Afghanistan takes a breather from its self-immolation in rage to issue a statement. Who in the U.S. military establishment will be the fall guys? The people who followed orders? The people who gave them? And who will conduct the trial, and what range of punishments are possible?
NATO must know full well that it is validating a process that, for many of its backers, can only rightly end through retribution in blood, and even that will not be the end; it will never be enough, because the response is not rational in the first place, and therefore has no rational end point. “Joint Statement by the Delegations Assigned to Probe Bagram Incident,” from the Government Media & Information Center of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, February 25 (thanks to Ray):
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
Following the insulting and shameful act of burning Quran in Bagram airbase that injured the religious sentiments of the Islamic world and particularly of the Afghan Muslim nation, two delegations comprising of representatives from government, the National Council of Ulemma and the National Assembly were assigned and dispatched to investigate the circumstances and causes that have led to the inhumane incident.
The delegations, while deeply touched by the religious sentiments shown by the Afghan Muslim and Mujahid nation, inform our citizens of the following:
1. In view of the particular security situation in the country, we call on all our Muslim citizens of Afghanistan to exercise self-restraint and extra vigilance in dealing with the issue and avoid resorting to protests and demonstrations that may provide ground for the enemy to take advantage of the situation.
2. After the shameful incident by the US soldiers stationed in Bagram, senior NATO and American officials expressed their deep apologies to the Muslim nation of Afghanistan and assured that such incidents will not happen again.
3. NATO officials promised to meet Afghan nation’s demand of bringing to justice, through an open trial, those responsible for the incident and it was agreed that the perpetrators of the crime be brought to justice as soon as possible.
4. The assigned delegations demand from the government of Afghanistan to take over from the Americans the authority of the Bagram prison so no such incidents can recur and calls on the US government to fully and comprehensively cooperate to this end.
5. The delegations also want from the Afghan government to formally praise those brave Afghan army soldiers and all others who showed feelings against the disrespectful act by preventing more religious books and Quran copies from burning, so that the pure Muslim sentiments of our honored Mujahid nation can remain alive.
This is some serious preening and pandering by the Karzai government to shore up its credentials as a pious regime.