Obama sends letter expressing “regret” to Poland

posted at 2:01 pm on June 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

It took Barack Obama a few days to finally admit he’d insulted Poles during a prepared speech that intended to honor the man who alerted the Allies to Nazi death camps during World War II, and to make amends.  A few days after angering Poland over a reference to a “Polish death camp,” Obama sent a letter to the Polish government expressing “regret” for his “inadvertent error”:

President Barack Obama has written a letter to the Polish president expressing “regret” for an inadvertent verbal gaffe that caused a storm of controversy in Poland this week. …

“In referring to ‘a Polish death camp’ rather than ‘a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland,’ I inadvertently used a phrase that has caused many Poles anguish over the years and that Poland has rightly campaigned to eliminate from public discourse around the world,” Obama wrote. “I regret the error and agree that this moment is an opportunity to ensure that this and future generations know the truth.” …

“In pursuit of their goals of destroying the Polish nation and Polish culture and exterminating European Jewry, the Nazis killed some six million Polish citizens, including three million Polish Jews during the Holocaust,” Obama wrote. “The bravery of Poles in the underground resistance is one of history’s great stories of heroism and courage.”

The president of Poland took the letter graciously and pronounced his government satisfied:

“The events of the past few days and the U.S. president’s reply may, in my opinion, mark a very important moment in the struggle for historical truth,” President Bronislaw Komorowski told reporters.

It’s not quite the same as an explicit apology.  Prime Minister Donald Tusk demanded an explicit apology earlier in the week, but Komorowski had left the door open for a less-humiliating response. Diplomatically, statements of “regret” acknowledge damage to a relationship while avoiding direct responsibility for it.  In the letter itself, though, Obama does take personal responsibility for having used the insulting phrase, which should prove satisfactory and put this insult in the past.

Regrets … Obama’s had a few, but then again …


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Ha Obama accomplished what he set out to do…Humiliate our allies.

PierreLegrand on June 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

But shuts out Walesa, the tiny weasel.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Obumbles…

Turning molehills into mountains since 2008.

Tim_CA on June 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Polish Americans – hell, ALL AMERICANS – take note.

Rixon on June 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Adjusted up to a solid B+ in your required history courses, eh Barry?

rogerb on June 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Will he send a letter of regret to the American people after November 6?

Doughboy on June 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Obama sent a letter to the Polish government expressing “regret” for his “inadvertent error”:

What inadvertent error?

Science is hard, math is harder but research is the hardest of them all.

If this had been the first research error then inadvertent might be a reasonable description. This is just a continuation of a long line of failure to research by this administration.

chemman on June 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Obama sends letter expressing “regret” to Poland

Dear Poland,

The mess left by George W. Bush was so bad that it made me insult you Polacks. Enclosed is an Ipod with my speeches on it as a condolence,

Cheers,

Duh Won

NoFanofLibs on June 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Barry picked the wrong week to stop choomin’.

NoDonkey on June 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Beat me to it Ed. Of course I probably would have gone with this. I lay off the Elvis stuff. Thats Dires.

Bmore on June 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

In the letter itself, though, Obama does take personal responsibility for having used the insulting phrase, which should prove satisfactory and put this insult in the past.

Not quite, because the people and pundits and other elected officials in Poland still want an actual apology, not political speak.

William Teach on June 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Obama sends letter expressing “regret” to Poland
…Each and every American should also send a letter to Poland stating: “We deeply regret that this clown is our president.”

TeaPartyNation on June 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

53% of the American voters should apologize to all our allies for being duped into voting for such an incompetent marxist.

rbj on June 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Poland and your citizens, as an American ‘I regret’ that we have bho as our president.

We American citizens will try to all we can to get a new president who is not such an arrogant, snotty, small, classless person as bho is.

This goes to all nations all over the world bho has slammed.
L

letget on June 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM

This is the smartest President, evah! And he’s read more about the Polish people than any President before him. Why, he knows so much that he even remembers things that never happened!

NOMOBO on June 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM

“Dear Pollacks, sorry for the dis, loves me some Kielbasa though.”

44Magnum on June 1, 2012 at 2:11 PM

You want to know the truth? You want Obama to tell the truth?

“Hey, I don’t program the teleprompter, I just read what’s on it.”

