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Updated on February 24, 2012

Courtesy on demand.

Newt Gingrich is running in the Republican Party nomination race to eventually run for president of the United States. Therefore, he has to know what International diplomacy is all about, when it comes to settling disputes.

He is criticizing President Barack Obama for apologizing to Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan for the Quran burning incident that has sparked disturbances in that country and has caused enormous outrage among many people, who are Muslims.

It (Quran) is a holy book to them, and one cannot burn it for any reason, good or bad; but it has happened, purportedly by NATO soldiers, of which the U.S Armed Forces formed an integral part.

Two American soldiers have been killed as a result, allegedly by a person wearing an Afghan army uniform, and the situation can become more explosive; yet, Speaker Gingrich is expecting President Obama to do nothing. That does not make any sense, when conventional wisdom calls for the president to act forthrightly on the issue.

He (Obama) must see that the situation does not get out of hand, and so he extends a friendly hand to the leader of that country to show his sympathy and to express his sincere regret over the incident; a gesture, which is more than just the right thing to do.

An apology is not made just for the sake of it. It places an emphasis on the offender to act to appease the offended.

As The Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Armed Forces, Obama must take every opportunity to ensure that the men and women under his command do have the necessary equipment and training, physically as well as morally, to perform their duties. Their conduct is part of his responsibility, and when anything goes wrong he is the one to repair it.

The burning of any good book is wrong, and it has been perpetrated by people under his command, and so he apologizes for their bad behavior; and one sees nothing wrong with that, except that it will calm the nerves of the Afghan people.

American and allied soldiers are there for many reasons; to protect the Afghans and to maintain peace in that region, among others. The U.S. shares a commonality of National security with Afghanistan, and therefore the soldiers and civilians must find a way to settle their differences peaceably. Hence, Obama's apology to Karzai, to bring the two factions together for the sake of peace.

If Gingrich does not appreciate Obama's effort to make peace and not war, then his (Gingrich's) presidency, if it ever materializes, will be a turbulent one for the U.S., as every single dispute will end up in an arms conflict.

Whatever he intends to derive from his statements, with regard to Obama apologizing for something as distasteful as burning a Quran is concerned, nobody knows.

However, if he is aiming at wrenching votes for his campaign, then he will fail, because American voters have always known better. They will naturally vote for the person with ordinary common sense; and never for an academia, who hawks nothing, but misunderstanding.

That is Gingrich for you.

Settling any type of dispute sometimes demands courtesy; and that is what Obama has produced, in the form of an apology to the Afghans on behalf of all Americans. He must be commended for that.


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