Samantha Power Pushed For Apology Tour; 'Mea Culpa' for U.S. 'Crimes'

Samantha Power Pushed For Apology Tour; 'Mea Culpa' for U.S. 'Crimes'

Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner observes that although the administration mocked Mitt Romney less than a year ago for suggesting that President Barack Obama undertook an “apology tour” to the Middle East in 2009, Obama’s nominee to replace Susan Rice as UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, advocated just that.

In a 2003 op-ed attacking the Bush administration in the liberal New Republic, Power proposed a “doctrine of the mea culpa” that would supposedly raise America’s stature in the eyes of the world, likening it to the historic example of German Chancellor Willy Brandt kneeling at a Warsaw ghetto memorial:

We need: a historical reckoning with crimes committed, sponsored, or permitted by the United States. This would entail restoring FOIA to its pre- Bush stature, opening the files, and acknowledging the force of a mantra we have spent the last decade promoting in Guatemala, South Africa, and Yugoslavia: A country has to look back before it can move forward. Instituting a doctrine of the mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors. When Willie Brandt went down on one knee in the Warsaw ghetto, his gesture was gratifying to World War II survivors, but it was also ennobling and cathartic for Germany. Would such an approach be futile for the United States?

Contrary to Democrat accusations that Romney made up the apology tour scenario out of thin air, Power is on record pushing for U.S. foreign policy to be completely re-worked so as to tell the world we are sorry. 

Power even implied that the kinds of horrors Nazis committed toward Jews have been carried out by the U.S. against other people around the world. In that context, Obama’s puzzling 2009 visit to Allied-bombed Dresden, on a tour that included the Buchenwald concentration camp, may seem to make sense after all.


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