of individuals whom have been brought up as such. Another point is; you cannot reason with the "unreasonable", in the end you will always be "come up short". In the eyes of the Afghan people we might look weak, in a time they are looking for weakness, and it will fuel their plight, especially in a time of turmoil that might be best resolved among themselves, without our help. The same way we consider help as "helpful ", others view it as intrusive. The real question is, what would of been the alternative? It is easy to say someone did the wrong thing, it is a lot harder to come up with another "solution" that is beneficial to both sides.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  150. jared martin

    What an amazing amount of baloney that the US gets to pick and choose what's right and wrong. It's as wrong to burn another culture's holy book – in their land BTW – as it is for them to burn bibles on the steps of Washington's national cathedral. Obama is acting in a sensitive manner to cauterize another self inflicted wound. The apology was warranted. Not that it will do much good.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  151. Jeremy

    Jack, I am tired of the, "we will say the opposite of Obama" approach that the GOP has. Can they please come up with a better game plan?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  152. coder

    if obama is a person of religious faith and his convictions provided him with the morals do so – then yes
    but not on my behalf

    Any one – who would murder another human over a book or a religion – isnt a human, they are a slave

    February 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  153. Mark, Berwyn PA

    No, I don't feel an American President owes any foreign entity an apology for unintentional acts. Further, I don't feel this mistake is deserving of an apology from anyone, unless it comes from the person or supervisor who actually made the mistake. However, I do feel the Afghan government owes the US military an apology for the loss of life it's employees have caused over such and small and fairly insignificant mistake. Remember that same Afghan government would not be in existnece today if not for the US Military and US taxpayer dollars. So Afghans, enjoy the freedoms we paid for on your behalf and please stop killing our people. And we are waiting for your apology.
    As for Obama's apology, the latest in a string of apologies on his American-Apology Tour: It's a disgrace!!!

    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  154. Joe Haley

    Yes he should have but where is his apology to the millions of Christians in this country he offended when he mandated that religious employers must provide free birth control to its employees. The burning of the Qurans was an accident, what he did was purposeful.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  155. mb2010a

    Whereas I would rather the apology had come through Secretary Clinton...it came from the President instead. That being said, yes, he should have apologized. There should be no discussion on our side. He did what he felt was the right thing to do to try to diffuse a volatile situation and showed great leadership, IMHO.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  156. Tim

    Why even ask a question concerning President Obama? What ever the President says or does, the "right" will take the opposing position. If he had not formally apologized, they would have come ungluded asking, "why isn't the presidnet more concerned about our troups...if only he would apologize!?"

    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  157. michelle

    have we forgotten pres bush apologized and so did clinton. all presidents do; it's apart of the game!

    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  158. Mitch

    The President has absolutely done the right thing. Republican criticism is not credible.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  159. Jeff in San Diego

    He should have just pulled out the troop and the funding and let them deal with it – like three years ago.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  160. Grant in TN

    That should have said "holy book".

    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  161. David

    I think he should've taken a page from the movie "Fail Safe" and burned an equal number of bibles. Wonder what kind of reaction that would've garnered. Likely riots and death threats from the other side. If only these nutcases (on all sides) would realize that human lives are a million times more valuiable than any so-called holy book. It's not as if the books are rare or that they are buning some one-of-a-kind early edition. Most sensible atheists would have no problem burning copies of "The God Delusion" or "God Is Not Great" because we realize that the ideas are what is important not some physical representation of it.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  162. Mike in Pekin

    Yes, but he did it poorly. By simply calling it an error, without further explantation, allows for too much individual interpretation. The problem is, that for all of the cultural awareness training that is given to our troops, it is impossible to guard against every possible infraction of Afghan sensibilities. The emphasis should have been on the fact that the Qurans in question had been desecrated already by extremists writing messages within them, something that is a violation of Islamic law.

    In the end, the President should have emphasized this original desecration, and that, while misguided, our intentions were were not to desecrate, but to dispose of these already desecrated holy books.

    In the future, if such items are found, we should turn them over to a trusted Imam who can properly handle the disposition of these items, or we should box them up and ship them to the US for storage. Either way, it is better than tossing them on a burn pile in front of our Afghan hosts.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  163. bill

    Hi Jack:

    I live in NY. The president was certainly right to apologize for the inadvertant Quran burning. The hysteria surrounding the incident is fuled by politics. The Moe ( newt ), Larry, (Santorum) and Curley ( romney) GOP candidates seem to forget that George Bush did the same thing over Abu Grahib. I truly wonder what Moe Larry or curley would have done given the same set of circumstances. Hopefully we will never find out what they would do.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  164. Kathleen in Maryland

    Jack, religion continues to do nothing by divide and conquer the religious. Remember: science flies men to the moon. Religion flies men into buildings. And more to the point, does Karzai apologize when his citizens burn our flag? Um, NO. Does he apologize when his citizens murder our troops? Um ... NO. It was wrong to burn the Quran, but (a) it was a MISTAKE and (b) it's a BOOK. Muslims and Christians alike need to get over themselves when it comes to fetishizing - and then MURDERING - over these kinds of symbols.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  165. Mike

    Mark, ask Osama bin Laden and the other top Al Qaeda folks if Obama has an "apology policy"???

    Note that the only people who are really criticizing Obama here are the folks in the GOP running to try and get the nomination to run against him in November...

    A few years back, when a US sniper decided to test his aim by shooting up a Koran, George Bush apologized to the Iraqi PM at the time...

    February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  166. Nancy, Tennessee

    Things have gotten worse sense he apologized. We keep saying we love the Afghanistan people who need our help in getting control of their country. Love is never having to say you are sorry. We said it now there is no love anywhere.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  167. roland

    If they inadvertently burnt some Christian bibles. The right would use that as an attack on Christian Religions. The right is using the same tactic as the terrorist. They are using Religion and some supposed slight against religion to gain their own power. The president had to apologize about the Quran just like he had to go back and change the policy on the Investsments of Religious institutions not having to supply contraceptives as preventative care.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  168. Mark

    Although it angers me a lot that these fanatical idiots would use such a trivial incident to carry on like this, I'm still not certain that it was "wrong" for Obama to apologize. And don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Obama (the man), I'm simply saying that I'm not sure the apology was a bad thing. I mean, if I inadvertenty bump into someone on the street or in the store, naturally I say I'm sorry. Even though I didn't mean it intentionally, I still say "sorry".

