PRESIDENT Obama, can you please stop apologizing for me?
The mea culpas - actually "nostra" culpas - are getting a bit stale. I know that some revel in this national self-abasement, but many of us are getting tired of being dragged into this vast diplomatic therapy session.
You're now officially Apologizer in Chief, making sure the rest of the world has yet a few more reasons to feel smugly superior to the country you've been elected to lead.
It started from day one, when you signed an order authorizing the closure of Guantanamo, with the clear implication we'd done something horribly wrong there.
The truth is, most of our Gitmo guests hate the U.S., and would be all too happy to do serious damage to this country.
That was nowhere more clear than when a National Geographic crew filmed the inmates. Did you see that documentary? The guards were restrained and professional while the scruffy guys in the orange suits, the ones your administration seems to feel so sorry for, were spitting, cursing and acting out.
The thought of our beating our breasts for "mistreating" these upstanding gents rankles. Truth is, we bent over backward to operate within the law, but when 3,000 of your countrymen are murdered in cold blood, Emily Post doesn't always apply. (Just look at the two guys you like to compare yourself to. Lincoln knew it. And so did FDR.)
And if that wasn't enough, then you had us apologizing to the whole Muslim world, most recently on your trip to Turkey, where you said, "I know that the trust that binds us has been strained, and I know that strain is shared in many places where the Muslim faith is practiced. Let me say this as clearly as I can: The United States is not at war with Islam."
Uh, really? They mistrust us? Funny, but I don't recall any Americans flying planes into buildings in Istanbul, while I do remember when we actually mobilized our military to protect the interests of Muslims, including protecting the Bosnians against the Serbs when those morally superior folks in Europe wouldn't lift a finger.
Then there's our foreign aid to predominantly Muslim countries in Africa. And we were also the big kahuna when the tsunami nearly wiped a majority Muslim nation off the map. Yet we have to apologize because "the trust that binds us" has been strained?
Well, perhaps the stress fracture occurred when Americans saw rabid Palestinians marching in the streets and cheering as they watched film of the burning Trade Center. (Did they ever apologize for that?)
Why, all of a sudden, this special concern for Muslim sensibilities? Sure, there's a big difference between fundamental Islamists and the more westernized fellows that greeted you in Ankara last week. They, at least, don't believe that beating a woman into unconsciousness is a reasonable response to chatting with a man-not-your-husband.
But there's actually a growing, and dangerous, fundamentalist shift in Turkey's direction, led by its government, characterized by the return of head scarves for women, a blurring of the lines between the religious and the secular, and a prime minister who is only slightly less anti-Western than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
This is also a country that has never admitted (let alone apologizing for) exterminating a generation of Christian Armenians. So the fact that you've actually lobbied for Turkey's inclusion in the EU when even our so-called European allies are opposed to it, is troubling.
And speaking of those "allies," I almost lost my breakfast when I heard you tell the crowds in Strasbourg, France, that "there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive."
That so? Just how arrogant were we when we sent our boys to storm the beaches of Normandy, at the cost of thousands of American lives? How dismissive were our diplomats when they brilliantly executed the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe with Americans' money? How derisive were our citizens as they entered the Peace Corps, sent money to foreign charities, adopted foreign children?
Mr. President, it's OK if you have a guilt complex.
Just leave me out of it. *