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4/7/2009
OBAMA’S FORIEGN APOLOGIES: WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?
CATEGORY: Politics

Conservatives are shocked, shocked I tell you, that President Obama has gone hat in hand to the Europeans on his first foreign trip and apologized to them for our “arrogance” as well as our “derisiveness,” although I can’t offhand think of a single instance where an American president or our State Department has treated anyone in Europe derisively. I can however, recall several sneering comments from Francois Mitterand and Jose Zapatero about America and American policy so I guess Obama was apologizing for their comments as well. I almost expected him to apologize to his teleprompter for ignoring the device a couple of times on the junket but apparently, Obama’s contriteness does have its limits.

My question is what did you expect? President Obama is a liberal. His worldview is animated by by a leftist view of America and American history. This is a view heavily influenced by European intellectuals so it is no surprise that one of the main elements in liberal thinking about the US is a harsh, one dimensional critique of America where we have never done anything right, are an oppressor of various privileged minority groups, are too big, too loud, too brash, too arrogant (there’s that word again), and the world would be better off if we just sat back and let the European left run the world as they were meant to do.

Obama, as most on the American left today, believe that the only way to a glorious future is to acknowledge our past sins - or as Obama said in Turkey yesterday:

Another issue that confronts all democracies as they move to the future is how we deal with the past. The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods. Facing the Washington monument that I spoke of is a memorial to Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. And our country still struggles with the legacy of our past treatment of Native Americans.

Human endeavor is by its nature imperfect. History, unresolved, can be a heavy weight. Each country must work through its past. And reckoning with the past can help us seize a better future. I know there are strong views in this chamber about the terrible events of 1915. While there has been a good deal of commentary about my views, this is really about how the Turkish and Armenian people deal with the past. And the best way forward for the Turkish and Armenian people is a process that works through the past in a way that is honest, open and constructive.

I have never heard anyone on the left describe how to “work through” our past. It appears to be one of those quaint liberal intellectual games where no matter how often we “acknowledge” that slavery was bad and we cheated and murdered Native Americans, there’s always some other aspect of that past we must “work through” in order to be truly redeemed of our mortal sins. Of course, the left has no desire to “work through” our past sins to the point where it would no longer be necessary because to do so would take away one of their most powerful political weapons; the white guilt trip. Americans will always be guilty and no amount of “working through” our past will satisfy the Obamas of the world. Our history will always be “unresolved” because that’s the way liberals want it and no number of “Truth Commissions,” “Special Investigations,” or altering our children’s social studies textbooks to fully reflect the writings of Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill will satisfy them.

The left glories in demonstrating their moral superiority by eschewing most normal outward manifestations of patriotism in favor of swooning over our “darker periods” - rolling around in our sins, reveling and finding comfort in constantly pointing out errors in our past. I would say that a lot of this would be useful if the excess of it weren’t so obscenely and throroughly enjoyed by liberals who equate “real” patriotism with this mostly negative and highly critical view of American history.

Let me hasten to add that despite this, I do not believe liberals love America any less than conservatives. It may be counterintuitive for some on the right but there is something ennobling about wishing your country to live up to its highest ideals by making the words in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution a reality. Acknowledging that this has not always been so is necessary to gain a true perspective of our past and understand our present. But I don’t think I’m shocking anyone by saying that most liberals take this concept to excessive lengths, to the point that they deliberately obfuscate much of our shining past in order to besmirch it, believing that any expression of admiration for anything in our past is akin to justifying our historical “crimes.”

Peter Beinhart tried to define the best of what real liberal patriotism should be:

If conservatives tend to see patriotism as an inheritance from a glorious past, liberals often see it as the promise of a future that redeems the past. Consider Obama’s original answer about the flag pin: “I won’t wear that pin on my chest,” he said last fall. “Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.” Will make this country great? It wasn’t great in the past? It’s not great as it is?