    With that being said, I think these people are hopeless. They don't really need an excuse to carry out this kind of behavior, I think they've proven that over and over. They thrive on it. They're violent people by nature. Couple that with a "religion" that promotes it, and this is what you get.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  169. Nick

    Yes. Most people's mothers teach them to apologize when they make a mistake. Clearly, the Republican candidates have had a poor upbringing. Further, if the apology saves one life it is worth it. Finally, an apology is a sign of strength not weakness.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  170. keeth

    Yes, it was the adult and moral thing to do. Republican candidates are lacking in both this year and will say anything against Obama to get media attention and pander to their base.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  171. Howard

    The most believable apology is the one that is made due to something that was unintentional. Apparently, Santorum and the others beleive its below us to apolgize for anything.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  172. Zaq Newman

    I don't understand Santorum's logic: "We made an unintentional mistake, but we won't apologize for it." I was brought up to apologize when I make mistakes. I also think most mistakes are unintentional, hence why they are a mistake. But I was also brought with the idea that education is important and that college is a good thing, so maybe we have different fundamental values.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  173. Chris

    There is too much to address here. To Rick Santorum: How does apologizing for something, as Commander-in-chief, he is somewhat responsible for, though inadvertent, show weakness? It shows responsibility and maturity. And to Gingrich/Romney: Though the numbers of deaths is saddening to say the least, they are there on their own accord, doing exactly what they have sworn their lives to do: protect our country. Keep in mind also that it is not the Afghan government we are fighting, and we also invaded their country, so claiming that they should apologize to us makes no sense, unless you also agree we should apologize for their casualties, civilian and militant. Basically, I'm tired of President Obama being criticized for doing something moral and righteous, especially by men who have over and over again displayed pettiness and hypocrisy on the campaign trail.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  174. Frank

    Yes, the apology was appropriate. That's what you do when you accidentally transgress on another's pet-peeve. Santorum should have learned that in kindergarten.

    if the Reps are saying that they would not apologise, then they have only proven that they are neither qualified to run the country, nor decent human beings capable of living in society. We have a place for people that aren't capable of living with the rest of society: Prison.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  175. Kevin

    What is a greater moral evil? The accidental destruction of a religious text? Or the use of that text to justify the murder of human beings? By apologizing, the President seems to be accommodating the view point that the killing of Americans is justified retaliation for the Quran burnings. This is something many Americans find offensive. The Afghans should be apologizing to us!

    February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  176. Mark, Berwyn PA

    I am still waiting for an apology for 9-11.........

    Anyone from the Middle East ready to apologize for that?



    February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  177. Jeff

    No apology. It just encourages Muslim intolerance.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  178. Matt Carrano

    No he should not have apologized! Are the people that were running in the streets on 9/11 burning American flags apologizing? Unless Obama made the executive order to burn the Quran he should not apologize. This act should not be supported by our State, but nor should we bend and bow to the feelings of those that burned our flag, cheered at our civilian casualties and try to kill our soldiers daily. It's time we regained our backbone as a country...

    February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  179. Fred Allan in Cleveland, Mississippi

    Jack, President Obama did the right thing in apologizing for the burning of the Qurans because Afghanistan, like many countries in the Middle East, is an Islamic country. And in the Islamic faith, the Quran is their holy book. By apologizing, President Obama is sending the message to Afghanistan and other Islamic countries that the United States is not an Islamaphobic country.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  180. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    Yes Obama should have apologized. If they had burned our bibles, the religious right would be demanding retalliation. All religions should be treated with respect, not just the one we believe in. The Obama Administration was correct in its actions.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  181. Anna

    Yes, the President should have apologized. We regret it happened and we're big enough to accept responsibility when we make a mistake. If others are too petty to apologize when they have wronged us, that's their problem. It isn't our job or our place to race them into the gutter.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  182. Ram

    As a civilized people, the apology is required and appropriate.
    However, we could maneuver without an apology, but then, should accept
    criticism that as mostly Christians, we really do not care about Islam.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  183. Robert Burns Colorado Springs, CO

    Last time I checked when you make a mistake you apologize. At least that's how I and everyone else I know was raised. These are American Values. Isn't that what an apology is for? It is not a sign of weakness to apologize when you are wrong. quite contrary it takes exceptional strength.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  184. Jim

    It sees that it is the only thing he is good at – apologizing. But did he apologize to the christians when the military inadvertantly burnt bibles – I don't think so. So he only wants to look good to the miidle east countries.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  185. Melanie

    Yes, he was correct. When you unintentionally give offense, you apologize. When you are a guest in someone's home and unintentionally cause offense, you apologize. That is basic manners and common sense. It shows class and decency, and that is the type of country that I want America to be. I am very proud of my country when we do the decent, honorable thing even when provoked or pressured to do otherwise. That's a special type of strength.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  186. Carlos

    It's only common sense and decency. When you make a mistake, you apologize.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  187. Thinking7

    When Obama asks for an apology for our dead soldiers, he can apologize for the burnt Qurans. It is not okay to burn their holy book. However, it is horrid to kill someone over it. Crazy Muslims. Obama has shown his support for them since day one when he took office. Think he doesn't have Muslim influence? What about our NASA program? Check this out: "When I became the NASA Administrator — before I became the NASA Administrator — [Obama] charged me with three things: One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering." Yeah, that's what I always thought NASA was for – making Muslims our friends. (sarcastic, of course) Obama has plans. Make no mistake. His plans are for the downfall of Christianity and all that this nation stands for.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  188. Daniel

    Yes, of course he should have appologized. Only vainglorious morons and corrupt fools don't appologize when they are in the wrong. That said, the foolishness displayed by the Afgan people over this admittedly careless but unintentional act, trumps all.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  189. Elissa Ornato, St. Louis, MO

    If there were so many witnesses to the burning of copies of the Quran, why didn't the Quran lovers stop the burnings by quickly explaining just what was being tossed into the flames? They kept silent then but are rioting now which is typical of Middle Eastern behavior patterns. Instead of logical explanations, they will choose violent offense every time.
    Obama tried to defuse the situation by apologizing for the mistaken burnings, but Obama too often seeks to defuse situations - whether with the Middle East or with Republicans. From now on, Obama should lay to rest his seemingly useless ideas of "can't we all just get along," so people will stop labeling him as a weak president.
    Get the U.S. out of the Middle East sooner than currently scheduled. Then let them fight among themselves which is what they do best anyway since they know of no other way to live their lives but to kill others.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  190. Tim from Toledo

    I guess I'm not clear on what the difference is between admitting that you "made a mistake", and "apologizing".
    Aren't you more or less apologizing when you say, "Oops! we made a mistake..."?
    I think so. But apparently the men running for the Republican nomination think there is a big difference....I guess any reason to bash the President
    If apologizing is going to save lives, then it is the right thing to do.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  191. bill bennett

    Don't we still teach if we are wrong to apologize, or is that now just in certain situations, I may not agree with everything the President does or says but in this case he did the right thing

    February 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  192. Chuck, Boston Ma.

    Yes, while incomprehensible to Westerners this is a major sacrilege to Muslims. More importantly, after so many episodes like this haven't our military and intelligent folk learned anything about Koran burnings. Heck,let's burn a Koran and watch rioting and killings of American soldiers! Maybe it's time for a Dr. Phil sensitivity session.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  193. Casey

    Did Obama need to apologize; no. Was it prudent to do so, yes, absolutely. Those who say this is a sign of weakness/"capitulation" are mistaken and foolish. Being sensitive to other cultures does not mean the President/we are weak in any way–convenient argument for right that plays on bravado and fear.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  194. Noor Ismail

    I believe President Obama did the right thing in apologizing – in trying to calm down the masses and not put our soldiers in harms way. The comments coming forth lacks total insensitivity to different cultures. We are not dealing with the egoistical stand-offish cowboy way of thinking – that I am right and everyone else is wrong here. Obama displays maturity in dealing with foreign policy and cultures as opposed to the other presidential hopefuls

    February 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  195. JONIQUE

    Grandma from Virginia says, President Obama is looking out for the men and women in uniform. We have already lost three men because of the mess. They made a mistake in burning the books. Period. Do not make excuses for those who burned the Korans.
    It will cause our folks in unifrom to be in danger. Bring our children home as quickly as you can President Obama. You have the information that others are not privy to. Do not pay attention to the POTUS wanna be's! The would critisize you if you gave them all the money in Fort Knox.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  196. citizen

    He should apologize for being such a lousy president.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  197. Jeremy-Indiana

    Yes, and I would have thought that the GOP would do anything for the "boys" on the front lines. I guess the words, "I'm sorry." never cross their lips even when they are wrong. I don't remember George Bush apologizing for running the country into the ground.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  198. TomTom

    It's ok, folks. Only the FANATICS, here in the US and in Afghanistan, will break a leg over this (no , wait, they are killing each other over this, wow).
    Regular people, not medieval minded, not religious fanatics of either persuasion, will recognize, the apology is meant , the books are burned, it wasn't intentional, let's move on. There is cancer to cure, children to feed, jobs to be created. There are wars to be stopped, people need education and a lives worth living.

