Obama apol­ogy won’t end Afghan vi­o­lence

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

A White House spokesman said that Pres­i­dent Obama wasn’t sug­gest­ing his apol­ogy to Afghanistan for Ko­ran burn­ings would end the vi­o­lence there, af­ter two more U.S. ser­vice mem­bers were killed Thurs­day.

“No­body has sug­gested that vi­o­lence has ended in Afghanistan in gen­eral or in re­ac­tion to the un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent in­volv­ing the in­ad­ver­tent, un­in­ten­tional burn­ing of re­li­gious ma­te­ri­als,” pres­i­den­tial press sec­re­tary Jay Car­ney told re­porters trav­el­ing with Mr. Obama on Air Force One.

On Wed­nes­day, Mr. Obama told ABC News that his apol­ogy to Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai had “calmed things down” af­ter a week of anti-amer­ica demon­stra­tions in that coun­try. Less than a day later, the In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­rity As­sis­tance Force an­nounced that two more U.S. sol­diers had been killed, bring­ing the to­tal of per­son­nel killed to six in the past two weeks.

Con­ser­va­tives have crit­i­cized the pres­i­dent for apol­o­giz­ing for the Ko­ran burn­ings while not ask­ing for an apol­ogy for the killing of U.S. troops.

The lat­est U.S. troops to fall vic­tim to the vi­o­lence were in the south­ern part of the coun­try Thurs­day when two men, one of whom may have been an Afghan sol­dier, opened fire. Of­fi­cials said two of the three gun­men were killed.

On Feb. 25, two other U.S. mil­i­tary ad­vis­ers were killed at the Afghan In­te­rior Min­istry. Ear­lier that week, an Afghan sol­dier fa­tally shot two U.S. troops dur­ing a protest.

Re­pub­li­can pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls Newt Gin­grich, Mitt Rom­ney and oth­ers have crit­i­cized Mr. Obama for of­fer­ing what they said was a need­less apol­ogy.

The burned copies of the Ko­ran were found in a garbage pit on a U.S. air base near Kabul. In a let­ter to Mr. Karzai, Mr. Obama called the burn­ings “in­ad­ver­tent” and said those re­spon­si­ble would be held ac­count­able.

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