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Stop apologizing for America

By GARY WICKERT

May 28, 2009

Since taking office, President Obama has made a habit of loading his teleprompter with apologies and regrets for American behavior of past years. I vividly remember that during the 2008 presidential race, George Bush was blasted for seeming to criticize Barack Obama as an appeaser during an address to Israelís parliament. It was considered poor form for Bush to take shots, direct or indirect, at a U.S. dignitary while overseas. But since taking office, Obama and his administration have made a habit of using overseas podiums to rip at their predecessors by telling most of Europe that the United States has been "arrogant and imperious" on the world scene.

In a Jan. 26 interview with Al Arabiya, Obama accused America of dictating rather than listening; that we are not perfect and that we make mistakes. During a recent trip to Mexico, Hillary Clinton, blamed America for the drug-fueled violence in Mexico. The woman who fought immigration reform, and once courted the illegal alien vote by declaring that "no person is illegal," blamed the violence on Americaís inability to prevent weapons from crossing the border.

At the G20 in London, Obama blamed Americaís regulatory system for the worldís economic crisis. In Germanyís Der Spiegel, he blamed Bush for the crisis. On April 3, in Strasbourg, France, Obama accused America of being arrogant, dismissive, and derisive. At the Summit of the Americas in Spain, Obama scolded America for being disengaged and dictating its terms. In Latin American newspapers, he lamented that the U.S. has not pursued and sustained engagement with its neighbors in the past. Weíve apparently been too imperialistic, with an aggressive policy of expansionism, extending our political and economic influence around the globe.

Obamaís litany of "Iím sorries" follows on the heels of decades of liberal guilt over everything from the success of capitalism, which requires too much energy, to ending slavery to ending a war against America by dropping a bomb on Hiroshima. If America did it, it was wrong, and we apologize. Iíve yet to hear our president give a speech on all the things our country has done right. Iíve yet to see the teleprompter explain why it is that the entire world strives to live in or be like America.

The Oval Office is no place for namby-pamby self-flagellation. Obamaís grand, global apology tour isnít presidential, and it serves only to weaken our country. This ritual of formal apologies most likely grew out of the transition from an attitude of pride in America, to an attitude of shame - a feeling that this country is the worldís primary villain. I will never understand it. President Bush once said, "I will never apologize for the United States, ever." Compare that with a president who canít seem to stop apologizing.

Before we allow the party of Cindy Sheehan to impose a guilty verdict on 20th Century America for its arrogance and imperialistic evils, letís take a deep breath and take a step back for a moment. It was American "aggression" that helped end slavery, genocide, Fascism, Nazism and a few other unpleasant institutions and regimes. Is there a need to apologize for our sacrifices over two world wars and our Marshal Plan to rebuild Europe? If so "excuse us" for Europe's confusion of arrogance with leadership. The evidence of American sacrifice literally litters the rest of the world.

There are 5,329 white crosses spread across a neatly-manicured grass lawn at the American Cemetery in Ardennes, Belgium. Our uncle Sonny lost his life during the Battle of the Bulge in an effort to free the Europe, to whom we are now apologizing. His is one of those crosses.

There are 4,410 white crosses at the American Cemetery at Brittany, France, not far from where Obama apologized for our being arrogant, dismissive, and derisive.

In Brookwood , England, a short drive from where Obama apologized to the G20, the American cemetery houses 468 American patriots who fought to keep Britain free during the Blitz. There are another 3,812 in Cambridge, England. I heard not one word from the teleprompter about those men. There are another 5,525 in the American cemetery at Epinal, France, yet it took a French president to say, "The men and women of my generation heard their parents talk about how in 1944, America returned to free Europe from the horrifying tyranny that threatened to enslave it."

There are 4,402 American soldiers buried outside Florence, Italy, 7,992 more in Belgium, 10,489 in Lorraine, France, 5,076 in Luxembourg, 14,246 in Meuse-Argonne, France, 8,301 in the Netherlands, 9,387 in Normandy, France, 7,861 in Sicily, and tens of thousands more across the very Europe our president is apologizing to. Iíve travelled to every U.S. state but have yet to see a cemetery full of patriots from other countries who gave their lives for America.

Sadly, the U.S. apology tour isnít over. As bizarre as it may seem, President Obamaís upcoming June 5 trip to Dresden, Germany, suggests that German revisionists may finally be getting the apology they want. Representatives of the German and American governments met in Dresden last Wednesday to discuss preparations for the visit. The symbolic significance of this visit is absolutely unmistakable for the German public. For Germans, Dresden is the symbol bar none of German suffering at the hands of the Allies. The city was heavily bombed by British and American air forces in February 1945, toward the end of the war, resulting in as many as 25,000 civilian casualties. Germany considers it a war crime; chances are our president does too.

It is virtually unthinkable that Obama could give a speech in Dresden and not allude to the bombing of the city. Watch carefully for an apology for the brutality of America. Obama should spend the day tending to the graves of our brave and glorious dead, who sacrificed their lives so that Europe could live on to descend into a pathetic, amoral collectivism. But we know he wonít.

The problem with all these apologies is that the world really doesnít hate America as much as the radicals and community organizers, from whom Obama received his education and training, do. Our country has nothing to apologize for to any freedom-loving country. It is the likes of Reagan, Bush, Truman and Churchill, who have done the unthinkable, conquering communist dictators to free souls. I would like to officially apologize for President Obama and his European Apology Tour. He does not speak for me or any of the 57 million Americans who voted against him.

Gary Wickert is an author, trial lawyer, and town of Cedarburg supervisor, who lives with his wife and two sons. He can be reached at garywickert@ameritech.net. His column is available online at www.gmtoday.com/milwaukeetoday/editorials/wickert.asp


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