Apologies and appeasement

During last year's presidential campaign, as part of larger questions surrounding Barack Obama's lack of foreign policy and military experience, a handful of scholars and pundits asked exactly what the Democrat meant in asserting that his administration would "restore America's reputation and moral authority abroad."

Was then-Sen. Obama a student of the Jimmy Carter School of Diplomacy, which mandates that the world's lone true superpower approach all threats to her from a position of weakness? Did Sen. Obama's expressed willingness to sit down with murderous dictators, without preconditions, indicate a naive belief that our known enemies will stop hating us if we just shake their hands in front of the Washington press? Such questions, when not contemptuously dismissed by the Democrat and his media cheerleaders, were largely ignored.

With President Obama now firmly rooted in the Oval Office and his Cabinet in place, Americans are starting to get answers to these questions -- and the answers aren't good.

Take Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's refusal to use "terrorism" in articulating her agency's purpose and priorities. Ms. Napolitano instead refers to "man-caused disasters" to demonstrate "that we want to move away from the politics of fear."

Meanwhile, during a trip to Mexico, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed that corrupt nation's inability to crush warring drug cartels and uphold the law by saying "we have a co-responsibility" because of American demand for narcotics and the cartels' ability to smuggle firearms across our unsecure border.

Remember that in January, President Obama used an apologetic interview with al-Arabiya television to diminish America's two-decade record of liberating Muslims from the Balkans to Afghanistan, as well as this country's remarkable history of pluralism and religious freedom.

President Obama's job -- and that of his Cabinet -- is to defend American interests abroad. Appeasing al-Qaida by putting terrorist attacks on the same political plane as industrial accidents and shouldering blame for our neighbor's economic and social failures do nothing to "restore America's reputation" -- they tarnish it.

President Obama and his Cabinet should instead be sending signals that the transition to a new commander in chief brings renewed strength -- and a renewed commitment to protecting America from those who would cause it harm.