The Rogue Tomato on June 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM

But shuts out Walesa, the tiny weasel.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

He fought to tear down the Iron Curtain and end Communism. King Obama likes the Commies.

JPeterman on June 1, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Obama sends letter expressing “regret” to Poland

Dear Poland,

The mess left by George W. Bush was so bad that it made me insult you Polacks.

NoFanofLibs on June 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Hilarious.

Tim_CA on June 1, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Will he send a letter of regret to the American people after November 6?

Doughboy on June 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

I would accept that apology if the return address on the letter was Leavenworth, cell block C.

iurockhead on June 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Beat me to it Ed. Of course I probably would have gone with this. I lay off the Elvis stuff. Thats Dires.

Bmore on June 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

______________________________________

There’s also the Sid Vicious / Sex Pistols’ version. Maybe more Urkel’s speed.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on June 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

53% of the American voters should apologize to all our allies for being duped into voting for such an incompetent marxist.

rbj on June 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

they weren’t duped. those voters were, and still are today, flat out stupid.

GhoulAid on June 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

It’s not quite the same as an explicit apology.

It’s not an apology. An expression of regret is not an apology.

Don’t tell me that words don’t matter. ~ Barack Obama (via Deval Patrick)

Fallon on June 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

…Each and every American should also send a letter to Poland stating: “We deeply regret that this clown is our president.”

TeaPartyNation on June 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

You can contact President Komorowski Here.

JPeterman on June 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Obama’s snub to Lech Walesa is also unforgiveable.
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/301474/president-obama-shuns-lech-walesa-rory-cooper

onlineanalyst on June 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM

…took too long…but, he apologized…good enough for me.

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM

At least 0bama didn’t string them along waiting for Poland’s leaders to forcefully demand an apology multiple times over multiple days — and for the entire nation of Poland to get their ire up — before he finally relented and did the right thing.

Oh. Wait…

FlatFoot on June 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Well, at least he didn’t refer to his inadvertent verbal gaffe as a “thingamajig”

Flora Duh on June 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

“The events of the past few days and the U.S. president’s reply may, in my opinion, mark a very important moment in the struggle for historical truth,” President Bronislaw Komorowski told reporters.

Komorowski: P.S. Now, about those missiles against Iranian nukes, where were we?

Steve Z on June 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

You think Jug Ears sounded like an ass? Just imagine what Sarah Palin would say instead… *ducks*

Archivarix on June 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

People should not make light of the Poles bravery in WWII. Poles were know to barehandedly throw sticks of dynamite directly at the invading Germans. Of course the Germans would pick them up, light them and throw them back, but hey!

ronsfi on June 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

But shuts out Walesa, the tiny weasel.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

“The bravery of Poles in the underground resistance (to Fascism) is one of history’s great stories of heroism and courage.”

Resisting Communism, on the other hand, is defined as “too political”. Wonder how many citizens this man would like to jail for being “too political” if he could get away with it.

Can one of our illustrious resident bloggers please do a proper piece on Walesa?

CapnObvious on June 1, 2012 at 2:21 PM

The likelihood is that President Obama didn’t want Walesa in the White House because Walesa has made critical remarks toward the president’s policies and in 2010 warned that the United States was slipping toward socialism. But rather than taking the mature and diplomatic path and respecting Walesa’s right to have a differing perspective, Obama chose to shun his lifetime of achievements.

Congratulating Walesa on his Nobel Prize in 1983, President Ronald Reagan said: “For too long, the Polish government has tried to make Lech Walesa a non-person and destroy the free trade-union movement that he helped to create in Poland. But no government can destroy the hopes that burn in the hearts of a people. The people of Poland have shown in their support of Solidarity, just as they showed in their support of His Holiness Pope John Paul II during his visit to Poland, that the government of that nation cannot make Lech Walesa a non-person, and they can’t turn his ideas into non-ideas.”

The White House should not treat President Walesa as a non-person, and they cannot turn his ideas into non-ideas.

…and he claims to “be like Reagan”. He can’t even dare to walk in Reagan’s path, the creep.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Parma, Ohio still pissed! Parma may very well go Romney in November!

BHO Jonestown on June 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM

OT but hilarious ….
CNBC broke away from Zero’s fundraising speech to report that the Dow has dropped 30 points since he’d started speaking !!!
ROFLMAO !!!!

pambi on June 1, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Another strike tbis week

cmsinaz on June 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

At least 0bama didn’t string them along waiting for Poland’s leaders to forcefully demand an apology multiple times over multiple days — and for the entire nation of Poland to get their ire up — before he finally relented and did the right thing.

