American Elephants

Apologizing for America. Again. by The Elephant's Child
April 23, 2009, 2:03 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Freedom, History, Pop Culture | Tags: , ,


It is not clear just what President Obama hopes to gain from his overseas efforts to apologize  for America’s supposed misdeeds in the recent and distant past.  Apology has been the centerpiece of his strategy.  Those of us who differ with Obama’s approach have a different set of assumptions and beliefs.  He has spent an amazing portion of his time speaking of the grievances of our allies and adversaries. He explains his approach in this way:

If we are practicing what we preach and if we occasionally confess to having strayed from our values and our ideals, that strengthens our hand; that allows us to speak with greater moral force and clarity around these issues.

Obama seems to believe that anti-Americanism arises entirely from the terrible actions of that cowboy George Bush, and if he just apologizes enough, everyone will like us.  Or at least think that he is an improvement over his predecessor. But Obama needs a better understanding of history.

Anti-Americanism has been around since the earliest days of our country.  Think of what a threat America has been to the countries of Europe. We founded this country in opposition to a continent of Kings and Princes.  We denied the divine right of Kings, and created a democratic republic.  No authority of Princes here.  Even at the time of the War of Independence, our soldiers volunteered, they were not conscripted; and when it was time for Spring planting, they might just pack up and go home to get the crops in.  They were fighting, in part, mercenaries conscripted by one Prince or another and sold to fight for the British.

Our Declaration of Independence was a direct threat to the rule of a nobility.  “All men are created equal” was a reproach to their established order.  Americans had nearly one hundred and fifty years of personal independence before their freedoms were challenged by their British rulers.  George Washington had a time teaching them to be soldiers and obey orders. They were ready to fight, but the obey part came harder. What if that idea of “equality” were to be transported to the old country. What mischief  would that cause.

And it did. The French, inspired by our Revolution, not only threw off their King, but they chopped off his head and those of another 20,000 Frenchmen as well.  Certainly that must have made the nobility of Europe sit up and take notice.

Bernard Bailyn describes in his splendid book The Peopling of British North America what we seldom recognize:

The westward transatlantic movement of people is one of the greatest events in recorded history.  It’s magnitudes and consequences are beyond measure.  From 1500 to the present, it has involved the displacement and resettlement of over fifty million people, and it has affected the foundation of American history and is basic, too, in ways we are only now beginning to understand, to the history of Europe, Africa, and even, to a lesser extent, of Asia.

We think proudly of our immigrants, our forbears.  But for Britain and Europe that was fifty million people rejecting the old country and all that it stood for.  Reproach.

What is it like for other countries when their country is inundated with American goods. Starbucks, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried, jeans and tee shirts.  And in the world capital of fine food, people line up at McDonalds.  Reproach.

What is it like for the citizens of Indonesia when an American battle group arrives with hospitals (plural) and a capability of not only flying rescue missions, but of producing vast quantities of fresh drinking water from sea water.  Competence beyond their reach.  They are grateful, of course, but it is still a reproach to them.

The Pakistani people are deeply proud of their nuclear weapon. It says that they are competent in a world that has so modernized that it has left them behind, out of history.  Someone, and I forget who, said that they couldn’t even make a bicycle chain.  It is not that they are envious or jealous, but that our freedom and independence and invention and competence are a reproach to them.  They focus on our mistakes and failures, for it lessens the reproach for their lack of freedom and invention and competence.  And when we make mistakes, we not only tell the whole world about it, we noisily turn around and try to fix it.  And worst of all, we are happier than they are, and we’re noisy about that too.

Slavery is our great sin. We fought a great war to end it, and we are still struggling to eliminate its traces.  The whole world knows of our guilt.  Yet South America imported nearly 12 slaves and the West Indies 10 slaves for every one slave that went to North America.  Slavery did not end in Brazil until 1888.  But we don’t spend any time reproaching Brazil, we just get on with criticizing— ourselves.

So the “apology tour” is essentially pointless.  It just makes us seem weak to bow down to petty tyrants and dictators, and to invite their insults. And appearing weak is dangerous.

After passively listening to a 50 minute diatribe against the United States by Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Obama said “I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.”  Obama made much of an offer by Raul Castro to talk with the U.S. Government, but Fidel wrote today that Obama not only misunderstood Raul, but he was “conceited, superficial,” and that he had no right to dare suggest that Cuba make even small concessions.

Obama won a campaign with his personal charm and unusual history. Perhaps he believes that he can win over the world the same way.  Apologies don’t seem to be working so well.  So far he has come home empty-handed.

3 Comments so far
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“America’s supposed misdeeds in the recent and distant past”
– EXACTLY! You guys have done nothing wrong! (I mean, except starting a ridiculously pointless war, and destroying the economy, and supporting right wing dictators but crying like bitches when Obama talks to left wing dictators, arming Saddam, arming Pinochet, torturing people, claiming “freedom” whilst oppressing homosexuality….. but ignore all that, that’s irrelevant, because the USAwesome is always right!!!)
And you’re right Mr Socialist Obama (biggest tax cut in middle class history doesn’t count) hasn’t yet managed (in the two weeks or so that he’s tried) to make Cuba a Capitalist haven. And he calls himself “intelligent” … clearly not! Not only that, but he’s still black!! So much for racial equality.
Bring back Bush!

