Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Well Done, Mr. President!

I have 3 right-wing, conservative blogs in my reader.

I keep them there because reading the ignorant, uninformed, superstitious, bigoted. hate-filled goonbabble that oozes from them like green, smelly pus from an infected boil reminds me why it is so important to oppose these idiotic fucktards at every turn.

Today one of those blogs, Jo-Joe Politico was channeling another right-wing blog that I don't follow called The Malcontent.

Both of these bloggers had their panties in a twist over Obama's apologies. The headline on The Malcontent reads

They then go on to list 11 of Obama's apologies.

The Malcontent closes his post by saying
"If you can’t see this as apologizing then I just can’t say anything else to convince you. But I will say that I' myself am so sick and tired of all these Obama apologists, it’s time that we called it like it really is. America has nothing to apologize for, nothing! We are not the arrogant ones, Obama is himself. He is the most arrogant, self-serving, self-loving, president that America has ever had. And I’m not even going to list all of his other bad qualities not here, anyway. When are you lefties going to call it as it is? And until you Liberals, Democrats, Progressives , start wising up and admit it to yourselves, we are in big trouble."

Jo-Joe closes his ditto-post by asking
"Do you agree with this assessment?"

I do, in fact, agree that each of the instances sighted was an apology. And I think it was about fucking time someone made those apologies.

Let's look at them one by one.

1. Apology to France and Europe ("America Has Shown Arrogance")
Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.

So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years 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. In America, there's 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.

President Obama was absolutely correct.

He is referring to the reluctance of France and Germany in 1993 to join the United States and rush headlong into a war in Iraq.

From the BBC News in January, 2003:

Outrage at 'old Europe' remarks
French and German leaders have reacted angrily to comments by the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld describing the two countries as "problems" in the crisis over Iraq.

French Finance Minister Francis Mer said he was "profoundly vexed" by Mr Rumsfeld's remarks - which branded France and Germany "old Europe - while a former employment minister described the US as arrogant.

"Germany has been a problem and France has been a problem," Mr Rumsfeld told Washington's foreign press corps on Wednesday.
"But you look at vast numbers of other countries in Europe, they're not with France and Germany... they're with the US.

"You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't," he said. "I think that's old Europe."

Because Germany and France demonstrated level-headed rationality and refused to drink the American Kool Aid, the U.S. flipped them off and told them to go fuck themselves. That's not the way you treat friends and allies. It was arrogant, it was rude and the United States absolutely owed the European Leaders an apology for our behavior.

Well done, Mr. President!

2. Apology to the Muslim World ("We Have Not Been Perfect")
President Obama, interview with Al Arabiya, January 27, 2009.

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.

It was vital that the American President speak directly to the Muslim world and let them know that despite all of the ignorant, vitriolic, Islamophobic bloviating coming from hysterically paranoid rednecks and right-wing pundits, America IS NOT at war with Islam. Muslims are not our enemy. Rabid, violent extremists who engage in criminal acts are our enemies.

Well done, Mr. President!

3. Apology to the Summit of the Americas ("At Times We Sought to Dictate Our Terms")
President Obama, address to the Summit of the Americas opening ceremony, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 17, 2009.

All of us must now renew the common stake that we have in one another. I know that promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past, and that trust has to be earned over time. 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. So I'm here to launch a new chapter of engagement that will be sustained throughout my administration.

The United States will be willing to acknowledge past errors where those errors have been made.

What possible "errors" could he be referring to? When have we ever made any "errors" in our relationships with our Latin America neighbors?

Argentina 1890, Chile 1891, Haiti 1891, Nicaragua 1894, Panama 1895, Nicaragua 1896, Cuba 1898, Puerto Rico 1898, Nicaragua 1898, Nicaragua 1899, Honduras 1903, Dominican Republic 1903-04, Cuba 1906-09, Nicaragua 1907, Honduras 1907, Panama 1908, Nicaragua 1910, Honduras 1911, Cuba 1912, Panama 1912, Honduras 1912, Nicaragua 1912-33, Mexico 1913, Dominican Republic 1914, Mexico 1914-18, Haiti 1914-34, Dominican Republic 1916-24, Cuba 1917-33, Panama 1918-20, Honduras 1919, Guatemala 1920, Costa Rica 1921, Panama 1921, Honduras 1924-25, Panama 1925, El Salvador 1932, Uruguay 1947, Puerto Rico 1950, Guatemala 1954-?, Panama 1958, Cuba 1961, Cuba 1962, Panama 1964, Dominican Republic 1965-66, Guatemala 1966-67, Chile 1973, El Salvador 1981-92, Nicaragua 1981-90, Honduras 1982-90, Grenada 1983-84, Bolivia 1987, Panama 1989, Haiti 1994-95, Venezuela 2002, Haiti 2004.

