Is it really that hard to admit when mistakes have been made?
Over the last week, Neoconservative pundits have hammered President Obama after he mentioned a recent history of 'American arrogance' in several of his speeches during his G-20 tour of Europe.
Is it really that horrible to admit that U.S. foreign policy has been in error in recent years?
These pundits typically argue that Obama is pandering to the leftist Europeans at the expense of the American citizenry.
I couldn't disagree more.
To assume that an admission of arrogance is somehow unpatriotic is pure hubris and only works to provide even further evidence of the isolationist attitude which has permeated the right-wing.
Over the last eight years, the Bush Administration regularly ignored its NATO allies, instead pursuing unilateral policy which focused on the blunt tactics of brute force.
We as Americans should be concerned with Europe's opinions on world affairs and even more so their opinion of us.
Even if we ignore the ridiculous coercive tactics the Bush Administration used in order to 'sell' the Iraq War, the instances where the U.S. acted in ways nothing short of criminal are easily stated.
Directly relative to Europe, there are numerous documented cases where German, French and English nationals were kidnapped from their home-towns by U.S. intelligence agents.
In most cases, these individuals were then shipped to U.S. funded illegal prisons speckled all over the third-world.
If these prisons were legitimate, their existence would have never been hidden.
Several of these kidnapees - who have since been released due to a lack of any evidence whatsoever - have attempted to sue the U.S., but have been unsuccessful because the evidence is considered 'highly sensitive' material.
However, they all report instances of abuse and torture while in U.S. custody.
Would we be so willing to ignore such acts if the tables were turned?