Courtesy of: TheBritish Republican


Comment by futiledemocracy

Sorry, we don’t consider freeing 50 million people from tyranny and establishing democracy in the Middle East pointless. We don’t “torture” people. And sometimes you have a choice between a bad guy and a worse one. Pinochet? Can you possibly still be on that? And why do you call yourself a “Republican?”

We do not complain because Obama talks to left-wing dictators, we complain because his apology tour is misguided. He apologized to the French because America has shown arrogance and been dismissive. To the French! Oh Hahaha.

We most certainly do not “oppress” homosexuality, we pretty much celebrate it. We simply object to redefining marriage as something other than the union of a man and a woman. The only reason for the state to be involved with marriage at all, is for the protection of children. And the best thing for the kids is a stable marriage of a mom and a dad. That’s the goal.

And what does Obama’s race have to do with anything? It is his policies that I deplore, not his person. But we are not as race conscious here as you are over there.

I’d love to have Bush back. A great and good man.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Futile Democracy,

Ronald Reagan famously said, “It’s not that our liberal friends are ignorant, it’s just that so much that they know isn’t true.”

You are dangerously misinformed. Your talking points are old, tired and ignorant.

1. The Iraq war was FAR from pointless. After we learned that terrorists could carry out large scale attacks on American soil, neutralizing current threats became the most important point of all. Saddam Hussein was a rogue. That means nobody could be sure of what he would do because he was so unpredictable, had proven himself to be an aggressor — invading other nations over 5 times, he was responsible for the deaths of millions, he had even used WMD on tens of thousands of his own people.

He had declared himself an enemy of the United States, tried to assassinate our president, and was committing acts of war against our military on a daily basis.

On top of all that illegal behavior and utter unwillingness to cooperate with the world, we had every reason to believe he still had WMD, and whether he did or not, he still possessed the technology and know how to create them — all of which he could give to anyone he wanted to.

And he had proven his willingness to risk his own life to lash out at other nations, including the US.

ANYONE who would have left an illegal rogue tyrant like that in power after 9/11 would be DERELICT in their duty to protect America.

Which is why not just Republicans but a majority of Democrats in both houses voted to approve the war —knowing full well that intelligence, by its very nature can be wrong.

Because whether he had WMD or not is not really that important. His nature and his capability were what were so dangerous.

But even then, we did not just invade.

We gave Saddam several ultimatums. We put the power to avoid war in his hands — and even then he refused to cooperate.

He had several opportunities, with the entire US military off his borders and shores, to avoid war altogether and he refused.

And in removing him, we replaced an illegal, unpredictable and dangerous rogue dictator and an avowed enemy of the US with a stable democratic ally where people are no longer oppressed, but free and increasingly prosperous.

That makes us, and the world immensely safer.

2. The economy was GROWING at over 3% when Republicans lost control of congress, and it continued to grow for another full year. It wasn’t until Democrats had controlled congress, the purse strings and the budgets for a full year before the economy even went into recession.

The financial crisis didn’t happen until after Democrats had controlled congress and the budgets and the laws for TWO years.

Moreover, the economy was destroyed by the sub-prime mortgage crisis which destroyed the financial industry.

President Bush, Republicans and even Alan Greenspan have been warning congress that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s activities were going to cause EXACTLY this kind of crisis if the were not forced to change their behavior. But Democrats filibustered EVERY attempt to reform Fannie and Freddie because they wanted to protect the liberal policy Fannie and Freddy were aggressively pushing, that got us in this mess to begin with. Namely both forcing and encouraging banks to make loans to people who couldn’t afford them, while at the same time, encouraging financial institutions to buy up those toxic assets, falsely leading them to believe the federal government would ensure the risk.

Banks DO NOT make bad loans unless they are forced to, or someone is promising to cover them!

Democrats were doing both. Democrats cronies Jim Johnston, Frank Raines, and Jamie Gorelick were giving themselves multi-million dollar bonuses the more of these bad loans they could encourage, and THAT is why the economy is destroyed.

Now Barack Obama and Democrats are doing the same thing to the auto industry, they are STILL doing it to the mortgage industry, they are doing it to the states by bailing out states that are spending too much instead of forcing them to cut their budgets, and they want very desperately to destroy the health care industry in the same way.

We tortured NO one. The idea that the United States oppressed homosexuals is a JOKE and only proves you are ignorant of the meaning of the word. And the rest of your rantings are completely ignorant and untrue as well.

Funny how liberals are so full of rage despite being in control of everything. One would think if your ideas actually worked, things would be improving and you would have no reason to be angry.

But they arent. They are getting worse. The more Obama and the Democrats do, the worse things get. The banking crisis is getting worse, the auto dealers are getting worse, the economy is getting worse, unemployment is getting worse, and the man who promised to bring “SMART power” to international relations, and to “restore America’s image around the world”, has pissed off Columbia, Israel, Rome, insulted the Brits (twice), Mexicans, Afghanis and Pakistanis, and is the laughingstock of Russia.

And our relationship with France, which had improved dramatically under Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy (the man who won election on a very pro-American, pro-capitalism platform), has gotten much WORSE under Obama.

The British papers have called him the new Democrat Pantywaist surrender monkey, and one thing France, Cuba and Venzuela agree on is that he is arrogant, ineffective and naive.

Leaders all over Europe and even Russia and communist China are warning everyone NOT to follow Obama’s approach to the economic crisis because its too socialist!

Obama is a DISASTER on all fronts. And everyone knows it but American liberals.


Comment by American Elephant

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