Why Presidents Almost Never Apologize for War

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Being the U.S. president means almost never having to say you’re sorry about a war.

Harry Truman didn’t apologize for dropping atomic bombs on Japan. No president said he was sorry to Vietnam’s government. The same is true for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The issue flared anew after the New York Times reported that Afghan officials said they would require an expression of contrition from President Barack Obama for military mistakes, including causing civilian casualties, in exchange for an agreement over how long U.S. troops could stay in their country.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Afghan President Hamid Karzai hadn’t asked for an apology and none would be given. An apology, Kerry said yesterday, “wasn’t even on the table.” Read more…

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