Friday, February 24, 2012

President, GOP candidates fail to act properly in Koran burning incident


by Andrew Riggio | February 24, 2012


Newt Gingrich is blasting President Barack Obama again.

This time on several counts dealing with his military foreign policy, according to CNN. Among these were Obama’s recent apology for the burning of a Koran by international troops, in which he told the Afghans that the act was not representative of American respect for their religion. CNN claims that Gingrich was the first to attack Obama over this, but CNN is wrong.

Former Speaker of the House and GOP Presidential  candidate Newt Gingrich.
 Waves of writers have condemned Obama’s cowardly act before Gingrich grew enough backbone to do it. I should know; I’m one of the writers who blasted him early in the timeline in my capacity as a commentator for a prominent news web portal. The moment I heard about the apology my digital pen went into action.

Gingrich may be the first Republican candidate to fire a salvo at the President over this. All that proves is that his public relations people recovered from their incompetent failure to act sooner than those of Mitt Romney, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum. It doesn’t make him some heroic patriot who was the first to remark on a mistake made by the sitting President.


Granted, it’s customary to weigh one’s words carefully when running a national campaign to win the nod to run for the nation’s highest political office. Any spoken word will be dissected by the media. A candidate’s comments can come back to haunt them for ages, so they generally speak in public only after speeches have been carefully crafted by staff members.

In this case it’s a nearly unforgivable failure on the candidates’ part to have gone that traditional route. There are issues about which one can take one’s time and issue prepared statements at a politically advantageous time. This is not one of those issues.


When a sitting President acts in a way that shames his country, the time to wait for the spin doctors to work on a speech has passed.

One copy of a book that inspires war against unbelievers, tyranny against women and offers supposed rewards for suicidal martyrdom was burned. When American troops are at risk partly due to the influence of this book it is flat-out wrong for the President to apologize for the destruction of one copy.

It was wrong for Obama to act as he did, and wrong for the candidates to wait this long to condemn the apology. None of the politicians involved in the matter are heroes – not the President, nor the GOP candidates. The heroes are American military personnel and they deserved better from both sides of the political aisle in this matter.

Andrew Riggio is a news commentator on Yahoo! News, a Content Writer and Voice Actor. You can find his work on www.AndrewRiggio.com


Do you agree or disagree with the President's apology?




Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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