Polish prime minister: A statement of “regret” for what Obama said from a White House spokesman isn’t good enough; Update: Polish president sends letter

posted at 8:23 pm on May 30, 2012 by Allahpundit

Check-the-box boilerplate from Jay Carney just isn’t going to do it this time.

The Prime Minister stated that Poland expected America to engage in efforts aimed at eradicating the phrase “Polish death camps” once and for all. Donald Tusk added that it might “paradoxically be a good occasion for the American administration, Americans and the President of the United States to support Poland in its efforts to promote historical truth, correct phrases and appropriate assessments of the events which took place in Poland and Europe during the Second World War”…

I am certain that our American friends are capable of a more explicit reaction than issuing a correction and the spokesperson of the White House expressing regret, and that maybe they will once and for all eliminate such errors – said the head of the Polish government.

Not sure what he wants the U.S. to do to help “eradicate” the phrase “Polish death camps.” Banning it would be unconstitutional, of course; some sort of educational campaign would be fine, except that I think pretty much everyone already understands that the “Polish death camps” were actually German death camps. That’s why Obama’s taking such a beating for it today, even from his own side. Lefty Michael Tomasky, a reliable Obama defender, calls it the worst thing he’s ever said:

This probably won’t matter much politically–I’m not sure how many Polish-Americans are Obama voters (although maybe in Chicago there’s a fair number, just on the basis of going for the hometown kid; but of course they all live in a state he’s carrying by 20 points anyhow). But it’s important and it’s embarrassing. Yes–it’s the first time he’s ever embarrassed me as president. He came kinda-sorta close when he called the Cambridge police “stupid,” but that was more of a political thing, not a sin against history. This was just shameful; a shameful thing for a president to say. If you don’t know why, read Frum’s essay, linked to above.

If anyone in the big O’s orbit reads these scribblings, I would beseech you people to encouarge the boss to correct this record. To take a moment to say at an upcoming event, “You know, I said something really terribly wrong last week, and I want to correct it.” And go on to explain why it’s important that he do so. That would actually play very well politically–for people to see a politician admit to an error, in public like that! But that is not why I propose it. I propose it because it’s right.

Here’s the David Frum post to which he refers, explaining why this is much worse than the usual “57 states” Obama brain fart. Quote: “The medal to Karski was to be part of the process of laying painful memories to rest. It was intended too to strengthen the US-Polish relations that the Obama administration has frayed in pursuit of its ‘reset’ with Russia. Instead, this administration bungled everything: past, present, and future.”

I said last night that, at the least, Tusk and foreign minister Radek Sikorski could expect groveling phone calls from Obama. But I was wrong: To my amazement, Jay Carney told the White House press corps this afternoon that he’s not aware of any plans by Obama to phone either. Can that possibly be true? Calling them “Polish death camps” is profoundly stupid but can be explained away as an accidental lapse in thought. Refusing to call and apologize for the error is much more of a deliberate slight. What’s the hold up, champ?

Via CBS, here’s Jay Carney delivering some, er, check-the-box boilerplate.

Update: The pressure’s rising.

“I hope we will jointly act to make up for this unfortunate mistake. I believe that every error, every mistake can be corrected if it is given adequate consideration,” Komorowski said in remarks posted on his official website.

Komorowski stopped well short of explicitly demanding an apology from Obama, who used the phrase Tuesday as he honored World War II Polish resistance hero Jan Karski with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian American honor. Poland’s foreign minister had demanded a full apology late Tuesday. But Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk made no reference to an apology on Wednesday even as he blasted Obama’s remark.


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…can all 57 states apologize?

KOOLAID2 on May 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Oh man, he is wrecking all of our European alliances…

OmahaConservative on May 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

I am certain that our American friends are capable of a more explicit reaction than issuing a correction and the spokesperson of the White House expressing regret, and that maybe they will once and for all eliminate such errors – said the head of the Polish government.

November 6, 2012

de rigueur on May 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Sorry Poland.
Our president is ignorant.

AllahsNippleHair on May 30, 2012 at 8:26 PM

…and I thought Joe Biden was dumb!

KOOLAID2 on May 30, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Just when I thought Team-O couldn’t get any more amaturish….

Markvike on May 30, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Barry screwed the Poles with the pull-out of the anti-ballistic missiles just to satisfy the Russians. The Poles are about to get even by rubbing his face in the dirt.

