Charles Krauthammer gets it exactly right in today’s column, on Barack Obama’s embarrassing interview with Al Arabiya: Obama Distorts America’s Stance on Muslims.
Every new president flatters himself that he, kinder and gentler, is beginning the world anew. Yet, when Barack Obama in his inaugural address reached out to Muslims by saying “to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect,” his formulation was needlessly defensive and apologetic.
Is it “new” to acknowledge Muslim interests and show respect to the Muslim world? Obama doesn’t just think so, he said so again to millions in his al-Arabiya interview, insisting on the need to “restore” the “same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.”
Astonishing. In these most recent 20 years — the alleged winter of our disrespect of the Islamic world — America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved — and resulted in — the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The two Balkan interventions — as well as the failed 1992-93 Somalia intervention to feed starving African Muslims (43 Americans were killed) — were humanitarian exercises of the highest order, there being no significant U.S. strategic interest at stake. In these 20 years, this nation has done more for suffering and oppressed Muslims than any nation, Muslim or non-Muslim, anywhere on Earth. Why are we apologizing?
This is what we teach children—to apologize when they’re wrong. Obama seems to believe that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs of Iran are just like us, basically good at heart, and just need to hear the right combination of words to lead them back to the path of righteousness. This is an infantile, dangerous approach to dealing with truly evil people, and it’s a lesson America is apparently going to need to learn—again.