Saturday, May 17, 2008


U.S. soldier uses Quran for target practice; military apologizes

Story Highlights
U.S. soldier aims at Quran at police shooting range at Iraqi village
Soldier relieved of duty, sent to United States for reassignment
Officer apologizes in special ceremony at village
Residents protest with banners and by chanting slogans

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military on Saturday formally apologized to an Iraqi village after a soldier admitted using the Quran -- Islam's holy book -- for target practice.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, apologized to the Radhwaniya tribe for the staff sergeant, who was a sniper section leader assigned to the headquarters of the 64th Armored Regiment. He also read a letter of apology by the shooter.

"I come before you here seeking your forgiveness," Hammand said to tribal leaders and others at the apology ceremony. "In the most humble manner I look in your eyes today and I say please forgive me and my soldiers."

Another military official kissed a Quran and presented it as "a humble gift" to the tribal leaders.
The shooter, whose name was not released, shot at a Quran on May 9, villagers said. The Quran used in the incident was discovered two days later, according to the military.

A tribal leader said "the criminal act by U.S. forces" took place at a shooting range at the Radhwaniya police station. After the shooters left, an Iraqi policeman found a target marked in the middle of the bullet-riddled Quran.

Copies of the pictures of the Quran obtained by CNN show multiple bullet holes and an expletive scrawled on one of its pages.

A military investigation found the shooter guilty and relieved him of duty; he will be redeployed to the United States for reassignment away from the 1st Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, Hammond said.

"The actions of one soldier were nothing more than criminal behavior," he said in the apology. "I've come to this land to protect you, to support you -- not to harm you -- and the behavior of this soldier was nothing short of wrong and unacceptable."

Tribal leaders, dignitaries and local security officials attended the ceremony, while residents carried banners and chanted slogans, including "Yes, yes to the Quran" and "America out, out."


Anonymous said...

To hell with the quran, why don't someone appologize for shooting one of our soldiers. Mocking our God and taking our aid, while poor americans suffer worse humiliation than any of them. We put our people last and punish them for being honest and forth coming. Oh, by the way to hell with Meanihad and Chavez too, I wish I could have the opportunity to shake their dead hand, and let their people know, you want war, then let's get it on. Only the politicians are scared of you, the real americans damn sure ain't. We will kick you butts and take your precious oil.

Anonymous said...

While we are kissing up for one person shooting a quaran, nobody is upset that they use Christian bibles to wipe their rearends with. granted it is better than their hand.

Sorry, not sympathy for them until they start treating everyone else's religious texts with the same respect that they demand we treat theirs.

Jeb, FCD said...

It's merely a work of fiction, like the bible and other "holy" books.

cruszer said...

Ever dentally you or other posters have never served in the military, were as ones action could or will affect others with in your unit. It was a very dumb action on his part and he should be held responsible.

Let me put it in to simpler terms, Let’s say you go into a very low income neighborhood there is drugs, prostitution, and what ever. Does that make everyone there think alike??

I don’t think so, It is like leash girl in the beginning, you I know can not fathom the damage that IT CAUSED, and how many troops she and others put in danger.

Like it or not we are there and while we are we need to put forth a positive picture of the USA and not I don’t give a FUCK ATTITUIDE, like you suggest.

No response needed, or wanted

Anonymous said...

Them until they,who are them and they, Anonymus? All of them?? What them??

Let me guess, both this soldier and the two negative posters consider themselves good Christians, no doubt.

This reply comes from an agnostic who believes in the Golden Rule and in religious freedom and believes in respecting other peoples beliefs and holy books, being it the bible or the koran.

As long ars there are ignorant and disrespectful jerks like this around, things will never change, not ever. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Great for that soldier who used the q____ for target practice! The truth is, that action brings far more attention and dignity to the q____ than it deserves, since it is an utterly false and a totally fraudulent book, leading millions upon millions of deceived people to hell.

Islam and the q____ are the true work of satan himself, and the deceived people who are up in arms about this incident have no understanding of eternal things. We should all pray that they would see the Light and run from this false believe system that has them enslaved to the devil's lies.