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

GarandFan on May 30, 2012 at 8:27 PM

…how come JugEars doesn’t have to have sensitivity training?

KOOLAID2 on May 30, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Obama probably is blaming them for being down in the poll’s…no Obama down in the polls isn’t about your popularity in Poland…

Maybe Obama will apologize in Austrian…

right2bright on May 30, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Not sure what he wants the U.S. to do to help “eradicate” the phrase “Polish death camps.” Banning it would be unconstitutional,of course;some sortof educational campaign would be fine, except that I think pretty much everyone already understands that the “Polish death camps” were actually German death camps.

Call me stupid, but the President of the United States not saying it could be a good start.

Spliff Menendez on May 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

This “American friend” only apologizes to Muslims. We apologize to you, Poland. For him.

spiritof61 on May 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Really having a hard time envisioning Captain Narcissist saying something like:

“You know, I said something really terribly wrong last week, and I want to correct it.”

BigWyo on May 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM

The first thing Romney is going to have to do after he is sworn in is go on a global Obama Apology Tour. Obama has offended so many allies, it is going to take an entire tour to cover them all.

keep the change on May 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

The biggest gaffe so far by Obama and he’s had some big ones..how hard is it to say Nazi death camp? the polish have every right to be upset

sadsushi on May 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

The Polish leader is clearly anti-Semitic as the manboychild is the most Jewish-savvy person evah.

SouthernGent on May 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Photoshop the guy a Hawaiian birth certificate and Romney got a VP.

the_nile on May 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

This is a gaffe that is exceedingly worse than one leveled by Joe Biden.

WTG, champ.

ted c on May 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

I said last night that, at the least, Tusk and foreign minister Radek Sikorski could expect groveling phone calls from Obama. But I was wrong: To my amazement, Jay Carney told the White House press corps this afternoon that he’s not aware of any plans by Obama to phone either. Can that possibly be true? Calling them “Polish death camps” is profoundly stupid but can be explained away as an accidental lapse in thought. Refusing to call and apologize for the error is much more of a deliberate slight. What’s the hold up, champ?

Insert Muslim and see how quickly King Putz would bow down.

AllahsNippleHair on May 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

“I am certain that our American friends are capable of a more explicit reaction.”

Silly Rabbit!

You obviously do not know our President nor this administration!

Obviously, you are one one those “tiny little countries” like Iran.

HA!

Opposite Day on May 30, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Paul McCartney is still glad that Obama knows his way to the library. Obviously doesn’t know what the hell to do once he gets there, but he knows the way./

ted c on May 30, 2012 at 8:31 PM

After the sacrifices they made in the fight against Nazism and the extraordinary bravery their battered military exhibited on the field (I’m thinking of Monte Casino amongst several other battles)…yeah, I’d be pissed too.

Not gonna happen though folks.

This is what happens when you elect a demonstrably stupid assh*t.

CorporatePiggy on May 30, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Obama has no problem bowing to every crowned head or head of state simply because he chooses to do so. He should have no problem publicly apologizing for his egregious error to the people of Poland now that he has REASON to do so.

thatsafactjack on May 30, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Also, when was the last time Obama apologized for anything? oh yeah, he just apologizes for every wrong thing(according to Mr. Pride) this country has done

sadsushi on May 30, 2012 at 8:32 PM

I don’t know Obama personally, but anyone with an ounce of common sense can tell he is a cold, calculating punk with no ability for empathy or introspection.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2012 at 8:32 PM

I am certain that our American friends are capable of a more explicit reaction than issuing a correction and the spokesperson of the White House expressing regret, and that maybe they will once and for all eliminate such errors – said the head of the Polish government.

Looks like Jay Carney ain’t cuttin’ it, at all!

ted c on May 30, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Not sure what he wants the U.S. to do to help “eradicate” the phrase “Polish death camps.” Banning it would be unconstitutional, of course; some sort of educational campaign would be fine, except that I think pretty much everyone already understands that the “Polish death camps” were actually German death camps.

Booting Teh SCOAMF would be a good start. Hope the Poles will give us the few months necessary.

Steve Eggleston on May 30, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Not all Americans are that stuuupid, just our president and the people who vote for him!

Bambi on May 30, 2012 at 8:34 PM

i believe it was intentional, i think he was trying to sway American Jews by pandering to their grievances , it’s a sensitive subject, Joal Pollack at breitbart discussed it today in a article. Most Jews firmly believe that the Polish populace was complicit in rounding up Jews for the death camps and there were numerous pogroms in which many jews died at Polish hands during that time.

