On Friday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer took strong umbrage with the White House’s decision to apologize at a Virginia mosque for a reportedly accidental burning of Islamic holy documents.
“That was embarrassing, what we saw,” Krauthammer said. “We have gone from apology here to abject self-debasement and groveling. And groveling to whom? To the mob. We should have had a single apology coming from the commander on the ground and that’s it. Not from the secretary of defense. Not from the president, of all people.”
Krauthammer reminded viewers of the 2010 incident involving Terry Jones, a Florida pastor who was promoting “Burn a Koran Day” and the administration’s reaction to that.
“Remember when the president had to pick up the phone when there was a crazy pastor in Florida who wanted a Koran burning and he had to be talked out of it,” Krauthammer said. “Is the president in charge of the offenses against a certain religious tradition in the world? This is a world in which nobody asked the Islamic conference, the grouping of the 56 Islamic countries, to issue an apology when Christians are attacked and churches are burned in Egypt or in Pakistan. And have we heard a word from any Islamic leader anywhere about the radical Muslims in Nigeria who are not only burning the churches but are burning women and children who are Christian in the churches. When I hear that, I’ll expect my president to start issuing apologies.”
According to The Washington Post columnist, this response makes the United States look weak and despite looking weak, those on the other side rarely reciprocate.
“In fact I’m not sure the argument that … you have to do it to protect our soldiers, is correct,” he continued. “The fact that after the president apologized and after we have been on our knees groveling there was an increase in the violence. I mean, it isn’t as if it has any effect whatsoever. It whets the appetite. People love to see America on its knees. And second, on the idea that there are leaders, Muslim leaders in the world who apologize, there are 56 nations in the Islamic conference. Has one apologized for the attacks on the Copts in Egypt? Has the leader in Egypt himself apologized? No. Sorry.”
Krauthammer’s “Special Report” co-panelist Kirsten Powers shot back at him, suggesting that the United States should set the example.
“I just have a hard time following this idea that we should be demanding apologies from other people but we shouldn’t apologize,” Powers said. “Is this what people tell their children? Only apologize if somebody else apologizes? We have our standards based on what we believe in. We are the United States. We are better than those people.”
But despite that plea from Powers, Krauthammer explained that it is not the case in this country when other religions are attacked.
“The reason we’re apologizing is not because of politeness or showing respect,” Krauthammer replied. “A single apology would have done that. It’s the fear of violence. People don’t object if Mormons are mocked on Broadway, if Christian crucifixes are put in bottles of urine and displayed in a museum because the violence isn’t a factor. People are afraid. You do a cartoon of Muhammad and you get beheaded or shot. It’s a matter of fear. It’s not respect. One apology is correct. It shouldn’t have been done. Absolutely all of this stuff is cravenous.”