    Lots of work. Let's get on with it. The cave dwellers and fanatical bottom crawlers, they can go back to their obnoxious ideologies.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  199. Internet Bubba

    I understand why he sent an apology. The way I see it ... they were burned accidentally and because they had notes passed back and forth for detainees. We are suppose to be tolerant of other peoples beliefs, but they want to execute us for ours. Doesn't make sense to me, the double standard is nuts.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  200. JackBeHumble

    The Platinum Rule is not a part of any religion I know; it says that people should be treated the way they want to be treated. The 1.3 Billion worshippers of Islam on this planet go to great lengths to revere the physical copies of their holy book (putting used ones in vaults for eternal storage); I respect the President for apologizing for the error, and making it clear that it was made accidentally, not as a willful insult to Islam.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  201. Dennis from Millbrae, CA

    Satorum has it all backwards. You apologize when a mistake is made, but you don't apologize if it was intentional. This Republican mindset that the United States can do what it wants, and say what it wants, without regard to cultural sensitivities and cultural respect simply ignores the world we live in today.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  202. Harrison Johnston

    Of course he should have apologized. How many revenge killings would we be satisfied with if he didn't? To the point of another war?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  203. Brian, San Diego

    Absolutely yes. Accident or not, when you make a mistake and unintentionally give offense to others, the right thing to do is to apologize for it. This incident was a mistake and was not what this country stands for, therefore it is right for the president to apologize and reaffirm our principles. Yes, the terrorists who are killing our troops won't care, but maybe the people we're trying to help will.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  204. Badly-Bent

    Stuart FL – In America we have a saying, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse". In practice, the courts might excuse a foreigner for know knowing they were breaking the law. So, maybe they have the same thing? But, seriously, killing people for not knowing? Yeah, maybe an apology is warranted but does that mean we need a Muslim cleric like we need to consult a legal advisor before every action? Most people don't do that here.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  205. Lool

    We're fighting with the taliban not Islam.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  206. Matthew from Orange, Ca

    We have all been taught that if you do something, even unintentionally, that causes someone harm....you are supposed to apologize. We have all been taught that humility is a strength, not a weakness. So why is it that people in higher government don't remember these lessons? I guess I'm not really surprised.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  207. Jeff - Florida

    Once again he has rushed out in front of the world and apologized and what has it done....nothing! Stop showing a weakness and grow a pair. If they don't want us there, pull our troops out and cut off foreign aid.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  208. Ed C

    yes it was the right thing to do and apologize, but after all this time why did this happen. based on the detail and showing the Qurans that were burned, I feel this was a set up to create a uprising with the Afghanistan people against the American troops and Nato. The Taliban has the most to achieve with this and they are pushing the people to kill or capture anyone from the west. This was a planned and organized plot by the Taliban. The same way the kill the officers in the so called secured Green Zone. Afgahan soldiers are Taliban militants in uninforms that they captured from soldiers. They want us out, so we need to get out, we got bin Laden, let go and stop giving that country money we need here in this country. They hate us and a occupier never wins a war and you can not take a 3rd world country into the 21 century that has been fighting for thousands of year. Time to get our troops home.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  209. Rod C. Venger

    Quite the opposite, Obama could have used the violence following the burnings as a teachable moment, to highlight the intolerance of the self-described "religion of peace". Truth sometimes hurts, but truth always works...and that's the truth.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  210. Matt, San Diego, CA

    Jack, it was simply the right thing to do! The GOP will latch onto ANYTHING Obama says or does, and immediately take the opposite position. If he didn't apologize, the GOP would accuse him of being insensitive to religious people, and accuse him of putting our troops in harm's way by angering the Muslims that we're in Afghanistan to protect! It is outrageous that no matter what this president does, it is only ever met by relentless negative GOP rhetoric. SO sick of the GOP.

    Matt, San Diego, CA

    February 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  211. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    hmmm. let's see.. how much worse would it have gotten if he had NOT apologized? Probably a lot worse – that would be interpreted as "we meant to do it" and inflame people over there even more. Republicans are ridiculous on this issue – if it were a Bible, they'd get nuts too.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  212. MN combat vet

    All the right wing chest thumpers forget that one of the main commander and chiefs roles is to protect the lives of his troops. While the reaction to the burning of the Korans has no sensible counterpart in western relgions, it never the less is a flashpoint for fundamentalist Muslims. Its easy to posture when there is no skin in the game (none of these blowhards were even in the service), aplogizing to the Afgan people is a minor price to pay for saving more American lives. I am appalled by the lack of fundamental sense in these Republican candidates....and ashamed for my country that these are the best their party could put forward to lead potentially us.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  213. Tom K

    According to Rep Keith Ellison, Mn, burning of the Quran is not against Islamic Law...he himself is Muslim. So...it would seem to me that this Taliban inspired violence is just a ploy and it strikes a very sensitive nerve among Afghanis. Apologize? Don't think so, folks. Just be more careful what you burn and who knows it.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  214. Tunde, Houston

    The president should have apologised for the mistake... that's what people do, when they don't intend harm. Also we are at war with the talibans and not the Afghans, so there is nothing wrong in apologising to the people whose views we are trying to change.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  215. Dawn, Ojai, CA

    Yes. It is simple, Jack. To some people, apologizing is a weakness. To stronger people with the ability to empathize with other cultures, the ability to apologize is actually a strength. It is a healing gesture. When will the Republicans evolve to a higher level? Never, as they are continually dumbing down their policy and reactions.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  216. Jeff Compas

    When I was very young, my parents taught me to apologize when I had made a mistake. Regardless of whether "I meant too" or not. You just say sorry. I have taught my children the same thing. It seems that in our pride we forget that saying sorry is not a sign of weakness, but rather an indication of our strength of character.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  217. Rebecca from Georgia

    I believe so. Sometimes a simple apology can quell murderous tendencies in people.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  218. Kathleen, Helena MT

    Yes, it was the right thing, the decent thing, the adult thing. A mistake was made; an apology was offered. That is how decent people do things. I am so thankful that we have a decent person in the White House calling the shots. If it had been Bibles being burned you know the right-wingers would have had apoplexy.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  219. JT

    Jack, think about this from another perspective. If any other religious book, especially the Bible, was burned in the same manner in which the Qu'ran was burned, there would be riots in the streets in some parts of America. The very thought that any one religion can be treated better or worse than the other violates the very heart of the United States Constitution and any other relatively civilized Democracy. Besides, on another point, both Christianity and Islam, including Judiasm, worship the same deity, but they do so in different forms and traditions. In short, those actions which involved the Qu'ran burning was entirely inapproperiate and showed a tremendous amount of disrespect and narrow-mindedness, so, yes, even though it is not President Obama's fault, he should apologize. If he doesn't, some will blame the United States as a whole, and our national security will be at big risk; it's the job of the President to keep our nation secure. By the way, I say all of that as a non-religious person myself.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  220. Big Bob

    Ok, Jack!

