The first year of Barack Obama’s presidency was marked by a series of embarrassing and groveling apologies for his country on the world stage. From his apology for America’s supposed “arrogance”, to his massive mea culpa before the Muslim world in Egypt.
In his second year, encourage the president to stop apologising for his country, and project more pride in his great nation’s past. The United States, together with Great Britain, have done more to advance the cause of liberty and freedom on the world stage than any other nations in history. From defeating the menace of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Empire, to liberating tens of millions of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US and UK have consistently been at the forefront of the defence of the free world in the face of tyranny.
If President Obama does feel the urge to show contrition on the world stage in 2010, he should apologise not for his country but for his administration’s shoddy treatment of its allies as well as political dissidents fighting for freedom across the world. He has also shown extraordinary indifference towards the victims of Communist rule in Europe, as well as the hundreds of thousands who perished in Darfur at the hands of the Sudanese regime. While every dictatorship on earth, from Iran to Venezuela to Sudan has been earmarked for engagement by the Obama White House, some of America’s closest friends and supporters have been shunned, humiliated or left out in the cold.
So here is a list of apologies that Barack Obama should make on behalf of his own administration, for undermining America’s traditional alliances, treating America’s friends with contempt, and refusing to side with the victims of totalitarian regimes;
Barack Obama’s treatment of America’s closest ally has been little short of appalling. It started off badly when he threw a bust of Churchill out of the Oval Office within days of coming to power, and went downhill from there. He humiliated the British Prime Minister during his visit to Washington last March, treating him like the leader of a Third World country, and sent him packing with a gift of 25 DVDs. Obama has little interest in the Special Relationship, and cannot even bring himself to acknowledge the sacrifice of British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. As an exceedingly rude and ignorant senior State Department official - “There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.”
The Obama administration’s cowardly decision to appease Moscow by pulling out of an agreement to install missile interceptors and radars in Poland and the Czech Republic was an appalling betrayal of key US allies who had faced up to intense intimidation from Russia.
Barack Obama’s appeasement of the brutal Iranian regime in the name of “engagement” has not only emboldened Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs, but has also undercut the millions of Iranians who have bravely protested against the Islamist theocracy. President Obama has remained largely silent in the face of the brutal beating, rape, torture and murder of thousands of political dissidents since Ahmadinejad was fraudulently re-elected last year. Obama’s refusal to take a strong stand for fear of offending the Iranian regime is a disgrace, and a damning indictment of his world leadership.
It is still difficult to fathom the reasoning behind the White House’s incredible decision to side with Marxist despot Manuel Zelaya after he was removed by the Honduran Congress with the backing of the country’s Supreme Court. The Obama administration immediately condemned the fully constitutional actions of pro-American legislators who acted against a power-hungry figure determined to stay in power beyond his fixed term of office. Bizarrely, the White House aligned itself with the likes of America-hating tyrants like Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega against pro-democracy forces who love the United States.
Barack Obama has shown less enthusiasm for backing Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East, than any president since Jimmy Carter. His speech before a Muslim audience in Cairo in June set the tone for his approach towards Israel when he controversially drew parallels between the plight of the Palestinians and the Jewish people during the Holocaust, and used the word “occupation” describing Palestinian refugee camps. Obama’s weakness in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat has also caused widespread concern, and has significantly increased the likelihood that Israel will have to defend itself against Iran.
Barack Obama’s handshake with Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas last April set the tone for a new, more amicable US relationship with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s chief ally in Latin America. It was a move that hugely undercut the democracy movement in Venezuela, and the millions of Venezuelans who are clamouring for freedom. Washington’s silence over widespread human rights violations by the Chavez regime is yet another blight on the Obama administration’s reputation. The president’s decision to reach out to Chavez was also a dangerously naive gesture that offered a veneer of legitimacy to one of the world’s biggest state sponsors of international terror, with close ties to Iran, Syria and Sudan.