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RandomMrAdam's avatar

Does anyone on Fluther believe that Obama went on an "apology tour" - particularly in Cairo?

Asked by RandomMrAdam (1640 points ) September 21st, 2012

I know it’s old news – but I was following a thread on facebook which was about the Veteran’s Job Bill. A conservative brought up the infamous “Apology Tour” that Obama went on.

I basically stated that he never really apologized, using this as my reasoning to why I don’t think he apologized.

He used this which is a Washington Post Opinion article to back up his statements.

I tried to explain to him that while I used a Pulitzer Prize winning site that dictates political fact from fiction, he simply used an article expressing someone’s “opinions” which confirmed his own opinions.

Needless to say, no one was going to get out of that argument persuading the other that they were right.

So I ask the Conservatives of Fluther – Do you think Obama went on an “Apology Tour”, or do you think Obama apologizes on a regular basis? Please provide links, statements, quotes, anything to back up your opinions because I am interested to see how that conclusion is made.

I will ask that the “Liberals” of Fluther not attack the conservative responses as I would like to keep this civil…I want to understand the other perspective.

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30 Answers

tedd's avatar

lol, I’m going to comment and then unfollow.

At least one conservative on this site (and I believe 2) have made it abundantly clear they believe Obama went on an “apology-tour.” The concept in and of itself is stupid. He repaired America’s standing with the entire world, got Europe to commit more troops to Afghanistan.. and even for NATO to take a leading role in major conflicts like Libya… Not to mention, why don’t you ask all the terrorists and pirates he’s personally ordered killed how they’re liking their apology?

Just nonsense.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’m not exactly the target of your question, not being conservative, and I definitely disagree that Obama went on an “apology tour”. However I really just wanted to point out that Charles Krauthammer, the author of the opinion which you referenced your opponent as citing, is a Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary, 1987. Though it doesn’t change the fact his piece is still an opinion and the facts represented are meant to support it and I don’t agree with his conclusions.

RandomMrAdam's avatar

@wonderingwhy – I did look the guy up and saw he won that. I also don’t believe the political world was nearly as polarized in 1987 though. Seems like these days, you have to pick a side and bunker down.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@RandomMrAdam Agreed, though the trend was on the rise in 87. And it’s not like he’s shy about which side he tends to fall on.

jerv's avatar

My understanding is that the thinking goes along the lines of, “We are the best, we don’t need to explain ourselves, nor do we need to care what lesser nations think of us!”. So far, I have yet to see that observation proven wrong, so until I do, I am going to assume that that is what they believe.

Note that many from that side of the aisle consider compromise to be weakness as well; they truly feel that they are absolutely correct at all times and thus never need to even listen to anybody else. Caring about the opinions of those who are wrong (anybody who disagrees with them) is also weakness. Again, I hope to be proven wrong, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Qingu's avatar

It is my understanding that Charles Krauthammer should be torn apart by wolves.

I’m not sure how to put that in a more civil manner.

syz's avatar

No.

tinyfaery's avatar

So what? America needs to apologize to the world, IMO.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@Qingu how about ”…should be carefully relieved of his assemblage by fuzzy canine relations”? :)

Jaxk's avatar

OK, I seem to fit your criteria for your sample so here’s my assessment of his apology tour. I have no problem using the examples you cite but I will dismiss the idea that you have to use the word apology or sorry to make it an apology.

Obama has from the beginning tried to make it appear that his ascension to the presidency marks a new beginning in American politics. That is the premise for most of these comments. When he says things like we’ve been “dismissive, even derisive” or ‘acted unilaterally without regard for others’ He has said we’ve done Bad. Along with those comments he has also stated or implied, He won’t do that anymore. It does not take much creativity to interpret that as an apology. We’ve done wrong and we won’t do it anymore.

Now I admit that I don’t think he intended it to be an apology. I think he was just self serving and trying to say now that he was president America and the world, would be much better off. A little self aggrandizement. He’s prone to that. The problem is, it doesn’t matter how he intended it, it matters how it was perceived. Your perceptions may vary.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Thank you for that bit of insight.

Of course, that begs the question of how we are perceived when we actually do act dismissive and unilaterally without even acknowledging it. It would seem to me that that leaves us a choice between appearing apologetic, or appearing to be dicks, and that many would prefer that we be perceived as epic assholes than acknowledge that any opinions other than ours matter. At least those are my perceptions, and I think I am not alone in seeing things that way.

Qingu's avatar

Some people perceive everything Obama does as the traitorous actions of a Kenyan Muslim socialist.

