President Barack Obama has made apologizing for U.S. “mistakes” the centerpiece of his foreign policy. His whirlwind Apology Tour earlier this year included stops on three continents with a plethora of apologies along the way.
In a continuation on this theme, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is now in India, hoping a fresh round of apologies will win a major reduction in their carbon emissions. By eagerly pointing out the “mistakes” of the U.S., Clinton hopes to coax India into compliance.
We acknowledge now with President Obama that we have made mistakes in the United States, and we along with other developed countries have contributed most significantly to the problem that we face with climate change. We are hoping a great country like India will not make the same mistakes.
This policy of apologizing internationally in order to bring about policy shifts from other countries is ridiculous. Similar attempts have failed to persuade Iran to “unclench its fist,” have been unsuccessful in thawing relations with Russia, and have not made collaborating with Europe to fix the global economy any easier. Clinton’s recent apology was especially inexcusable, considering the high unlikelihood that India would even consider capping its carbon emissions. In the end, these mea culpas do nothing to advance American interests and, instead, weaken our influence and standing abroad.