Reuters: Infidels Riddle Koran with Bullets

• Views: 2,382

This would be good for a round of seething, except that senior military commanders have already sprung into action and apologized. Leaving aside the inherent absurdity of apologizing for harming a book, Reuters is doing their best to make sure the issue persists, with one of their characteristically even-handed, unbiased headlines: U.S. soldier riddles Koran with bullets in Iraq.

By Reuters reporter Khaled al-Ansary, who I’m certain is also completely unbiased on these sorts of stories.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An American soldier has been disciplined and ordered from Iraq, the U.S. military said on Sunday, for using a copy of the Koran for target practice at a shooting range near Baghdad.

Such an act of desecration of the Muslim holy book could inflame anger against the U.S. military presence in Iraq, but an Iraqi community leader told Reuters an apology by senior American military commanders had helped calm tensions.

Saeed al-Zubaie, head of a U.S.-allied Sunni Arab tribal council in the area where the Koran was found, said the book had been used as target practice. It was peppered with 14 bullet holes and offensive language had been scrawled inside, he said.

“I was feeling bitterness, but as long as they apologized we are OK with them. Our anger has cooled,” said Zubaie, adding that Sunni Arab tribal units who work alongside U.S. forces in the area had threatened to quit unless the military took action.

By the way, so no one takes this the wrong way, I’m not criticizing the senior commanders for apologizing; this is a reality that they have to deal with in Iraq. It would be counter-productive to do anything else, when a simple statement can defuse a lot of irrational popular anger, and only senior military officials will receive the necessary respect to cool things down.

It’s still an absurd situation, though.

UPDATE at 5/18/08 12:18:25 pm:

Kos Kidz say: Daily Kos: ‘F*** yeah’: Worse Than Abu Ghraib!

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