President Obama will be returning soon from his “I’m Sorry For Bush 2009” World Tour where he spent a good deal of time failing to meet two of his objectives and apologizing for his predecessor, President George W. Bush. The image of “Obama Go Home” were protesters who assembled in Istanbul. Apparently they didn’t get the memo that the world is supposed to love Obama and the United States now.
Political Punch reports on the sorry-fest:
ISTANBUL — “I know there have been some difficulties in recent years,” President Obama said today at a town hall meeting with Turkish high school and college students.” In some ways, that foundation has been weakening. We’ve had some specific differences over policy, but we’ve also at times lost the sense that both of our countries are in this together — that we have shared interests and shared values and that we can have a partnership that serves our common hopes and common dreams. So I came here to renew that foundation and to build on it.”
As he’s traveled throughout Europe this past week, from the G-20 economic summit in London, to the NATO conference in Strasbourg, France, to here in Turkey, President Obama has not only made clear his policy differences with his predecessor, and his markedly different diplomatic style, he has made it clear to Europe and the rest of the world that his respect for the way President Bush conducted foreign policy knows bounds.
“America is a critical actor and leader on the world stage,” President Obama said at the conclusion of the G-20 summit in London, asked how he differs with President Bush on international relations. “We shouldn’t be embarrassed about that,” he said, but he added “we exercise our leadership best when we are listening; when we recognize that the world is a complicated place and that we are going to have to act in partnership with other countries; when we lead by example; when we show some element of humility and recognize that we may not always have the best answer, but we can always encourage the best answer and support the best answer.”
These principles, of course, are direct contrasts with the way President Obama has in the past criticized President Bush: that he too often lectured and seldom listened; that he saw the world in black-and-white; that he had no compunction in acting unilaterally; that he besmirched the American brand; and that his administration embodied American arrogance.
President Obama’s expressions of regret for the Bush years is only one aspect of what has been jam-packed schedule full of announcements and negotiations, but it’s been a striking part of his message.
Some conservative critics have expressed chagrin at this. On Fox News, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said “When Kennedy arrived in Paris, he did not attack Eisenhower and the United States. When Obama’s elected president, he is president of all of the United States, including Americans who opposed him, and he owns American history, including a past he may not have wanted to engage in. I think what he did is, in order to gain the adoration of the crowd, he denigrated his country in a way that I think is disgraceful.”
Someone the other day on Fox News made good points about how you did not hear Brown, Merkel or Sarkozy speak of their predecessors at all compared to how Obama constantly referenced Bush. It seems belittling to Obama that he couldn’t make his own points without resorting to relentless apologies everywhere he went.
The list of regrets:
he first expression of regret during this trip came on April 1.
“Over the last several years the relationship between our two countries has been allowed to drift,” President Obama said as he announced a July summit with Russian President Dmintry Medvedev, announcing that relations would now hopefully improve.
That same day, asked about the financial crisis, President Obama said “if you look at the sources of this crisis, the United States certainly has some accounting to do with respect to a regulatory system that was inadequate to the massive changes that had taken place in the global financial system.”
At a town hall meting in Strasbourg, France, the president told the European crowd, “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. So I’ve come to Europe this week to renew our partnership, one in which America listens and learns from our friends and allies.”
“Over the last seven, eight years,” he said, “a lot of tensions have developed between the United States and Europe…There have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe. “In Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans chose to blame America for much of what’s bad,” Obama said.
And speaking to Turkish Parliament Monday, President Obama acknowledged “differences about whether to go to war” in Iraq. “I know there have been difficulties these last few years. I know that the trust that binds the United States and Turkey has been strained, and I know that strain is shared in many places where the Muslim faith is practiced. So let me say this as clearly as I can: The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam.”
After the G-20 summit the President said he hoped he would “set a tone internationally” where other nations “give us the benefit of the doubt… At least we can start with the notion that we’re prepared to listen and to work cooperatively with countries around the world.”
Referring to his campaign statements about “very specific decisions that the previous administration had made that I believed had lowered our standing in the world,” the president said, “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.”
Bush has some things to be sorry for, like bailouts. However, he should never be sorry for keeping America safe after 9/11 or freeing the people of Iraq from a brutal dictator. The United Nations is a useless body of anti-American thugs who will continue to function in the same manner with Obama at the helm.
Obama sought more support from NATO in Afghanistan and didn’t get it. He also wanted support for a global bailout plan and didn’t get that either. So much for the world falling at his feet.
President Obama also went out of his way to make it clear that the United States is not at war with Islam. Well no kidding! President Bush went out of his way numerous times making the same statement but the press is hailing Obama’s statement like it’s something new.
Searching for seconds I found a story from 2006 on WCBS Radio:
NEW YORK (AP / WCBS-AM) — President Bush today appealed directly to Muslims to assure them that the United States is not waging war with Islam as he laid out a vision for peace in the Middle East before skeptical world leaders at the United Nations.
On the sidelines, Bush pressed Iran to return at once to international talks on its nuclear program and threatened consequences if they do not.
But his speech to the United Nations General Assembly was less confrontational and aimed at building bridges with people in the Middle East angry with the United States.
“My country desires peace,” Bush told world leaders in the cavernous main hall at the U.N. “Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam.”
So there it is, nearly an identical statement to what President Obama said. Of course though, the media puts more credence to Obama’s statement.
Plus, here’s the kicker. Apparantly Obama has ticked off France and Germany when he endorsed Turkey’s desire to enter the European Union. Some even blasphemously called Obama “arrogant,” which is wrong, because we know only the United States minus Obama is arrogant.
US President Barack Obama says Turkey’s future is in the European Union. Not everyone agrees. Numerous politicians in Germany have gone on the attack, and even French President Sarkozy is unimpressed. Turkey’s role at the NATO summit has soured the mood.
Now that Obama is in Turkey, however, some political camps — particularly in Germany — have discovered the political efficacy of Obama bashing. While in Ankara, Obama reiterated his support for Turkish membership in the European Union, a position he first voiced on Sunday in Prague. That doesn’t sit well with some.
“Turkey is bound to Europe by more than bridges over the Bosporus,” Obama told the Turkish parliament on Monday. “Centuries of shared history, culture and commerce bring you together. And Turkish membership would broaden and strengthen Europe’s foundation once more.”
It is a sentiment not universally shared in Europe. On Monday, a number of politicians, particularly in Germany, went on the offensive. “It is a meddling in the internal affairs of Europe,” Bernd Posselt, a member of the European Parliament from Bavarian’s conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), blustered in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE. “The EU is not Obama’s plaything. … He should accept Turkey as America’s 51st state instead,” he continued.
Markus Ferber, the CSU’s lead candidate in European Parliament elections set for early June, echoed his party colleague. “There is no question that the US has a voice in NATO. But when it comes to membership in its own club, the EU decides by itself,” he said. “We don’t need any tutoring from abroad.”
Party head Horst Seehofer said that Europe’s “internal harmony” is dependent on “common cultural and spiritual roots.” He went on to say that “Turkey, as self-proclaimed representative of the Muslim world, clearly doesn’t fit in.”
How odd. I thought everything the Messiah spoke of turned to gold yet here he is being criticized for his meddling and arrogance of sticking his nose in European affairs.
Play us out Karl:
We’re all here to welcome President Obama back to his disastrous economic policies and obscene deficits, lets give him a round of applause, shall we?