I'd say we might owe them an apology or two.

Well done, Mr. President!

4. Apology at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders ("Some Restoration of America's Standing in the World")
News conference by President Obama, ExCel Center, London, United Kingdom, April 2, 2009

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.

I just think in a world that is as complex as it is, that it is very important for us to be able to forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions.

This was simply our President emphasizing to our world partners that the retarded cowboy who didn't know the difference between being a leader and being a bully is gone and apologizing for how fucked up our international relations had been for the previous 8 years. He was promising to do better.

Well done, Mr. President!

5. Apology for the War on Terror ("We Went off Course")
President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.

Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight; that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. 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.

Absolutely right! America cast aside everything we stood for, lowered ourselves to the level of our enemy, and declared war on a military tactic rather than pursuing the criminals who committed the crimes. He was right to apologize because in our frightened panic after 9/11 we abandoned our noblest aspirations and in doing so, we let down those who would look up to us for leadership.

Well done, Mr. President!

6. Apology for Guantanamo in France ("Sacrificing Your Values")
Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.

Our two republics were founded in service of these ideals. In America, it is written into our founding documents as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." In France: "Liberté"--absolutely--"egalité, fraternité." Our moral authority is derived from the fact that generations of our citizens have fought and bled to uphold these values in our nations and others. And that's why we can never sacrifice them for expedience's sake. That's why I've ordered the closing of the detention center in Guantanamo Bay. That's why I can stand here today and say without equivocation or exception that the United States of America does not and will not torture.

In dealing with terrorism, we can't lose sight of our values and who we are. That's why I closed Guantanamo. That's why I made very clear that we will not engage in certain interrogation practices. I don't believe that there is a contradiction between our security and our values. And when you start sacrificing your values, when you lose yourself, then over the long term that will make you less secure.

Although I agree with 95% of what our President said, I have to take him to task for not following through on his promise and his commitment. Guantanamo is still open and prisoners are still being held with no formal charges against them, no access to any real form of due process and no end in sight.

I'll give him a "Well done, Mr. President!" for his observation that "...when you start sacrificing your values, when you lose yourself, then over the long term that will make you less secure".

But I have to also paraphrase Ronald Reagan and say "Mr. Obama, shut down that prison!"

7. Apology before the Turkish Parliament ("Our Own Darker Periods in Our History")
Speech by President Obama to the Turkish Parliament, Ankara, Turkey, April 6, 2009.

Every challenge that we face is more easily met if we tend to our own democratic foundation. This work is never over. That's why, in the United States, we recently ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. That's why we prohibited--without exception or equivocation--the use of torture. All of us have to change. And sometimes change is hard.

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.

Human endeavor is by its nature imperfect. History is often tragic, but unresolved, it can be a heavy weight. Each country must work through its past. And reckoning with the past can help us seize a better future.

We should always acknowledge and apologize for our treatment of Native Americans we subjugated and the slaves we used to build this country.

Well done, Mr. President!

8. Apology for U.S. Policy toward the Americas ("The United States Has Not Pursued and Sustained Engagement with Our Neighbors")
Opinion editorial by President Obama: "Choosing a Better Future in the Americas," April 16, 2009.

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.

This is essentially the same as #3 above. My response is the same.

Well done, Mr. President!

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 remarks followed the controversial decision to release Office of Legal Counsel memorandum detailing CIA enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorist suspects.

So don't be discouraged by what's happened in the last few weeks. Don't be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we've made some mistakes. That's how we learn. But the fact that we are willing to acknowledge them and then move forward, that is precisely why I am proud to be President of the United States, and that's why you should be proud to be members of the CIA.

Holy Fuckballs. That's just a drop in the bucket! A person could make a 24/7/365 job out of apologizing for all of the stupid, fucked up shit the CIA has done around the world because they thought no one was watching. I've got news for you...the only people who WEREN'T watching was the American public! Everyone else in the world has always known just exactly what the CIA has been doing in our name. And you wonder why people hate us.

