Remember all those polls during the Presidential Campaign, how Europe desperately
wanted Barack Obama to win. The European leadership all fawned over Obama when he made his summer tour tour around the world. One of the President’s campaign promises was that he was going to “repair” our relationship with Europe (as if they needed to be repaired).
Ever since he was inaugurated, President Obama has done his best to diss our allies in Europe especially Great Britain. Almost one year into the Obama Presidency, our “relationship-repairer-in-chief” has done more to increase the divide between Britain and the US than to bring us together
Those “sophisticated” British dismissed “cowboy” Bush as a rube beneath their contempt. If the country’s opinion-makers could have, they would have taken the Concorde to NY, cast a vote for Obama, and flown back “across the pond” to be home for dinner. They got exactly what they wanted. But it isn’t exactly what they asked for.
President Obama may be the least British-friendly occupant of the White House since it was burned to the ground during the War of 1812. All across Great Britain, people are wondering, Does Obama have it in for Britain?, Nile Gardiner seems to think so:
For decades, Britain and the U.S. have been the closest of allies, enjoying a transatlantic alliance forged on the ‘special relationship’ that sprang up between those great wartime leaders, Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt.
Over 70 years, the special relationship has certainly had its ups and downs. The cast has changed – Thatcher and Reagan, Blair and Bush – as have the problems and crises that it has had to address, but it has always endured. Until now.
Last week, when President Obama got to his feet at the U.S. West Point military academy to outline his administration’s plans for America’s future in Afghanistan, one subject was conspicuous by its total absence from his 40-minute speech.
Actually there were two, Victory, and our special relationship with Great Britain who has been our number one ally in the war in terror. Amazingly our President has never mentioned the special relationship between Great Britain and America in any of his speeches both before or after becoming POTUS.
For while he made much of the surge in troop numbers and the controversial phased withdrawal planned for 18 months’ time, there wasn’t a single mention of America’s main ally in the region, Britain.
Never mind that we have 10,000 troops on active service there – far more than any other of America’s so-called allies – and never mind that 237 of our brave soldiers have already lost their lives there, Great Britain wasn’t even a footnote.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is very unpopular, but even Brown’s harshest critics were insulted at the way Obama treated the Prime Minister when he visited Washington in March.
…The only conclusion that can be drawn is that while the special relationship may not be dead yet, it’s certainly dying, a fact that should be enormously worrying to politicians – and voters – on both sides of the Atlantic.
And yet Obama seems strangely oblivious to the dangerous path he has embarked on, becoming the first U.S. President in modern times to place no importance on the historic relationship between the U.S. and Britain. This is a watershed moment in the political evolution of our two countries.
This is where Gardiner is wrong, Obama is not oblivious, he just doesn’t care.
We cannot say, however, that we weren’t warned. The U.S. President presented Prime Minister Gordon Brown with 25 DVDs on his departure from the United States in March this year
…DVD’s that will not play on DVD Players in England.
This, after all, is a man who, within days of being sworn in as President, ordered that a bust of Winston Churchill – a gift from the British people to the U.S. in the dark days that followed 9/11 – be removed from the Oval Office.
…Unlike so many of his predecessors, Obama is certainly a man with no close family ties to this country. He never attended a university here and has no great political affinity with Britain either.
Is Obama’s treatment of our close ally, revenge for Britain’s treatment of his paternal grandfather?
His Kenyan grandfather, however, was reportedly mistreated under British colonial rule during that country’s Mau Mau rebellion – an event to which he devotes 35 pages of his memoir, Dreams From My Father.
This is the same guy that lets his half brother in Kenya languish in a hut without water or electricity?
Small wonder that his relationship with Gordon Brown borders upon the disastrous.
Even some of our Prime Minister’s sternest critics – myself among them – thought he was appallingly treated by the Obama administration when he visited Washington in March.
Denied the traditional honour of a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, Brown was treated more like a Third World dictator than the Prime Minister of Great Britain. His farewell present from the U.S. President of 25 DVDs can have done nothing to repair the damage.
Nor have things improved since, with Obama apparently keener on sitting down with President Ahmadinejad of Iran, or cosying up to his new friends in France or Germany than he is on spending time with the Prime Minister. Indeed, he singularly failed to do just that when both men were in New York in September for the United Nations’ General Assembly.
Once again, Obama’s refusal to grasp that opportunity to stress the special relationship was seen as an insult to Britain.
… the speed at which the special relationship – an alliance that had endured for seven decades – has fallen apart in barely 11 months is both remarkable and deeply alarming.
One of the greatest forces for good, liberty and freedom – not to mention the defence of the free world – is in very real danger of being banished to the history books for ever.
Don’t worry Britain, if you are looking for a new best friend, look toward Israel, after all the President is doing his best to ruin that relationship also.
Obama, however, seems to be a president with no real grasp of history, as one of his first major acts on gaining office showed.
By withdrawing plans for a missile shield to be located in Eastern Europe, he not only appeased the Russians, he also betrayed the Poles and the Czechs, people who have only just been released from the yoke of Soviet control and have since become enthusiastic and valuable Western allies.
…It’s no coincidence that some of Obama’s closest advisers on European affairs, both inside the Pentagon and the State Department, are fervent believers in the idea of a federal Europe and are certainly helping those leading the charge towards a European super-state.
As a result, the Obama administration has already given its enthusiastic support to the Lisbon Treaty, the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the European Security and Defence Policy – all pan-EU initiatives.
He also seems keener on currying favour with France and Germany – the two nations that did most to oppose America’s incursion into Iraq and who have singularly failed to provide adequate support in Afghanistan – than he is with Britain.
Two key NATO command posts have recently gone to the French at Britain’s expense, while a keynote address on foreign policy – in which Obama apologised for the foreign policies of the Bush administration – was made in Strasbourg, the French city that has become one of the centres of the European behemoth.
The threat to an independent, sovereign Britain is clear and yet, remarkably, the country leading that threat is our oldest ally.
Obama must be made to realise what a dangerous diplomatic game he is playing. Time and again, history has shown – most recently, of course, in Iraq and Afghanistan – that when it comes to taking decisive military action, the only country the U.S. has ever been able to rely on is Britain.
When the U.S. marches in, it’s only ever the British who can be depended on to march alongside them.
And yet all that proud history, all that noble sacrifice, seems to count for nothing in Obama’s eyes. He seems oblivious to the debt of gratitude he, and the American people, owe this country.
Well, he must be made to open his eyes and see it. Assuming it is David Cameron who forms the next government, one of the first priorities for the new Conservative government must be to challenge Obama to show that the special relationship does matter and to take steps to ensure its urgent renewal.
Britain needs America – of that there is no doubt. But recent history shows that America needs Britain, too. Barack Obama needs to wake up to that; before it’s too late.
President Obama knows exactly what he is doing, unfortunately his third-world perspective makes him favor the nations with a one world government mindset. For Obama that means make new friends and dump the old ones.