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/30/obama_touches_a_nerve_with_polish_death_camps

the whitewashing of that period is ironic, it’s as if they are trying to rewrite history, yes it wasn’t their fault, but many people helped the nazis. That being said they are our allies and pro-western so Obama shouldn’t have done it

golembythehudson on May 30, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Why would Obama officially apologize himself when he decided it was more important to play golf rather than attend the funeral of President Kaczynski who was killed in a plane crash?

JPeterman on May 30, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Just. Damn. Wish I had remembered that slight.

Steve Eggleston on May 30, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Calling them “Polish death camps” is profoundly stupid but can be explained away as an accidental lapse in thought. Refusing to call and apologize for the error is much more of a deliberate slight. What’s the hold up, champ?

C’mon. This isn’t Afghanistan we’re talking about. Obama only apologises to Muslims.

Bitter Clinger on May 30, 2012 at 8:36 PM

There is nothing in it for the Unicorn Prince to formally deliver an apology in this situation. You either understood what he really meant or you’re being completely unreasonable and stupid. Like all Narcissists, they believe respect is something to be received, it is not to be expected in return. He can’t swallow his pride because he’s sees nothing political or otherwise to be gained from doing that. He thinks the apology will bring too much attention to the issue. He’s just hoping the MSM will move it out of the news.

Corporal Tunnel on May 30, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Obama needs to do another Apology Tour….
Representing himself..

Electrongod on May 30, 2012 at 8:37 PM

One news report I saw said it was written this way on TOTUS. If that’s the case, I’d settle for an acknowledgment that he didn’t know what he was saying. What a sad joke.

CTSherman on May 30, 2012 at 8:38 PM

A single awkward phrase about historical events that took place over sixty years ago, and the world is up in arms for days.

Trillion dollar deficits several years in a row, no problem.

Dextrous on May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Poland is a Catholic country, isn’t it?

OldEnglish on May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

some sort of educational campaign would be fine, except that I think pretty much everyone already understands that the “Polish death camps” were actually German death camps.

Except, of course, for our Whacky Preezie!

Tim_CA on May 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Has Obama *EVER* apologized for something he has said that was incorrect, over the line, inappropriate, etc, etc?

Yep. didn’t think so.

Brad on May 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Poland is a Catholic country, isn’t it?

OldEnglish on May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Very much so.

JPeterman on May 30, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Obama is getting a bum rap from a bunch of nit pickers. You should all know by know when Obama says Kenya, he really means Hawaii, and when he says Hawaii, he really means Kenya, so therefor it should be obvious when he says German, he really means Polish, and when he says Polish, he really means German, or that place south of Germany where they speak Austrian. Or is it Australian? Democrats would never be so small as to try to use such a small variation in linguistic dialect against any Republican, even Sarah Palin.

VorDaj on May 30, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Poland is a Catholic country, isn’t it?

OldEnglish on May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

-
Yes, I was thinking the same thing.

diogenes on May 30, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Better send Mrs. Clinton with another “reset” button.

That always works.

Tim_CA on May 30, 2012 at 8:43 PM

You may contact President Komorowski at this link to send your own personal apology.

JPeterman on May 30, 2012 at 8:44 PM

He did apologize. But, he did it in Austrian and the Poles just didn’t understand.

BacaDog on May 30, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Well, they’re white, and they aren’t Muslim, socialist (are they?), registered liberal Democraps who might could vote for him, or communist, so they’re beneath Obama’s notice.

sage0925 on May 30, 2012 at 8:44 PM

A single awkward phrase about historical events that took place over sixty years ago, and the world is up in arms for days.

Trillion dollar deficits several years in a row, no problem.

Dextrous on May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Both are valid reasons to get rid of Obama. That’s the point.

Corporal Tunnel on May 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Yup; Obama only apologizes to enemies of the US, not to her allies.

ex_machina on May 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Wow, that update doesn’t sound good…

OmahaConservative on May 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Obama is the most intelligent president ever. So he – and only he – gets to decide when he’s insulted another country. As long as it’s a European or Western country, but not including Russia.

In all seriousness, the sheer sloppiness of this White House in everything it does is very alarming. Are they this cavalier with things like nuclear treaties with Russia?

ProfessorMiao on May 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I hope we will jointly act to make up for this unfortunate mistake. I believe that every error, every mistake can be corrected if it is given adequate consideration

throw TOTUS under the bus.