Well done, Mr. President!

10. Apology for Guantanamo in Washington ("A Rallying Cry for Our Enemies")
President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009

There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law. 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. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.

Well SAID, Mr. President! You'll get a "well done" when you shut that fucker down. File formal charges, bring them to court, try them and either convict them or turn them loose. Guantanamo is the antithesis of everything this country stands for.

11. And he apologized to the Japan for bombing Hiroshima 65 years ago!
The bombing that brought a quick end to the war and prevented the actual land invasion of Japan and the killing of Thousands of Japanese and more American troops. Maybe the Japan should have apologized for all their war atrocities that they performed in WW2, including the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Actually, Japan did apologize for their war atrocities and the attack on Pearl Harbor when they signed the surrender agreement abourd the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

Whether or not dropping 2 atomic bombs on Japan was really the only way to end the war without massive casualties is a matter of debate among historians.

What members of the younger generation may not fully comprehend is that the atmic bombs we used were not "surgical smart weapons" like we have today. We completely obliterated 2 entire Japanese cities in the most horrendous manner ever used in war. We killed not just soldiers but women, children, babies. We destroyed hospitals full of sick and injured. The atmic bombs we used were straight up terror weapons. They were meant to so terrorize the Japanese people that they would capitulate out of pants-shitting fear. War or no war, those atomic bombs were terrorist attacks by the United States against Japan.

Was it the right thing to do? Probably. Truman certainly never had any second thoughts or regrets about it.

But any man who has ever been married for any length of time will tell you, just because you are right doesn't mean you shouldn't apologize.

Well done, Mr. President!

P.S. - Although not directly related to this post, allow me to leave you with this:

There. I fixed it. Now shut the fuck up.


AnnoyingJoe said...

It is of the utmost importance to immerse oneself in opinions that are in direct conflict with one's core beliefs.

If one holds his/her beliefs as sacrosanct, then they immediately become just the opposite.

Question yourself before you dare question others.

I'm just saying...

Spyder said...

Well done XO!

I'm so proud that I voted & worked for him!

Joe said...

I may not be as up to date on the historical argument on dropping the A bomb amongst historians, but it is my belief that it was the absolute correct thing to do to drop both bombs. Japan should have surrendered after the first one, but they weren't convinced enough. We also had to show the Russians that we were serious about the A bomb and that we would use it. I think of how many American and Allied lives were saved, as well as Japanese lives. They would have fought to the death house by house. There was no other way.

Joe said...

1. We fought a war for, liberated and helped rebuild France. They should be thanking us.

2. Most of the Muslim world calls us infidels, hates us and wants to destroy us.

3. If you think we are equals with Mexico, Central and South America, Cuba and the Carribean, maybe you should try living there 24/7/365.

4. Europe and Asia consider President BO a laughingstock.

5. So...Guantanamo is closed...I hadn't heard.

6. In typical President BO fashion, he said one thing and did another.

7. Abraham Lincoln...a Republican!

8. Actually we bacame the world's leader in almost every venue without the help of the rest of the Americas.

9. The CIA has made mistakes. So has every other intelligence agency. Russia's intelligence was so much better, we should have hired them.

10. Yep. We have always stood for turning the enemy free so they can attack again.

11. Apologize for doing the right thing? Interesting. BTW: Truman - Democrat.

Nick said...

I would argue that the 150,000 to 250,000 lives lost in Hiroshima and Nagasaki constitute massive casualties, especially as the majority of them were civilians.

That said, spot on.

Joe said...

Oh...and just a question to one of the blogosphere's most accomplished researchers: In 1961 would a birth certificate have listed a person's race as "African?"

Just askin' 'cause I really don't know.

Xavier Onassis said...

Joe - Since his father was clearly from Africa, and Hawaii has always been a multi-cultural society, I don't think it would be any great stretch. Would have been differnt if he'd been born in, say, Florida.

Morrison said...

The meaningless wars continue.

We will have to leave eventually, but Obama won't go.

Not only has he Expanded one War, he had gotten us involved in another.



I Travel for JOOLS said...

Obama actually believed he could change world attitude towards the U.S by going on his speaking tours (as you cited). But, has it changed anything? I don't see any evidence it has.

emawkc said...

How long do you think it will take him to apologize for conducting an illegal military raid into Pakistan?