I am embarrassed by our politically correct government and military leaders who give in to the demands of Muslims who bear threats on us; Islam is not a "nice" religion. It is a belief system of violence, corruption, and hell. Islam must be destroyed, not respected.

To "respect" the false beliefs of Muslims is inhumane. It is truly allowing them to continue on their violent and perverted highway to hell. There is no hope for one caught in the deceptive sway of Islam. Muslims must be rescued. They must see the Light, like Saul of Tarsus. It is their only hope.

Anonymous said...

who cares, we did not start this war, but we will finish it, I say wrap them all in pig fat.

Anonymous said...

Releave him of duty???? Hell I say give him a medal! Good Idea!

Anonymous said...

"The actions of one soldier were nothing more than criminal behavior,"

Why? Since when did we have moral obligations to paper?

Continuing to pander to the world's irrational superstitions is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

You go to a country, invade it on false information, kill its people, destroy its institutions, and then humilate their religon on their land. has it occured to you that none of the hijackers were from iraq? One question, what would u do if u woke up one day and found the Saudi Army (for example) controling ur country. Your comments just show how ignorant you are, the same ignorance which is driving the world insane. I have lived in that country before it got screwed up, and christians were respected, and had holidays, and churches were open and attended services every Sunday!. so the KKK is not from the US? unless u respect others, you will not be respected, they are sitting in their country, and we just barged in on them. What would you do if you were in their position? Pls wake up.

Anonymous said...

So whats the big deal. He shot a book. Hardly a capital offense. The quran is hardly a book that preaches peace and love. It preaches that anyone that does not practice the teachings of the quran should be killed. So I say lock and load!

Anonymous said...

It's a war you lot, the military is still struggling to get the local people over on to our side. A part of this is respecting customs, it may seem weak and appeasement, but its necessary to build support. Local support would be extremely useful in flushing out insurgents.

And yes, lets go in and kick butt, then 5 years later, lets stay and get our troops killed for "precious oil" Lets forget about energy independence, and the housing crisis, and celebrate the incompetence of our government in determining its priorities. Lets go the "real american" way and get thousands of troops killed in another country, when a beneficial result can be gained through diplomatic pressure. Like America isn't alienated enough already.

Anonymous said...

What would I do if I woke up and found the Saudi Army controlling this country???? I would know that Barack Hussein Obama won the election and was the President.

Anonymous said...

Damn....too bad there wasn't a gook holding the book...I bet it would have been reported....scratch a gook and his book....
Good shooting anyway...If you can hit a small target that far away you can be on my rifle team anytime......
Where was the Iraqi govrnment when the gooks were decapitating our boys? Why didn't they apologize...Quit appeasing the gooks and kick the crap out of them so we can get our boys home.

Anonymous said...

This article makes me sick, and I wish that the comments by my fellow americans didn't make me even more angry. the quran is a holy book, just like the bible. actually, I think muslims revere the quran even more than christians revere the bible.

therefore, if you are trying to win the hearts and minds of a country with a large muslim population in order to cooperate with you and build a government and infrastructure with your support, you shouldn't deface their holiest book.

I agree with the one poster - we need to be putting forth a POSITIVE IMAGE of the USA, that we are AWARE of other cultures and traditions and that we RESPECT them.

How else can we achieve "victory?"

Bill Corcoran said...

Since I started all this by posting this story, I should explain I'm only the messenger. I don't take sides on this, but I do find it strange how some people want to nuke or get rid of all the "towel heads" (as they call them), but at the same time support our troops that are trying to bring democracy (small "d") to Iraq.

The 4,078 American lives that have been lost trying to bring democracy to Iraq will all be in vain if we were to follow the preachings of some people who just want to blow every Iraqi off the face of the planet.

Think about this. What does
Army of occupation do? They try to restore order and they try to help the country get back on its feet. That is EXACTLY what the U.S. military is doing in Iraq.

Anything that takes away from that mission is counter-productive.

Bill Corcoran, Editor of CORKSPHERE

Anonymous said...

