"I'm sorry you were offended."
It's a phrase we've all heard - mainly from politicians and other politicos. A sort of apology without apologizing.
What it means is that you're sorry the person took offense. It does NOT mean that you're sorry for what you said or did that gave the offense.
You're not expressing remorse for your deed. In fact, depending upon the tone, you could actually be expressing the view that the person had no justification for being offended in the first place.
I actually hate these types of apologies - when there is actually something that needs to be apologized for.
However, there are times when such apologies are highly appropriate - like now with the attacks on our embassies in Egypt and Libya.
It all started with a film.
Actually, there might be two movies - it's hard to tell from news reports. One is called "The Innocence of Muslims" and is produced by Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American based in southern California.
It appears that Esmat Zaklama and Morees Sadek, U.S.-based Coptic-Christian Egyptians, are involved in the other one and are being supported by the Terry Jones Church in the United States.
That movie, "Mohammad, Prophet of Muslims", portrays Mohammad "as a fool, a philanderer and a religious fake. In one clip posted on YouTube Mohammad was shown in a sexual act with a woman," Reuters reported.
Many Muslims believe that showing pictures or other characterizations of Mohammad is sacrilegious - but only in other countries does the act - or even threat - of doing so result in violence and death.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo, posted this apology on the embassy website:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims - as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
Wait a minute: "...as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." Really?
Funny - I don't recall anything similar being said when Jesus was depicted in urine.
These radical extremists attacked sovereign ground of the United States - invaded our property and forced our citizens to flee. If ever there was a time for an 'I'm sorry you were offended' phrase, this was it.
But that's not what we got. We got a condemnation of our rights to free speech.
The individuals involved in the film - a work of fiction, mind you - have "abused the universal right of free speech" and "hurt" the religious beliefs of others. Rather than being sorry others were offended, our nation actually apologized for the exercise of a "universal right."
Late last night, Jake Trapper reports, the White House distanced itself from the apology:
The statement was issued before the attacks on the compound, but given the subsequent attack — and the interpretation that the statement was somehow apologizing for free speech — the Obama administration itself took issue with it.
An administration official tells ABC News that “no one in Washington approved that statement before it was released and it doesn’t reflect the views of the U.S. government.”
Good for our President.
But when will Democrats call these Muslims 'extreme' and paint all Muslims as wacko and out-of-touch ... you know - like they do with the tea parties and Republicans?
A Google search for "tea party extreme" returned 24 million results in .28 seconds. A similar search for "Republican extreme" returned 38.4 million results in .29 seconds.
Interestingly, a Google search for "Muslim extreme" yields 56.4 million results in .27 seconds and the third entry, after two Wikipedia links, is this:
US Anti-Muslim Film 'Designed To Enrage'
Sky News - 33 minutes ago
An extreme American film that ridicules the Prophet Mohammed and calls Islam a "cancer" provokes violence across Muslim countries.
Blaming America for the violent actions of others - what a surprise.
Clearly, I don't believe that all Muslims are extremists - just as I reject that all white people are racist and all poor people are black. Such generalities don't stand even the most cursory of examinations.
But too many liberal politicians, especially leaders in the Democratic Party, eagerly make such statements about their political opponents. I'm just waiting for them to do the same thing with these incidents. Or will they prove, yet again, their hypocrisy?
I hope the situations in Cairo and Libya can be resolved quickly and with no more loss of life. My personal preference would be to pull everything American out the countries and stop giving them any money. I realize that may not be diplomatically or politically possible, but I'll bet many Americans agree with me.
My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of those killed - and with President Obama as he addresses these attacks on the nation, people and principles he represents.