In 1904, 64-year-old Ion Perdicaris and his stepson were taken hostage in Morocco by a scruffy band of rifle-toting Berber tribesmen on horseback, led by flamboyant, black-bearded Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli. Raisuli wanted to extort a heavy ransom from the Sultan of Morocco. There was one problem -- Perdicaris was an American.
President Theodore Roosevelt was enraged, and he sent seven American battleships from the Atlantic fleet to the coast of Morocco. Roosevelt then delivered the famous ultimatum, "Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!"
Cut to present day. Islamic terrorists just over seven years ago killed 3,000 Americans. Since then, they have killed many more and vowed the destruction of the U.S. and Israel. Our new president's response? He gave the first formal interview of his presidency on Arab television, and he apologized!
Time magazine also reports this proud moment:
"Whether it was chemistry with the journalist or Obama's scripted intention, [Hisham Melhem, the Washington Bureau Chief for al-Arabiya] came away with an interview that amounted to an unprecedented reach-out to the Muslim world by an American president. Unprompted, Obama spoke about his own Islamic connections, noting that some of his family members are Muslims and that he had lived in the largest Muslim country, Indonesia. "My job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect," Obama said."
His own Islamic connections. Some of his family members are Muslims. He lived in the largest Muslim country, Indonesia. These facts were not exactly centerpieces of his campaign, during which he repeatedly denied his Muslim roots and maintained he was a Christian through and through. Now, talking on Arab TV, Obama celebrates his Muslim heritage. Just before he apologized:
"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task."
What exactly does that mean -- "America was not born as a colonial power"? Is he suggesting that America has become or sought to become a colonial power? Exactly what "respect and partnership . . . with the Muslim world" is he referring to? With Iran? 30 years ago another Democrat abandoned one of our allies in Iran and Americans were taken hostage and held for more than a year, until Ronald Reagan was elected. Does Obama remember the terrorist attacks that occurred in Lebanon? In Scotland? Does he recall the salad days when Libya was a terrorist nation? What is he talking about?
There is no doubt how his interview was received. Again, according to Time:
"Melhem, long a vocal critic of U.S. Middle East policy, says that he was touched by Obama's conciliatory tone and references to his Muslim roots."
I am sick and tired of liberals apologizing for America. Are we perfect? No, certainly not, but we are closer than any other nation on earth, and the world needs us far more than we need them. What is this overpowering need to be liked? Let's be respected. We stand by our friends, and woe to our enemies.
An American president cannot go on foreign television and apologize for America. Now that he has, God help us.
Update: The Associated Press is now reporting that one world leader is rushing through the door Obama has opened:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Wednesday [Jan. 28] for "profound changes" in US foreign policy - including an end to support for Israel and an apology to the Islamic republic for past misdeeds. * * * "Change means giving up support for the rootless, uncivilized, fabricated, murdering ... Zionists and letting the Palestinian nation decide its own destiny," Ahmadinejad said. "Change means putting an end to US military presence in (different parts of) the world."
Here we go.