It must have come as a disappointment to the mullahs of Mazar-e-Sharif—who sent the faithful out on Friday with instructions to avenge the recent insult to the Quran—and to the mobs who consequently went forth to slaughter 12 people at U.N. headquarters, nine more in Kandahar the next day, and two more the next, that their bloody enterprise had counted for so little in the eyes of Western military leaders.
So it would appear at least from the response by Gen. David Petraeus, who delivered an impassioned rebuke of a publicity-hungry Florida pastor who had presided over the mock trial and burning of a Quran on March 20. This act was, the general declared in a video statement over the weekend, "hateful, extremely disrespectful, and enormously intolerant." It had endangered American troops. He wanted, he announced, to condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
No one listening could doubt it. The general would go on to say more, but nowhere in any of that condemnation was it possible to find a mention of the merciless savagery that had taken place in the name of devotion to God and the Quran. Mark Sedwill, the NATO senior civilian representative who joined Gen. Petraeus in the statement, did manage to find a moment to murmur in passing that, of course, condolences were due to "everyone who has been hurt in the demonstrations."