Then the story goes through its predictable cycle. It usually goes something like this:
The Demander: Sir, I demand an apology. When you said, “war is hell,” you demeaned every single young American in uniform today, particularly those serving on the Iraqi battlefield of this nation’s War on Terror. You were saying they’ve gone to hell, which is to say they do not deserve to go to heaven. Who are you to judge?
The Offender: What in heaven’s name are you talking about? “War is hell,” is a quote from General William Tecumseh Sherman.
The Demander: That’s your opinion.
The Offender: OK. I regret accidentally offending anyone who agrees with you, if it is true that they were offended.
The Demander: If? I demand you apologize for issuing an insulting apology, and I also call upon you to apologize to Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger.
The Offender: What’s she got to do with this?
The Demander: When you say “war is hell” it has to remind her of the assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, because that was the title of the war movie he slipped into a Dallas theater to see, after he alone shot President Kennedy. Why do you hate poor Maria and the rest of the Kennedy family?
The Offender: How about I just hate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies?
The Demander: Your un-apology apologies reek of sarcasm, which is outrageously disrespectful of our troops in Iraq, and brave veterans like President Bush.
The Offender: Sorry. Does saying, “war is the h-word,” make it any better?