Hearts and Minds

We’ve been there for five years and we’re still doing incredibly offensive things without even thinking about them

An American staff sergeant who was a sniper section leader used a Quran for target practice on May 9.

The U.S. commander in Baghdad on Saturday issued a formal apology and read a letter of apology from the shooter.

The sergeant has been relieved of duty as a section leader “with prejudice,” officially reprimanded by his commanding general, dismissed from his regiment and redeployed — reassigned to the United States.

But the Iraqi Islamic Party — which said it reacted to the news “with deep resentment and indignation” — wants the “severest of punishments” for the action to serve as a lesson for the future.

“Such assaults have recurred over the past few years; therefore, the apology alone is no longer sufficient,” the party said in a statement. “The U.S. military should take preventative measures considering the feelings of Muslims.”

The scariest thing about this is that when the shooter claims his actions weren’t malicious, I almost believe him. He probably thinks that he did was more like shooting up a copy of the local Yellow Pages than like stealing someone’s family bible writing graffiti in it and shooting it to pieces.

Can you imagine the outrage in Oklahoma if it got out that the National Guard was using bibles for target practice?

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