    Now that I've seen the acceptable comments, I've seen the light. So here it is, I hope you enjoy it...

    Bush lied, people died!

    How's that? Can I be in your club now?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  221. John Skurka

    You could argue this point from both sides. The bottom line is the folks in the Muslim world are irrational and look for reasons to develop a crisis. They love conflict and look for every avenue to start conflict. The biggest thing this Administration needs to focus on is the massive debt it has developed and owns. Prices in this country are going up at both the pump and the grocery stores and this President regardless of his excuses is at fault. It comes down to simple economics, you de-value the dollar by creating massive debt and until you address this issue prices will rise as it take more dollars to buy things when the dollar is de-valued. He has done nothing to address this matter and all the while he continues to blame everybody else! He makes fun of the Republicans solutions but he doesn't provide any of his own. He plays the fear mongering games in the media while offering no solutions! Weak President and horrible leadership!

    February 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  222. DC Johnny

    Nobody here would have demanded an apology for the opposite circumstance. On the contrary – hundreds of Christians and Jews are murdered throughout the Arab world, and nobody apologizes. Actions are celebrated and heroes are praised for such barbaric acts when it happens against a peaceful community.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  223. Jane in CA

    Of course he should. US soldiers represent the country. They really should have known by now that the Koran is seen as the embodiment of God to Muslims. How would a Catholic feel if someone spat on a consecrated Host? When someone inadvertently insults or offends another, the polite thing is to apologize. When did this become wrong? As the head of the American government, it is the president's responsibility to apologize for an egregiously offensive act carried out by a representative of our country.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  224. Michael Baeza

    Apologizing for something unintentional does not show weakness, it is the stand-up thing to do. If I were to unintentially step on someone's foot, I would apologize.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  225. Bassman63

    I do respect everyones opinion on this blog, but you must look deeper into this story. We as a country cannot just "blow 'em to hell", we become like our enemies. Of course we can blow them to hell, but why? For what reason other than stupidity and ignorance. A few idiots did a very idiotic thing, and all Americans are now viewed as religious hate mongers. The education system in this country has failed us.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  226. Carl in Georgia

    Absolutely yes, But through the State Department or NATO Command, not personally. He is CIC, but is not responsible for everything, there is chain of command. Who gave the order? What were the policies and procedures for handling trash? Was the order understood? Too much BS over this error..... move on.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  227. Stephen

    Is there any doubt that Rick Santorum would be calling for an apology if the rolls were reversed and a bible was burned? How exactly does this show weakness? To me, this shows kindness.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  228. Cathy Risberg

    Yes it was the right thing to do and a sign of a leader who,as a Christian, truly understands the importance of respecting and treating with dignity and care another religion's holy books. Religious tolerance and respect are Christian principles we hear in the words see in action in Barack Obama. They are the words of peace and perhaps just another example of why President Obama was so rightly awarded the Noble Peace Prize a few years ago.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  229. Joe from Massachusetts

    Yes, President Obama has once again shown his respect for people of other cultures and beliefs. That's one of the reasons I voted for him and will do so again. Meanwhile, the 3 stooges running for the GOP nomination blindly continue to oppose everything the President says and does regardless of the inflamation or danger to our troops it may cause. These are the same 3 idiots that would be vaporizing another country for burning a bible. I have the utmost respect and admiration for our troops serving overseas. But let's not forget that we're forcibly occupying a sovereign nation. I'm a peaceful man, but if there were heavily armed Afghan soldiers here in my country burning bibles I'd be killing them too.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  230. harold

    I am sick of this Obama bashing at every turn. George Bush apologized for a sniper shooting a Quran and not one right wing conservative made a peep including Rick and Newt. This is not about the apology but the person who made it.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  231. cog in the wheel

    Oh for crying out loud...yes an apology was a reasonable response. Words don't hurt hurt anyone, and acknowledging that destroying those Qurans was a mistake doesn't make us less powerful.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  232. Joe in Texas

    Our President is an adult who did the adult thing to do. If it saves one American life then the apology is worth it. What's bad for America is all of the h@te coming from the repbublicans who try to act macho and making a big deal out of this event. God Bless America and God Bless Obama. Obama 2012!

    February 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  233. sharoom

    "Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says the president's apology 'shows weakness.' He says that the burning of Qurans was a mistake and that the president of the United States shouldn't apologize for something that was unintentional."

    Huh? Even if it was unintentional the point is we still did it. Of course an apology is in order. Who apologizes for stuff done intentionally? There is nothing wrong with admitting to mistakes. What's wrong is when you don't take responsibility for them.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  234. Anne Richmond, VA

    What is the harm in saying sorry? Even if we weren't in the wrong, sorry never hurt anything.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  235. spiffy53

    anything the republicans are against, has to be the right thing for our country

    February 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  236. Uch in Tampa Florida

    We all know its the right thing to do. When an error is committed one refrains from it and ask for forgiveness. The tenets of christianity demands that we apologize or ask forgiveness for error and based on this I do not know what kind of christianity the other 3 GOP candidates practice. Christianity of retaliation? It is really sickening that they now grab every issue and make it a political football. Jack, the afghans did not ask for the US intervention or occupation of their national affair so your question should have been – Is it right for the afghans to apologize for the death of US troops like Mitt Romney and his cohorts are demanding?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  237. Shari Sampson

    No, absolutely not. In fact, it should not have made the press. The soldiers that did it should be punished but we do not owe anyone in Afghanistan an apology. Put the shoe on the other foot.....if they burned our Bibles, we would not riot in the streets and act like terrorists. I don't think their president would be apologizing to us.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  238. 3 Turtles

    Yes, President Obama was right to apologize. It's a shame that the GOP can't find any real material. Play the macho card
    as if they would have acted differently. It's hard to have respect for someone who's disrespectful. People that garner respect act with respect. The biggest problem in Afghanistan is the fact that only 28% of it's people can read and write.
    Why we have not left, we are trying to train their police force but we have to teach them to read first. They are an easy group to control, they learn by word of mouth and what do you expect when the words are lies. Feel pity for these people.
    The Taliban yanks their strings and they jump as wooden headed puppets.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  239. Inigo Montoya

    He should not have apologized, he should have expressed regret. There is a subtle, but very important, difference.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  240. Kelvin

    It is a brilliant example of American Exceptionalism that our President had the maturity and confidence in America to admit we made a mistake and issue a respectful apology. Those who claim that America can never or should never apologize - that somehow we're above all that - exhibit a hubris that is as dangerous as it is absurd. Can a country who's founding document states "all men are created equal" seriously advance the idea that those who by simple genetic or migratory fortune happened to become Americans somehow are above all the rest of humanity? How does Saint Rick, for example, square his disdain for non-Americans with his dogma on the sanctity of all life? Bottom line is that by apologizing to those who may not deserve it we put our actions where our ideals are, just as by blessing those who curse you is a true example of living one's faith.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  241. Ron Lambert


    I dont think we should have apologized. however, President Obama is our commander -n- chief, so if he wants to apologize I suppport his decision.

    Miami FL.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  242. Michael, BC

    Let's look at the alternative. "Yeah, some Qurans got burned. So what?" How would that advance the overall goal of a stable Middle East? How would that avoid the overall goal of not getting a ton more US troops killed?

    There was never any question that a small segment of the Muslim world won't care about an apology. Try to imagine how large said segment would be in the absence of one, or even worse, with a "so what".