Oh. Wait…

FlatFoot on June 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Give the guy a break. He had to form a committee to decide what should go into the letter, and who would write and send it. That takes time.

The Rogue Tomato on June 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Did TOTUS sign the “letter of regret”?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on June 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Did he ever apologize to our Navy for the Navy Corpsmen infamous comments?

Bye Bye Obamaski.

kirkill on June 1, 2012 at 2:30 PM

You can contact President Komorowski Here.

JPeterman on June 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I sent a note.

Night Owl on June 1, 2012 at 2:32 PM

OT but hilarious ….
CNBC broke away from Zero’s fundraising speech to report that the Dow has dropped 30 points since he’d started speaking !!!
ROFLMAO !!!!

pambi on June 1, 2012 at 2:24 PM

You’re actually watching CNN????

I guess it’s good for a laugh now and then.

UltimateBob on June 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

This is starting to look like a total meltdown. Who’s going to ride in and save the day?

ronsfi on June 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Jim Treacher has a funny take on this (as always).

Writing that letter had to have been the hardest thing 0bama has ever done in his entire miserable life.

UltimateBob on June 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Walesa pays the child back.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 2:39 PM

“thingamajig”

Flora Duh on June 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Ugh. Words escape me. He’s talkin down to the people, droppin’ “g’s” and using cute words.
(But I always enjoy your links)

Brat on June 1, 2012 at 2:40 PM

“The bravery of Poles in the underground resistance is one of history’s great stories of heroism and courage.”

Chris Hayes did not approve this message.

Rovin on June 1, 2012 at 2:40 PM

The small little man who would be president snubbing a real hero is probably the biggest development of this who clusterfluke.

What the fluke kind of banana republic would turn away Lech Walesa?

MNHawk on June 1, 2012 at 2:58 PM

And, he had the gall to shun Lech Walesa who offered to accept the medal of freedom for a fellow Pole. Or again maybe it was Jarrett who did. Lechh did criticize, and rightly so, the policies obummer had as leading our counry into socialism. Oops that’s an open secret obumble still tries to hide. Disgraceful. This guy is digging a deep hole for himself.

jake49 on June 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Meanwhile, back in the real world – - – obama launched one of his typical, well crafted, non-factual insult bombs at Holocaust victims and Poland and now, he has dredged up a little fake-regret in response to the outrage that he had hoped his comments would create.

Barry can play his dopey little games all day – he is not fooling anyone.

Pork-Chop on June 1, 2012 at 3:11 PM

You know who else is an example of Polish bravery and courage? Lech Walesa. And our petty little president couldn’t bring himself to share a stage with him.

Dee2008 on June 1, 2012 at 3:11 PM

How do we even know it was a gaffe?

I mean this is the same guy who credits Islam with all kinds of deeds that never happened like the invention of the magnetic compass.

LetsBfrank on June 1, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I mean this is the same guy who credits Islam Muslims with all kinds of deeds that they did not do like the invention of the magnetic compass.

Uh, that’s better.

LetsBfrank on June 1, 2012 at 3:17 PM

WHERE’S MY REGRET LETTER?
Where’s America’s?

AllahsNippleHair on June 1, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Yeah, all’s well on the surface, but deep inside the darkest corners of the White house, Michelle is already purging all kielbasa,golapki and pirogi recipes from the menus. She won’t feel good ever again about polkas…unless and until Barack becomes president of Poland.

Don L on June 1, 2012 at 3:26 PM

He’s like Arthur Fonzarelli… I was wrr-r-r-r-r…

beatcanvas on June 1, 2012 at 10:46 AM

LOL! Classic.

Christien on June 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Walesa pays the child back.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Nice.

Mr Walesa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, had been invited by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski to attend a gathering of Poland’s leading political figures with the U.S. President in Warsaw on Saturday.

‘It’s difficult to tell journalists what you’d like to say to the president of a superpower. This time I won’t tell him, I won’t meet him, it doesn’t suit me,’ Walesa told news station TVN24.

