Charles Krauthammer gets it exactly right in this piece:
In these most recent 20 years — the alleged winter of our disrespect of the Islamic world — America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved — and resulted in — the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The two Balkan interventions — as well as the failed 1992-93 Somalia intervention to feed starving African Muslims (43 Americans were killed) — were humanitarian exercises of the highest order, there being no significant U.S. strategic interest at stake. In these 20 years, this nation has done more for suffering and oppressed Muslims than any nation, Muslim or non-Muslim, anywhere on Earth. Why are we apologizing?
Krauthammer goes on to list all the ways the Arab world has either attacked America or worked against her in the last “20-30 years” that Obama mischaracterized as eras of “good” relations with the Arab nations and then writes:
George W. Bush went to the Islamic Center in Washington six days after the Sept. 11 attacks, when the fires of Ground Zero were still smoldering, to declare “Islam is peace,” to extend fellowship and friendship to Muslims, to insist that Americans treat them with respect and generosity of spirit.
And America listened. In these seven years since Sept. 11 — seven years during which thousands of Muslims rioted all over the world (resulting in the death of more than 100) to avenge a bunch of cartoons — there’s not been a single anti-Muslim riot in the United States to avenge the massacre of 3,000 innocents. On the contrary. In its aftermath, we elected our first Muslim member of Congress and our first president of Muslim parentage.
“My job,” says Obama, “is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives.” That’s his job? Do the American people think otherwise? Does he think he is bravely breaking new ground? George Bush, Condoleezza Rice and countless other leaders offered myriad expressions of that same universalist sentiment.
Every president has the right to portray himself as ushering in a new era of this or that. Obama wants to pursue new ties with Muslim nations, drawing on his own identity and associations. Good. But when his self-inflation as redeemer of U.S.-Muslim relations leads him to suggest that pre-Obama America was disrespectful or insensitive or uncaring of Muslims, he is engaging not just in fiction but in gratuitous disparagement of the country he is now privileged to lead.
[emphasis mine - admin]
Iran has already responded to the Obama overture. In perfect tune with Obama’s defensiveness, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that better relations might be possible — after America apologized for 60 years of crimes against Iran. Note the 60 years. The mullahs are as mystified by Obama’s pre-1979 (or 1989) good old days as I am.
Bang! Dead- on- balls- accurate as we say in New York.
Peggy Noonan, coming down from the cloud of sentiment she’s been riding for the past few gooey weeks, gets it just right today, as well. She is critical both the so-called “stimulus” package and Obama’s less-than-impressive “unifying.” He could have done something great this week – we all know it – and he chose to be precisely what we’re sick of: dismissive, partisan and arrogant.
President Obama could have made big history here. Instead he just got a win. It’s a missed opportunity…the president made a mistake by not forcing the creation of a bill Republicans could or should have supported.
All that was needed was a sober, seriously focused piece of legislation that honestly tried to meet the need, one that everyone could tinker with a little and claim as their own. Instead, as Rep. Mike Pence is reported to have said to the president, “Know that we’re praying for you. . . . But know that there has been no negotiation [with Republicans] on the bill—we had absolutely no say.” The final bill was privately agreed by most and publicly conceded by many to be a big, messy, largely off-point and philosophically chaotic piece of legislation… [emphasis mine - admin]
But Noonan is downright harsh on the psychic horror-show radiates from Speaker Pelosi – Noonan is a hammer in a velvet glove:
What was needed? Not pork, not payoffs, not eccentric base-pleasing, group-greasing forays into birth control as stimulus, as the speaker of the House dizzily put it before being told to remove it… [the stimulus bill demonstrates that the congress is] not knowing what time it is, not knowing the old pork-barrel, group-greasing ways are over, done, embarrassing. When you create a bill like that, it doesn’t mean you’re a pro, it doesn’t mean you’re a tough, no-nonsense pol. It means you’re a slob. [emphasis mine - admin. Hooo, that's harsh.]
That’s how the Democratic establishment in the House looks, not like people who are responding to a crisis, or even like people who are ignoring a crisis, but people who are using a crisis. Our hopeful, compelling new president shouldn’t have gone with this bill. He made news this week by going to the House to meet with Republicans. He could have made history by listening to them.
Bravo Mr. Krauthammer; Brava Ms. Noonan.
In the company of my betters, can I just make an ironic observation? We’ve watched the press pretend to beat their breasts for “not asking the tough questions of Bush” in the time leading up to the invasion of Iraq. That’s a distortion; they asked plenty of questions and made plenty of noise, and in the “rush to war” – which took so long any nation could have spirited their weapons somewhere else – the administration went to the UN twice, and the Democrat leadership, from Bill Clinton on down re-iterated what they’d said since 1998: Saddam had WMD, and in the face of 9/11, he could not be allowed to keep them.
Now, we’re watching the press show zero curiosity about this “stimulus” package. They don’t appear to even know what is in it, or want to know. They’re not asking “the tough questions.” The thing is Obama’s baby so it must be brilliant and right and they are promoting it with all their might, unquestioningly. Just as they promoted Al Gore’s Global Warming Traveling Salvation Show without asking a single hard question, without wondering about a “rush to toxic lightbulbs,” the press is now pushing an extremely dubious nationalization bill disguised as healing medicine, without asking a single difficult question, without wondering about a “rush to more.”
The press is enabling a new act; “Brother Love & Sister Speak’s Dream-a-licious Economic Health Tonic” (only $200,000 a bottle!) and telling us we must lap it up or we will die from our lack of patriotism.
Sorry, no sale, here. I still remember 1976 to 1982, no matter how much you tell me that I don’t.
UPDATE: Michael Steele is the new RNC Chair. Good. Always liked him, and thought his ads in his last campaign were fresh and new and great – quite frankly, I always thought HE would be our first African-American president. You can see him talking with the PJM gang here. Turns out he is Catholic and pro-life, which I might have known, but have forgotten.
WELCOME: Instapundit readers, and thanks Glenn, for the link!
In other reading:
Ending Welfare Reform: It’s part of the “stimulus” package
McCain: Doesn’t see any GOP votes in the Senate? Let’s hope he doesn’t find any.
Fish Barriers and Red Herrings: ummm…WOW
Destroying Fannie Mae data: No, no, no..the next big bubble to burst will be the college loans. Go destroy the Sally Mae data! Please!
“No lobbyists in my administration”: Except these twelve. Well come on, now, a messiah has to have a 12!
“Do as I say, not as I do” is quickly beginning to wear out its welcome.
Did Obama allow “exemption” to CIA Black ops sites? More Change.
Another horror show
Eric Cantor: Explains the GOP position
Now that Bush is gone: Imperatives are less imperative
I am late to this: The Egg of Power.