The act of apologizing is the single most difficult, most emotionally gut-wrenching offering a human being can make. Men have avoided contact with those they love for years, just to avoid it. On the other hand, wars have been avoided, as a direct result of a sincere apology. The reason it is so difficult is because in order to truly apologize, you must first admit that you were wrong. A caveated apology such as, “I’m sorry, but..”, is an attempt to circumvent the admission of frailty and simply doesn’t work. No; to apologize requires a baring of the soul, and a ‘laying oneself open’. President Obama has offered several apologies on behalf of America to other nations. The apologies he has made however, are on the contrary not difficult acts of attrition. These, (apologies, in name only), are the acts of a would-be martyr; one who desires to be seen as bravely offering himself up for the mistakes of others. True apologies are based on true contrition, and not just true contrition, but true public contrition; the type of contrition that is made to at least one other human being, or in this case, to entire nations; the type of contrition that opens one to rebuke, rejection and potential bodily harm. When we bow our heads and contritely ask forgiveness from God, we do so in private, to a God we know, will never lash out or condemn us in any way. Such contrition is safe for us. Such contrition is non-threatening and is therefore much easier. The anonymity of confession in the Catholic church is designed so as to encourage one to apologize and offer contrition, in a non-threatening, almost anonymous setting. Such confession is easier because of the anonymity, just as confessing and apologizing the way President Obama has done is easy because he isn’t apologizing for acts he personally, for which he is personally responsible. As a matter of fact, he is subtly pointing the finger of condemnation at others and in doing so, signifying that he is as pure as the driven snow. He is apologizing for the actions of cruel, inhumane, selfish individuals who came before him. His apologies therefore are not acts of contrition, they are acts of sacrifice and self-flagellation for the wrongdoings of others. They are the actions of one who seeks praise. The ‘not too subtle’ message is, “I am pure. I am without blame because I was never a part of the decisions of those who came before me. I am blameless, but I am also brave, and willing to offer myself to account for their sins”. As far as I know, there was only one person capable of doing such a thing, and he came and went long before Obama. Apologizing for someone else’s actions, especially in the manner President Obama has done, is also an act of confession for others. His confession for the actions of others, regardless of whether the ‘others’ in question are guilty, or see their actions as worthy of an apology, or even dubious in nature, is safe for him, because the underlying message is, he is blameless and good, and therefore a true martyr, worthy of praise for his self-sacrifice. The simple fact is, America, not President Obama, is worthy of praise for the sacrifice of its people throughout the years. America has been the most benevolent nation in the world and deserves thanks from the rest of the world. President Obama is a hypocrite, and a cowardly hypocrite at that. He has not earned the right to determine if actions deserving of condemnation have been committed by the great leaders who came before him. If he wants to apologize however, he could begin by apologizing to the families of those killed in Benghazi, and then go on to apologize for the economic damage he has done to the nation, then on to the loss of respect America has experienced under his leadership. There are many things he can apologize for if he is in the mood, but the acts of leaders who came before him are not among them. He hasn’t earned the right.