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  • Barack Obama Insults Poland – Again

    Last week I wrote a piece urging President Obama to attend the funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the Polish First Lady, and 94 senior officials who perished in the Smolensk air disaster. I noted at the time:

    The Obama administration has on numerous occasions failed to acknowledge the importance of Washington’s allies, and has often appeared indifferent, even hostile towards America’s closest friends. It is important at this time of tremendous pain and suffering in Poland, that the President of the United States sends a clear message that the American government and people are with them in heart and spirit.

    The White House did subsequently announce that the president would attend the funeral ceremony in Krakow this past weekend, but like many world leaders he was unable to do so due to the grounding of flights over much of Europe.

    One would have thought that President Obama might have used the time he would have spent in Poland paying his respects to the Polish fallen. For example he could have visited the recently erected Victims of Communism memorial in Washington, or at the very least have signed the condolence book at the Polish Embassy. But what did he choose to do instead? Play yet another round of golf.

    As Joseph Curl at The Washington Times reported:

    On a cool but sun-drenched Sunday, the president and three golfing companions went to Andrews Air Force Base to play 18 holes. It is the 32nd time Mr. Obama has played golf since taking office Jan. 20, 2009, according to CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller.

    After canceling the Poland trip on Saturday, the White House announced that Mr. Obama had no public schedule for Sunday. He was to have arrived in Krakow in the morning, attend the 2 p.m. funeral and leave for home by 5 p.m., arriving back at the White House after midnight.

    Mr. Obama has not gone to the Polish Embassy in Washington since the accident, but Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. both have. There, they signed a condolence book.

    Curl also notes that Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, gave up playing golf in the aftermath of the Iraq War:

    Mr. Obama has played golf far more often than former President George W. Bush. In his eight years in office, Mr. Bush played just 24 times. His last time as president was Oct. 13, 2003. He said in 2008 that he gave up golf “in solidarity” with the families of soldiers who were dying in Iraq.

    It is hard to think of anything more insulting to the Polish people on the day they mourned the loss not only of their president but much of their political and military leadership, for the president of the United States to be enjoying a round of golf after canceling plans to attend the funeral. It is yet another disgraceful example of crass insensitivity to a close American ally, which has become the hallmark of the Obama administration’s amateurish foreign policy.

    Just eight months on from humiliating Warsaw by pulling out of the agreement over Third Site missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, the White House has insulted the Poles yet again. This is no minor diplomatic faux pas – it is a second full-blown slap in the face for a key US partner, whose soldiers are currently laying their lives on the line alongside their American allies on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

    Cross-posted at The Daily Telegraph.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    50 Responses to Barack Obama Insults Poland – Again

    1. Bill Kaminski Seattl says:

      oh but of course golf was way more of a priority ,come on anytime this guy can work on his "game" or host athletes , boy thats what he is all about ,its all about the limelight -give him a break my a–

    2. Wes Ramsay says:

      He agreed to attend only after public pressure was put on him. The volcano may have been a factor, but there are routes to Poland that don't involve flying over the North Atlantic east of Iceland. He had some other options available to him as well, had he cared to make use of them:

      1. A video-taped or live-linked personal message of condolence to be broadcast in Poland, translated into Polish for local consumption. We have a State Department to arrange for things like that.

      2. A visit to the Embassy to sign the condolence book, and to visit with the Ambassador and the staff of the embassy, many of whom surely lost friends in the tragedy.

      3. An invitation for the Polish ambassador to visit the Oval Office, where condolences could have been offered, perhaps in conjunction with option 1.

      4. He could have flown to Chicago to attend a Polish-language requiem mass in honor of the Polish leaders who passed away, which surely took place. He knows the way to Chicago, and his way around it, last time anyone checked.

      5. He could have signed a presidential proclamation of condolence, and ordered the US flag flown at half-mast for the day of the funeral.

      The list goes on, and these are just the obvious, easy things that could have been undertaken–need we continue?

      Reagan, Carter, Ford, both Bushes, and probably Bill Clinton would have done at least three of the five. Only Bill would have done them with the cameras running constantly, but he would have done them.

