Why Obama Should Go on a Middle East Apology Tour. ~ Benjo Dans

Via elephant journal
on Oct 27, 2012
get elephant's newsletter

During the last Presidential debate, Mitt Romney accused Obama of going on an Apology Tour in the Middle East. Obama denied the accusation as hearsay.

What I would like to know is why anyone would find such an apology tour appalling? I think we should specifically apologize to the Middle East for how we handled Iraq.

Let us recount what happened during the previous administration: Bush accused Iraq of having Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Instead of verifying that the accusation was true and waiting for the United Nations to support us, we decided to invade Iraq on our own. In the process, we discovered that there were actually no WMDs.

Next, we justified the war because Saddam Hussein and his empire were evil anyway. The number of civilian casualties during the war was over 100,000.

Now let’s think about this carefully.

Imagine that you suspect illegal activity with one of your neighbors and decide to burn their house down. In the process, the father dies as well as several of their children. You later discover that there was no illegal activity going on.

You also know that the father was abusive to his children and wife. Does this justify your actions? Wouldn’t you think that you actually owe the family an apology for destroying their home and killing their innocent loved ones in the process?

Are we really this arrogant as a nation that we think apologizing for the atrocity that was the Iraq war to be beneath us?

I would not hesitate to hurt a person who is abusive to women and children. But who gives us the moral right to justify killing innocent children? And by doing so, what differentiates us from this man’s abusive ways?

Is it our intentions? We are responsible for our actions, not for our intentions.

Why do we act so surprised that so many people from the Middle East are upset with us? If you are from Iraq and your entire family was killed by friendly fire, wouldn’t you be bitter against the United States?

The United States killed over a hundred thousand innocent civilians because of the war we started for the wrong reasons. In the eyes of many people from the Middle East, who do you think is the terrorist?

We may be the most powerful country in the world, but we made a mistake. We made a huge mistake. There is nothing wrong with humility.

Admitting a mistake shows character and strength. It is not a weakness. On the other hand, our arrogance is a weakness.

I think the least we could do is apologize.

Benjo Dans is a Senior Software Engineer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He recently started a group called The Ann Arbor Invitation. It is an open invitation to anyone and everyone in Ann Arbor, Michigan to discuss and encourage awakening each other to our highest selves.


Editor: Lara C.

Like I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of elephantjournal.com. Questions? Send to [email protected]


3 Responses to “Why Obama Should Go on a Middle East Apology Tour. ~ Benjo Dans”

  1. Mark Ledbetter says:

    While he's at it, he should also go to Germany and apologize for fire-bombing, to Japan and apologize for fire and atomic bombing, to Vietnam and apologize for napalming, to South Korea and apologize for the bridge incident (forget the name of the bridge), to the Philippines and apologize for our brutal suppression of freedom fighters, to Columbia for our usurpation of Panama, and to just about the entirety of our own country to apologize for genocide of earlier inhabitants.

    But it won't ever happen. Emperors do NOT apologize for the excesses of empire, especially when they rely on elections to stay in power. If you want an apology, your only chance is to get an anti-imperialist into the presidency. For that, vote Libertarian or Green in Nov.

  2. ann says:

    while i'm afraid i share a bit of mark's cynicism, i'd like to say that this was a beautifully written piece, and that i couldn't agree more from the very depths of my heart…thank you for articulating so well something that is so important.

  3. Benjo Dans says:

    Thank you, Ann. I was told recently by a friend who is a doctor with the army that it is not proper protocol for a head of state to apologize. I told her that perhaps that is also why we don't have world peace. Maybe it is time we should revisit such protocols rather than simply embracing them … *smiles*