Obama’s apologies make room for improvement

May 7, 2009 — by Nandini Ruparel

When President Barack Obama went to Europe this year, he did so with a mission: to reconcile America and the European countries that have often been at odds in recent years. He said, “There have been times when America has shown arrogance and been dismissive…”. This, coupled with bowing to the Saudi Arabian king, has made it seem our president has set himself up for criticism from the country by looking weak in front of our allies.

However, Obama is doing the right thing. George W. Bush strained in Europe, as a result of his foreign policy. The U.S. is viewed as a bully, and that impression can be damaging.

In times of need, one turns to their friends for help. Without allies supporting us, it will be difficult for us to prosper. Obama is doing whatever he can to rectify America’s mistakes.

Acknowledging one’s past errors is necessary but is only the first step. Now it is important for us to act upon our promises. Because of the fragile relationship we have with the European nations, we must do our best to do good without making enemies of the rest of the community. Obama is our president, but he is not all-powerful. One apology or one sincere regret will not completely erase what America has done in the past, nor will it make up for any mistakes that we commit in the future.

In fact, Obama has already started to produce results by fulfilling his promises to both the American people and America’s allies elsewhere. Not only has he signed an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay, he has eased travel restrictions for Cuban Americans and has lifted a few of the embargo restrictions. He plans to end the war in Iraq by pulling out troops. This shows that he really does want to change America’s image to rest of the world, not just by words, but by actions too.

Obama is correct in apologizing to the other world leaders in his tour of Europe. As it is, it seems he was successful in winning the trust and the confidence of the other European countries. If he (and America) continue on this path, there is only one way to go—up.

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