April 3, 2009
President Obama Disgraces Himself in Europe
I really don't like doing these sort of posts.
You don't really have to believe me on this, and I can't make you. The truth is that I much prefer geeky stuff about strategy in Afghanistan or Iraq, foreign policy, or discussion domenstic issues such as tax rates and the budget or abortion. I think a fair reading of this blog is that I don't do "outrage of the day" stories, but that's your call.
Either way, there come times when I have to take a break because something has just set me off in a big way. Today I heard clips of President Obama in Europe and I went over the edge.
Without further ado, here he is, from London's Telegraph
When I first heard this my thoughts were "You b*#$%^&d"
I'll have to ask the good Lord for forgiveness on this one.
Here are excerpts from the story in the Telegraph:
President Barack Obama has offered an apology for the Bush era, declaring that America had "shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive" towards its allies.
President Obama said the US had "failed to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world".
His speech in Strasbourg went further than any United States president in history in criticising his own country's action while standing on foreign soil.
But he sought to use the mea culpa as leverage to alter European views of America and secure more troops for the war in Afghanistan.
He declared that there had to be a fundamental shift on both sides of the Atlantic. "America is changing but it cannot be America alone that changes," he said.
Addressing a crowd of some 2,000 mainly students from France and Germany, Mr Obama said: "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world.
"Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."
He then balanced this striking admission with a tough message to Europeans that blaming America was foolish.
"But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual, but can also be insidious. Instead of recognising the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what is bad.
"On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America."
Earlier, Mr Obama had thrown down the gauntlet to his European counterparts, saying: "We want strong allies. We are not looking to be patrons of Europe. We are looking to be partners of Europe."
Ok that's enough. I've quoted enough so no one can play the out of context game.
President Obama is beyond disgraceful. I don't care if he does think that President Bush was wrong, for him to go and call his own country, under whatever president, "arrogant" in front of a foreign audience is beyond the pale.
This is Andrew Young and Jimmy Carter all over again.
I think that Obama is genuinely embarrassed by the United States, and that this is not just a reaction to George W. Bush. He would have disapproved of President Clinton as well, who at times was very aggressive in foreign policy, invading Haiti and attacking Kosovo/Bosnia, both without UN approval.
The President of the United States should never publicly criticize past U.S. foreign policy, especially while abroad, period. This simply gives aid and comfort to our enemies, makes us look weak, and thus encourages our enemies to become more aggressive. No doubt the jihadists are enthused about our new president. As is, Hugo Chavez, the Castro brothers, whatever communist is running China....
The Europeans love Obama not because they are ready to do more to defend Western values but because they are looking for an excuse to do less. All of NATO can barely come up with 23,000 troops for Afghanistan, the war we're told everyone supports. They don't want to confront Islam or even radical Islam as they are being absorbed by it.
Anyone who thinks the Europeans are going to dispatch more than a token number of troops to Afghanistan is living in a dream world. I've covered this issue in detail for years and have written extensively about how 1) they send very few troops and 2) most of the countries who do send troops put them under such restrictive Rules of Engagement that they're essentially useless (hence the split command, OEF v ISAF).
As for the "balance" in his speech, please. The only thing that will be remembered or acted on is the apology. "Mere words" as Obama once said, none of the rest of it will be acted on.
The AP reported this part not in the Telegraph story
Welcomed with thunderous cheers, President Barack Obama pledged on Friday to work repair damaged relations with Europe, saying the world came together following the 2001 terrorist attacks but then "we got sidetracked by Iraq."
Once more: You b*#$%^&d."
If you want to think Iraq was a distraction fine. I disagree, but reasonable people can disagree. But you do not by god go to another country and say it to them in a public speech.
For liberals who think I'm an unregenerate wingnut; I've defended the foreign policies of President Clinton many times on this blog. Search for his name at right if you don't believe me. I never, and I mean never, remember him going this far. And just earlier this week I praised Obama for his new Afghan policy, as I try and be fair. I also criticized President Bush on numerous occasions. Search again if you don't believe me.
President Bush, whether you want to agree with his policies or not, was a man of class. He spent no time criticizing President Clinton. Indeed, in 2004 he invited him to the White House and "warmly paid tribute to Bill Clinton and even plugged his forthcoming memoirs at his formal White House portrait unveiling." I remember when it happened and hearing Bush's remarks on the radio, much to the amazement of whatever right-wing talk show host I was listening to at the time. The host remarked that such tribute would not be repaid by the next Democrat president, and as it is such a prediction was all too accurate. Obama seems to go out of his way to blame everything on his predecessor.
President Obama needs to stop this behavior now.
This just in from the AP
European leaders enthusiastically praised President Barack Obama's new Afghan strategy at a NATO summit Saturday but held their ground on a central disagreement and offered only military trainers and extra security forces for upcoming elections.
Violent anti-war protests that marred the alliance's 60th anniversary celebrations were a stark reminder that much of Europe has no appetite for the other, costlier half of Obama's Afghan equation: more combat troops.
"I am pleased that our NATO allies pledged their strong and unanimous support for our new strategy," Obama said. "We'll need more resources and a sustained effort to achieve our ultimate goals."
Just what I said would happen. Europe loves Obama because he praises them even when they refuse to do anything to help us.
Posted by Tom at April 3, 2009 10:30 PM
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Gosh Tom, if lefty Kool Aid drinkers think you are an "unregenerate wingnut" I can't imagine what they would think of me.
Got your comment on this story at Mike's America just as I was working on a video on the subject.
What else do you expect from a man whose wife was never proud of her country until it nominated her husband for President?
This is just the same Democrat line where they always BLAME AMERICA FIRST!
Posted by: Mike's America at April 4, 2009 12:10 AM
I am not going to try to defend the comments made by Obama. There is an arrogance among Americans toward Europe and there is a strain of anti American among Europeans and this might be a way of beginning to change things.
Not the way I would have chosen to do it but, its not my rearend on the line...
But, as far as foreign policy goes....Bush was a disaster. Should have followed the militaries advised and send 450,000 troops into Afganistan, then split them up and sent half into Iran and the other half into Pakistan.
Say that now and have said it forever.
Posted by: carl at April 4, 2009 5:18 AM