Video: Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan apologizes for Koran-burning

posted at 9:39 pm on February 21, 2012 by Allahpundit

Is this S.O.P.? There’s been plenty of cultural friction in Afghanistan over the past decade but offhand I can’t recall a U.S. general going so far as to cut a video begging forgiveness of the locals for an offense — not even after the clip of Marines urinating on dead Taliban made the rounds worldwide last month. Either Gen. Allen remembered what happened the last time Afghans went berserk over a Koran-burning and wanted to do everything he could to prevent a reprise — too late, although at least no one’s been killed yet — or he (or his superiors) calculated that this incident could threaten those perpetually on-again-off-again peace talks with the Taliban.

It was indeed apparently an accident:

According to Afghan workers who witnessed the events, around 10 or 11 p.m. on Monday a dump truck escorted by a military vehicle drove up to the landfill at Bagram Air Base, where 20 or so Afghans work. Two uniformed NATO personnel, a man and a woman, began unloading bags of books from the back of the truck and throwing them into a pit for incineration. NATO officials said it was not yet clear if the two people were troops or civilians. Some civilians also wear military uniforms and can easily be mistaken for soldiers. The Afghan workers described the pair as Americans.

Accounts from some of the workers at the landfill suggested that the two people were oblivious to the significance of what they were doing. They made no attempt to hide the books, instead appearing to be routinely carrying out their duties.

“When we saw these soldiers burning books, we moved closer to see what was going on, and one of the boys said, ‘It is Holy Koran,’ ” said one of the laborers, Zabiullah, 22. “And we attacked them with our yellow helmets, and tried to stop them. We rushed towards them, and we threw our helmets at the vehicles.”…

The two NATO personnel drew back, but two bags of books they had already thrown into the pit had begun to burn.

On the one hand, it’s hard to believe that after 10 years NATO workers wouldn’t know that lighting up a Koran in Kabul means a guaranteed rampage. On the other hand, if they’re young Americans, the concept may be so foreign to them that they didn’t think twice. Back home, the only group that rampages when a Koran is burned is the media.

As for why they were disposing of the Korans, it was because they wanted to … avoid a jihadist rampage:

A military official says Muslim holy books that were burned in a pile of garbage at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan had been removed from a library at a nearby detention center because they contained extremist messages or inscriptions.

A military official with knowledge of the incident told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it appeared the Qurans (Korans) and other Islamic readings were being used to fuel extremism, and that detainees apparently were leaving notes for one another inside them.

Said one Afghan employee at Bagram of the local hysteria, “Whoever goes back to work will be killed. They’ll think of us as traitors.” Exit question: The decision to pull out a year early is looking better every day, huh?

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I couldn’t care less about Koran burning. Never being offended is NOT a human right.

Murf76 on February 22, 2012 at 1:34 AM

This is all BS!!

Even outside of war theatres, the Islamists routinely burn Bibles and persecute, abuse, and kill Christians: let’s stop pretending that they deserve deference and that it is OK to sacrifice our own values to make them like us.

landlines on February 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM

So what are we buying in Afghanistan with all our so many billions and so many troops lives and limbs and all our generals grovelling?

Another ally for Iran, just like in Iraq.

VorDaj on February 22, 2012 at 3:16 AM

Well, if we weren’t there this wouldn’t be happening.

Notorious GOP on February 22, 2012 at 5:52 AM


hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 6:32 AM


hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 6:37 AM

Brave men and women stand ready and in the way of evil forces so that even the antiwar crowd can sit and armchair quarterback.

Remember why they’re there.

hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 6:41 AM

Hawk, I know why we are there. But we have been there for 11 years now and the good Afghans aren’t stepping to the plate to do there job in what is now a bloody civil war. This is not our civil war to win, they must want to defeat the Taliban and rid themselves of these thugs.

SC.Charlie on February 22, 2012 at 7:01 AM

I am a Marine.

General Allen is a disgrace.

No Marine accepts this loser as a brother in arms.