    February 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  243. mm_pdx

    He's come under fire? From who? The crazies running to try to unseat him? Jack, you're really reaching. Obama doesn't need to pander to this crowd.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  244. Rick in Melbourne Beach, FL

    Apoligize for the inadvertent burning of books to a people who thrive on killing other human beings is absurd and a disgrace to this country. A society that worships the teachings that eradicating those who don't believe as you do is a menace to our society in itself. I understand the dispair in seeing your 'bible' burned but taking other human lives is simply an excuse to kill rahter than trying to understand.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  245. cracker

    The United States Gov't.....can put on it's adult pants, and show that We the People are respectful of all Religions and forms of Faith. It was a regretable mistake, and mistakes happen. Character is shown in how one recovers from a mistake, it is there that we honor our own Religious Faiths, and put forth our own brand of civility....... It is Honorable to extend an apology.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  246. Rodney Harter

    To everyone who thinks Obama is wrong for apologizing. Read the Ugly American – written in the sixties! We still haven't learned anything. The arrogance of shouting no apology is as arrogant as the need to shout American Exceptionalism. The know-nothings are restless again.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  247. Steve in PA

    An apology could have been rendered by our Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State but not required by our President. An inadvertent mistake compared to what we have spent and sacrificed for Afghanistan does not require a Presidential apology. Afghanistan leadership should be in the forefront assisting in defusing the violence, however misplaced.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  248. Bill in Texas

    Jack, Santorum says, "The president of the United States shouldn't apologize for something that was unintentional." So we should only appologize for the stuff that is intentional? That is just idiotic, even Bush appologized for Abu Ghraib.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  249. Obama Is A Class Act

    Yes. Many republicans only understand force, and have somehow overlooked the relationship between meaningless wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and trillion dollar invoices. Candidates running for office feel like they can make "hay" by claiming Mr. Obama is "soft" on the people who destroyed the world trade center. This makes me even more worried about a republican victory in November. Vote Santorum!

    February 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  250. BostonDan

    From what I have read, the Korans in question were defaced by prisoners trying to communicate with each other, a HUGE disrespect of the book. Also, from what I have read, the burning was done in accordance with accepted protocol for destroying the "Holy Book". If anything, Obama should have clearly stated that the defacing and disrespect was done by prisoners and that the US reluctantly had to destroy the books according to Muslim rules. Instead, he shot off his mouth and got Americans killed. He should be ashamed for the death and dishonor his inappropriate comments brought about.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  251. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills

    Absolutely. I can't understand why the 'Republican Indoctrinated" people cannot understand this. They are trying to sling mud at everything done by the President. The decent thing is to own up to mistakes, accept responsibility and move on. If the Republicans are not playing politics and genuinely believe that an apology is not due, they lack basic decency.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  252. Kathy

    No the killing of our servicemen is a horrible crime. Those people over there know nothing better. They are told if they kill an American they go to heaven. If we haven't won the war in 11 years then why waste millions of dollars over there for people who would stab us in the back for no apparent reasons. Feed the hungry over here in America and start taking care of us who are one step away from financial ruins.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  253. John in Des Moines

    Jack, of course it was the right thing to do. It was blatantly disrespectful to a major and legitimate world religion. And of course the Republicans disagree. If they had their way, we'd never apolgoize for anything, and we'd do even more to completely defecate all over the planet. Whether it's starting wars, ignoring UN resolutions or polluting enough to destroy our own climate, the GOP doesn't think our country has ever done, or could ever do, any harm.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  254. 2011 Eyes

    Since when should someone be criticized for an apology? Politics is a dirty game, and the candidates are overboard with their disrespect.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  255. Dorothy McDevitt

    I wish someone could tell me there was a Quran somewhere in the Twin Towers...maybe miltant Islam then would apologize for Sept.11. An accidental burning of a book is greater than the intentional killing of people? How does this demonstrate that Islam is a religion of peace?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  256. TSC, Virginia Beach

    the sentiment of the overwhelming majority of these comments clearly reflects how ridiculous (and counterproductive for their goal) it is for the 'patriots' on the far right to even raise the question! the criticisms of Obama's apology are simply craven attacks on Obama by those who would do anything, say anything to prevent his reelection–even to the point of abandoning the basic principles of civility their mothers worked hard to teach. they should be ashamed; even better they will regret this, yet another example of fools shooting themselves in the feet.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  257. Ed in Reno, NV

    Yes, President Obama should have apologized. Despite what many think, this nation should not become Nazi Germany. Burning books, no matter what their contents, should never be the goal of any American.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  258. Gideon R, Indiana

    Jack, Come on now, he has come under fire from republicans, the same people who are giving him heat for saying all Americans should reach for a higher education. The only thing they need to bring the fire is for the president to take any action of any kind. This is hardly news worthy, now if they were to actually agree with him and say nice work, that’s a stop the presses moment.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  259. Simon/Orlando

    The apology should have come from the head of the military, not from the head of our country. The American public had nothing to do with it. And where was the apology from them for killing our soldiers?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  260. dew

    obama, should apoloziged to the american people. for running up the debt, and for not knowing what a so call pres. job is.and for tearing this country apart, cause of race.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  261. 472S7TH

    Criticism of President Obama for apologizing is foolish. What is he supposed to have done, stood a hard line, and said we made a mistake, get over it? Most of the Afghan people have no idea what the Twin Towers were, and have little or no knowledge of the outside world. Many Americans have not traveled, and do not understand (let alone respect), cultures other than the narrow one in which they grew up. Some parts of American culture (like NASCAR or college lacrosse) are not understood by other parts of the U.S., and that's in our own country. Don't these critics realize how much damage past incidents have done, and what kind of absurd conspiracy theories are taken as true in the Islamic world (Europe too: see France) because they do not understand anything about us? Where does Newt Gingrich get off equating diplomacy, and trying to keep a lid on this latest blunder, with surrender? Did Karzai apologize to President Bush for the soldiers who were killed on his watch? Did President Obama order the invasion of Afghanistan? Does anyone remember President Bush? Hey Newt, how much military service have you got? The Marines have been carefully training their members to understand the street, the rules of the dangerous areas where they are assigned. The Army soldiers try to nail people in the head with full water bottles while they drive by in armored vehicles. How would you feel about the cops, if they did that to you? Criticizing the President for doing what he is supposed to do, is very, very dumb. One of our established political parties apparently has gone insane.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  262. Robert

    He did the right thing by apologizing. People do make mistakes – they should be admitted. NOT apologizing is equivalent to condoning it.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  263. An observer in Canada

    This incident reminds me of the line "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" from Hamlet. The Afghans should look into their own history of defiling and burning American flags before demanding apologies. So, yes, I think Obama was wrong to apologize. He has the right to speak free, unfortunately, his words are taken as an expression of weakness of the American people.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  264. Joel

    It's sad that some people are more concerned about looking tough than doing the right thing, admitting a mistake instead of sugar coating it, and most importantly doing what it takes to keep conditions less dangerous as possible for our troops. What happened to country before politics? Died a good while ago is what.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  265. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    Sure, if it was mistake, why not and just as long as it don't cost us any money, I don't see a problem with it.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  266. aaron

    yes, apologizing is actually OK (duh) since when is saying, "oops sorry, didn't mean to do that" a surrender or weakness? it is actually a sign of intelligence and grace, so it is not amazing that the extreme right do not get it. do the afghan people deserve it? sure. do we deserve more of an apology from them? probably, but, do we want to stoop to their level? no. take the higher ground. if they had burned a pile of bibles you would see a bunch of barefoot rednecks protesting en masse and calling for their death. people are all the same....