Fallon on June 1, 2012 at 3:32 PM

The question remains. will Obama appease the Russians by not installing a missile defense system in Poland? I should just ask, will Obama still sell out the Polish people to appease Putin? Yes, Putin, who thinks that Obama is a light-weight American President. And, snubs Obama at every chance he can take.

SC.Charlie on June 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Barack should have had D.C. councilmember Marion Barry (ex-mayor, ex-choomer, ex-crackhead, ex-jailbird,…) write the letter of apology to the Polacks Poles.

HHW on June 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM

If this had been the first research error then inadvertent might be a reasonable description. This is just a continuation of a long line of failure to research by this administration.

You don’t need to do a whole lot of research to know that Germany invaded Poland, causing the allies to declare war on Germany. It was sort of a historical big f—ing deal.

Mitchell Heisman on June 1, 2012 at 4:02 PM

An apology… made ‘unexpectedly’…

Can’t wait to vote DOTUS out on NO-vember 6th…

Khun Joe on June 1, 2012 at 4:11 PM

…and he claims to “be like Reagan”. He can’t even dare to walk in Reagan’s path, the creep.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

It took me a while to find this written by Natan Sharansky after Reagan died.

Look at the contrast.

In 1983, I was confined to an 8-by-10-foot prison cell on the border of Siberia. My Soviet jailers gave me the privilege of reading the latest copy of Pravda. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of President Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” By tapping on walls and talking through toilets, word of Reagan’s “provocation” quickly spread throughout the prison. We dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth — a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us.

INC on June 1, 2012 at 4:18 PM

A non-apology apology from an anti-American American.

petefrt on June 1, 2012 at 4:21 PM

He only half apologized, guess which half…

2Tru2Tru on June 1, 2012 at 4:45 PM

The Poles specifically demanded an apology. Obama did not give them one as a way of putting them in their place and showing them “Who’s the boss”. Another allie crapped on.

olesparkie on June 1, 2012 at 4:47 PM

The only thing that man regrets is that he caved to the pressure and sent the letter.

stukinIL4now on June 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM

I’m surprised that clown didn’t send an iPod to the Polish President.

JayMac1 on June 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

You can never go wrong Ed by quoting Elvis.

LITHIUM on June 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM

This reflects the arrogant and…..ummm….unpolished side of Jugears.

Get it? “unpolished”….un…polish…ed?

You don’t? Oh well…..

timberline on June 1, 2012 at 6:00 PM

about time

gerrym51 on June 1, 2012 at 6:14 PM

So will next President feel compelled to do a “regret tour?”

You know how much the world hates us. In fact, I am thinking a Hope and Change themed campaign would do wonders.

Oops.

sdbatboy on June 1, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Give the guy a break. He had to form a committee to decide what should go into the letter, and who would write and send it. That takes time.

Actually, he was waiting for the Pole results. (They were unfavorable).

Barnestormer on June 1, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Just emailed this to the president of Poland:

Dear President Komorowski,

As an American citizen, I would like to personally apologize for the terrible insult, that our incompetent, sorry excuse for a President Obama leveled at you and your nation. He does not represent the feelings or wisdom of the American people. He is a small-minded, egotistical, conceited dumb-ass. I want you to know that, I personally am working within the Republican party in Colorado to ensure that he will be unemployed after our elections in November. In the meantime, I ask for your kind patience as we wait to erase this embarrassment from our White House. I thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely yours,

(My Name)
Denver, Colorado, USA

You can contact President Komorowski Here.

JPeterman on June 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Hat tip to JPeterman for providing the link!

realitycheck on June 1, 2012 at 8:18 PM

You think Jug Ears sounded like an ass? Just imagine what Sarah Palin would say instead… *ducks*

Archivarix on June 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Off the cuff she might have made such a slip. In prepared remarks, which these were, I think she would have made sure, or had staff competent enough to make sure, that the words were right. I think she also would have corrected the mistake a LOT sooner if she had made it.

Kevin K. on June 1, 2012 at 10:02 PM

There’s also the Sid Vicious / Sex Pistols’ version. Maybe more Urkel’s speed.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on June 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Wish I had seen this earlier. I actually played this for a QOTD song the other evening. There are times when it is appropriate. I n the unlikely event that you come back by here and see this. This. ; )

Bmore on June 1, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Send them some DVD’s and an Ipod with his beautiful speeches on it and they will forget…

notalemon on June 2, 2012 at 11:51 PM