Carol Platt Liebau: An Apology is Not Enough

Sunday, June 19, 2005

An Apology is Not Enough

Here, Mark Steyn tells some of the truths about Dick Durbin and the Democrats that needs telling.

His final sentence is arresting: "Shame on [Durbin}, and shame on those fellow senators and Democrats who by their refusal to condemn him endorse his slander."

Quite right. Every U.S. senator should be repudiating and condemning his remarks -- and calling for censure -- in terms strong enough that there's at least a chance that they'll receive some portion of the press attention around the world that Durbin's slander has received.

Instead, the response in the Senate from BOTH sides of the aisle (with Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky an honorable exception) has been hardly stirring.

Senator John Warner (R-VA): Durbin's remarks are "a grievous error"

Senator Bill First (R-TN): "Disappointing"

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY): No comment

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV): Came to Senate floor to defend Durbin.

Do these people not understand that the honor of America's military has been sullied in the eyes of the world? Senator Frist, can't you do a little better than calling it "disappointing"? (It's disappointing when you want vanilla ice cream and all they've got is chocolate. It's disgusting, repugnant, outrageous and unacceptable when our troops are equated with heartless mass murderers and torturers).

Even John McCain -- who prides himself on his support for the military (and who served with honor himself) could muster only the gentlest of rebukes on "Meet the Press":

“Senator Durbin owes not only the Senate an apology because it does a great disservice to the men and women who suffered in the gulag and Pol Pot’s killing fields . . . There’s no comparison whatsoever and it does a great disservice to the majority of men and women who are serving in Guantanamo and are doing the job that they’re told to do and they’re doing it in a human fashion. To tar the American servicemen and women with the brush that applies to the gulag or to the killing fields is a great disservice to the men and women in the military who are serving honorably down there.

Q. Should he formally apologize?

A. I don’t know about formal but he should certainly apologize

Q. Will the Senate take any action against him?

A. I predict to you by the time this program is shown next Sunday, that Mr Durbin will have apologized.

Senator McCain's prediction was wrong. So now what is the Senate going to do about it?

And please note that Senator Durbin owes an apology to more than just the Senate. Let's start with an apology to (1) our fine military men and women; (2) the American public, especially the relatives of our soldiers; (3) the people of Illinois (many of whom must be profoundly embarassed by him) and finally, wrap up with a special expression of regret for (4) the relatives of those who died at the hands of Hitler, the Soviet Communists and Pol Pot, for the disrespect with which he treated their loved ones' unjust persecution and suffering. After all, he compared these innocent victims with the Al Qaeda suspects and thugs that are populating Guantanamo.

Truly, an apology is not enough.


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