Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Senator Durbin Apologizes

I've just seen a report that Senator Dick Durbin has tearfully apologized for his incredibly absurd remark comparing American soldiers to Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, and Pol Pot. According to the report,

Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other historically infamous figures.

"Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," the Illinois Democrat said. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies."

His voice quaking and tears welling in his eyes, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate also apologized to any soldiers who felt insulted by his remarks.

"They're the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them," he said.

I think the Senator meant what he said in the first place. Words matter, and the words he used to attack American soldiers serving in the field won't be forgotten, certainly not by them. The sad fact is that many of Senator Durbin's friends and colleagues on the left share the kind of feelings he originally voiced.

Anyway, thanks for the apology, Senator Durbin. For whatever it's worth. I'm sure you and many of your colleagues will get more feedback the next time you face the voters.


Blogger John Walter said...

I believe Durbin meant it. Either that, or he knows how to cry on cue. I sure wish, however, that politicians would quit making these I'm-sorry-if-anybody-is-offended type apologies. It's really poor form.

9:12 PM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger David R. Mark said...

Durbin wasn't make a suggestion about all soldiers. He was talking specifically about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo.

Let's not suggest it's anything more than that.

And before you get upset about the Nazi reference, ask yourself whether you were equally upset when Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) made a similar reference when discussing the Democrats' filibustering of Bush's judicial nominees.

If one Senator is forced to apologize, shouldn't the other?

9:22 PM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger Kevin said...


Senator Durbin's remarks were not an off-the -cuff response to a question they were prepared remarks that he intended to make. His apology is only for the cameras.

I wish we could take him for his words but which words do we believe.


11:41 PM, June 21, 2005  
Blogger sygamel said...

"Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," the Illinois Democrat said. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies."

He could've said "I believe that my remarks crossed the line." If he didn't, this apology means nothing.

For those who suggest it was only the "treatment" and "tactics" of Gitmo soldiers that Durbin was referring to, let's never forget that the treatment Pol Pot applied to his prisoners was death. I repeat: Death. Wake up Senator Durbin.

6:05 AM, June 22, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

David, you can't excuse Durbin by saying he was only talking about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo. He was talking about American soldiers and comparing them to Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot. All soldiers, whether active, retired, or veterans know what he meant. I suppose if he sought out every soldier his comments included and apologized to them individually, it might make a difference to the rest of us. Otherwise, the apology is hollow and his crocodile tears are meaningless.

I agree with you that any American, especially political leaders, who compare any person or group in American politics to Nazis, Soviets, etc is wrong. For a partial list of those in both parties who have done so recently, including Santorum, go here.

What really irritates me and motivates me to write are comparisons between the President and our government and Hitler and the Nazis or Stalin and the Soviets. These inane comparisons are made by fools whose ideological extremism overwhelms their education, assuming they have any to begin with.

If you follow that link, you'll also find that Senator Robert Byrd compared the tactics of Republicans to those of Hitler.

I also find inexcusable some of Senator Byrd's other sentiments, regardless of how old he may have been when he voiced them and his subsequent apologies. Remember, in addition to being a leader of the KKK, he wrote the following:

Rather I should die a thousand times, and see old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels.

Beyond that obscenity from his youth, he was using the word "nigger" on TV just a few years ago. Anyone who honors a man like this, as Democrats have done for years, shares his disgrace.

Words spoken matter more than apologies that come later, especially when you're forced to apologize.

7:00 AM, June 22, 2005  

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