international intrigue

Compulsive Apologizer Barack Obama Won’t Apologize for Deaths of Two Dozen Pakistani Soldiers

Supporters of Pakistan's outlawed Islamic hardliner Jamaat ud Dawa (JD) burn an effigy of the US President Barack Obama, NATO and US flags during a protest in Multan on November 28, 2011, against a NATO strike on Pakistan troops. Hundreds of Pakistanis called on Islamabad to break off its alliance with the United States and get out of the war on Al-Qaeda as protests against a lethal NATO strike pushed into a third day. Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed in the cross-border attack early Saturday by NATO helicopters and fighter jets. AFP PHOTO / S.S MIRZA (Photo credit should read S.S MIRZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistanis burning things. Photo: AFP/2011 AFP

From the moment President Obama took office, he has been apologizing nonstop to basically every country on Earth for all the evil things America has done to them, according to Mitt Romney’s imagination. Romney wrote about Obama’s so-called “apology tour” in his book, the aptly named No Apology, and he has repeatedly mentioned on the campaign trail and in debates that Obama “went around the world and apologized for America.” He apologized for “American misdeeds … both real and imagined.” Obama is such a compulsive apologizer, according to Romney, he just makes up reasons to apologize after he runs out of real ones. He might get some sick, sexual pleasure from apologizing, for all we know.

Of course, if that were true, President Obama would have already apologized to Pakistan for the two dozen Pakistani soldiers killed by NATO forces in a still-murky incident last week. But he hasn’t. Even after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have expressed their condolences. Even after the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan insisted “that a formal video statement from Mr. Obama was needed to help prevent the rapidly deteriorating relations between Islamabad and Washington from cratering,” the Times reports. Even after Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, demanded that the CIA leave its drone base in Pakistan, and pulled out of an upcoming international conference on Afghanistan’s future.

One reason for Obama’s reluctance is that an investigation into the exact events surrounding the incident is still ongoing. But even the Defense Department does “not deny some American culpability in the episode” according to the Times. Couldn’t Obama at least, for now, offer some kind of condolences, as Clinton and Panetta have done?  That would be risky, because anything approaching an apology “could become fodder for his Republican opponents in the presidential campaign, according to several officials who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly.”

President Obama Won’t Apologize to Pakistan