    February 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  267. Robert W. North Carolina

    Well it was worth a try but how do you deal with people who hold a copy of scripture (of which there are millions of copies printed) more sacred than a human life? Probably was a wasted apology.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  268. Mike, NH

    Ihave more problem with the absolute silence by obama over the killing of 4 of our troops. He's Commander-in-Chief. The dead soldiers were under his command. He should be demanding justice for them. Instead, nothing. It looks like he cares little for our troops.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  269. Len Smith

    Of course he did the correct thing, and he continues to be a very good foreign policy President with the help of one very good Secretary of State. We have come a long way since the failed policies of the last administration and continue slowly to continue to build more and more trust thoughout the world.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  270. deb0155

    Does anyone realize that the Muslims themselves desecrated their own Qurans by writing messages to each other in the Qurans? The Muslims should know above anyone else that there is to be absolutely no handwriting whatsoever in the Qurans. Remember, also, that it was the Americans who gave them the Qurans so that they would be able to practice their religion.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  271. Michael

    President Obama's apology is a slap in the face to every American that has fought to bring freedom to the Afghan people. He is an embarrassment to this country and excuse me Hillary Clinton, but the reason for the ongoing violence is not because the primary politics has voiced it's opinion. It's because the Muslim community sees this president as a coward and weakling and now feels empowered to continue the violence because they recongnize we have given them the upper hand. President Obama is a disgrace to the USA.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  272. Tom Shipley

    Absolutely. I apologize as well. How long has it been since Abu Grab? Why do our people keep doing these things and how can we expect any one in any other culture to look to us for leadership if our people keep acting like that? Time and time again we disrespect the very people we are supposed to be saving. No wonder they can't tell who the enemy is.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  273. Joel

    Lol, one person in this comment board put president in quotes. That's what this really boils down to as well. More disrespect.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  274. Barb from Iowa

    A small person refuses to admit to any mistakes, lest they appear weak. A confident person apologizes sincerely and appropriately when someone has been hurt by their actions. President Obama did not himself allow the buring of the Koran, but it happened and he has taken the higher road. No wonder politics is in the mess it is if one must never apologize for any mistake whatsoever.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  275. Boo

    Yes......and now it's time to pull out all of our troops and bring them home.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  276. Norman

    After years of hearing his parents apologize to him, Santorum's sick of hearing people apologizing for a mistake. Romney thinks that sticking in the throat is sport to partake in your multiple vehicles. To Gingrich, sanity and polity are surrender. So where's the news here?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  277. Amadea

    If the apology had taken on a bit different tone such as,

    "We regret that your people were desecrating your Holy Book by passing incendiary notices back and forth in its pages. In the past, we were told to burn desecrated books, rather than have defiled Q'urans littering about. It would appear we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. So, we apologize for not being able to read your minds. Now, stop killing each other over this stupid mistake or we will have to take drastic measures to take the sting out of this debacle."

    My apologies to those who have no idea what the meaning is of some of the words I have used. Go look 'em up.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  278. marty

    Am I missing something? It seems to me that the news reports said these books were being used to transmit coded messages between detainees. So the Muslims were defacing their own books and we are at fault?? The only problem, as I see it, is that we didn't do a better job of thoroughly burning the enemy messages.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  279. Joe

    What most don't understand is that Qurans were being passed around with detainees' notes in them. Who knows what these detainees were writing and to whom but, at the very least, they should have been confiscated. After that, I'm not sure what to do with them since turning them over to Afghan officials may have been passing these notes to those who want to harm us. Burning them may have been the only way to destroy these notes. Would shredding them be any better?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  280. GuyFawkes2012

    Given his established propensity for sticking his foot in it, he could have said something like: "It was a regrettable and unintentional mistake, one that we will work hard to prevent in the future." But ... no. Like the apology (or attempted one) to Japan, and the General Assembly, he just can't seem to get the regret out of his demeanor. Personally, I'm sorry - that he got elected. Perhaps he can apologize for that in November.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  281. Mr D

    Obama should have said that he was sorry we ever got involved with Afghanistan, and that we are leaving ASAP.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  282. Danny G

    I am just puzzled by "not apologizing" for something that was not intentional. is this not what we teach our children to do when they do something they did not mean to do or was accidental? Seems to be that would be the right thing to do. But opponents of the President will say/do anything to not only get the man out of office, but destrot him, his character and what he stands for.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  283. Les Spielman Florida

    I think he should have appoligized for trying to do any good there and immediatly return all our troop and supplies and aid to there home bases. That includes everything we brought there, don't leave a thing like we have always left in other places ,like trucks, planes and misc. equipment. I am sure there is somebody in this country that could use any of it.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  284. Carl

    What happened was an error. What the Afghans did was revenge and murder. Where is their apology?

    I guarantee you it is not coming, so we should send them back to the Stone age before we go.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  285. Kenneth

    They burn the Christian Bible ... so We burn the Koran ... why not burn the torah too....

    February 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  286. Stan

    Are you kidding me! Apologize! My son is in Afghanistan risking his life for what! Serving his country! Who apologized to him and his squad and the young soldier who was sent home due to injuries when their hummer was rocked by an IED? Come on Commander-in-chief, stand with our men and women.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  287. JL in MA

    Yes, Obama did the right thing in an attempt to defuse a horrible situation. However, extremists will do as extremists do and will not accept that buring the Koran was a mistake. We have troops in harms' way and if POTUS thought by apologizing they'd be safer for it, then we should support him.

    And to those who claim that all Obama does is apologize to those that want to kill us... yeah, Osama bin Laden got a face full of apology.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  288. Angela Calabrese

    The President did the prudent and correct thing – an apology does not imply weakness, but strength. When anyone offends someone, an apology is in order. He is a brilliant man, and someone my family admires. He did the right thing. If you are Christian, (or Jew) you should understand humility. I don't think, given what Obama has done to Al Quaeda, that anyone with a sane mind would consider Obama "weak". GO Mr. President!!

    February 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  289. Steve

    Its called being accountable and accepting responsibility,. Our country could use a little more of that. We seem to have lost any sense of those qualities.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  290. Janey from Murfreesboro

    Of course Obama should apologize for the intentional or unintentional burning of another culture's religious documents. It is the right thing to do. How a nation (or person) behaves is their responsibility. You base your actions on your own internal / personal standards. Minimally It helps that nation / person define who they are. Maximally it sets a model for other's to follow.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  291. Bloomington Indiana

    The president should really apologize to the Ameican public for just burning books. For Goodsake were not nazi Germany!

    February 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  292. Mark S. in Louisville, KY

    Absolutely, it is the right thing to do...both politically & personally. Politically: it is an attempt to keep our troops safe in that end of the world. Personally: Accidents happen all the time where people get hurt. It is this kind of Republican response that the world shutters to hear–reminding all of the W. Bush era. I'm sure each of our compassionate GOP candidates would be quick to apologize for accidentally running over their child's bike when backing out of their driveway. Why shouldn't anyone apologize for inadvertantly hurting others?

