Apparently Mahmoud Ahmadinjad is asking President Obama for an apology for crimes committed against the Iranians. I have one guess what exactly he’s supposed to apologize for, and it rhymes with “moverthrowing democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and installing a corrupt regime that stole from its people and led to an oppressive fundamentalist regime that exists to this day.” Yeah, our bad.
I don’t think apologizing to what many Americans see as our number one global enemy would play well in the press, especially after being asked. That said, we do owe it to them. I’ve been thinking about a world-wide apology tour that an American president could do for a long time. When you screw something up, you apologize. Unfortunately, America royally screwed up most of the global-south over the course of the Cold War. Somewhere around the same time that we ruined most of the world, it became our policy never to apologize for anything. Our motto changed from “America the free” to “America, suck it.” A series of sincere apologies, or at least recognitions of our mistakes, would go a long way toward repairing our image around the world.
I could imagine globally-popular President Obama touring Argentina, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Chile, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran, Iraq … the list goes on … and saying that America truly regrets its behavior during the second half of the 20th century and that we will seek to reaffirm our commitment to global justice and democracy from this day forward. Except we’re not. We’re not sorry. Those actions, although they’ve created most of our (and everyone else’s) problems and countless deaths, have set up the global economic order that makes the current quality of life in America possible. So there’s probably not going to be any sort of apology. To anyone. Ever. So, for what it’s worth President Ahmadinjad, I’m sorry.