Obama Resumes his World Apology Tour

At the APEC CEO Summit in Hawaii on November 12, the president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, offered this pearl of wisdom:

We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — ‘Well, people would want to come here’ — and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.

Why does the President of our country insist on denigrating our country’s heritage and its people in front of other nations?

Why is the man who is supposed to be our biggest cheerleader for American Exceptionalism, America’s biggest Apologist instead?

Heritage .org compiled a list of Obama’s “Top Ten Apologies for America”, which they published on June 2, 2009:

1. Apology to France and Europe (“America Has Shown Arrogance”)

Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.[1]

So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years we’ve allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there’s something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

2. Apology to the Muslim World (“We Have Not Been Perfect”)

President Obama, interview with Al Arabiya, January 27, 2009.[2]

My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.

3. Apology to the Summit of the Americas (“At Times We Sought to Dictate Our Terms”)

President Obama, address to the Summit of the Americas opening ceremony, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17, 2009.[3]

All of us must now renew the common stake that we have in one another. I know that promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past, and that trust has to be earned over time. While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms.

The United States will be willing to acknowledge past errors where those errors have been made.

4. Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders (“Some Restoration of America’s Standing in the World”)

News conference by President Obama, ExCel Center, London, United Kingdom, April 2, 2009.[4]

I would like to think that with my election and the early decisions that we’ve made, that you’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world.

5. Apology for the War on Terror (“We Went off Course”)

President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.[5]

Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight; that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And during this season of fear, too many of us–Democrats and Republicans, politicians, journalists, and citizens–fell silent.

In other words, we went off course.

6. Apology for Guantanamo in France (“Sacrificing Your Values”)

Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.[6]

Our two republics were founded in service of these ideals. In America, it is written into our founding documents as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In France: “Liberté”–absolutely–”egalité, fraternité.” Our moral authority is derived from the fact that generations of our citizens have fought and bled to uphold these values in our nations and others. And that’s why we can never sacrifice them for expedience’s sake. That’s why I’ve ordered the closing of the detention center in Guantanamo Bay. That’s why I can stand here today and say without equivocation or exception that the United States of America does not and will not torture.

7. Apology before the Turkish Parliament (“Our Own Darker Periods in Our History”)

Speech by President Obama to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6, 2009.[7]

Every challenge that we face is more easily met if we tend to our own democratic foundation. This work is never over. That’s why, in the United States, we recently ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. That’s why we prohibited–without exception or equivocation–the use of torture. All of us have to change. And sometimes change is hard.

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 in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.

8. Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas (“The United States Has Not Pursued and Sustained Engagement with Our Neighbors”)

Opinion editorial by President Obama: “Choosing a Better Future in the Americas,” April 16, 2009.[8]

Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.

9. Apology for the Mistakes of the CIA (“Potentially We’ve Made Some Mistakes”)

Remarks by the President to CIA employees, CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia, April 20, 2009.[9] The remarks followed the controversial decision to release Office of Legal Counsel memoranda detailing CIA enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorist suspects.

So don’t be discouraged by what’s happened in the last few weeks. Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes. That’s how we learn. But the fact that we are willing to acknowledge them and then move forward, that is precisely why I am proud to be President of the United States, and that’s why you should be proud to be members of the CIA.

10. Apology for Guantanamo in Washington (“A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies”)

President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.[10]

There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law. In fact, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law–a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected. Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.

So the record is clear: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies.

Why should businessmen from other countries invest in ours?

Our own president, who is supposed to be our biggest advocate, remains our biggest detractor.

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