All humility and no pride?

We understand he's reaching out. We understand he wants to soften America's image and show the world he can listen. And we support that.

But why didn't President Obama defend his country even just a little at the Summit of the Americas, in the face of a torrent of abuse from Latin American despots and leftists who make a living out of making the United States into the devil?

Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega trashed America for nearly an hour. Not a peep out of our president.

At least argue the point!

We fear Mr. Obama's gentility and lack of gumption will be viewed as naivete at best, weakness - or, at worst, tacit agreement.

Has it never occurred to Mr. Obama that the countries that seem to hate the United States the most have some of the worst records on freedom and human rights? Or does he just accept all criticism of America as valid, regardless of the source?

Or worse - does he agree with it?

Probably no one in history has said worse things about the United States more often than Hugo Chavez, yet Obama treated him like an old friend. And reports indicate Chavez is already using the warm meeting with Obama to legitimize his own despotic rule in Venezuela.

What Mr. Obama doesn't seem to realize is that some leaders don't hate us because we deserve to be hated, but because it behooves them to make us the enemy.

"President Chavez's whole foreign policy is predicated on challenging U.S. leadership," Jennifer McCoy, director of the Carter Center's Americas Program, acknowledged to reporters.

"I think most political advisers would tell the president, you know, it's fine to shake hands - hold the smiles," said CNN commentator David Gergen.

We hope the president's charm offensive pays off. But we fear he's too caught up in being liked rather than respected.

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