Sorry, Mitt, but there was no ‘apology tour’
by Kevin Foley
columnist
September 28, 2012 01:06 AM | 1742 views | 7 7 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Among the many falsehoods mouthed by Mitt Romney is a discredited zombie first circulated a few months after President Obama took office.

It was resurrected after a disgusting anti-Islam video surfaced on YouTube inciting rage throughout the Muslim world.

The falsehood began with a 2009 Karl Rove op-ed claiming President Obama had “apologized” for America. As with most of what Rove says, this was untrue but the far right media echo chamber predictably gave his canard currency.

What Obama did say back in 2009 is that America, as in the Bush administration Rove served, had “shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” to its allies; a statement of fact.

Recall Germany and France, both of which supported the U.S.-led liberation of Kuwait in 1990, rejected Bush’s ginned up rationale for invading Iraq in 2003.

The Bush White House and its supporters bashed these key allies for not joining the so-called “coalition of the willing” in what ultimately became a long, bloody and expensive misadventure.

Trigger happy Bush officials publically dismissed Germany and France as “old Europe” while French fries were replaced with “freedom fries” in the Capital commissary. Fox News’ cousin, the New York Post, famously depicted France’s U.N. ambassador as a rat.

It was left to Obama to let these allies know he wouldn’t conduct foreign policy the way Bush had. That wasn’t an apology, it was smart diplomacy.

Then there was Obama’s address to the Turkish parliament in which he said, “the United States is not at war with Islam,” a fact the far right twisted into an apology.

Obama took this message to Egypt, where he declared, “Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible.”

A statement of fact; Iraq was an unmitigated disaster.

But facts often elude Mitt Romney, especially when they contradict his ever-evolving positions on most all issues.

Case in point came a couple of weeks ago after an Egyptian Coptic Christian living in the U.S. posted the aforementioned hate video he produced. Coptic Christians are persecuted in Egypt, so the video’s producer was clearly out for some payback.

U.S. diplomats in Cairo condemned the film, but angry Egyptians attacked our embassy anyway, triggering a kneejerk Romney reaction.

“It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks,” huffed Romney.

“The embassy had not yet been breached when (the diplomats) issued the statement he’s criticizing,” the White House dryly observed on September 12.

When he was blasted by Democratic and Republican leaders, Romney declared Obama was “apologizing for American principles.”

Romney can get away with this because he knows right wing media will reliably repeat it and that there are plenty of Obama-haters eager to believe the president gives comfort and aid to Muslim terrorists.

But even Romney knows it was Obama who gave the orders to kill Osama bin Laden and dozens of other top al-Qaida leaders.

Well, then, Obama didn’t stand up for free speech, screech conservatives.

Maybe the president was waiting for the right forum where that message would actually mean something.

“We do not ban blasphemy,” the president told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. “Efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics or oppress minorities. … The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech.”

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.

Comments
(7)
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CobbCoGuy
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September 29, 2012
Call it an “Apology Tour” or call it “A New Beginnings Tour”; that’s not the point. Obama's speeches given in 2009 were narcissistic, naive, and a disgraceful attempt to win the love and embrace of the world, much as he was embraced in the U.S. as “The One.”

He actually believed he could charm his way into the hearts of all the peoples of the world by stating that the U.S. is not perfect. Obama almost comes across as he is the "Dad of the World" and the various nations are his children, sitting at his feet receiving counsel.

Obama needs to be liked and was seeking the affirmation of the world much as he was affirmed in the U.S. by being elected President.

As Victor Davis Hanson put it, “President Barack Obama came into office apparently believing that his non-traditional background, charisma and GOOD INTENTIONS [emphasis added] could placate dictators hostile to America and ease global tensions."

Here’s the problem. Drone strikes are easy, clean and surgical; whereas, foreign policy, international relations, diplomacy and statecraft is messy and uncertain and requires leaders to make very difficult decisions and to take a stand. For that, Obama simply does not have the backbone.

The world is a collection of nations competing for self-interests and as Machiavelli put it “...it is much safer to be feared than loved...”; and, Obama needs the love.

“Reset.” Everything the U.S. did prior to 2009 - bad; everything the U.S. will do from 2009 forward - good. Give me a break.

The unsavory dictators and peoples of the world interpret Obama’s “reset” as confusion and weakness. In those speeches the world sized up Obama.
misterbill
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September 29, 2012
@cobbcoguy

Good post!!
not surprised
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September 28, 2012
You say, "Maybe the president was waiting for the right forum...." in which to stand up for free speech.

Buddy, you know absolutely nothing about leadership and what a hypocrite you are too, rationalizing how Obama lied for over a week about events in the Middle East. You don't care that Americans were murdered, as long as you can somehow pin the blame on Romney or aliens or Anybody but Obama, who bears responsibility for Al Quaeda flags flying over U.S. embassies and consulates. You know nothing about the matters of which you speak. Why do you have this pulpit?
Surprised at Not Sur
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September 28, 2012
You are an amazing man! If you have this miraculous skill to see into the hearts of men I think you should be in business! Seriously, who are YOU to call someone out for what they care about? I love how you changed the whole focus of the column from Romney's obvious gaffes to another tirade about Obama. Can you even eat filled up with all that hate for our President?
Devlin Adams
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September 28, 2012
@ surprised at not surprised.- You are obviously a newcomer if you think it takes some special talent to discern the hypocrisy continually regurgitated by Kevin Foley (along with his alter ego- "Lib in Cobb"). It is blatantly obvious to everyone except the most brainwashed of Obama's lemming-like followers.

Recognizing that Obama is the enemy of America doe not constitute "hate", my friend. Rather, it indicates remarkably good sense.
VFP42
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September 28, 2012
Between this article and the "Free Speech is Under Attack" article actually admitting Mulligan's t-shirts were racist and that their signs have at least occasionally been racist, I am starting to wonder what is up at the MDJ.

Are the winds of change blowing into the MDJ? Should Marietta have hope for a newspaper with a working brain? Are we changing after so many years of our heads, um, in the sand?

Next thing you know, MDJ might admit public transporation dollars being spent on transportation systems should include public vehicles (train, bus) rather than placing that onus on every private citizen (car, gasoline)? The MDJ might include private cars and gasoline and tires in the cost of roads when comparing them to public transit.

Click Click Click . There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.
Bob Johnson
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September 30, 2012
Please go home or any where but here.
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