You all disgust me! Stop being so ignorant and take the time to think about the effect what you say has on people. There are Muslims all over the States who have done nothing to deserve these hurtful comments.

How would you feel if someone shot at your Bible? Just like Christianity Islam is a religion based on faith, which is a belief in the UNKNOWN. If it is unknown then how could one be right and the other wrong? Step down off of your high horse!

No one invited us to Iraq...we are supposed to be there helping these people, but all it we appear to be doing is causing more problems. This soldier was in the wrong when he shot the Quran and he should be punished for it PERIOD!

Anonymous said...

Everybody - gather up copies of the Q---- & lets send them over to our fighting soldiers for some more good old fashion target practice.

Mark said...

Apologize for shooting one of our soldiers?! Jesus some of you idiots are dense. You mean our soldiers who invaded their country, occupy it, torture and murder their citizens? Those soldiers? I tell you what "anonymous:" why don't you get your pussy ass over to Iraq right now & pick up that piece of trash looking thing on the side of the road you pathetic dumbshit.

Mark said...

Bill, the "mission" in Iraq is not to "help the country get back on its feet." It never has been and never will be. We are an occupying force, there only to waste U.S. taxpayer money and steal Iraqi resources. That's it. I wish some of you jackasses would actually listen to, read, or even watch international news. Most Iraqis would rather live under Saddam Hussein with no freedom of speech than under U.S. occupation with no safety, running water, etc. We deserve everything we're going to get in the coming decades....

Bill Corcoran said...

Marc. What the hell is "the mission" if it is not to try and bring democracy to Iraq? You apparently must be new to my blog or you would know I'm totally against this war, but now that we have lost over 4,000 Americans I feel we owe it to them to do what we can for the Iraqi people.

Bill Corcoran said...

Mark: And we've done a piss poor job of stealing any Iraqi resources. We haven't got a quart of oil out Iraq.

Anonymous said...

So what? It and any other religious book is just full of fairy tales. Not one single shred of proof in any one of them.
Got Proof? Show it. As far as I'm concerned he coulda/shoulda shot a ton of those rags to pieces.
OK for starting a fire with I guess.
I'd leave a real name and address, but to many people have been brainwashed with all it and are probably incurable, and would just rant on at me mindlessly and endlessly as they always want to do.Nothing BETTER to do....
But feel free to show the proof online for everyone to see.....
Evolution Jim

Guma said...

Excuse me, but I feel I need to say something...

The nature of war is to kill your enemy. To humiliate them is to only rile them into righteous anger.

So, is it fair to kill a soldier? In war, that is the way things go. It is expected. If it wasn't, it would not be war, would it?

Is it fair to target practice on the Quran? Only if you riddle the bible full of holes and treat it just the same.

You can't win a war humiliating your enemy. The more you try, the more corrupt seeds to plant for future generations.

The talk of "towel heads" and "Quran toilet paper" will only protract the quagmire that is the Iraq war.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ never uttered a single word of hate, and never rejoiced at an evil intent. Christ washes His hands of you and the like of you who spread ill intent. You think you'll achieve Christ's salvation when you mock other human beings? Irrespective of how they treat you. Christ will be a witness against you and the likes of you and banish you to eternal Hell for ignoring His teachings. As a good Christian I know that Christ teaches me to respect others and bear hurt with patience.... and for that I achieve salvation. So some Muslims seem to be doing acts of hate now... hmmm I believe some from the church were also doing acts of hate during the Spanish inquisition.... and guess what? Jesus washes His hands of those people too.

Salvation has to be earned not taken for granted. We have to watch what we say, what we do, and how we think. Always try to think…. Truly, what would Jesus Do?

Anonymous said...

Your comment shows just how uneducated you are about this religion. If you took the time to talk to people of this faith and study it you would understand how close it is to being like the Christion faith. There are obscene people all around the world who don't care what they do to other people. They don't THINK of peoples hearts and minds. They just don't THINK!!! I as a Christion American can only say I am deeply sorry for what some actions of people from our Country have done to hurt others hearts by doing such an obscene action to the Quran which is not the beliefs of the world, but the Faith of many in it. This action just destroys chances of the world becoming closer and understaning and respecting each other as the Human Race with many ways of thinking and learning as a world of humanity instead of Bullies and thugs! The people who do these obscence actions don't have faith in themselves and lack trust of their lives. The old saying goes,"misery loves company".

