Obama Apologizes to EuropeBy
The Telegraph’s Toby Harnden writes:
Here in the Rhenus Sports Arena in Strasbourg, I’ve just witnessed what is surely a very important – I hesitate to say historic – moment in transatlantic relations. Barack Obama went further than any previous president in apologising for American behaviour.
“In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world,” he said in a prepared speech delivered before a campaign-style town hall meeting in which he took questions from mainly French and German students.
“Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”
But he balanced this startling mea culpa – or, perhaps more accurately, a George W. Bush culpa – with a clear message to Europeans that blaming America for everything was unacceptable.
“In Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual, but can also be insidious. Instead of recognising the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what is bad.”
Then, in classic Obama fashion, he sought to find a synthesis between the two poles. “On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth.
I’m having a very hard time trying to maintain an iota of cynicism about this man.