Early in his presidency, Barack Obama gave a speech in Cairo that he referred to as “A New Beginning.” In that speech in June 2009, Obama identified the United States as one of the causes of turmoil and violence in the Middle East. He never said the words “I’m sorry,” but his tone was apologetic as he viciously criticized the Israeli “occupation” and the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Yesterday, almost ten years later, American secretary of state Mike Pompeo gave the speech that Obama should have given. It was unabashedly pro-American and identified America as a force for good in the region.
In a stunning but essential rebuke of former President Barack Obama and his legacy of weakness and failure abroad, Pompeo declared, “The age of self-inflicted American shame is over.”
If that wasn’t clear enough, Pompeo said, “Now comes the real new beginning” – a jibe at the speech Obama gave in Cairo early in 2009, in which he essentially apologized for American Middle East policy going back decades in remarks titled “A New Beginning.”
Pompeo’s view is unequivocal and crystal clear: “America is a force for good in the Middle East.” He didn’t even add the usual qualifiers about our historic imperfections. Expect our adversaries abroad and snowflakes at home to be mighty upset at this moral clarity and self-confidence from the greatest, freest country on Earth. Our real allies will love it.
No doubt the Sunni Arab states and other regional U.S. allies cheered Pompeo’s words, while those same words worried America’s enemies. There was no question of who was on the side of peace and stability and who was seeking change through violence and terror. MORE