Richard Gillam said...

The USA is becoming a bunch of apologists!

This story makes me want to go out a hold a Quran burning ceremony.
I think if we called news media and declared that we were going to be burning copies of the Quran in support of this soldier, we could get a bunch of news cameras to film the whole thing. Then we could mail copies of the video to Iraq so the soldiers over there knew how much we really supported them.

The most insane part of this whole story is where it says the soldier was found guilty and returned to the US. Found guilty of what? There is no way they had time to even file formal charges against him, much less try him for anything. Are we now letting the tail wag the dog? Have we disposed of due process in an effort to appease these militant religious psychos?

What I want to know is why it’s OK for those savages to burn our flags and our bibles and our Torahs, but we can’t deface their comic book (i.e., the Quran)? And when one US soldier gets caught doing it, he is called a criminal by his own government? I can’t believe our nation is apologizing for this soldier’s actions and calling him a criminal!

I thought we stood for freedom of expression and we were in Iraq (at least partly) to develop the idea of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. This appeasement action EXACTLY reminds me of Chamberlain sucking up to Hitler prior to World War 2…

The worse part about this whole incident is our own news media is framing this soldier as a criminal!
Please imagine the parents of the thousands of soldiers who have died in Iraq. Are we telling them that their sons and daughters died for nothing more than oil? The US government needs to stand up and say, Hey, you are more than welcome to burn our religious books, our flags, make fun of our leaders, etc., but just so you know, our nation will not punish our citizens for doing the same.

Here is a quote from the US General sent to appease the religious militants, “...this soldier has lost the honor to serve the United States Army and the people of Iraq...”

What? Are you kidding me? That general has lost his honor and should be shot for treason tomorrow morning without so much as a cigarette and a blindfold.

Have we so lost our way that we support the lynching of one of our own in order to appease people that we have already given so much to? Is it not enough that we have spent billions and thousands of young lives? They want us to start trampling on freedom of expression as well?

They want an apology? Well, I want my dead fellow Americans back from their graves. We don’t owe those people anything, much less an explanation or an apology.

I am disgusted by the leadership that would apologize for this soldier's actions and punish him in any way whatsoever.

Iraqi's are famous for using bibles as toiler paper. I am not complaining, as I believe it is there right to do so.

Quid pro quo!

Bill Corcoran said...

I thought we were trying to show the Iraqi people how America is a civilized society.

The expenditure of 4,079 of our young people in Iraq will all be in vain if we are to become nothing more than savages.

Anonymous said...

OK Gang,

We are missing the point here. It is a book. Not even an old relic of a book, just a book. One poster here asked how I would feel if someone was shooting the bible. Same comment - it is a book.

Let's pull out and let them kill each other off in a generation or so. Oh wait - they have been trying to do that for hundreds of years - they can't even get that right.

Anonymous said...

"OK Gang,

We are missing the point here. It is a book. Not even an old relic of a book, just a book. One poster here asked how I would feel if someone was shooting the bible. Same comment - it is a book.

Let's pull out and let them kill each other off in a generation or so. Oh wait - they have been trying to do that for hundreds of years - they can't even get that right."

Wrong. THOUSANDS of years.....some people are just incapable of learning and have to be led by the nose as they always have been through their miserable lives, brought upon them by themselves for supporting their idiotic leaders and shamans..Follow the leader, no matter how stupid or ignorant. In fact, those seem to be favorable personality traits there.
It'll never change. Ever. I'd prefer to just nuke the lot. At least we would have some some glow-in-the-dark glass...

Anonymous said...

