U.S. Military Official Kisses Koran

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Was this a shrewd and necesarry move, given the circumstances, or just a shameless pander to America's enemies? From CNN:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A soldier used the Quran -- Islam's holy book -- for target practice, forcing the chief U.S. commander in Baghdad to issue a formal apology on Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, flanked by leaders from Radhwaniya in the western outskirts of Baghdad, apologized for the staff sergeant who was a sniper section leader assigned to the headquarters of the 64th Armored Regiment. He also read a letter of apology by the shooter.

It was the first time the incident -- which tested the relationship between U.S.-backed Sunni militiamen and the military -- was made public since it was discovered May 11.

"I come before you here seeking your forgiveness," Hammond said to tribal leaders and others at the apology ceremony. "In the most humble manner I look in your eyes today and I say please forgive me and my soldiers."

Another military official kissed a Quran and presented it as "a humble gift" to the tribal leaders.

The soldier, whose name was not released, shot at a Quran on May 9, villagers said. The Quran used in the incident was discovered two days later, according to the military.

Apparently this, um, generous apology doesn't go far enough to please a key Iraqi Sunni party, which is demanding tough action against the soldier. What do you think?

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