The liberal answer is, Not great enough. For liberals, America is less a common culture than a set of ideals about democracy, equality and the rule of law. American history is a chronicle of the distance between those ideals and reality. And American patriotism is the struggle to narrow the gap. Thus, patriotism isn’t about honoring and replicating the past; it’s about surpassing it.

The love liberals feel for America is no less legitimate as the feelings conservatives have about America as I tried to explain here:

The flip side of the same coin is how liberals define patriotism. They seem to intellectualize their love of country. They distrust outward displays of patriotic emotion, tending to equate fervor with patriotism’s evil twin – nationalism. Liberals see a problematic past for America and are not shy about pointing out where America has fallen short in its promises of liberty and equality.

But does this mean that liberals are less patriotic than conservatives?

Is it unpatriotic to want your country to live up to its extraordinary ideals? Is it unpatriotic to criticize what liberals see as hypocrisy in our history, where we celebrate freedom while keeping millions in bondage? Or speak glowingly of Native American culture while treating them abysmally?

Obama running around Europe apologizing to everyone for anything America has done, or said, or that Europeans perceive us to have done or said is perfectly in keeping with the president’s belief that only by acknowledging America’s past wrongs and “working through” them can we proceed to the future. It is the highest expression of liberal patriotism that he can make (according to his lights) and I wonder why some conservatives are up in arms about it. Bill Clinton did something similar on foreign trips during his second term, apologizing for our role in the slave trade and our mistreatment of immigrants. The fact that Obama is making these mea culpas on foreign soil is something no conservative would ever dream of doing but actually elicits admiration on the left both here and in Europe for the president having the “courage” to make a public confession.

And let’s not forget that Obama, in the next breath following his apology, condemned Europeans for their virulent anti-Americanism. Now those are words from an American president that haven’t been heard since Reagan. It is something Europeans hate hearing from Americans but, due to Obama’s previous acknowledgment of American “arrogance,” did not fall entirely on deaf ears. And in this extraordinary times, it is vital that Europe not tune us out and that they work with us to solve the many crisis that confront both of us. We can’t go this alone. And our best allies and friends are in Europe. If Obama’s popularity leads to better relations, better cooperation with the EU on issues like the economy, Afghanistan, and the various threats we face around the globe, then this is a positive for America.

Yes, it discomfits me that Obama seemed eager to disrespect his own country in front of those who, at times, have been equally arrogant, equally dismissive, and certainly more derisive when George Bush was president. But in perilous times, it is best to keep your friends close. And despite a few gaffes (”Austrian” language? Are you fricking kidding me?), Obama’s trip was helpful to our interests and will hopefully pay big dividends in the future.

By: Rick Moran at 7:32 am
32 Responses to “OBAMA’S FORIEGN APOLOGIES: WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?”
  1. 1
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    8:02 am 

    You sound like half of a horribly dysfunctional relationship. Whining and moaning about how you don’t need counseling, right before you admit that counseling actually helps.

    It’ll be great when/if both halves finally realize that you need to overcome original programming and actually be constructive for a change.

  2. 2
    Nick Said:
    8:09 am 

    Austrian German (Österreichisches Deutsch, Austrian Standard German is the national standard variety of the German language spoken in Austria and in South Tyrol. The standardized form of Austrian German for official texts and schools is defined by the Austrian dictionary (Österreichisches Wörterbuch), published under the authority of the ministry of education, art and culture.

    Still not nearly as big a gaffe as “Grecians”.

  3. 3
    rssg Said:
    8:56 am 

    Not only is this “philosopher-king” a complete bore, I think he does harbor some anti-American feelings - you can tell this as he is so ambivalent when speaking about our country. He is beyond a mere liberal; he’s a leftist.

    He holds these Oprah-style, touchy-feely townhall PR events to prey on the low hanging fruit of young and naïve college students in European countries.

    We’re stuck with a pontificating wimp in the White House.

    Barry is an embarassment to the United States. Of course foreigners love him, for he wants to weaken and diminish his own country, which is good for others, namely our competitors and enemies. Of course Obambi likely does not believe in any such concept as “enemies” for his surely believes enemies are simply people who we haven’t appeased yet.