/joint actions.

ted c on May 30, 2012 at 8:46 PM

He’s done the math, no apology necessary.

Polish-American votes vs Jewish-American votes.

fogw on May 30, 2012 at 8:46 PM

A single awkward phrase about historical events that took place over sixty years ago, and the world is up in arms for days.

Dextrous on May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Should have heard what the media made of Gerald Ford’s Poland gaffe, uttered during his final debate with Carter. Sealed his fate, cost him the election.

de rigueur on May 30, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Waiting for the remaining batch of trolls to tell us why this is a nothingburger.

CurtZHP on May 30, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Has Obama *EVER* apologized for something he has said that was incorrect, over the line, inappropriate, etc, etc?

Yep. didn’t think so.

Brad on May 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Because the psycho —- doesn’t think he is ever wrong. When you have been raised with smoke blown up your ass and too much smoke drawn in on purpose you have exhibit A-Z.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Update: Polish president sends letter

Obama sends iPod

Electrongod on May 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Insert Muslim and see how quickly King Putz would bow down.

AllahsNippleHair on May 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

… or rich private equity guy at secluded Hollywood fundraiser. :-)

Punchenko on May 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

“I hope we will jointly act to make up for this unfortunate mistake. I believe that every error, every mistake can be corrected if it is given adequate consideration,” Komorowski said in remarks posted on his official website.

We’re trying. I can see November 6, 2012 from here and it smells like victory.

AllahsNippleHair on May 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

You may contact President Komorowski at this link to send your own personal apology.

JPeterman on May 30, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Shameful to have to apologize for our president…

OmahaConservative on May 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Poland is a Catholic country, isn’t it?

OldEnglish on May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

But, like the United States, it has one of the world’s largest Muslim populations. Their space program was also built mostly by Muslims.

VorDaj on May 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

A single awkward phrase about historical events that took place over sixty years ago, and the world is up in arms for days.

Dextrous on May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Being the eternal optimist I’ll play like you are kidding. Has Mr. Obama had a few other gaffes?

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Obama spreads grief and disappointment to all he talks to. It’s not enough to depress America. Poland, Syria, Afghanistan, Great Britain…the list goes on and on.

thebrokenrattle on May 30, 2012 at 8:49 PM

this is a big effin deal.

ted c on May 30, 2012 at 8:49 PM

triple dog major foreign policy bungle.

ted c on May 30, 2012 at 8:49 PM

But, like the United States, it has one of the world’s largest Muslim populations. Their space program was also built mostly by Muslims.

VorDaj on May 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I’m not sure about that. From my reading of history it was the NoKoreans and their NoLongDong program.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2012 at 8:51 PM

“On behalf of all great citizens of my 57 states and all American soldiers and corpse-men serving me around the world I’d like to apologize to the Polish people for suggesting they were responsible for those man made disaster camps. Let me be clear, I love Polacks, I used to eat Polish sausages at Cominsky Park all the time!”

nextgen_repub on May 30, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Even with strong Jewish sensibilities on the issue, I can’t believe they would outweigh placating an ally, not to mention a significant US voting bloc.

But who knows? So much of everything is driven by money, and maybe they have word that some large Jewish donors think he’s said enough.

bobs1196 on May 30, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Did they speak Austrian in the Polish death camps?

Mallard T. Drake on May 30, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Psst.

What if Obama did it on purpose? Maybe he feels like he’s already “organized” the middle east and now it’s on to Europe?

/nothing shocks me anymore

Key West Reader on May 30, 2012 at 8:52 PM

a cynical theory KWR, very cynical, but possible, I’ll give you that.

ted c on May 30, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Did they speak Austrian in the Polish death camps?

Mallard T. Drake on May 30, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Only to the corpsemen.

AllahsNippleHair on May 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM

One of Obama’s great-grandfathers and one of Baghdad Bob’s great-grandfathers were twin brothers.

VorDaj on May 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM

The Poles should pull their embassy staff out of Washington.

Put that grapefruit in Barry’s face and rub it in real hard.

Dack Thrombosis on May 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Zero could screw up a one-car parade.

Philly on May 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM

He figures he’s got all summer to reestablish his foreign policy credentials. Somebody will be bombed so that victory can be declared. Dates? Before November would be grand.

