Barack Obama’s pledge to “seek a new way forward” in the Muslim world “based on mutual interest and mutual respect” struck Charles Krauthammer as “needlessly defensive and apologetic,” he writes in the Washington Post. What do we have to apologize for? Over the past 20 years, “America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them,” going to war five times—Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq—for their benefit.
Obama promised al-Arabiya he would tell the American people that the most Muslims are just trying to live good lives. “Do the American people think otherwise?” asks an incredulous Krauthammer. Just six days after 9/11, George Bush declared that “Islam is peace.” By imagining “a benighted past when Islam was supposedly disrespected,” Obama is “engaging not just in fiction, but in gratuitous disparagement of the country he is now privileged to lead.”