Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Debunking the apology tour lie

The Heritage Society lists 10 examples of apologizing, and in the Comment of the Day a reader debunks them all..

1. Apology to France and Europe ("America Has Shown Arrogance")

"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"

Freedom Fries, "Old Europe," etc. just because some of them didn't want to get involved in the Iraq war. The same war that today even the Republicans say was handled terribly.

2. Apology to the Muslim World ("We Have Not Been Perfect")
"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that."
Seems to go hand in hand with what Mitt was saying last night about our Arab allies who we shouldn't be alienating (and they did get alienated during the Bush years). Nothing wrong with that, right?

3. Apology to the Summit of the Americas ("At Times We Sought to Dictate Our Terms")
"While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations; there is simply engagement based on mutual respect and common interests and shared values."

Nothing wrong here. We'll need a little bit of this if Mitt's dream of partnering with South America (per the last debate) is going to have a shot at working.

4. Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders ("Some Restoration of America's Standing in the World")
"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. And although, as you know, I always mistrust polls, international polls seem to indicate that you're seeing people more hopeful about America's leadership."

That's a statement of fact/observation. Opinion polls at the time showed that more people in foreign countries were trusting of the US than they were under the previous administration. Definitely not an apology by any definition.

5. Apology for the War on Terror ("We Went off Course")
"Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And during this season of fear, too many of us--Democrats and Republicans, politicians, journalists, and citizens--fell silent.

In other words, we went off course. And this is not my assessment alone. It was an assessment that was shared by the American people who nominated candidates for President from both major parties who, despite our many differences, called for a new approach--one that rejected torture and one that recognized the imperative of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay."

Yep. That's what happened.

6. Apology for Guantanamo in France ("Sacrificing Your Values")

"In dealing with terrorism, we can't lose sight of our values and who we are. "

This is correct. If the terrorist hate us because of our freedom, liberty, equality, and national unity, then sacrificing those things gives them a win.

7. Apology before the Turkish Parliament ("Our Own Darker Periods in Our History")
"Another issue that confronts all democracies as they move to the future is how we deal with the past. The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans."

It does. Again, this is not an apology, but a statement of fact. Issues such as race regularly surface in our elections, in crafting policy, in drawing electoral disctricts, etc. and filters into daily life for many. Obama said that we are still dealing with some of the legacy of our darker periods, and we're moving past them, and building a better future. His overall message was that the US is doing this successfully, and so can our allies: "Each country must work through its past. And reckoning with the past can help us seize a better future."

Left out of the article is the fact that this speech concerned US support for Turkey in its bid to join the European Union, normalize relations with Armenia, and come to a better solution for Cyprus (among other things) and how, in doing so, Turkey has had to acknowledge some of the wrongs that they have committed (and will have to do more of this, on a deeper level in the future) as well as having to modernize some aspects of their society that had been lagging behind (such as their court system).

This was not an apology, but a way of saying “if we can do it, so can you.”

8. Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas ("The United States Has Not Pursued and Sustained Engagement with Our Neighbors")
“Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas. My Administration is committed to the promise of a new day. We will renew and sustain a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and our common security.”

Romney said the same thing during the last debate, that we should be more engaged with South America.

9. Apology for the Mistakes of the CIA ("Potentially We've Made Some Mistakes")
Remarks by the President to CIA employees, CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia, April 20, 2009.

The idea that a President cannot admit to or acknowledge the potential for mistakes having been made to our own government agencies, on US soil, is both stupid and dangerous. This one has no business at all being on the list.

10. Apology for Guantanamo in Washington ("A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies")

“In fact, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law--a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected. Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. . . . Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies”

Again, not a part of the Apology Tour. So, a President can’t say to the American people that something set up by the previous administration is wrong or weakens American standing?

If that’s the case, then Romney’s going to have an awfully hard time undoing Obama’s foreign policy, since he won’t be able to explain why to the American people. (Imagine poor Mitt: “The policy of not setting a clear red line with Iran puts America and her allies in jeopardy because . . . Oops! I can’t say that, otherwise I’m apologizing and that makes America look weak. Oops, that was an apology, too! Now what?”)

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