Friking amazing! Not one of you dumb wits has the Quran, so do not criticize what is written in there. By doing this stupid stuff, we are just infuriating the Muslim world more and all the boys that we talk about getting home, all their efforts will go in vain if this kind shit keeps happening. 1.We cannot win in Iraq without local support. 2. If you think we can then you belong to the band of merry men that rejoiced and believed in Bush when he said "misssion accomplised" 3 years ago!Iraqis didn't do anything, Al Quida attacked the US and what do we do, we take over Iraq, blame the country for having WMD ( which have never been found), have a mock trial, kill the president of the country and occupy them for over 6 yrs now? Aren't we being so nice to Iraq because we know what's good for them, eh? These stupid actions will come back to haunt us one day.

Anonymous said...

.. And oh yes, nuke them Mr Nut job, what the fuck did Iraqis do to us? NOTHING. We are the American and we think the we know how the world should be run?

Anonymous said...

"ok Gang anonymous" - I love your theory. Its just a book, so what? Why don't you try tearing down your neighbors fence tomorrow morning - its just a fence. See what he makes of you :)
Oh, and a suggestion here big boy - tell the cops that the husband and wife had been fighting on what color to paint it, so you as a righteous American thought you should just pull it down!

Anonymous said...

here you guys, see this and get some inspiration

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate the sense of humour of the soldier who came up with this idea for target practice! Sadly, his actions endanger the troops. His actions send the wrong message about our mission there, we are not there to humilliate anyone. His doing this will even enrage people who support us being there. The Quoran is sacred for the people there and no power on earth will change their mind.

Anonymous said...

Hey!! What's the big deal here? He used that rag for target practice and he got "PUNISHED"!! HE GOT TO COME HOME!!!!!!
Maybe all our troops over there should each grab a copy of the Quran/Koran, whatever the hell you want to call it, and blast them full of holes. Maybe even go around and toss a couple out at each of the roadside bombs that they find and see if the "rag-heads" refrain from exploding them

Anonymous said...

My question is, Who appologizes when we (Americans) have to watch other people burn the American flag?

Bill Corcoran said...

This is DIRECTED at all of you who think shooting holes in Quran was a good idea.

What are we supposed to be doing in Iraq?

I'd like to know what all of you gung ho armchair "rangers" think the mission is in Iraq.

I'll be waiting for your in depth thinking on this topic.

Anonymous said...

Cork, I believe the 4grand + who've died have ALREADY died in vain, as it's a quicksand war and the natives of Iraq have been fighting amongst themselves for the last 10,00 years. The US isn't going to give them democracy. But all stupid stuff like shooting a Koran'll do is make us more hated--forget about winning hearts and minds--AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. I'm not in love w/radical Islam, but then again I can't stand the Christian Right that has taken over THIS country either.

Bill Corcoran said...

Don't get me WRONG. I'm not sticking up for this stupid war, but what I'm saying is shooting holes in Quran is not going to help the security matters our troops face in Iraq.

As most people who read my blog know, one out three of our troops are returning to the U.S. with severe mental problems and PTSD.

The Bush administration has not provided enough psychiatric help for the veterans and if they do seek help they are faced with long lines and a tons of red tape.

All these people who think using the Quran for target practice should enlist, or if they have military age children, they should insist their children enlist.

They might have a different view of using the Quran for target practice if little Johnny or little Mary were deployed to Iraq.

Anonymous said...

1/3? I'd say 2/3 or even 3/3. But don't worry, Cork, there's no need to fear, Psychological Kevlar is here! Watch the Pentagon make it mandatory. You'll then have a bunch of Zombies, who can join the Atomic Soldiers, Agent Orange Exposees, Gulf War Disease-ers and Depleted Uranium Exposees in the long Hall of Needless Victims. And I don't believe you're for the war, obviously.

Bill Corcoran said...

Thanks again Anonymous: You should see some of things that cross my "desk" that are sent to me about how returning soldiers are being treated (or not treated) for the many disorders they have brough back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

I started this blog on Jan. 1 because NOBODY cares about our troops in Iraq including the media.

As of this morning, I have had over 30,000 "hits" to my blog so I know there are people who want to know what is happening and they are not getting it from the media.