Robert Dallek

Are Presidential Apologies Acceptable? YES, Depending On Circumstances!

President Barack Obama has been criticized by his Republican Presidential opponents for apologizing for the burning destruction of copies of the Koran in Afghanistan, which has led, regrettably, to mass rioting and deaths of two American servicemen in east Afghanistan.

This apology was designed to protect Americans fighting and living in Afghanistan, and to improve relations with the Islamic world, and also remove the swaggering attitude that existed under George W. Bush for eight years, making our nation extremely unpopular around the world, not only in Islamic nations.

Historian Robert Dallek correctly stated that we cannot say as a nation that we are without sin or blame. And it is not as if no other President has dared to apologize, as they have.

Ronald Reagan apologized for the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II in 1988.

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush offered issued several apologies, not always well received in America, but done nevertheless. Of course, apologizing for past actions are easier than for those occurring in one’s own administration.

The criticism of Republican Presidential candidates is not shared by many conservatives who understand the need for a close relationship with the Afghan government to accomplish anything in that nation’s war effort.