So I guess that’s Obama’s fault.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

Whether we should apologize for our history or not is another debate. I’m sure some of you think we should apologize, such a @tinyfaery. That would be support for his having done so.

mazingerz88's avatar

Three thousand Americans murdered by terrorists, tens of thousands of Iraqis killed because we invaded Iraq. What’s there to apologize for? I wish Obama would just say so. The only person I heard say something about those Iraqis killed was sadly, a comedian named John Stewart.

Qingu's avatar

I wonder how Fox News will spin this. Thousands of pro-American Libyan civilians have besieged the encampment of Ansar al-Shariah (the savages who probably launched the attack) and are demanding it disband.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Maybe it’s because what I’ve seen so far had been more among the lines of acknowledging the past without enough of an admission of guilt to qualify as an apology that the only way I can comprehend someone complaining about Obama apologizing is if they are just looking for even more reasons to hate Obama even though they have already invented a ton of false accusations to slam him on (being a Kenyan Muslim, causing the economic collapse that happened before he was even elected, etcetera). I’m still a bit confused about the thought process behind calling it an Apology Tour :S

Qingu's avatar

Pointing out bad things that your country did long ago counts as an apology. Like how every time a German mentions World War 1 or the Holocaust, it’s actually an apology.

What I find frightening is that implicit in @Jaxk‘s and others position here is the idea that America has never done anything wrong in its foreign policy.

Even more frightening is the idea that by never ever acknowledging that America’s foreign policy has occasionally been flawed, this will somehow “project American strength” and make Islamic fundamentalists “respect us.”

jerv's avatar

@Qingu Maybe that is why I don’t understand; the truth (many Americans are sociopathic bigots) is too horrific to bear.

Pandora's avatar

I think the world gets smaller every year as information becomes easier to access. I value truth over lies or delusions. i don’t see it as an apology but rather as pointing out that we will not bury our heads in the sand and chant the words, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. I would much rather hear from a leader that some things in the past were not stellar and we are aware and doing our best to rectify the situation or to at least be sure to move forward and not backwards in unified peace. Rather than we got guns and bombs and we will blow you away because we are always right in what we do. So don’t piss us off. That will only get you so far, and it really won’t get you towards peace. For people to feel peaceful towards you they need to know you are open minded and worthy of trust. A close minded leader will never gain anyone’s trust.
True that some nation leaders will see it as being weak, but a nation is always filled with people and in the end, it is what the nations think that will speak volumes. World perception of America is always changing. Just think about how people perceive North Korea. It has a working relationship with China and Russia, but you can hardly call them has having an alliance.

Jaxk's avatar

It would seem a quick look around the Arab world would show that it certainly has worked out well for us. I think those guys storming our embassy walls are really just trying to get in to give us a hug. I love it when a plan comes together.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, what do you think about the thousands of pro-American Libyans who have just besieged the Islamic fundamentalist militias and driven them out of their strongholds?

Also, how do you think these riots compare to the riots in 2006 over the Danish Muhammad cartoons? Are you arguing that the current ones are worse?

How do you think these riots compare to the daily riots and bombings against the CPA and civilian authorities in Iraq during your guy’s foreign policy?

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Sorry, but the more of your typing I read, the more I get the impression that Republicans have less understanding of human nature than Autistic people; it’s sad when you have less empathy than those with a disorder that is characterized by a lack of empathy, and less understanding of how others think than someone with an utter inability to understand how others think. And it’s scary since many severely autistic people are not even allowed to live on their own while Republicans with far worse disabilities are in high office.

In this case, you seem to cherry-pick facts while utterly ignoring the possibility that decades of abusive behavior towards the Arab world may have caused some resentment that could result in backlash somewhere. That still leaves me wondering whether it’s malice of mental defect as those are the only two things that make sense to me. The way I see it, either the Conservatives want conflict, or they are dangerously myopic. And you, @Jaxk, seem to be reinforcing that notion rather than disproving it.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

If you think all this has been a success, I can’t help you. Whether you are autistic or not.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk I think that the antagonism has gone on too long for resounding success to even be possible, but I also feel that that is no excuse to continue with the sort of behavior that caused this situation either. The fact that anti-American sentiment is a popular movement rather than a state-sponsored one may be as successful as we can get in the short term, but it appears to me that many Americans have more of a, “Come at me, bro! Bring it!” attitude while others have a degree of indifference normally associated with psychological abnormality.
That is where my confusion comes in. You may not guess from our interactions online, but I an not the type who seeks conflict, nor am I the type who is completely indifferent to the feelings of others. I have to try a little harder than most to think about how my actions affect others, but I would like to think that the leaders of the most powerful nation on Earth would be diplomatic enough to st least avoid creating enemies needlessly; I feel that they should be better at that than I am. And when they fail to clear even that low bar, I cannot help but feel that there must be something seriously wrong.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, what do you think about the thousands of pro-American Libyan civilians who besieged and drove out the terrorist militias? Here’s the link in case you missed it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/22/world/africa/pro-american-libyans-besiege-militant-group-in-benghazi.html?hp&gwh=A8B5DE3926A47F48F67FD73D35F8A0CD

I don’t remember anything like this happening in Iraq, when your candidates advisors were in charge.