      Obama hits the links on the day of the funeral. Compare and contrast.

      We live in an age of medical miracles, but alas, there is no cure for lack of class.

    3. Stacey says:

      Read the article again – it is not faulting him for not attending due to planes being grounded in Europe. It's the fact that he didn't even bother to show his face at the Polish embassy to sign the condolence book and played his 32 nd round of golf in only 64 1/2 weeks that he has been in office. He is an embarrassment!

    4. Beth Gregg says:

      It's obvious from the comments that some (i.e. Tim, Zack) don't take time to read the article but argue with it anyway.

    5. Natalie, Fort Wayne, says:

      Zack & Tim,

      Did you read the article or are you just jumping on the author out of blind support of the president? The point was, if the president's flight was grounded because of the volcanic ash, the very LEAST he could have done was to go sign the condolence book at the Polish embassy before he hit the course.

    6. Chrisann, Utah says:

      Why didn't he at least go to the embassy and sign the condolence book, at least that would have been respectful to show his support to those in mourning. He is very arrogant in his actions and people around the world are noticing, not just the American people.

    7. Polly Johns NC says:

      What a piece of work……………elections have consequences, hopefully 2010 will start the ball rolling for 2012! I can't wait!!!

    8. Jodi, Pennsylvania says:

      Of course he could not fly…that was acknowledged in the article. What is being criticized is how he spent his time since he couldn't fly (golfing), that and the fact that he has not as of yet even acknowledged the Poles' pain while here. Even H. Clinton and Biden have shown appropriate responses.

      Obama's foreign policy in general shows a complete lack of respect, and it's scary. We're gonna end up without any allies, thanx to him. GRRRR!

    9. David, TN says:

      nobody is blaming Obama for not attending the funeral. Heck, it took the German Chancellor 4 days to get home from DC.

      The criticism is that he cancelled the trip and went out and played a round of golf. He just doesn't understand the etiquette involved with the Office. Not surprising, really, but you would think he would have learned it by now. Makes you think he doesn't really care.

    10. D says:

      uh the Russian president was able to FLY from Moscow to Poland to attend

    11. RC-1, Texas says:

      Do you miss Jimmy Carter now?

    12. Pingback: We Can Take Care Of Ourselves, Thank You.

    13. Billie says:

      a few days before the funeral, obama said he would go regardless of the ash.

      why he would even consider in the first place, reminds me of a fraud, an impostor…

      What's his golf background before he was in office? Pretty insulting when he could've done other things in President Kaczynski's honor.

    14. James Jones, Texas says:

      I just wish this news was somehow unexpected. However, this President has lowered/eliminated any expectations I used to have for that office. Well, at least for a couple of more years.

    15. Zack says:


    16. tim lafayette uncasville ct says:

      you are kidding me right? you don’t think Obama had intentions of going? why not blame the volcano on Obama? The skies were not safe to fly, give this guy one break!!!!!!

    17. Cae says:

      No Zack-We are not criticizing him for not going. We agree with not taking the risk. We take exception to his lack of maturity and respect.

      Obama could have attended Catholic Mass in solidarity with the Polish people and in honor first couple (and others) since he was unable to fly. This was a deliberate fu. 1st killing the missile shield now this blatant sign of disrespect. He says he is so smart but either this is deliberate or he &his "crackerjack " staff are cavone. Yes I said cavone! If they were Muslim or Black Protestants he would have found away to pay respects at home.

    18. Betty says:

      I just don’t think this President gets it for sure. This is disgraceful showing of indifference,disregard to the Poland people.

    19. Kathleen S. of Alexandria, VA says:

      These actions are only the tip of the iceberg. It does not take a rocket scientist to know this is yet another way to cut off the United States from their true allies

      A well known tactic of those who know the tactics of mafia style contingents.

      Not to mention this whole administration reads like the bully with his thugs on the playground. teaming up the sniveling , no backbone wonders who are easily made pawns to do their bidding, because they are always rationalizing and making excuses that it must be someone Else’s fault. They couldn’t possibly have been involved (pause) willing.
      Heaven forbid they take responsibility for their actions! Then wonder why they have no credibility.

