Should America Ever Apologize?
by Ruti Teitel–NEW YORK – Earlier this month, academics at the American University in Cairo declared no confidence in the institution’s president, following his decision to grant US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo an uncontested platform for a partisan foreign-policy speech last month. Pompeo used the occasion to decry former President Barack Obama’s own pronouncements from the same stage a decade earlier, and to issue an implicit endorsement of the Middle East’s reigning autocrats.
Pompeo’s primary line of attack against Obama’s famous Cairo speech, “A New Beginning,” is that it included a public admission of the United States’ past missteps in the region. Unlike the Trump administration, Obama and his advisers believed that there is much to be gained by acknowledging difficult political truths, even when doing so points to a radical change in course.