Claude Cartaginese

Obama's Disgraceful Slap at Britain

Posted on June 16 2009 12:16 am
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Judging by how the imperious Obama administration has treated our oldest friend and ally Great Britain, other allies — most notably Israel – have good reason to be nervous.

In February, you might recall, there was Obama’s ill-mannered return of the “Winston Churchill,” a priceless bust of the greatest Englishman of the 20th Century. The British government had loaned the bust to the Bush administration, and enthusiastically offered to permit Obama to keep it for the length of his term as well–an honor which the new President unceremoniously refused.

Then there was the flap around Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s visit with Obama in March, where established protocol was ignored and Brown was practically ushered into the servant’s entrance of the Rose Garden instead of getting the traditional joint press conference which visiting heads of state are usually accorded.

The Prime Minister then had to endure yet another dose of humiliation during the gift-exchange debacle, when a stunned Brown was given a cheap set of DVDs after having  presented Obama with items of great historical significance, including  the framed commission for the HMS Resolute, a vessel that came to symbolize Anglo-US peace when it was rescued from ice packs by Americans and given to Queen Victoria. (Obama’s DVD’s, incidentally, didn’t work on British player formats).

On a subsequent trip to England in April, Obama again showed his bad manners to the British when he presented Queen Elizabeth with an iPod (she already had two of them) containing some of the speeches which the President had previously read from his trusted teleprompter. Though the tabloids berated Obama for having given the Queen such an inappropriate trinket, the British government, for its part, responded with its customary class and made no official comment.

Now, however, the British are furious.

The Obama administration has relocated four Uighurs (members of a Turkic ethnic group hailing from eastern and central Asia) who have been detained at Guantanamo Bay for the past seven years. Where are they now? In Bermuda, Britain’s oldest dependency, where they spend their days swimming gleefully in pristine waters and snacking on large ice-cream cones — at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. It seems the Obama administration cut a deal with the Bermuda government, without even advising the British that it was going to do so. That is the equivalent of Britain dumping its prisoners in Puerto Rico without consulting us.

David Millibrand, the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, telephoned Hillary Clinton — our rudderless, vacillating Secretary of State — to express the British government’s disappointment at the deal.

“They’re pissed,” is how a senior State Department official described the British reaction.

They’re right to be.

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