    February 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  293. Phill R

    No. Why? Because we have more pressing issues like $4 gas, unemployment and rising debt. I am a registered democrat and am appalled by this.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  294. dominic

    How does our apology make our troops safer? They are being killed with or without an apology. Obama is giving comfort to a people who still live in the 12th century and just don't get our fearless leader's nuanced approach to foreign policy.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  295. Pete/Ark

    Yes. His mother taught him good manners,obviously some other politicians ignored mama.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  296. carol in ms

    i thank he did the right thing, and our troops need to come home, these people do not respect human life.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  297. Mohammad, Los Angeles, CA

    Winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people is part of the struggle there in Afghanistan. The President made the right call and it's pretty clear that the Republican candidates are either trying to score political points on the issue or have absolutely no understanding of the conflict itself.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  298. Angelo@montreal

    An apology is a fantastic strategy to cool things down. If it will reduce the tension that is endangering the lives of not only American troops , but all NATO troops down there, an apology is logical.
    Another apology that is required is for republican candidates' comments who truly will say anything to get media coverage as ridiculous it may be or even if it endangers NATO lives.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  299. Corey Johnson

    Everyone who thinks President Obama shouldn't have apologized is WRONG. It was their holy book and in their county. Could you imagine if a mosque here in the US accidentally burned some bibles and we found out about it. Then when they say it was an accident, yet don't issue an apology. Ohhh i can hear Fox News now. Every sensible human being knows that an apology is not an omission of guilt. It can be used when an act was done that you feel should not have been done. You his someones car, you see they are mad. You didn't mean to do it...do you apologize or just walk off. It was an accident.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  300. Tano

    Leave it to Americans when it comes to naivete. Instead of coming off as compassionate, respectful, and understanding, they look weak, dumb, and clueless. Why? Because Americans have no clue how things work in the middle east, or else where for that matter. People in the middle east DO NOT respect apologists, of any kind, particularly those who are currently militarily present in their land. If you show weakness, they'll get all over you, and that is exactly what has happened. Let's be honest, nobody is afraid of a U.S. President who bows to Kings, calls his people lazy, and asks for forgiveness in behalf of the American people everywhere he goes. Nope, the world is no longer afraid of what the U.S. can do to them, because we have very dumb policies. We want to be the civilized people, take the high road, but the rest of the world doesn't care about that, they'll stick it to America at every chance they have, and we'll say nothing about it. They see America as a country with a lot of good things, but full of stupid people, and this president only reinforces such view of America. In other words, we need a new president, this one is too inept to govern this country, we deserve better than this.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  301. LostinSLC

    All he did by apologizing was acknowledge that our enemies have the power still. He gives no credence to them burning our flags and desecrating the U.S. and instead sends a message that we will be subversive to the Taliban. I am sorry but he did not represent America properly on this one

    February 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  302. Scott

    Does it really matter? We all know if he hadn't apologized these very same politicians and conservative talk show hosts would be complaining that he should have. Since he did their saying he shouldn't have. Proof? Look at the facts, republicans are falling over themselves to come out against anything and everything Obama is for, including, in a couple of cases, TAX CUTS. And who would have ever thought republicans would be against that?

    February 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  303. Ed Peters

    Indeed an apology by POTUS is the correct thing to do, he is the Commander and has to atone for the screw-up of burning the religious books. I also would like to see the US speed up the withdrawal and get our troop out of harms way. There is no way we will ever make Afghanistan into a modern civilized country and we should stop trying to do so. If they promote terrorism again we do what we did in the first 6 months there, and then stay the hell out. YMMV

    February 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  304. Chris, Bx., NY

    For the safety of our soldiers, of course....He's being a responsible leader......Quran burning over there incites violence. Period...... To cover our troops and honor the muslim worlds tradition, the President was right on the money. To say he's some defeatist, or loser, blows falsely in the wind......My God we still have over 80k troops there, as well as predator drones. Is this considered weak? Damn all lies.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  305. BK

    Yes. Our people made a mistake, and an apology was the decent response. Pouring gasoline on the situation will only make things worse for the American troops still there, and the GOP politicians trying to make hay off of it are mostly demonstrating that they are not to be trusted with being in charge.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  306. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    Allegedly the reason for burning the Qurans is because they had been marked by prisoners with plans of attack. What should have happened to them was for the Army to package them all up and send them back to the U.S. where they could be burned in private. It was a dumb move to burn them there. But yes I think they should have been destroyed and no, I don't think Mr. Obama or anyone else should have to apologize.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  307. Chris

    Under what law will those who burned the law be held accountable? They were NATO troops, yes? What country were the soldiers from? Will they be held accountable under their country's laws? Surely we are not going to hold non-Muslims accountable under the laws of the Quran. This purposes a "slippery-slop". What happens here will set a precedence for future acts. There are already requests from US citizens to have their own crimes tried under Muslim law. Where does it end? No apology required I say. Or we must start holding everyone accountable who burns an American Flag.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  308. The all potent one

    Maybe instead of apologizing he should have pulled out the troops, then there wouldn't be anyone to have to protect

    February 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  309. Lexagon

    Apologizing when you (or those under your command) have committed a faux pas is the polite, decent thing to do. The fact that Karzai has not apologized for the deaths of American soldiers (or anyone else, for that matter) is irrelevant. No sane person expects Karzai to suddenly do an about-face and start acting like a civilized human being.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  310. Corey Johnson

    Everyone who thinks President Obama shouldn't have apologized is WRONG. It was their holy book and in their county. Could you imagine if a mosque here in the US accidentally burned some bibles and we found out about it. Then when they say it was an accident, yet don't issue an apology. Ohhh i can hear Fox News now. Every sensible human being knows that an apology is not an omission of guilt. It can be used when an act was done that you feel should not have been done. You his someones car, you see they are mad. You didn't mean to do it...do you apologize or just walk off. It was an accident. Here is a better one. Your out side your child is throwing the baseball around. He accidentally throws it through the neighbors window. So because we know it was an accident do we tell our kid to go home and don't worry about apologizing cause we know he didn't mean to do it. I love how people can call themselves Christians and HATE so much of the world who doesn't have the same views as them!

    February 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  311. Thinkforyourself, OK

    No, it is just a book. Who cares? As a Christian, would I be upset if someone was burning Bibles? NO.

    GOD is infinitely Bigger than Muslims think HE is. HE CAN take care of HIMSELF.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  312. mm_pdx

    Joe Haley, except that he DIDN'T mandate that. And regardless, there's a big difference between burning a holy book and discriminating based on religious "beliefs".

    February 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  313. sameeker

    I am still waiting for the taliban to apologize for destroying the historic Buddha statues.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  314. AN

    Yes. Apology – a written or spoken expression of one's regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another (Dictionay). We hurt the feeling on someone by doing an act. It doesn't needs to be intentional, it happended. Apologizing is not a sign of weekness, it is a sign of 'understanding', care, 'ownership', 'leadership'...

    February 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  315. Steve from South Dakota

    As a parent of twins currently deployed to Afghanistan, I fully support the aplogies on the Quran burning offered by our government. The burning was a mistake. While the apology obvisouly didn't/wouldn't satisfy the more extreme Afghanis, it probably did placate some. It was the right thing to do. Saying it shows weakness is ridiculous. You can't tell me that most of the Afghan people are oblivious to the restraint our forces exercise and what fury could rain from the sky if unleased. I am in fact not happy with the current rules of engagement, but that's another topic. Winning hearts and minds seems out of the question, but if a simple apology for a mistake lowers even slightly the danger my twins and other soldiers face daily, then anyone who says its a wrong move can kiss my.......