Allen is an obama sock puppet.

crash72 on February 22, 2012 at 7:08 AM

Good Lord! What has the US Army that I served proudly come to? I know he thinks he is trying to save American lives, but you say it was an accident and then remind folks that if in their rage, they try to harm American or NATO troops that they will be dealt with severely!
I am appalled!

armygirl on February 22, 2012 at 7:24 AM

Good lord general . . .buck up and stop kowtowing to those dirtbags, and while you’re at it, get a spine replacement.

rplat on February 22, 2012 at 7:40 AM

Get the Gideons to ship the rioters a few thousand Bibles so they can have a revenge burning. Nobody in the US will care but it will make the turds feel better about themselves.

sdd on February 22, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Who cares. 99.9% of muslims can’t even read anyway. If they could they would learn that the Koran was largely plagiarized from the Old Testament by a maniacal murderous pedophile who couldn’t even write the chapters in chronological order.

CorporatePiggy on February 22, 2012 at 7:54 AM

and when the military routinely burn bibles? can I get an apology for that?

mbquinn on February 22, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Don’t apologize, let’s burn some more. Hey, let’s burn some here so we can flush our crazies out and catalogue them. ;)

insidiator on February 22, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Approach Fail

The correct response is that we will destroy any material used for war. If you write code or messages in your sacred text expect more of the same. Also, we’d like to take this opportunity to announce that we’ll be destroying all mosques, hospitals, and schools being used to hide terrorists, fire at our troops or cache weapons.

Let’s fight to win or quit fighting already

Not-a-Marxist on February 22, 2012 at 8:18 AM

Soldiers wearing pregnancy simulators for PT to force “empathy.”
Tearful apologies to morons living in the 12th century.
Denying that 12 people killed on a US Fort by a muslim fanatic was terrorism.
And on and on…

Yhe disgrace is the sacrifice of many, many soldiers under the “leadership” of careerist, politically correct weasels posing as officers.

graywolf on February 22, 2012 at 8:25 AM

SC.Charlie on February 22, 2012 at 7:01 AM

I don’t disagree. Those links and comments I’ve left are for a specific few people who think we should have done nothing or think worse, that it was our fault.

hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Carney looks like he’s about to burst into tears in that video.

saus on February 22, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Carney looks like he’s about to burst into tears in that video.

saus on February 22, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Good to see your posts here saus.

hawkdriver on February 22, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Likewise, stay safe Hawkdriver.

saus on February 22, 2012 at 9:46 AM

who cares. I would burn one every day if I could.

fwm299 on February 22, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Who ever would have thought our military would have been defeated by an enemy such as Political Correctness. Who needs bullets when you have roses?

Our grandparents would have loaded the machine guns and piled up the bodies. If they want to die over a book, then let them.

mtucker5695 on February 22, 2012 at 10:03 AM

They ought to burn some more. It creates a target rich environment.

Sporty1946 on February 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

God help us if we get into a tangle with Iran…ever since we’ve adopted a politically correct approach to war we’ve culled out the warriors and elevated the bureaucrats…Carney is a good example of what we’re left with.

ironmarshal on February 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM

graywolf on February 22, 2012 at 8:25 AM


mtucker5695 on February 22, 2012 at 10:03 AM


DrMagnolias on February 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

I tried to make this point on the “Daily Mail” website but of course they censored it. When I was stationed in the middle east during “Desert Storm” we were told not to bring porn, alcohol or the bible. If you did it was confiscated and destroyed as a matter of fact there was a story about our military burning a pallet of bibles that was delivered to the middle east and yet not a peep of dissent from our side. I hate double standards, you constantly hear Muslims complain about our countries treatment or their faith and yet try to open a church in Saudi Arabia or possess a bible.

SGinNC on February 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM

In Iran their is a man who has converted to Christianity. He has been scheduled to be put to death unless he recants. He is refusing to do so. How do we fight such insanity?

SC.Charlie on February 22, 2012 at 2:03 PM

WIPPED little candy ass military. This is what we’ve become and it makes me sick.

leftnomore on February 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I wonder who squealed? Or was the smoke black, instead of white?

ultracon on February 22, 2012 at 2:59 PM