The question has been asked, "Why do we apologize for the rogue actions of some of our troops? One answer follows.
We apologize because we are an honorable nation; we are a civilized nation; and our flag embodies these values.
Killing innocent civilians and mutilating or urinating on corpses, even enemy corpses, are offensive and barbaric acts. They are beneath our American values. When a few bad apples commit these abhorrent acts, they dishonor our nation, our flag, and our citizens. Worse, they dishonor the memory of the millions of servicemen and women who have honorably fought and died in numerous wars. They tarnish our current troops, hindering them from accomplishing their mission, and making them more vulnerable to revenge, violence and danger.
Strong and ethical nations apologize when their service personnel behave shamefully. Weak and uncivilized nations do not. I am proud to live in a nation that is honorable enough and courageous enough to make that apology. I am proud to live in a nation that upholds and honors the values for which our flag stands.