Jaxk's avatar

@jerv

I take some exception to the idea that the anti American sentiment is not state sponsored. As I have said before, Libya is not a problem in my mind since they are a struggling infant government that is trying to get thier feet under them. They haven’t gone down the Muslim Brother hood route and it would appear that Stevens was doing a good diplomatic job there. They seem to be trying to purge the terrorists even though they have little capacity to do so.

Egypt is another matter altogether. There have been a number of events that have aggravated the whole problem. Most of the resentment in the middle east stems from two sources. Our support of Israel and our involvement in the politics of middle east countries. Neither of which is easily resolved. The Arab Spring has seen revolution in Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Libya. Two of these countries Egypt and Libya, were friendly to us and two were not, Iran and Syria. We took an active role in the two that were friendly to us in helping to oust those governments. We stayed stayed out of the two that hate us. That just seems like a horrible message to send to other countries that may want to be friendly to us.

Now more specifically in Egypt it should have been apparent to anyone that the Muslim Brotherhood would be the likely successor to Mubarak. They had an organization where no one else did. The Military was the primary opposition to the Brotherhood and they were popular especially after their role in revolution. When the Brotherhood took over we actively pressured the military to turn over the reins of government to the Brotherhood. If our involvement in thier politics was a source of irritation to Muslims, this would have been an excellent time to stay out of it. Let Egypt sort out thier own reins of power but we didn’t. Now we have this uprising over the stupid film trailer. We seem to think this was just a popular uprising to that. I don’t think so. The trailer had been around for a few months. A few days before 9/11 it was translated into Arabic. Then on 9/11 our own embassy drew even more attention to this trailer with their stupid statement about how insulting it was. I suppose all that could have been a coincidence that all this came up on 9/11 but the coincidence is just too much for me to buy. The Muslim Brotherhood Continued the agitation by calling for more anti American protests and we helped to keep this issue alive by bringing up how insulting this trailer was, in very public statement we made. I believe the timing for all this was manufactured by radical Muslims and that the Brotherhood was complicit.

At this point anti American sentiment is as bad as it has ever been. We have sent a message to our friends in the middle east that we can not be counted on and a message to our enemies that we won’t interfere regardless what they do. Israel is feeling very isolated and we won’t even talk with them. With Egypt going the Brotherhood route and and talking about nullifying the Camp David Accord, Israel is in even more danger. If we want them to withhold attacking Iran, we need to give them some assurances that we won’t throw them under the bus. Saudi Arabia has got to be feeling the pinch as well.

Since we can’t seem to drill for our own oil, our economy and our future is tied to the middle east and no one knows where we stand. I see this as the worst of all possible scenarios.

Qingu's avatar

Yes, anti-American sentiment in the region is much worse now than it was in 2006. That is obvious to everyone accept anyone with a brain who has been alive since 2006.

Also, @Jaxk, correct me if I’m wrong, but did you just say we should have intervened in Iran and Syria? Mind spelling that out a bit more? And maybe explaining how you think the Syrians and Iranians would react to an American bombing campaign they didn’t ask for?

I’d also like some clarification on the “pressure” you believe we exerted on the Egyptian military during the Arab Spring. Are you referring to the reports of our military calling up Egyptian generals and telling them not to fire on unarmed protestors? You think it would have been better for the region and for American foreign policy if we just let Mubarak’s military kill a bunch of unarmed protestors?

As always, @Jaxk, clear answers would be much appreciated.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

I’m not really interested in another flame war nor the typical name calling that any discussion with you entails. And yes you are wrong I didn’t say anything about carpet bombing Syria or Iran. If you want clarification on anything, you should try rereading my post only this time try reading with comprehension.

Qingu's avatar

You: “We took an active role in the two that were friendly to us in helping to oust those governments. We stayed stayed out of the two that hate us. That just seems like a horrible message to send to other countries that may want to be friendly to us.”

The implication here seems to be that we should have intervened in the places that hated us… which is what some Republicans have, in fact, called for.

I’m glad you don’t want to carpet-bomb them. So why don’t you tell us exactly what you think we should do, or should have done, in Syria and Iran.

I’m guessing you won’t, because you have nothing constructive to say.

jerv's avatar

I just fail to see how belligerence helps anything, and I consider not even acknowledging our past behavior and acting like our shit doesn’t stink is rather belligerent.

Our options are isolationism, military action, or diplomacy, and we can’t afford two of those options.

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