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Santorum Joins Chorus Criticizing U.S. Apologies in Koran Burning Incident

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has joined the growing number of Americans uncomfortable with President Barack Obama and the Defense Department's extensive apology for the unintentional burning of Korans by U.S. forces at a NATO base in Afghanistan last week. Santorum says the action was a mistake that demonstrates the president's "weakness."

Obama has come under fierce criticism from Republicans and media commentators for his reaction to the burning of the Korans. AP reports that military officials say the incident in Afghanistan was a mistake. Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asia and Pacific security affairs, met Friday with Washington-area Muslims where he was videotaped apologizing multiple times on behalf of the Department of Defense during a brief speech during prayer services at the ADAMS Center in Sterling, one of the largest mosques in the country.

The exchange infuriated conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who lambasted the White House and Defense officials during an appearance on Fox News Friday for their response to the incident. Krauthammer stated that while a single apology from a commander on the ground was warranted, the extent of the apology from officials in Washington was "embarrassing."

Santorum was interviewed Sunday on ABC's "This Week" and NBC's "Meet the Press," and AP reports that Santorum says that rather than saying he was sorry, Obama should have only acknowledged that what happened in the incident was wrong. The former senator from Pennsylvania says to apologize for something that was not an intentional act "is something the president of the United States should not have done."

Violent anti-U.S. riots have engulfed Afghanistan since news of the incident first broke early this week. Hundreds have been wounded and dozens killed, including four U.S. soldiers.

In an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN Friday, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich slammed the Obama administration (President, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and U.S. commander John Allen among others) for their apology. Gingrich said he would not say sorry before Afghan President Hamid Karzai apologizes for the deaths of Americans in his nation, or until Muslim officials offer condolences for the burnings of churches in Africa and the Middle East:

Henry Blodget of the Business Insider questioned the religious justification of Afghan rioters in column released Sunday entitled "Does Mohammed Seriously Say It's Okay to Kill People Who Throw Away Old Korans?"

"What happened, at least judging from initial news reports, is that Americans wanted to stop some Korans from being used to pass notes at a prison... so they threw them away.  And the trash was then burned.

That's not a symbolic gesture. And it's presumably hardly the first time that old Korans have been thrown away. (How else are you supposed to get rid of them?)

The treatment of the trash probably did not enter into the minds of the folks who threw the Korans away. And they probably had no idea how this treatment of old books might be viewed.

So the insult, if any, was inadvertent.

But, despite an apology from the President of the United States, the retribution for this inadvertent insult has now led to four murders and counting.

Murders.  Human beings intentionally shot and killed.

No matter what moral universe you live in, thinking that an act like this somehow justifies premeditated murders is outrageous. "

A faux "apology to President Karzai on behalf of all Americans" by Kira Davis has since gone viral on youtube, and seems to encapsulate the resentment from many conservatives to the Obama administration's profuse regret for the Koran burning incident. The Washington Times reports that Davis is one of the 21 Top Urban Game Changers, urban voices that are using social media, from blogs to video, to speak out on behalf of conservative Afro-Americans.

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