    What a shame he is.

  4. 4
    rssg Said:
    9:02 am 

    We are not at war with the mooooslim world, but many in that world have been at war with us for years and years, pre-dating GW Bush.

    There can be no reconciliation with militant, fundamentalist Islam, which is does not simply include al Qeada; it includes great swaths of the Mohammedan world.

    Islam uses the tool of immigration to send it’s civilian/soldiers (the umma) throughout the Western world to create outposts of Islam in the lands of the infidels. Sharia law then begins to creept into civic life. Those who think so called “terrorists” can be divorced from Islam are foolish and ignorant of Islam.

    It’s the immigration, stupid.

  5. 5
    Russell Miller Said:
    9:08 am 

    rssg: Not a whole lot different from the Christians, really, except here they have a few hundred year head start. :)

  6. 6
    rssg Said:
    9:13 am 

    This laughing stock of a community organizer, race hustling lawyer goes around the world offering his pearls of wisdom. Give me a break Barry! All you are trying to do is make up for your sperm donor communist muslim father and your whacked out leftist mother - both, repeat, both of whom abandoned you and left your white grandparents to raise you. You know the ones you have called “typical” white folks. And there are actually many Americans, many white American who voted for this mama’s boy for the presidency! And they still support him as his trashes our nation over and over. Our enemies are laughing.

    What have you EVER accomplished in your life Barry other than working in government jobs? Getting your wife a high paying job? Making millions by writing two autobiographies before your even old? Pressuring firms to hire more of “your people”? Mis-representing US history time and time again?

  7. 7
    rssg Said:
    9:17 am 

    Russell Miller, you should be Barry’s butt boy. What a fool you are and like Barry, ignorant of history, ignorant of Islam. Islam is a political ideology as well as a religion. That’s why it is so difficult to separate Islam from terrorism because it’s part of the political ideology.

    If you think Islam is like Christianity, you are hopelessly uninformed.

  8. 8
    rssg Said:
    9:29 am 

    A culture/religion/ideology that has done ZERO in the history of the world, when it comes to freedom, has a lot of nerve saying that the United States needs to humble ourselves in front of their primitive, tribal cult.

    Islam has very high rates of illiteracy, political repression, lack of freedom of speech, of assembly, of religion, of movement, etc. must be rejoicing at the accomplishment of having a stealth moooslim boy in the White House. Islam never lifted a finger to help anyone or anything around the world other than extend the influence of the cult of Islam (sharia law).

    Thay have pacified the West with the West’s own silly guilt ridden groveling.

    Take your troglodyte views and ignorant rantings elsewhere. You are not welcome and all subsequent comments will be deleted.

    ed.

  9. 9
    Gayle Miller Said:
    9:33 am 

    Apparently the clueless infant President Obama doesn’t know or remember that this “wretchedly derisive country” of ours has TWICE in the 20th century saved the bacon of those ingrates in France and we’ve helped rebuild several nations that were destroyed in the course of wars that were born on European soil. So I wouldn’t be all that quick to apologize to those snooty European clowns who are benefitting greatly from the American blood spilled in their defense! Another example of our President’s ignorance of history!

  10. 10
    Lane Said:
    9:34 am 

    “although I can’t offhand think of a single instance where an American president or our State Department has treated anyone in Europe derisively.”

    Do these count?
    CNN
    “Germany has been a problem, and France has been a problem,” said Rumsfeld, a former NATO ambassador. “But you look at vast numbers of other countries in Europe. They’re not with France and Germany on this, they’re with the United States.” Germany and France represent “old Europe,” and NATO’s expansion in recent years means “the center of gravity is shifting to the east,” Rumsfeld said.

    nyt, May 22, 2002
    Condoleezza Rice, the American national security adviser, told German television on Monday that German leaders should isolate Iraq and educate their public.

    ”We also expect German support for the story that we are telling about this terrible man who has tried to acquire terrible weapons his entire life,” Ms. Rice said of President Saddam Hussein.