    20. Kelly, New Hampshire says:

      Is anyone really surprised?

    21. Bonnie California says:

      The point of this article is not that the President should have flown to Poland with the risk posed by the volcanic ash. The point is that he should have made a symbolic gesture of some sort to let the Polish people know that the U.S. stands with them during their time of national mourning. At the very least, he shouldn’t have gone out for a round of golf!

    22. Madeline, Matthews NC says:

      You guys just don’t get it!
      He couldn’t go to the funeral because of the ash.. and that’s all Bush’s fault..

      My condolences to the good people of Poland. on behalf of this.. (not my) president!

    23. Ingrid, Kentucky says:

      Yes, we know that he could not go because of the volcanic activity – that’s not the issue and a couple of you seem to be completely missing the point. It’s the fact that he PLAYED a round of golf instead of doing something that would have been, just perhaps, a bit more appropriate in order to show some respect for the President of Poland, his wife, and the other government officials who died so tragically.

    24. Howard, CA says:

      You leftist make me sick. It isn’t the fact that the volcano had him cancel the trip is what upsetting about this man. It’s the fact he took a round of golf and completely snubbed the Polish people. Having endure the loss of my Wife’s mother this week as well as my kids not only lost a grandma but lost 4 cousins in a murder, the slightest gestures make a great deal of difference when one is grieving. All this man had to do is take a few minutes from practicing his putts to go to the Polish embassy and sign a book like Hillary and Biden, but even that was too much to ask from this President. And all you leftist can do get on the bandwagon of give Obama a break. Well you stupid supporters give him too many breaks and considering this required one small gesture that was too much of him and the fact you leftist will use any excuse to attack the right or any critique, your callousness comes as no surprise.

    25. george, virginia says:

      look people, i cant even stand the thought of oboma but if you cant fly in an area that is having problems then i cant blame him for not going, as for him disrespecting poland by playing a game of golf i think is a little bit ridiculous. i do be leave that it is a very disrespectable to the american people for obama to be playing as much golf as he is when our country is in the state that it is in.

    26. Kristen, Virginia says:

      Hey Zach and Tim; if you would have read further you would have gotten the point (maybe). It wasn’t that he didn’t go (the article does mention the ash prohibiting travel). The point is, he doesn’t even have the sensitivity to pay proper respects.

    27. Mury says:

      Zach and Tim….No one condemned him for not flying there. They read the story and understand that it was unsafe to fly. What they’re saying is that he didn’t even bother to show respect here in the states by even going to the Polish Embassy. He just goofed around playing golf. Even Hillary and Joe went and paid their respects. It’s not his first time he has shown disregard for friends of America.

    28. Mike, Jackson, mo. 63755 says:

      The fact that he didn’t go to the funeral is understandable due to the problem with the volcanic ash. The fact that he didn’t even drop by the Polish embassy to give his condolences is inexcuseable. Do we have any allies that he has not insulted and blown off in a mere 17 months? Unfortunately, and to our shame and grief, the American people have elevated a coarse, illmannered, product of the underbelly of the most corrupt city with the most corrupt political machine in the country, to the highest office in the country.

    29. Zack says:

      heritage, so now you partially delete my comments. haha, your too fun!

    30. Danny - Texas says:

      You people expect too much from this President! He’s only been a community organizer for goodness sakes!

    31. Suzie Hartsfield, Lubbock, Texas says:

      Once again, I am embarrassed because of the actions of my president. His immaturity grows at a rapid pace and his arrogance is apalling. I respect the office but it is becoming increasingly difficult to respect the man.

