Mahmood adds this important note to the discussion regarding how different cultures deal with the dark side of our human nature:
This is something that we Arabs never get to hear, an official apologising for a wrong done. Never! The higher up officials in their own fiefdoms are above error, almost at part with God, hence they can do no wrong. But on the other hand, they think that if they do apologise, then not only do they admit being wrong but more importantly to them, they will appear weak. And that will not do. They're still thinking that a strong sword arm is the thing that rules a people.
Seeing and hearing an apology by the highest-ranking officials of the US military is a welcome thing. That means that they have (1) acknowledged a problem under their command, (2) they will put mechanisms in place to ensure that error is not repeated, and (3) they will penalise the perpetrators of those crimes.
I join Omar and Sissy in expressing my relief and further my conviction that this will be taken care of justly. We'll (the world) be watching for results.