    Another senior American official expressed impatience at ”European whining,” saying: ”This president expects support from his allies on issues of importance like Iraq. If there is useful advice that helps him achieve his goals to defeat terrorism and eliminate weapons of mass destruction getting to terrorists, he wants to listen.”

    NYT, May 30, 2003
    ”When I say something, we actually go do it,” Mr. Bush told an interviewer from Nile-TV, an Egyptian network. ”And when I say that I’m going to be involved in the peace process, I mean I’m going to be involved in the peace process.”

    In another interview, he made clear that the United States and France still had a troubled relationship.
    He told the French newspaper Le Figaro today, in an interview to be published on Friday, that he expected to have a ”good discussion” at Ãvian with the French president, Jacques Chirac.
    At the same time he warned that French leaders ”must work to convince their own citizens and show that France is ready to cooperate with the United States.”

    Given the context–the U.S.’s assurances that Saddam had WMD and that the invasion would be a cakewalk, is it surprising that ignoring the Europeans who thought otherwise (and were proven right) was considered derisive and high-handed?

  11. 11
    Some Guy Said:
    9:47 am 

    Lane: You might wanna do a bit of research before you come here and embarrass yourself:

    “What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad’s regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.” — Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

    Also, there’s those pesky UN resolutions giving the US the greenlight to take care of Saddam when Saddam failed to declare his WMD program dismantled.

    Europe, mostly Germany and France, didn’t want to engage Iraq BECAUSE THEY WERE PROFITING OFF THE HUSSEIN REGIME.

    Anyway, how are your above quotes derisive re: Europe? Sounds like standard diplo-speak.

    NYT, May 30, 2003
    ”When I say something, we actually go do it,” Mr. Bush told an interviewer from Nile-TV, an Egyptian network. ”And when I say that I’m going to be involved in the peace process, I mean I’m going to be involved in the peace process.” OOOOOH, so derisive here.

  12. 12
    michael reynolds Said:
    9:52 am 

    Another smart, fair piece, Rick. I’m with you on my irritation at the hair shirt crowd.

    Happy to acknowledge our many failings so long as we also mention the small fact that the only reason that any portion of humanity lives in freedom is because of American will, American power, American ideals, the courage and competence of American arms and the generosity of the mighty American taxpayer.

    That doesn’t make slavery, Jim Crow or the genocide of Native Americans go away, all those are facts, but a true picture includes all the facts, not just the ones that support a particular ideological case. And by the way, let’s always remember that Britain, France and God help us, Germany, have quite a few unfortunate events to answer for as well.

    The difference between the US and those other sinning states is that we have not only managed our own progress but enabled theirs as well.

  13. 13
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    10:53 am 

    Some Guy,

    Europe, mostly Germany and France, didn’t want to engage Iraq BECAUSE THEY WERE PROFITING OFF THE HUSSEIN REGIME.

    This is also true for the United States when Iraq was gassing it’s own people. We looked the other way, and profited handsomely.

  14. 14
    jackson1234 Said:
    11:11 am 

    I missed it. Which conservatives are surprised? Appalled, as they should be, but surprised?

    A few points.

    First, Turkey could suffer an Islamist takeover. Obama would have done well to concentrate on how refreshing it is to have a vibrant Muslim-majority democracy. As it is, he will be perceived as weak by our enemies and unless the Turkish government acknowledges it is a democracy and that is the bottom line it will face the same perception from the same monsters.

    Before I get off Turkey, there is a huge difference between what happened to the Armenians there and the Indians here. For the most part, the United States, in the most heavy-handed way possible, forced natives into ghettos. The Turks subjected Armenians to outright genocide. The comparison is over the top, and that is not to diminish what happened to the native peoples but to point out the “genocide” here was primarily cultural. It was good-old fashioned slaughter in Turkey. Unlike us, they have never come to terms with it.

