Theodore's World: "Arrogant Americans, Mr. President?" by Peter Heck

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April 23, 2009

"Arrogant Americans, Mr. President?" by Peter Heck

by Peter Heck

As I was sitting in church waiting for the start of the service, my grandpa came walking towards me pointing his finger. No matter how old I get, and no matter how long he's been out of the U.S. Navy, that's still an intimidating sight. As he approached me, his voice quivered as he said, "We saved that continent dare my president apologize for this country's arrogance." My grandpa is right. Americans need not apologize to the world for their arrogance; rather, Americans should apologize to their forefathers for the arrogance of their president.

Barack Obama's first foreign trip as President of the United States has confirmed the naiveté so many of us feared during the election cycle. But worse than that, it has also demonstrated that our president suffers from either a complete misunderstanding of our heritage and history, or an utter contempt for it. Neither is excusable.

Garnering cheers from the French of all people, President Obama declared, "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." Consider that Obama spoke these words just 500 miles from the beaches of Normandy, where the sand is still stained with 65 year old blood of "arrogant Americans."

Indeed, columnist Mark Whittington observes, "One should remind Mr. Obama and the Europeans how America has 'shown arrogance' by saving Europe from itself innumerable times in the 20th Century. World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the wars in the Balkans were largely resolved by American blood, treasure, and leadership." But all that appears lost on the president's seemingly insatiable quest to mend fences he imagines have been tarnished by the bullish George W. Bush.

If Obama wishes to continue trampling the presidential tradition of showing class to former office holders and publicly trash Bush for his own personal gain, so be it. But all Americans should make clear that no man - even if he is the president - will tarnish the legacy of those Americans who have gone before us. Ours is not a history of arrogance. It is a history of courage, self-sacrifice, and honor.

When abusive monarchs repressed the masses, Americans resisted and overthrew them. When misguided policies led to the unjust oppression of fellow citizens, Americans rebelled and overturned them. When millions of impoverished and destitute wretches sought a new beginning, Americans threw open the door and welcomed them. When imperial dictators were on the march, Americans surrendered their lives to stop them. When communist thugs threatened world peace, Americans bled to defeat them. When an entire continent was overwhelmed with famine and hunger, Americans gave of themselves to sustain it. When terrorist madmen killed the innocent and subjugated millions, Americans led the fight to topple them.

This is the legacy that generations of Americans have left. If President Obama seeks stronger relations with the world community, perhaps he should begin by reminding them of these very truths, rather than condemning his own countrymen on foreign shores.

This "obsessive need to put down his own country," has caused blogger James Lewis to call President Obama a "stunningly ignorant man" who has evidently never spoken to a concentration camp survivor, a Cuban refugee, a boat person from Vietnam, a Soviet dissident, or a survivor of Mao's purges.

Unfortunately, I can no longer bring myself to give Mr. Obama that benefit of the doubt. Not after looking at the pain in my grandpa's eyes...a man who still carries shrapnel in his body from his service to this country.

As a student and teacher of history, I recognize that America has made mistakes...plenty of them, in fact. But one of the great things about our people has been their courage and humility in admitting and correcting those mistakes. God willing they will prove that willingness again in four years and correct the mistake that is the presidency of Barack Obama.

Wild Thing's comment........

I have never heard of this writer before, he is excellent. I really like what he wrote.

Obama is a traitor to our country!!! We used to punish traitors, how pathetic we are as a nation that so many no longer care if we have traitors in our government. I wish only those that voted for this Muslim would be the ones to pay the price for putting this guy in office.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at April 23, 2009 07:40 AM


"As I was sitting in church waiting for the start of the service,..."

His grandfather said it. I'll bet the preacher didn't say it. We are plagued with gutless preachers in the pulpit who are being blackmailed into silence by their retirement accounts. They duck anything that's going on in Washington and preach only entry level or exit level Christianity--nothing in between. They segue immediately from the Resurrection to the Rapture. All my Virginia ancestors were Christadelphians or Jehovah's Witnesses and all they preached was "Don't worry about current events-Jesus is coming any day." When Henry Blackaby, who started over 30 churches in Canada was at my church he quoted a leading Army General's letter to him where he said, "The Church is irrelevant." He meant America, of course, because the European church is already dead. The church in America has sold out to Materialism and won't go back because the high paid pastors are protecting their retirement accounts. The Disciples of Jesus didn't have retirement accounts.

Posted by: horace at April 23, 2009 09:07 AM

America has very little to apologize for. The world may criticize us for being involved in world affairs, but whenever a nation needs help they look toward America.

Many nations have lived under America's protective umbrella. Some have prospered like Western Europe and Japan. Others like Mexico have stagnated, but still enjoyed freedom. Eatern Europe is newly freed from Soviet oppression thanks to America and is enjoying commercial trade with us. Even others like China were freed from foreign invasion, but then turned on us.

We owe no apologies. I hate having the president travelling around the world expressing regret for perceived wrongs when no nation in the world has shed the blood and resources for others as America has.

Posted by: TomR at April 23, 2009 12:14 PM

A friend of mine, or my family, they have long since passed away. But I will never forget the story. He was a WW 2 vet and she was French. Well one year her sister from France came to visit. Everything was going fine until the sister-in-law started on the Arrogant Americans.
After about a 10 minute rant, he had finally had it. She was talking about how greedy the Americans were. He finally said, "You know I agree with you, How dare all those greedy Americans go over to France and take all that land, all those 2 x 6 x 6 plots of land they stole from the French at Normandy" with that he did an about face and left. His sister-in-law never uttered another word about.

If we are arrogant it is with good reason in a span of 25 years we liberated Europe twice at the cost of almost 500,000 American lives. You're goddamn right we are arrogant we earned it.

Posted by: Mark at April 23, 2009 05:57 PM

Excellent. God bless him. Nothing more need be said.
Bob A.

Posted by: Bob A at April 23, 2009 06:30 PM

Horace, I agree so much. This is really
good what you said......
"The Disciples of Jesus didn't have
retirement accounts."

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 24, 2009 12:39 AM

Tom, huge ditto to all you said, adn I
love how you put it!!!!
They may not like it but our country has
been on their speed dial and at the same
time they complain about us like it is the
in thing to do to bash the USA.
We owe no apologies.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 24, 2009 12:45 AM

Mark,what a fantastic story thank you so
much. And thank God for that WW 2 Veteran!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 24, 2009 12:49 AM

Does your blog allow for varied ideas? Jim Fowler

Posted by: Jim Fowler at April 27, 2009 01:51 PM

Having served 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam I believe America has earned its place in the world and is entitled to be whatever it wants to be, especially ARROGANT. You dam right we are ARROGANT and properly so. Mr. Obama needs to put his ass on the line and just maybe his attitude will change. Thank God for all of our WWII vets.

Posted by: Bob Davis at April 28, 2009 10:18 AM