Unapologetic: President Obama should be very careful what he tells Muslim world
It isn't that President Barack Obama is traveling to Saudi Arabia or that he is making a speech to the Muslim nations.
It isn't even that he is extending a hand of friendship to other nations.
What makes so many people so concerned about the president's trips overseas is that he seems to be apologizing for behavior many in his country don't think anyone should have to apologize for.
There have been comments in overseas press that Obama's visits overseas have included unprecedented criticism of American behavior and policies.
And while there have been mistakes that some citizens would like their leaders to admit at home, the president is sorely mistaken if he thinks the majority of Americans think there is any reason that he should be out bashing his country and its history of protecting other nations or disrespecting the hundreds of thousands of men and women who serve their country in the intelligence and military communities.
This country is not a predator that has attacked a foe without care or warning. This nation responded to the deaths of 3,000 innocent Americans at the hands of Muslim extremists with remarkable dignity and restraint. And in the end, it helped free a nation that was being terrorized by a despot.
The United States has also stood strong against those who harbor Al-Qaida and its allies -- and has done everything in its power to prevent another 9/11 -- anywhere. And because we have been strong, we have not had to have another day of mourning.
So while this nation should be willing to be part of the international community and to respect the rights of other sovereign nations, its first duty is to protect its citizens. That requires strength -- not apologies.
It will be interesting to see what the president says -- and if he manages to get the message across that while we are willing to listen, we are not groveling, backing down or otherwise any less strong.
The important thing to remember -- really -- is that the people who really set the policy for this nation -- and who decide how it will be protected -- are the voters who cast their ballots each November.
Changing the way this nation reacts to the world is as easy as a different check in a different ballot box.
So while President Obama might have his own views of this country and its responsibilities, he is not the final authority on this nation's future or its heart.
A president -- of any political party -- is merely a representative of a nation during his term in office. He is not its monarch.
This will remain a strong, vibrant and courageous country that is willing to stand for what is right and just. But most importantly, it is still, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
That is a message worth sending to the world.
Published in Editorials on June 3, 2009 10:36 AM