    Finally, as to the traditional Euros, their infantilism has gone beyond reason. The United States bears some blame only because it should have made Europe pick up its tab for its defense albeit the Mansfield Bill decades ago. As it is, American taxpayers paid for European defense and the Continent became lazy and complacent and reliant on ever-growing social programs.

    There was nothing to surprise anyone about Obama’s European tour. He wants to be liked more than to lead, and he knew his audience and shared many of its beliefs. Like Carter before him, he will be truly taken aback when whatever is the contemporary equivalent of the Red Army rolling into Kabul happens on his watch. It will be a good reminder for the nation about what happens when this mentality is in a leadership role. This isn’t a matter of patriotism. It is matter of naivete.

  15. 15
    lionheart Said:
    12:00 pm 

    Well said, Michael Reynolds.

  16. 16
    michael reynolds Said:
    12:00 pm 

    Jackson:

    . . . he will be truly taken aback when whatever is the contemporary equivalent of the Red Army rolling into Kabul happens on his watch.

    It must have escaped your notice but:

    1) Obama has fashioned an Af-Pak strategy more realistic than anything the previous administration managed. The strategy has the support of Mr. McCain among others.

    2) Obama has increased the size of US forces in Afghanistan.

    3) Obama has continued the practice of using drone attacks inside Pakistan — a policy begun by Mr. Bush and during the campaign criticized by many on the Right as reckless. The policy is correct, the criticism was naive.

    4) We were on the edge of disaster — as testified by our own commanders — before Mr. Obama took office. Mr. Obama’s quick action has saved the situation, at least for now.

    The “Obambi narrative” is so thoroughly discredited as to make those still pushing it seem ridiculous, indifferent to facts, and hopelessly partisan. Obama may be many things, but naive? No.

    In fact, it was the previous president who was naive in Afghanistan, believing that the war was so well in hand that we could shift focus and forces to Iraq. Not only did that buy us the mess in Iraq, it endangered Afghanistan. Mr. Obama is now busily repairing the effects of Republican naivete.

  17. 17
    jackson1234 Said:
    12:45 pm 

    I actually agree with Obama’s Af-Pak strategy, Michael. What I meant, and the Carter-era Soviet analogy was a bad choice given today’s Afghan realities, was that Obama would be surprised when a nation whom he believes to be overblown as a threat (Iran, I suspect) doesn’t behave as he suspects. He is naive in that particular fashion, and his love letters to Tehran bear it out.

    That concern certainly isn’t a matter of partisanship. Defense of such naivete is.

  18. 18
    Foxwood Said:
    1:13 pm 

    I keep thinking of Chevy Chase and “European Vacation” when I hear of Obama in Europe. It would be funny if it weren’t so deadly serious. We in the States are in serious trouble and most of the public (in the States, anyway) are oblivious to it.

  19. 19
    michael reynolds Said:
    1:30 pm 

    Jackson:

    His “love letter” to Iran was perfect and in no way naive.

    We are probably not in a position to confront Iran militarily — not at a reasonable cost. The only real-world play right now is diplomacy. Obama’s outreach was not primarily to Khamenei in the sense of expecting some immediate pay-off. It was to the Iranian people.

    Khamenei and his butt boy Ahmadinejad predicate their actions on demonization of the great Satan. K and A need the US as villain to distract from their incompetence domestically. Soften that US image and you weaken the extremist’s hold. Not a lot, but it’s the thin edge of a wedge.

    That’s not naive, that’s smart. It’s playing the limited cards you hold as well as they can be played. We’ve blustered and threatened and gotten nowhere. Time to try the soft soap.

    The long-term game, don’t forget, is to ensure access to oil, to keep Israel secure, to keep the peace in Iraq, and to keep China and Russia out of the region. We need a strong, non-nuclear Iran because only Iran has the capacity to act as a regional power and maintain stability in the Gulf.

