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  • An Elementary Failure of Courtesy

    Rory Cooper has drawn attention to the fact that the DVDs that President Obama gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his visit here earlier this month won’t play in Britain. It’s worse than that: Brown is blind in one eye, and is reported to be suffering vision problems in the other. The gift of DVDs was not only cheap and unworthy of the Anglo-American Special Relationship: it was also spectacularly tactless.

    Brown’s gifts to Obama, by contrast, showed the dignity and care that statesmen – and especially great allies – are supposed to display. The first edition of Sir Martin Gilbert’s monumental biography of Winston Churchill should remain permanently in the Oval Office, as a testimony to the greatest Briton and the first honorary citizen of the United States. And the penholder fashioned from the timber of HMS Gannet, an anti-slaving ship that served off East Africa, was a reminder of the moral and physical force that Britain and America must combine as they confront their latest totalitarian enemy. Indeed, the penholder may have been Brown’s subtle way of encouraging Obama to show backbone in foreign affairs.

    But what has been the most outrageous of all is the State Department’s miserable treatment of the entire affair. While Obama must bear the ultimate blame for the fiasco, the Department’s advice on gifts before Brown’s visit was incompetent. And afterwards, when asked why Brown’s visit had been humiliatingly low-key, the official responsible for planning it responded:

    There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.

    This is a shabby, embarrassing way to treat a great ally that, right now, has 9,000 troops fighting alongside America’s forces in Afghanistan. And it’s historically illiterate: the Anglo-American Special Relationship began 70 years ago, and is the longest and closest alliance between liberal democracies in the history of the world.

    Obama says he’s in favor of openness. Here’s the kind of openness we believe in: he should order the official responsible for this ignorant and insulting remark to stand up in front of the media, take responsibility for their comments, and clarify them to make it clear that the relationship with Britain is indeed special to the U.S.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to An Elementary Failure of Courtesy

    1. ra,ohio says:

      BO is in no way qualified to be President of the US.

      He is an arrogant, egotistical, self-serving, stupid, individual that is addicted to adulation and is ruining the status that this country has had in the world community.

      His administration is inept, corrupt, and will spend this country into debt that we cannot get out of for many DECADES to come.

      His agenda smacks of socialism, and along with the liberal democrat congress will take US down a path that we can't afford.

      He does not love this country; how could he push through the bills that will devastate the people that contribute to America's wealth and independence.

      He is a liar, and a charlatan and sincerely enjoys hearing himself speak.

      Keep in mind, this guy has only been office for two months,…

      what are we going to looks like in two years ???

    2. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Obama is anti-British for a variety of reasons. 1. His Kenyan father is anti-British due to colonial rule. 2. Obama probably views Britain as the Colonial power that fomented much of the troubles in the world. 3. He despises the US (Jeremiah Wright style) and naturally, its strongest ally.

    3. Martyn, Worcester, U says:

      This is the latest and most visible evidence that the "Special" Relationship, is one way, our Government and Prime Minister fawns to your President and accedes to virtually all of your Government's requests, eg a one-way treaty on extradition, where you UK Citizens can be removed from our Country to face trial in the US, but the treaty is no reciprocal.

      It would be a very populist move here to pull our troops out of Afghanistan (already coming out of Iraq). If we are just another country, if we get nothing out of the relationship, other than the contempt of your President, why should our troops continue to die in your name?

    4. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    5. JD, Colorado says:

      As an citizen of the Unites States, I would like to apologize wholeheartedly to Prime Minister Brown and the entire population of the 'Great' Britain for the actions of our current president and his administration.

      The way in which President Obama and his staff treated Mr. Brown is completely inexcusable and does not reflect mine nor the majority of American's true feeling for the people and country of Great Britain.

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