    Being able to apologize shows strength. Not being able to apologize show weakness. That's why Karzai can't.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  316. thedoctor

    Of course, it was the right thing to do. If his apology cools off one person who decides not to try to kill a U.S. soldier, it's worth it. People need to stop thinking their president needs to be John Wayne or Rambo. Let's try to protect the troops. I'll take an effective president over a macho president every time.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  317. Justin

    Every single one of you that say he shouldn't have apologized, I want you to enlist tomorrow since you're not big on backing down and don't want to show any weakness. We could use you on the front lines.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  318. Just stop

    Obama stop apologizing for "We the People" We are not one bit sorry for burning terrorist books. Have you heard the old saying "the more you stir poop the more it stinks" ?

    February 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  319. James Ruston

    Burning the Koran was not an accident. Someone picked up the books and threw them into the fire. Whoever did that exemplified the arrogant insensitivity to other cultures that Americans seem particularly prone to. That insensitivity was apparent in VietNam and a number of other foreign countries where we have intervened. The President's apology is a welcome departure from that practice.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  320. Bob

    What oaf only apologizes for something they did intentionally? Of course you apologize for your mistakes, whether they were done knowingly or accidentally. And it has absolutely nothing to do with how the other side has treated you.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  321. Brain

    Look when you walk into somebody on the street, or you bump into someone or accidentally do something wrong what do most people say??? Excuse me, pardon, I'm sorry that's what you say. You didn't mean to do it it was accidental, unintentional. That's what Obama did here same principle. To suggest the U.S.A. should never apologize or right a wrong sounds HIGHLY elitest!

    February 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  322. rjrock

    We teach our kids to apologize when they make a mistake and commit to do better. I see no reason why that should be different simply because it's the President. It is the responsible thing to do. It isn't like we didn't know that people take their religions seriously. Apologize, fix it, and put a better foot forward.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  323. ja

    the three stooges want to be president, you take the low road approach when you have no responsibility, newt, mitt, and rick are sofa quarterbacks and hypocrits

    February 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  324. M. Dillard

    We are Americans! If we make a mistake, we are humble enough to apologize and strong enough to not compromise on our values in light of the tough situation we face in the Middle East. The Republicans have been so vitriolic and hateful in thier attack on our American president, and to use this situation to gain political advantage with a small fringe group is frankly pitiful. Thank you President Obama for leading through the darts, arrows, and rocks that are thrown your way every day. No one is perfect and Democrats and Republicans make mistakes, but when we can't find common ground over an apology for a mistake our country made...we all need to get on our needs and pray for this country. My expectations for America are different than the Middle East.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  325. Brett in Las Vegas

    Obama needs to apologize to the people of Japan for the U.S. having fired back after the Japanese attacked at Pearl Harbor.
    Obama needs to apologize to the people of North Korea for the U.S. having come to the defense of South Korea.
    Obama needs to apologize to the people of Vietnam for the U.S. having come to the defense of South Vietnam.
    Obama needs to apologize to the people of Grenada for the U.S. having invaded to save American medical students.
    Obama needs to apologize to the poeple of Iran for Operation Praying Mantis.
    Obama needs to apologize to the people of Panama for the invasion to capture Manuel Noriega.
    Obama needs to apologize to the people of Iraq for Operation Desert Storm & Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    Obama needs to apologize to the people of Afghanistan for the war on terror.
    Obama needs to apologize to the people of Pakistan for killing Osama Bin Laden.

    The Apologizer-In-Chief has time to accomplish all of these formal apologies before his final day in the White House on January 19, 2013!

    February 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  326. Sandstone.

    '"Well yes he should for himself, he's a Muslim, but not on behalf of the USA or any other government."

    February 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  327. al from orlando

    Separation of church and state. The state did it

    February 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  328. Scott

    Yes. And to Santorum: Really? So let's say one of your children knock over another child unintentionally. Do you tell them not to apologize? That it shows they are weak. Sir, you are weak. Weak minded. Please leave the public sector and let the grown ups run the show.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  329. Katy Heys

    Yes, it was the right thing to do. We burnt their holy book(s) and we should apologize. It was the right thing to do At the worst, and apology does – nothing. I support President Obama for doing the right thing. I further think that no matter what the President does, the GOP will criticize him. Imagine what they would have said if Obama refused to apologize? So very tiresome.

    Tampa, FLA

    February 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  330. Bonnie Kimberly

    I It is sad that the question is even asked. But, given the "rights" propensity to always wait for something to use against out POTUS I guess not too surprising. The right thing to do is never easy and never seen by all as wise or necessary but it had to be done PERIOD .

    February 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  331. Kendrick Rivera

    Miami, FL Why cant we just bring our troops home and stop fighting for some republican invented war.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  332. Wazzup

    If the President thinks his apology will change anything, he's delusional.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  333. mdbill

    good Lord people, of course an apology was appropriate. why do people want the president to act like a macho cowboy and shoot up, or threaten to shoot up, everything that disagrees with us? now the question is what next? personally i believe it is time to let democracy shine. let the afghans vote on whether they want us there or not. what are we afraid of? if we believe in democracy then let's act on it. bin laden is dead so our "mission" is complete. we can't force our brand of democracy on them. if they want a muslim society ruled by sharia law then that's up to them. if they want to butcher each other and act like savages, that's up to them. we just need to make it clear before we go that if they harbor terrorists again we will bomb them out of existense....

    February 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  334. Ssgt Miller

    People are soooooo STOOOPID!!! Obama had to do what he had to do to minimize American casualties!
    Seriously guys! this is the president who ordered a SEAL team hit on OBL and then 2 hours later walked calmly onto the Capital like nothing and gave State of Union speech to the world!
    Do I think deep down in his heart of hearts he felt like apologizing? Probably NOT. Is this apology what he had to do as a political leader? YES. He did it because he knew American/NATO soldiers were being illogically targeted by the insane mob and that if an apology by a President meant saving even 1 soldier's life than it was worth it.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  335. Sid Pierce

    If the President believes the country has made an honest mistake the answer would be yes Jack....however many in America still believe in the old expression..."America love it or leave it." However those people also tend to believe in going to war with no clear objective, borrowing money from China to fight a ten year plus war, and keep those tax breaks coming for the rich and super rich....can you spell oligarchy!!!

    February 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  336. Don Hurley

    NO. He can apologize to anyone left, after dropping a few nukes on the country because that's the only way to rid it of the Taliban. Then he can apologize to Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Nigeria after doing same.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  337. Ali

    When a Koran is defaced, then it MUST be destroyed. As a Muslim, I can tell you this is a fact. Therefore, if the detainees were writing inside the Koran, then it was right for the military to burn them. I don't think this action required an apology from the President. If anything, Muslim leaders in Afghanistan should have told their people what really happened and not incited this chaos.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  338. Royce Smith

    If a bunch of Bibles were burned by an opposing force what would the critics be doing? Jumping up and down, their heads exploding while demanding an apology from the head of state. Hypocrits...

    February 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  339. Bob T - Southfield, MI

    If it was morally and ethically correct to burn the Qurans then no appology would be required. If it wasn't morally correct then an appology would be in order. In this case it was an error and Obama's appology is proper and acceptable. It takes a big person to do the right thing expecially when he knows his opponents will ridicule the action. Obama has set an important moral model for all of us to follow when we have made a mistake, appologize and ask forgiveness. What would Jesus do?

    February 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  340. Dee

    In the President's position you do what you gotta do! He has to make the apology even though he knows it won't appease the religious fundamentalists in Afghanistan nor make the opposing religious fundamentalists in the USA happy. It's part of the job.

    February 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm |