As I write these words, President Bush is issuing multiple apologies for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. The outrage is understandable, and once again the U.S. is held to standards of conduct found in few places on our small globe.
My advice to our President and our nation is this: Apologize, punish the offenders, and MOVE ON.
To spend much more time in hand-wringing invites derision from the enemies of our values and weakens our position of strength against the perpetrators of terror who have no compunction about killing anyone who is not an Islamofascist.
Our situtation is much like the 1930s, where Britain, France and the USA refused to respond to any of the Nazi provocations until it was too late to avoid a major war. Western moral and military weakness condemned the world to a war costing over 50 million lives.
The USA and her allies must regain the moral high ground, operate the military effectively, and emphasize the values that have sustained freedom. This includes being self-critical, but not self-destructive.
Wallowing in self-immolation instead of working for self-improvement will place our planet in danger of a new Dark Ages of bigotry and intolerance.
It is time to move on. We must recognize the problem, repent of the violations, provide restitution to victims, and resolve to do better. Self-denial is good and leads to service for humanity. Self-destruction opens the door to totalitarianism. The choice is ours.