  20. 20
    jackson1234 Said:
    3:26 pm 

    It is naive to think there can be a non-nuclear Iran without a first strike, Michael. The question will be whether it comes from us or Israel (I suspect it will be the latter with or without our blessing). I indeed wish it were otherwise. As for the contents of the letter, it wasn’t addressed to the “Iranian people.” It was to the “Islamic Republic of Iran.” That is understood less as a diplomatic term of art among Iranian citizens than as an address made specifically to the government. President Bush, incidentally, was quite careful to make this distinction in his last months of office.

    I have lurked here long enough to know this doesn’t apply to you, but I thought of it after I posted earlier. Many liberal Democrats opposed the invasion of Afghanistan, too. I only point this out as an illustration of why those of us who are right of center expect naivete from a liberal president. Because of it, I expect actual shock from Obama when some threat he thinks overblown suddenly emerges. It might not necessarily be Iran, but time will tell. And if I am wrong about his response (but don’t expect to be), I will be quite happy to have been in error.

  21. 21
    EBJ Said:
    5:11 pm 

    It seems to me that the proof is in the pudding. Does Europe just want to stroke O’s thigh or does the language get us support when we need it? And that remains to be seen.

  22. 22
    busboy33 Said:
    5:57 pm 

    @ jackson1234:

    ” Many liberal Democrats opposed the invasion of Afghanistan, too.”

    You may well have known people that opposed the Afgan invasion . . . but I find it difficult to believe that “many” people did, political affiliation regardless. I don’t know a single person who opposed invading Afganistan.

    @someguy:
    “”When I say something, we actually go do it,” Mr. Bush told an interviewer from Nile-TV, an Egyptian network. ”And when I say that I’m going to be involved in the peace process, I mean I’m going to be involved in the peace process.” OOOOOH, so derisive here.”
    When you make a big promise like this, then basically piss all over it . . . yes, that can be seen as pretty derisive. It implies that you think the listener is such a chowderhead that regardless of what they see, they’ll just beleive whatever you say.

  23. 23
    michael reynolds Said:
    5:59 pm 

    Jackson:

    As you say, I won’t attempt to defend the foreign policy of the more liberal end of the Democratic party. In the great playground of life I tend to prefer pushing back over cringing.

    I take the Islamic Republic Etc… as being merely the proper form of address, displaying respect. Young Iranians want to get along with us, and they will hold sway as time goes on. To show disrespect in the terms of our address while attempting to reach the people is self-defeating: it allows the regime to demonize us as disrespectful and leaves our many potential allies in Iran unable to defend us without seeming unpatriotic. They Khamenei regime needs the tension between us, we don’t.

    As for a military attack we’d better all hope it doesn’t come to that. I seriously doubt the Israelis can pull it off without using their own nukes. And I don’t think we’re going to do it. Imagine the effect on the world economy if Iran closed the Gulf — something they can do with a handful of impossible-to-locate anti-ship missiles or even simple artillery tubes. No one is going to drive a tanker through the straits of Hormuz if the Iranian army is lobbing shells or missiles.

    Add to that the effect on our friends and allies, the effects of Iranian countermoves in Iraq and even in Afghanistan, the possibility of the Iranians offering facilities to Chinese or Russian navies . . . It ain’t pretty.

  24. 24
    Joe Said:
    8:19 pm 

    Barry, Obambi….dude I can pick out a rightwing nut from how they refer to PRESIDENT OBAMA. The clever little putdown nicknames are why its hard for me to take these people seriously.They don’t want rational give and take, they just want a forum to beat up Obama. But thanks rssg for showing your intellect. Its that kind of wingnuttery that will keep your party in the minority. Thanks Rick for another good article.

  25. 25
    Joe Said:
    8:42 pm 

    Does anyone here think, that when an Al Queda cell in NW Pakistan hears a predator drone, they consider Obama naive?Or that because Bush was a loose cannon, he was tough?Bush basically gave up on diplomacy,because Obama uses it doesn’t make him weak, although, rightwing radio today was throwing around the “Neville Chamberlain, appeasement mantra”. Always the Nazi’s with these people. pathetic

  26. 26
    Surabaya Stew Said:
    9:21 pm 

    My only 2 cents is that Obama was actually quite limited in his choice of actions and words. After the extensive and critically reported (rightly or wrongly) traveling follies of our last president, Obama had a fixed role to play and that’s exactly what he did. His entire trip was very predictable; any serious observer (Rick included) was not surprised at all over his choice of words and seemingly humble nature on the European stage. Whether or not they were the best things to say or do remains to be seen, but certainly the short term results are favorable!

