03/26/09 — A reminder: The U.S. does have a position to maintain in the world

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A reminder: The U.S. does have a position to maintain in the world

There has been much talk of late about the U.S. position in the world and the many promises made by the current administration about invigorating this nation's image as it relates to the rest of the free world.

The concern comes, of course, in part because of the comments of groups from around the world about what they see as U.S. imperialism and aggression.

From the Iraq war to predatory policies, these critics say the United States has forgotten that it is merely a member of the team -- not the boss.

In keeping with that end of remaking the U.S.'s world view, President Barack Obama has offered some rather surprising olive branches. His first television interview was with an Arab television station -- and this past week, some of the questions he took during his primetime press conference about the U.S. economy came not from the nation's top newspapers, but from Agence France Press and a couple of Spanish-language news providers.

An attempt to offer a global feel? Possibly.

But there is something that the president needs to remember.

This nation has nothing to hang its head for -- or any reason to prostrate itself before the rest of the world.

We are the country that rushes to the aid of those who are less fortunate -- and fights tyranny that we have absolutely no reason to battle except that it is morally right to do so.

We have sacrificed our young men -- and now women -- to fight for causes that are not even really our own -- and have helped rebuild the nations of our enemies after the battles are over.

We are the first place people turn for assistance and the nation that is expected to step up when there is a need for leadership.

This is a great nation -- and we expect our president to keep that fact first and foremost in his mind.

We want to understand the world, but we do not want to give up who we are to court its favor.

And our assistance, our contributions and our military might should not be taken for granted by anyone -- we have earned that right over the decades of service we have offered to those who needed us.

So encourage international understanding and respect the comments of those from other nations, nothing wrong with helping our citizens realize how small the world really is.

But President Obama needs to remember that our interests come first and that our primary goal is to make sure this nation and its people are safe and sound.

We cannot let our enemies think that this new kinder and gentler U.S. will ignore slights, treaty-breaking or -- at worst -- terrorism.

We have to be strong -- not just for ourselves, but for anyone else who cannot fight the forces of despotism and true evil that really do still exist.

And making sure that happens is the president's job.

Published in Editorials on March 26, 2009 10:35 AM