U.S. general apologizes to and praises the Afghans, and tells American soldiers to continue with the mission

Buck writes:

Your entry about the riots in Afghanistan pointed me to Diana West’s column, which led to two videos starring perhaps the most repugnant and repulsive Army general in history. The first video is the official apology by General John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force. You have to watch it to experience the full effect of Gen. Allen’s repulsive demeanor and to feel his total submission to the mission and to Islam.

The second video tells us:

The Commander of ISAF and U.S. troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, visited the base in the east of the country where two U.S. soldiers were killed yesterday by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform. General Allen was accompanied on his trip by General Sher Mohammed Karimi, the Afghan National Army’s Chief of Staff. At the time of the incident, the base was under attack by protesters demonstrating against the burning of Korans at the detainee facility in Parwan.

Here are my transcriptions and descriptions of the first video:

General Allen:

In the eyes of the ISAF countries, all fifty of them, were turned today to this spot. We offer you our condolences. We offer you our admiration as well, for how you’ve handled yourselves today in a very tough situation. There will be moments like this, where you’re searching for the meaning of this loss. There will be moments like this, when your emotions will be governed by anger and the desire to strike back. These are the moments when you reach down inside and you grip the discipline that makes you a United States soldier, and you gut through the pain, and you gut through the anger; and you remember why we’re here. We are here for our friends [said with a solemn tone of profound certitude], we are here for our partners, we are here for the Afghan people. Now is not the time for revenge, now is not the time for vengeance. Now is the time to look deep inside your souls, remember your mission, remember you discipline, remember who you are. We’ll come through this together as a unit. Now is that time. Now, is how we show the Afghan people that as bad as that act was in Bagrom, it was unintentional, and Americans and ISAF soldiers do not stand for this. We stand for something greater than that [gesturing with clenched fists toward his chest]. We came out here today [General Sher Mohammed Karimi, the Afghan National Army’s Chief of Staff, standing silent at Allen’s side] together, to spend time with you, to ask you for your patience and your forbearance; to remind you who you are and to remind you that we’re all together in this. Not just ISAF, but Afghanistan as well [gesturing to General Sher Mohammed Karimi]. I’m proud to call him my brother. I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with him in this great conflict. Because we will win. We’re going to win because of you.

The video shifts to General Sher Mohammed Karimi, the Afghan National Army’s Chief of Staff who is now addressing the U.S. soldiers:

Your sacrifice not wasted. Your sacrifice is for humanity, not just for the Afghan people. Your sacrifice for people who have suffered for thirty three years through the hand of such enemy. It is a rewarding mission. And this enemy fighting against us is not an enemy of Afghanistan. Is an enemy of the whole of humanity. So, I think we are fighting together for a noble cause.

The video returns to General Allen speaking:

We admit our mistake. We ask for forgiveness. We seek to move on.

Close-up of General Allen speaking:

So, together as a family, shoulder to shoulder, we move on.

A close-up of soldiers with solemn, serious faces. General Allen loudly in the background:

To include the holy Koran…. I’m proud to be with you tonight.

General Sher Mohammed Karimi’s voice in the background:

We have to learn sorrow, anger, happiness, all; to appreciate …

The rest is inaudible. The camera scans the faces of Afghani troops gathered with U.S. soldiers in the room.

The soldiers depart from the room. General Allen is seen shaking each soldier’s hand, looking him in the eye, and also touching the soldiers affectionately, in various ways, with his free hand as they exit past him. You get the feeling that he wants to hug each one. The soldiers are solemn and quiet. Some look as if they are on the verge of tears. None shown much more than a stone face. They all, to a man, look like the world has just come to an end, and like they have to keep up appearances and to continue to march on as a matter of honor, duty, and loyalty to the mission, to the Afghani people. Not a word is said about America or the interests of the American people. Nothing is said about patriotism or about defending America. We are there, sacrificing life and limb for our brothers, the Afghan people

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 25, 2012 10:59 AM | Send

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