He will do anything. Anything. Whatever it takes.

spiritof61 on May 30, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Don’t worry Poland, we’ll get rid of the problem in November.

profitsbeard on May 30, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Joe Isuzu was Obama’s great uncle on his mom’s side.

VorDaj on May 30, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Let’s face it Obama is a Richard.

skatz51 on May 30, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Sooper Genius does not say sorry, comrade.

beatcanvas on May 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM

DISGRACE

WisCon on May 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM

But who knows? So much of everything is driven by money, and maybe they have word that some large Jewish donors think he’s said enough.

bobs1196 on May 30, 2012 at 8:51 PM

This is almost too cynical for me to accept, but some things just don’t make much sense with Obama. You think he could come up with some sort of prepared statement even it was a ‘sorry you misunderstood me’ non-apology.

Corporal Tunnel on May 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Please God, preserve Carney. He is simply ‘precious’.

Schadenfreude on May 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM

NoKoreans and their NoLongDong program.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2012 at 8:51 PM

They named it after Obama?

VorDaj on May 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM

While the death camps weren’t ‘Polish’-there was a high level of collaborationist Poles. Jew-hatred was pretty strong there PRIOR to the Nazis invading. 20+ years ago Glemp was complaining about Jews and their lies-and Walesa of all people wanted a political candidate to admit to being Jewish. While Poland is different now-me thinks that the Polish Leadership doth protest too much. Not every Pole behaved like JPII-who should be named a Righteous Gentile IMHO-many of them were evil to their Jewish neighbors. Google Jedwabne and the Kielce pogrom.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Poles going for Romney in overwhelming numbers.

Philly on May 30, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Poland is a Catholic country, isn’t it?

OldEnglish on May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

-
Yes, I was thinking the same thing.

diogenes on May 30, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Will they care?

OmahaConservative on May 30, 2012 at 8:57 PM

0bama knows more about Poland than any other President, because he read about it.

pedestrian on May 30, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Can that possibly be true? Calling them “Polish death camps” is profoundly stupid but can be explained away as an accidental lapse in thought. Refusing to call and apologize for the error is much more of a deliberate slight. What’s the hold up, champ?

I honestly think that Obama does not understand to harm his statement has done. I guess that is what happens when you elect a guy who has no understanding of history. The result of living a life of “unprecidented.” You don’t give a damn about the past.

Happy Nomad on May 30, 2012 at 8:58 PM

The man isn’t capable of admitting he was wrong about anything.

stldave on May 30, 2012 at 8:58 PM

President of the United States to support Poland in its efforts to promote historical truth, correct phrases and appropriate assessments of the events which took place in Poland and Europe during the Second World War”…

Um, what Poland is asking for is impossible as all that goes against the very nature of Obama.

Dark Star on May 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

I honestly think that Obama does not understand to harm his statement has done. I guess that is what happens when you elect a guy who has no understanding of history. The result of living a life of “unprecidented.” You don’t give a damn about the past.

Happy Nomad on May 30, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I’m sure he read some books.

stldave on May 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Obama is 1/32 Polish on his mom’s side.

VorDaj on May 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Just. Damn. Wish I had remembered that slight.

Steve Eggleston on May 30, 2012 at 8:35 PM

I have more where that came from Mr. Eggleston.

The Russians objected to our missile defense plans, and Obama caved. This gutting of missile defense would come on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland on Sept. 17, 1939

JPeterman on May 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

When’s Carney gonna get around to blaming Bush?

thelarryd on May 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

The Polish people should put their money where their mouths are: donate to nobama.

MeatHeadinCA on May 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Wszyscy jesteśmy Polską, dopóki nie przeprosi …

OmahaConservative on May 30, 2012 at 8:59 PM

…can all 57 states apologize?

KOOLAID2 on May 30, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Only if the apology is translated into Austrian.

Odysseus on May 30, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Obama’s taking heat, and rightly so. Poland’s still pissed about Obama selling them down the river on the missile shield. So this is a bit of payback.

Nethicus on May 30, 2012 at 9:01 PM

VorDaj on May 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I was alluding to Obama’s hatred of Catholics.

OldEnglish on May 30, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Obama’s taking heat, and rightly so. Poland’s still pissed about Obama selling them down the river on the missile shield. So this is a bit of payback.

Nethicus on May 30, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Then there was that snub after the plane crash where Barry thought playing golf was more important than attending a state funeral.

Dack Thrombosis on May 30, 2012 at 9:03 PM

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