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Home » Politics

The Apologizing President

Submitted by on April 29, 2009 – 1:29 amNo Comment | 2,561 views


The Olive Branch

President Obama has recently returned from his international tour of apology. He has reached out to America’s enemies with the rationale that one must offer an olive branch if there is to be hope for peace. Special Advisor to the President, David Axelrod, described these nations as people of good will caught up in a vicious cycle. Both parties want to come to the table, but each insists that the other make the first gesture. Someone must have the courage to take the first step.

If the only impediment that kept these parties from the table were a desire for an apology then I would find Axelrod’s argument compelling and Obama’s humility admirable. However, the word if looms large.

Student Astray

A story is told of a prestigious student of rabbinics who abandoned his studies and turned heretic. When the rabbi asked why he left the academy the student explained that he had lost interest in G-d due to numerous unanswered questions. Which came first, prodded the rabbi, did your questions spark your loss of interest or did your loss of interest spark your questions? Questions have answers, concluded the rabbi, but answers do not.

Obama must ask himself the same question. Does their desire for an apology keep these rogue nations from the negotiating table or is their hatred for the West the reason they demand an apology? If it is the former, apologies can be effective. If it is the latter, apologies are futile.

Considering that these leaders speak ill of the West in the most radical terms when they address their own nations in their native language we have every reason to suppose that their feelings for the West are not favorable.

It is quite likely that Obama has just crafted his own legacy. Beyond the economy, health care and alternative energy, fifty years from now Obama will be remembered as the President of apology.