Obama Sends Letter To Poland, Says “Regrets” Idiotic Choice Of Words

Still no apology though

(AFP) US President Barack Obama has expressed “regret” at what he called his inadvertent use of the erroneous term “Polish death camp”, in a personal letter to his Polish counterpart made public Friday.

“I regret the error and agree that this moment is an opportunity to ensure that this and future generations know the truth,” Obama wrote to Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in the letter dated May 31.

Making the letter public Friday, Komorowski — who on Wednesday publicly urged Obama to cooperate in “correcting this unfortunate error” — said he was satisfied with the “rapid” expression of regret by “our important ally and good friend.”

Reuters hilariously titles their story “Poland welcomes Obama letter on “death camp” error”. But, as the Telegraph points out

Although Tomasz Nalecz, spokesman for the Polish president, said the letter had pleased Mr Komorowski it remains to be seen whether it will sooth anger in Poland.

The silence has fuelled feelings in Poland that the American government is indifferent to Poland and its feelings despite the country being one of Washington’s most steadfast allies in Europe.

Even if the Polish government adopts a conciliatory approach to the matter for the sake of Polish-US relations, Mr Obama’s refusal to provide an apology will tarnish both his and America’s reputation in the eyes of most Poles.

Is it too difficult to simply apologize, Mr. Obama, instead of further damaging our relationship with Poland? It may not be a big deal to you, but to the Poles it is a huge insult.

PS: I forgot to mention the part in the letter that calls the remark an “inadvertent error” when I went from using the Telegraph story first to the AFP one. Unless Obama was speaking off the cuff, it was simply idiotic. When politicians give written speeches, particularly on foreign matters, there are people who review said speeches. There are protocol officers, and with foreign references, often State Dept. weenies involved. As the speech was written, apparently no one thought “hey, um, this might be a really poor choice of words. Let’s clarify it with a few extra words. Otherwise, we might offend Poland and her people.”

Evening update: Nice Deb and The Other McCain cover the Obama admin. blowing off Polish hero Lech Walesa. Go read why.

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4 Responses to “Obama Sends Letter To Poland, Says “Regrets” Idiotic Choice Of Words”

  1. […] Polish response, Devo covering the Stones:Update: more at Nice Deb.Update II: Linked at the Pirate’s Cove, too.Category: Barack Obama, PolandComments DaveOObama has a serious hate for the peoples of the […]

  2. Gumball_Brains says:

    UGH. This is the worst president since Stalin and Pol Pot.

  3. Pretty much, yeah.

  4. gitarcarver says:

    While I think Obama is a person who cannot lead, this “insult” is somewhat puzzling to me.

    The language of diplomats is much more subtle than normal language. “We might have made a mistake” in “diplo-speak” translates in the real world to “we are going to fall on our sword for the grievous mistake that we have made and are thinking of blowing up the country in deference to your insulted feelings.”

    At the same time, there is something that bugs me when Obama doesn’t say “you don’t get to re-write history. The death camps were on Polish soil.” I wonder what the Poles want the rest of the world to call the “Warsaw ghetto” that was hell on earth during WWII? Are they offended by the atrocities in that area? So what is the difference between “Warsaw Ghetto” and “Polish Death Camps?”

    While I am willing to give Obama a pass on the wording that caused this overinflated and overhyped kerfuffle, I am not willing to give him a pass on how he handled it because, as usual, he didn’t.

    He retreated.

    The sad thing is the State Department probably had to pull him off the golf course to tell him the Poles were offended. After all, that is how he found out about going after Bin Laden. 🙂

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