TO ERR IS HUMAN, TO APOLOGIZE IS FOR SUCKERS; OR SAYING YOU'RE SORRY IS SO HARD TO DO
I was just reading Art Buchwald's column online
and I couldn't help noticing the the sad cynicism that Mr. Buchwald has for our politicians:
"Why will no one in Washington ever say he's sorry? It is a sign of weakness, politically wrong, and everyone in this city thinks it's just asking for trouble. By not admitting you're sorry, you don't have to accept blame for anything you've done. For example, if someone in the Pentagon makes a blunder, like recommending a Star Wars missile that keeps crashing into the ground, he will continue defending his decision to make the weapon rather than tell the taxpayer it is a $20 billion lemon.
What the public doesn't know won't hurt it."
It would be so easy to get on the bandwagon and say that the Whitehouse should apologize. I don't think that is the right response. Dr. Rice answered a CBS interview question
Will the families of those people who were killed hear an apology from you? Do you think that would be appropriate?
The families, I think, have heard from this president that - and from me, and from me personally in some cases in that field in Pennsylvania or at the World Trade Center, how - deeply sorry everyone is for the loss that they endured. You couldn't be human and not feel the horror of that day. We do need to stay focused on what happened to us that day. And the best thing that we can do for the memory of the victims, the best thing that we can do for the future of this country, is to focus on those who did this to us. "
Some might suggest that "Condi just doesn't get it." I can sympathize with that point of view, and Mr. Buchwald's article would lead us to suggest that it would be a dangerous thing to apologize. I have some sympathy with that view as well, but I am not convinced that either view is really correct. The issue comes down to working out what you actually assume we are doing: fighting a war or fighting a criminal organization like the Mafia. If it is the latter, than an apology is required.