Thursday, January 29, 2009

Barack Obama: The Great American Apologist

Economic Update: an $825 billion economic stimulus package by a divided U.S. House of Representatives on a 244-188 vote.

Al-Arabiya Gets The First T.V. Interview With President Obama

"...part of a concerted effort to repair relations with the Muslim world that were damaged under the previous administration..." (AP)

Pardon me for the question, but I believe that the United States during the Bush administration may have been damaged by the Muslim world as well, unless you believe the story that we did 9/11 to ourselves. As discussed before, what about bombings that have taken place around the world, the 1st WTC attack, etc before and after 9/11?

These are the acts of an extremely small group of people, and the vast majority of the world's Muslim population are good and decent people, but has the Muslim world reached out to the United States or any other country to try and mend fences? Once again, the U.S. is being painted as the sole antagonist, with our new leader acting as the lead apologist.

During this interview, these are some of the snippets that point out, in Obama's view, that if the Bush adminstration had not taken the tone and stance that it did, all would be well in the world and those that seek to destroy us would instead be joining us for a rousing rendition of Kumbaya.

  • “All too often the United States starts by dictating,” “So let’s listen.”

  • “...the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations -- whether Muslim or any other faith in the past -- that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name.”

  • "...And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives...”

So we see that according to our new president, it is entirely up to us, the U.S., to change in such a way that we can placate and negotiate with those countries and groups. Many of the same whose stated intentions do not possess any semblance of the tolerance and desire for peace and tranquility that Obama says that America must have.

Is he our Commander in Chief, tasked first an foremost with the protection of the citizens of the U.S., or is he our chief apologist. Will he go through the machinations of some of his predecessors which is the charade of high level talks with frameworks developed that the signers have no intention or actual power to implement?

This is a serious and complicated problem, that is not going to be solved merely by improved rhetoric on the part of the United States.


  1. bring back bush for 4 more years...he really solved the problem by invading the weapons of mass destruction in iraq...???? should there never be an attempt for peace?should no one ever try...of course if attacked again our new president will act swiftly and surely..(not lie to the american public and start a war with the WRONG COUNTRY)did you see mr. bush run away from the white house with his tail between his legs...his presidency was an embarrassment of our country to the world and our own may take 20 years to undo the domestic and international damage this man can actions and perceptions in the world and country ever CHANGE if new and different methods are not attempted....8 years of bush's way fuckin didn't work ...DID IT

  2. My point Anonymous (if that's your real name), is not that mistakes were not made. Do you see anywhere in what I wrote that mistakes were not made.

    I didn't mention Bush at all. My point is that Americans should not be totally on the defensive. Where are any of the other country's acknowledging ANY responsibility to be part of the solution.

    I sense your dislike for Bush, but it is over and it is time to move on. Surface level talk and platitudes will not solve this problem that exited well before Bush took office.

    Agreements with leaders who lie to our faces and who are actually more sympathetic to the anti-America crowd will not solve anything either.

    Conciliation is great, but you need to carry a stick as well. Make it clear that there is blame to go around and that this did not start with Bush.

    Put your vitriol on the back burner. It is time to move forward. What's done is done, it may have been done in an imperfect way, but now it is time for Obama to deal with it.

    Pleading for forgiveness when there are two sides to the issue may not be the best place to start.

    I posted the F bomb, but try not to use it in the future.

  3. lets hope that you mike haltman and your brother rush limbaugh ( i hope our president fails) 'YEA HE'S A SMART GUY DRUG ADDICT AND 1/2 OF A FELON) continue with your conservative views...the proof is in the pudding.continuing your stupid verbage will only have the gop unelectable again..lets give up more seats in the house and senate and hope our president w 4 more years

  4. First, let's get this straight. Rush and I are cousins, not brohers.

    Secondly, you are grossly mistaken that I want Obama to fail. His success is the success of our country, the world by exrtension and you and I by the trickle down theory of success.

    I don't give a crap who is in office as long as they do the RIGHT thing for the country which is the operative word. What they do now, both parties, is whatever it takes to get re-elected.

