Apology and responsibility

John Cole finds an apology in the latest admissions.

In this case, it is apologizing on the presentation of the war instead of the actual actions of war. Such a strange admission is understandable—they must be giving a sideways glance at Nuremberg every time they open their mouth. I still find the whole thing ironic since the presentation of the war seemed to be the one area in which the administration made no mistakes.

I glossed over this article because the parts I read seem to follow into the same mold: passive voice. Along the lines of: “mistakes were made” or “I know we’ve made tactical errors—thousands of them.”

There was a time when certain elements held Clinton’s feet to the fire for such “substance free” apologies, and yet they remain strangly silent now in their double standard.

Not that it really matters at this point. I think we are well beyond apologies with respect to the Iraq war:

Why is the administration’s non-apologetic line so disastrous?…The White House has lost credibility in Iraq as well as with the American public about its seriousness in the project of stabilizing the occupied country. That loss of credibility is now spiraling…The U.S. needs to reverse that spiral. And it can’t do so with mere words, because no one believes our words anymore.

The key phrase in this article is taking responsibility. And when that phrase is mentioned, I think we would all do well to remember the first of the seven habits. There are many ways to take and shirk responsibilit, but that issue is orthogonal to (and often confused with) an apology.

Some remain unrepentant for fear that their house of cards fall. Others apologize or rationalize and seek Christian forgiveness because they have little to lose. Others have their folly define their life and do not seek the catharsis of apology.

Perhaps time will show which sort these are.

Not that it will really matter at that point.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.