Obama Signals British That They Aren’t So Special

-By Warner Todd Huston

>Barack Obama, it was claimed, would “repair” our reputation both with our enemies and our friends. So how has he done? Let’s take Britain for example. Has he “fixed” our special relationship with the British Isles? Well, if by fixed you mean he has fastened that relationship to a negative track, well then “fixed” it is.

Let’s review some of the slights that Barack Obama delivered to our closest allies, the British.

In February, immediately after he entered office, President Obama summarily rejected the most famous bust of Winston Churchill in England loaned to the U.S. for display in the Oval Office by the people of England. The bust was sent to us by the people of the U.K. as a gesture of solidarity and friendship in the aftermath of 9/11. Despite their generosity, Obama returned the generously loaned statuette without alerting the Brits that he intended to do so, blindsiding Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government.

Then in March Obama slighted the British once again by refusing to meet PM Brown at the airport in the previously arranged welcome-to-America press conference when the Brown’s came for a state visit.

During that same visit Obama callously gave Brown, a man who is nearly blind, a set of American DVD movies as an official gift from the U.S.A., movies that won’t even play on English DVD machines (America is “Region 1” while England is “Region 2” in DVD formats). To add insult to injury Mrs. Obama gave the Brown’s boys a few cheap toy helicopters from a Washington gift shop — likely made in China. On the other hand PM Brown gave some significant and thoughtful gifts to the Obama’s and our nation.

For his part, PM Brown gave two symbolic gifts and one that expressed national pride. Brown came bearing a pen holder carved from the timbers of the sister ship of that which gave the wood to create the famous “Resolute Desk,” the desk that has been in America’s charge since 1880. He also gave Obama the framed commission for that famous ship, the HMS Resolute. His third gift was a seven-volume biography of one of England’s greatest leaders, Winston Churchill.

Also during this state visit at least one person in Obama’s administration denigrated the famed “special relationship” that the U.S. and the U.K. have had since WWII. When Brown’s aids tried to interact with Obama’s, one of Obama’s aids reportedly said that there was no special relationship and that the Brits would be treated like any other nation in the age of Obama. Not very diplomatic that.

During March, British officials began to complain that Obama’s administration was neglecting the diplomatic phone calls that British officials were making to try to coordinate international policies. Apparently no one was picking up the phone in Washington when the Brits rang.

Later in April, the Obama’s showed an utter lack of protocol when visiting the Queen of England. Obama’s wife broke protocol by placing her hand upon the Queen’s back, a definite no-no. Michelle, it seems, was entirely too casual about her appearance before the Queen and the British were appalled by Michelle’s lack of respect. By itself this incident might seem small, but taken with all the others it seems apiece with how unimportant the Obama’s consider the British. Even long-standing protocol isn’t important enough to observe as far as the Obama’s are concerned.

Then in May Team Obama left the Queen out of its D-Day memorial plans again showing the Brits that they weren’t important enough for Obama’s attention.

It should be remembered that the D-Day incident occurred around the same time that Obama was bowing in supplication before the Saudi King showing the world that Obama would pay more deference to a repressive regime than any western democracy.

By June the British press was beginning to wonder why Obama hated them so much. Even the New York Times worried that, “on a more basic level, there is a sense that the Obama administration is ignoring the needs and counsel of longtime allies.” And so, during June several other western democracies were pronouncing their disgust at how they were being mistreated or ignored by Obama and his administration. Along with the British, the Germans, the French, and the Israelis were also becoming miffed at their treatment at Obama’s hands.

We should contrast these slights with how Obama had been bowing and scraping (both figuratively and literally) to Saudi Kings, North Korean madmen, dictatorial Iranian regimes, and South American strong men throughout this entire time. Obama was also seen in November bowing nearly to the floor before another national leader, this time before Japan’s Emperor Akihito. The Brits must have really been confused by this one. He bows to a Japanese Emperor — whose predecessor was an enemy to the U.S. — but shows little interest in their Queen — who was herself one of our longest allies and fought with us during WWII?

And now Obama’s upturned nose is again shown England as she fights to retain control of the Falklands. Instead of supporting the Brit’s assertion that the Falklands are their lawful possession Obama ignored the whole question, saying nothing, and leaving the British to twist in the wind lending Argentina’s claims upon the Islands more credence than it otherwise would have had if the U.S. had officially upheld the Brit’s rights to them.

The word in London is that Obama is punishing the British for having released sensitive U.S. intelligence on a terror suspect recently. In retaliation Obama has refused to uphold the U.K.’s long-held sovereignty over the Falklands.

This wasn’t the only punishment Obama dealt the Brits over this incident. Last week Obama also abruptly canceled a planned conference to celebrate 60 years of the two nation’s intelligence sharing arrangement.

In the final analysis it seems that Obama can act tough with the British, can callously dismiss the French and the Germans, but goes all soft in the face of murderous regimes like Iran, the Saudis, and North Korea. One would suspect that Obama hasn’t the spine to deal with real problems but, like the cuckolded hubby, lashes out where he knows its safe to do so but not where some lashing out would do some good.

(Originally posted at BigGovernment.com)
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, TheRealityCheck.org, RedState.com, Human Events Magazine, AmericanDailyReview.com, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for RedCounty.com.

He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

Fair Use: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site/blog for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001