By Edward Mariscal
Since inauguration day, President Barack Obama has apologized to former first lady Nancy Reagan, the Special Olympics, former Senator Tom Daschle, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, reporter Peggy Agar, Senator Diane Feinstein, the citizens of New York City, the United States Military and the American People. All were warranted. But his apology tour did not end on American soil. Our esteemed President has also taken an international tour to apologize to the rest of the world.
President Obama’s willingness to criticize his own country, and unwillingness to defend it against vitriolic attacks from abroad, is starting to be more than a little worrisome. But most of us knew this during the campaign. 100 days into this Presidency, Americans have a right to have their president put our best face forward to the world. Instead, he has already traveled all over the world sending a message – an utterly false message – that we are to blame for many of the world’s ills. For that message to emanate from an American president is, frankly, outrageous.
The latest examples have come on his visits to Central and South America . First, President Obama said that the United States is responsible for a huge portion – as much as 90 percent – of the guns being used by Mexican drug smugglers. As a matter of demonstrable fact, that is absolutely, positively wrong. Second, President Obama warmly greeted Venezuela ’s radical leftist dictator, Hugo Chavez, and then indicated he would open a more extensive dialogue with Chavez. President Obama’s act looked terribly obsequious in light of Chavez’ “gift” to President Obama of a four-decade-old book (“Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent,” by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano) that virulently assails the United States .
After that, President Obama sat nearly mute as Nicaragua Communist leader Daniel Ortega made a rabble-rousing speech viciously castigating the United States . President Obama’s most forceful response to that was that Latin Americans shouldn't blame him personally for things (such as the Bay of Pigs fiasco) that happened way back in the year of his birth. In other words, the message wasn’t to defend the United States , but instead effectively to ratify the notion that the United States is evil while washing his own hands of any responsibility for the supposed evil. Again, this is not the behavior the American people have a right to expect from their president. Indeed, it is the polar opposite of what we have a right to expect.
All of these examples of undermining the reputation of the United States came on top of a trip through Europe in which Obama said the world recession is largely the result of Wall Street greed, apologized for supposed American arrogance and its alleged disrespect for Europe, and falsely indicated that the United States had not been fair to the Islamic world – ignoring, among may other things, the U.S. leadership to save Muslims from genocide in the Balkans.
Enough is enough, Mr. President. It’s time for you to be our advocate, not our scold. It’s time for you to be our leader, not our babysitter. It’s time for you to fulfill your promise of hope and not continue to suck up to the rest of the world just to get them to like you. Let’s hope for a better next 100 days.
Just a word of thanks to Edward for writing this. For long time I've wanted to have a variety of guest writers here at Diminished Expectations. Hopefully this is just the beginning of many posts from Edward.
If anybody else out there would like to contribute just let me know:
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009
By Edward Mariscal