A handful of mea culpas

Last week I described Obama in Europe as “bestriding the Wesern world in the guise of a philosopher king.” Today Charles Krauthammer eloquently employs the same metaphor, describing Obama as “the philosopher-king who hovers above the fray mediating between his renegade homeland and an otherwise warm and welcoming world.” Krauthammer adds details we missed concerning Obama’s bootless denigration of the United States on foreign soil.:

Our president came bearing a basketful of mea culpas. With varying degrees of directness or obliqueness, Obama indicted his own people for arrogance, for dismissiveness and derisiveness, for genocide, for torture, for Hiroshima, for Guantanamo and for insufficient respect for the Muslim world.

And what did he get for this obsessive denigration of his own country? He wanted more NATO combat troops in Afghanistan to match the surge of 17,000 Americans. He was rudely rebuffed.

He wanted more stimulus spending from Europe. He got nothing.

From Russia, he got no help on Iran. From China, he got the blocking of any action on North Korea.

And what did he get for Guantanamo? France, pop. 64 million, will take one prisoner. One! (Sadly, he’ll have to leave his swim buddy behind.) The Austrians said they would take none. As Interior Minister Maria Fekter explained with impeccable Germanic logic, if they’re not dangerous, why not just keep them in America?

When Austria is mocking you, you’re having a bad week.

In Obama, we seem to have Jimmy Carter on stilts. Jeffrey Lord reminds us that it was four months into his presidency, in May 1977, that Jimmy Carter took the occasion of his Notre Dame commencement address to utter the fateful sentence: “We are now free of that inordinate fear of Communism which once led us to embrace any dictator who joined us in our fear.” Like Obama in Europe, Carter was of course elevating himself by stepping on the backs of his predecessors. He was also prematurely declaring an end to the Cold War.

Next month Obama will give the commencement address at Notre Dame. He is too savvy a politician to take the occasion to congratulate us on having overcome our inordinate fear of terrorism that led us to imprison detainees at Guantanamo. But one has the sense that we are moving further down a well-trod path that has previously led to disaster and is taking us there again..


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