  27. 27
    Scrapiron Said:
    10:23 pm 

    I hope the military members in Iraq realize they would still be bleeding and dying in the sand and the Iraqi people would still live in fear of the terrorists if anyone had listened to O’Dumbo and his calls for surrender. Surrender is nothing to be proud of and neither is O’Dumbo. As a retired member of the military I will never shake his hand but would likely spit in his face if given the chance.

  28. 28
    funny man Said:
    12:28 am 

    I read a number of German papers and the response was pretty positive with both left and right. In their view the results were not as meager as often seen here. Be that as it may, I think it is great that the image of America is much better than it was in the previous years. I think it is wrong to think that everything is a plus or minus for Obama, for liberals, for conservatives. Those are just squabbles forgotten tomorrow.
    In the long run Europe is and will be our best ally. That’s both in political and societal terms. Compared to the rest of the world that’s just the difference between Massachusetts and Oklahoma. Not a lot when compared to Yemen, North Korea, Kongo and what have you.
    In that sense the trip was a success. Nothing wrong with true apologies too (so that excludes some of the campaign style rhetoric of Obama). As a German it still brings tears to my eyes when I remember Willy Brandt kneeling down in Warsaw to ask for forgiveness not for himself but for the German people. There is personal sin and their is the sin of a people and you can’t exclude yourself by just claiming innocence. It is a difficult topic but every nation’s history is tainted by the blood of innocents and IMHO nothing is worse than cocky self-righteousness.
    Ooops time to go to bed.

  29. 29
    Maggie's Farm Trackbacked With:
    4:38 am 

    Wednesday morning links…

    Image on right via Surber
    A vote for sanity: Climate change bill sidetracked
    Harvard student takes on Barney Frank
    Black Caucus praises Castro. Nice role model.
    Obama’s anti-nuke speech. Dino
    Why "quality" medical care is dangerous
    O…

  30. 30
    Judith Said:
    6:47 am 

    obama’s excellent adventure last summer was another big apology for evil USA, and I could not vote for a man who so openly detested my country.
    It is interesting that for all his actions, obama got zero. I am sure that the leaders with whom he associated have gone home with quite a chuckle and wonderful stories about this naive nabob.
    Read bin laden’s fatwah, USA has elected the weak horse.

  31. 31
    jackson1234 Said:
    9:02 am 

    Michael, I obviously don’t hope it comes to a first strike. Yet you earlier laid out the reasons it likely will: we have few, if any, cards to play. Israel, which has fewer cards, likely will do it without our blessing although we will suffer enormous economic and political consequences. China might intervene if it believes the economic consequences would be so great it would threaten its American debt. But given what happened in North Korea this weekend, I don’t believe it will happen.

    Busboy: I not only know quite a few people who opposed the Afghan invasion, I have family members who did. This was largely a West Coast phenomenon, and the image that sticks in my mind was that of a typical Sixties-era UCDavis professor who complained, “we were victims until this happened.” It is more important to be victims among these types.

    I hope Californians don’t take offense at what I just wrote. I told friends in Manhattan that the same would have happened there if the attacks had been on L.A. As a matter of fact, there were professors and students at NYU who did protest the Afghan campaign (on a low key basis for obvious reasons).

  32. 32
    Political Blog Weekly: 10 April 2009 | U.S. Common Sense Pinged With:
    1:08 pm 

    [...] "Obama’s Foreign Apologies: What Did You Expect?" Originally published:  7 April 2009 Submitted by:  U.S. Common Sense Summary:  Looking back at the comments the President made overseas, and how people back at home responded. [...]

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