Thursday, November 05, 2009

Humble Foreign Policy

I am a supporter of Barack Obama, and I do not go out of my way to seek opportunities to be critical of his words or actions. I think he is a good man with good intentions, but sometimes his words just land in my head with something like an explosion that makes me wonder what kind of country I live in, whose leader can speak with such incredible arrogance.

In speaking today of the anniversary of the seizing of the embassy in Iran, and the taking hostage of the American staff of that embassy, President Obama included this statement,

"This event helped set the United States and Iran on a path of sustained suspicion, mistrust, and confrontation. I have made it clear that the United States of America wants to move beyond this past..."

He doesn’t mention, glosses right past the fact, that “this event” was one part of a revolution against tyrannical government resulting from the violent overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government by the United States and the installation of a dictatorial Shah put into office and maintained there by American support.

That is parallel to two neighbors feuding. I throw paint bombs on my neighbor’s house, and he responds by egging my car. I attempt to resolve to feud by saying that I will quit calling him names and will forgive him for egging my car, so let’s just move past all of this. We will just omit any mention of my paint bombing his house; that never happened.

So much for “a less arrogant foreign policy.”

1 comment:

bruce said...

Ok, so where do you propose to start with it? Yet another apology from the administration (ie, Obama) for the USA's past sins?

Just like one of your previous posts of disregarding a nations' culture /political structure /loyalties /etc we should take that into account, but we don't like to be assaulted, ridiculed and wronged either.

No we are not perfect, certainly a great deal of damage has been done in recent history, and much will have to be done to heal it and it will time and effort on our part and others. But does that mean we have to debase ourselves as a nation to accomplish that?

And many mistakes have been made in the past by other nations/regimes without regard to local sensitivities; a prime example was the partitioning of the middle east after WWII. And even before with policies after WWI. What about them?

Yes, it's easy to say let bygones be bygones, but anyone who's been married knows it's not that easy - just like relations between nations. Somewhere, both parties need to acknowledge that some past sins may not be able to be "fixed".. and they both need to acknowledge their own sins and move on. Maybe your point was that the USA has not done that. Would it help? Perhaps... if the leadership of Iran were to accept it. And be willing to move forward.

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