  5. I think you miss the point of the article, and indeed President Obama's comments. First, the Bush administration rightly went after al Qaeda in Afghanistan, toppled the Taliban, and did many other things to help us in our war on the people who attacked us on 9/11. That said, his decision to go into Iraq using in the manner that he did, and to exert leadership as he did, alienated our allies, as well as fence sitters in this struggle, who simply said, if the US wants to do it its own way, well, let them do it alone. That is the relationship that now President Obama is trying to mend.

    The Bush administration, or rather, the republican party went out of its way to portray the struggle against al Qaeda, as a struggle against all Muslims everywhere. To his credit, President Bush fought hard against this, but the perception remained that the GWOT was not against those that caused the attacks but against all Muslims. This allowed things such as Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and other such abuses to feed the perception and drive more people into al Qaeda's arms, as indeed our own intelligence agencies have acknowledged, i.e. that our actions created more terrorists than those we killed. Iraq became a huge part of that.

    Prez Obama here is doing, what is considered by many in a Muslim world a way to engage an audience, to prove that you are there to be a partner, and not an overlord, by admitting US mistakes in its prosecution of the GWOT. He's trying to find common ground with Muslims to in his words, show them that Americans are not their enemies, and show Americans that Muslims are not al Qaeda.

    As the leader of the greatest military, cultural and political power in the world, Prez Obama in his interview sought to bypass the leadership of the countries where his interview was seen, and talk directly to the people. It's a smart move, since he is using his considerable appeal throughout the world, to improve our image and seek a better means to fight the war on terror, one that restores our legitimacy even as it weakens al Qaeda; something, Prez Bush failed to do. He won some battles, to be sure, but he did so at great expense to our soft power mechanisms, and our own moral high ground.

  6. Unlike Muslims the U.S. has a symbolic and viable leader in the President and making it possible to mend and strengthen ties with the Muslim world is smart and not apologetic. Muslims do not have a Pope or other viable and symbolic leader, the right think to do is offer a branch of peace and attempt to reconcile differences, thinking otherwise is basing thought on fear. Yes, using the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to vilify all Muslims because of radical fundamentalists is a product of fear. You said it yourself, Muslims are overwhelmingly peaceful, so why shouldn't we extend an attempt for peace? Because a fraction could attack us again seeing a peace offering as a sign of weakness? I won't put words in your mouth, but that seems to be your point. I guess I look forward to your response, although I might not come back to this alarmist style blog.

  7. There is nothing wrong with reaching out, but my point is that the actions of this small segment of the population is never addressed by the societies that the hatred developed in.

    The feelings of these few was not created on Bush's watch. It has been there for a much longer time, and regardless of the reason it is there, I am asking why it is always the sole responsibility of the US to admit a complicit role in a problem, as well as the sole responsibility of the US to develop a solution.

  8. I am skeptical of a president who would choose to apologize to foreign nations first before reaching out to those who he himself alienated here in the US during his campaign. I and many others felt like outsiders when painted as small town gun clingers with an antipathy towards anyone unlike ourselves.

    I would like the apology. My wife would like the apology after feeling like a backward, second class citizen for staying home, raising a family, supporting her country and those who fight for it and identified with Sara Palin on those grounds.

    Our service men and women would like an apology for the claims of air raiding villages and killing innocent women and children. The list of apologies should be very long and all of these things should come well before apologizing to group of people who attacked us on 9/11, well before appologizing for the removal of a dictator and his sons who harbored the man who had killed more Americans prior to Bin Laden, Abu Nidal.

    I am thankful for a president who showed such resolve that sent fear down the spines of other terrorist sponsors like Libya who turned their nuclear program over to the US for fear that they would meet the same fate. I am thankful for a president who had the foresite to put a stop to a country that violated 17 UN Resolutions and fired on US planes patroling the no fligh zone on a daily basis, (that in and of itself being an act of war) I am thankful for a president who has kept me, my family and the rest of this country, ungrateful as it may be, safe from future attacks.

    Michael R.

  9. Build a road and after the project is done the job is gone. Yes our roads need work, but they do not create new income.

    Build a ship, and you create jobs for thousands which will last for twenty years. You bring money back into this country through sales to overseas travelers.

    The icing on the cake, Sea, Sun N Fun Cruise Lines is offering a plan to return the stimulus money back to the government within 10 years.

    That would be responsible spending of taxpayers dollars, so our children are not left holding the bill.