Winston Churchill rightly called the bond between Great Britain and the United States a "special relationship," and its strength has greatly served both countries and the cause of freedom around the world. Yet President Obama in just nine months seems to be doing his damnedest to damage that relationship at every opportunity. We all remember the details of what can only be described as high-level petulance:
It's a string of shameful embarrassments from the man who was supposed to rescue our foreign policy from the bumbling idiot from Texas who supposedly couldn't get anyone to like him or America. I note that Obama is quick to apologize on the world stage for every real (and mostly imagined) sin perpetrated by the United States — all of which happened before Obama arrived to redeem us, of course — but not only can he not apologize for his boorishness towards our greatest and most important ally, he keeps doubling down.
Via Scott Johnson at Power Line, we learn the latest instance of Obama giving Great Britain the back of his hand. Apparently, Gordon Brown had asked repeatedly to be granted a brief audience with The One, and was rebuffed by the Obama administration. Brown had to resort to scrambling through the U.N. kitchen and trapping Obama somewhere between the line cooks and the walk-in. This kind of treatment towards the leader of a country that has sacrificed 217 soldiers in Afghanistan — you know, that war Obama said was not a "war of choice" but one we "must win" — is disgraceful.
Or, as David Hughes of The Telegraph of London puts it in the headline of his blog post: Barack Obama's churlishness is unforgivable. The whole post is brief, but powerful, so I paste it here in its entirety:
The juxtaposition on our front page this morning is striking. We carry a photograph of Acting Sgt Michael Lockett - who was killed in Helmand on Monday - receiving the Military Cross from the Queen in June, 2008. He was the 217th British soldier to die in the Afghan conflict. Alongside the picture, we read that the Prime Minister was forced to dash through the kitchens of the UN in New York to secure a few minutes “face time” with President Obama after five requests for a sit-down meeting were rejected by the White House.
What are we to make of this? This country has proved, through the bravery of men like Acting Sgt Lockett, America’s staunchest ally in Afghanistan. In return, the American President treats the British Prime Minister with casual contempt. The President’s graceless behaviour is unforgivable. As most members of the Cabinet would confirm, it’s not a barrel of laughs having to sit down for a chat with Gordon Brown. But that’s not the point. Mr Obama owes this country a great deal for its unflinching commitment to the American-led war in Afghanistan but seems incapable of acknowledging the fact. You might have thought that after the shambles of Mr Brown’s first visit to the Obama White House - when there was no joint press conference and the President’s “gift” to the Prime Minister was a boxed DVD set - lessons would have been learned. Apparently not. Admittedly, part of the problem was Downing Street’s over-anxiety to secure a face-to-face meeting for domestic political purposes but the White House should still have been more obliging. Mr Obama’s churlishness is fresh evidence that the US/UK special relationship is a one-way street.
Scott offers an apology to the British people. I extend the same, and ask again: What the hell is wrong with this guy? I took a little flak back in March when I observed the defining characteristic of Obama's foreign policy seemed to be to piss off our allies and curry favor with our enemies. Not much has changed. Obama's obsequious speech before the UN Wednesday was applauded most heartily by the worst tyrants in the world — the same tyrants who always seem to have nice things to say about President Obama but always had awful things to say about President Bush.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather British journalists had reason to praise my president, rather than call him out for churlishness and graceless behavior. And I rather British Prime Ministers didn't have to re-enact a Benny Hill sketch to catch up with an American president.