    32. Sam in Pasadena, CA says:

      Zack, Tim, you think because the volcano prevented his airplane from flying there it is acceptable for a "world leader" to show no gesture of condolences and go golfing instead? Are you serious? You really don't see the problem with that? Ok, here's an analogy (maybe not the best, but get's the point across)… Let's say your girlfriend makes a point of inviting you to an event that was really important to her, and something happens last minute that makes it impossible for you to get there, aren't you going to call or send a gift or something? If you want to keep her as a girlfriend, you better! What do you think she would do if you not only stood her up without calling or sending a gift, but on top of that she finds out you hung out and had fun with your buddies instead? Unless you're still living with your Mom, you would know your relationship is in trouble. In this case, the event is a funeral and the Polish people are being courted. They know and understand our President was not able to go there for the funeral, but it is out of respect to the Polish people that he should have performed some kind of gesture to show his thoughts are with them. He should have kept the day solemn. It's not a day for fun.

    33. Grant, Germantown WI says:

      @Zack and tim lafayette, Yes, he can't fly, but there are many ways of getting to poland. Some leaders drove for 24 hours to get to this funeral, and otherswent to their polish embassies and signed books of condolences. Obama did neither. He also could have flown south and driven or taken a train, if they want to push public transportation. But instead he plays a round of golf. And Zack, why would we attack him for respecting a polish leader? Bush took immense criticism because he was playing golf while soldiers were dying. But when Obama plays golf during the funeral of the death of one of his allies, he is not performing his duties.

    34. Joe says:

      LOL! Don’t be silly. We can’t blame volcanoes on Obama, when everyone knows that only Bush can cause hurricanes, volcanoes, earth quakes and tidal waves.

    35. PJ says:

      Eight months ago when Obama decided against the missiles in Poland the decision to do so was made on September 17th which was the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Poland by the Soviets !!! Now THAT was a vicious slap in the face of the Poles. He did it again when he decided to go golfing on the day of the funeral of the Polish leaders. He could have at least gone to the Polish embassy in D.C. and signed the condolence book. I am starting to be really disappointed in Obama and how he treats our closest allies !!!

    36. Larry says:

      We KNOW that he couldn’t make it due to the ASH. Read the story further along. He never acknowledge the Poles and their loss in any official way. As the story states, he needs to indicate he shares their pain. But, since this wasn’t Russia, Venezuela Cuba or some idiot leader in the third world, he decided to play golf.

    37. Sandra Lea Schell, T says:

      I can't help but wonder . . . How long will it be before Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Christopher Dodd, and even Nancy Pelosi eagerly distance themselves from this monstrous and arrogant President of the United States of America?

      There's an old saying: "There's no class like low class."

    38. Atlanta says:

      Zach@ and tim lafayette uncasville ct@, it might help if you read the friggin article. Your reading comprehension skills are laughable. The article clearly addressed WHY he didn’t go, and cast no dispersions for staying home. A STATESMAN would not have gone to play golf instead. He should have done in PLACE of the trip he OBVIOUSLY could not take something that paid respect to the fallen leader of a very important ally of the US, like visit the Polish embassy, or simply avoid the VISION of insensitivity. This president simply is clueless in the ways of statesmanship and is a national embarrassment.

    39. Kevin says:

      Even though there was ash over europe, he could have at least gone to the Polish embassy in D.C. and singed the condolence book.Plus ,its our tax money hes using to play all this golf!

    40. James, Virginia says:

      I’ve been overseas a lot, and I’ve spent a little time in Poland myself. If the President wanted to be in Poland 1/10th as badly as he wanted a healthcare takeover, I’m sure he could have bribed or strong-armed some airline pilots like he did to members of congress. Another thing I learned from all my travels… the world is round! You could totally get there from the pacific!…

    41. Zack says:

      you guys are pathetic. seriously, all of you. you are very very pathetic.

      it's bad enough that you believe this blog.

      you guys are nobody. you offer advise on what the president should do. who are you? what do you know if anything. anything besides this blog?

      you have no clue what he did.you no NOTHING.

      desperate attempts..

    42. Zack says:

      you are all partisan hacks that suck down every bit of information spewed from the blogs of this joke of a website. he owes "you" nothing. you have no ability to reason. you are all lost causes. seriously, as Tim said…are you kidding? can you not possibly find anything else on this president. is this all you have?

    43. Marsha, Ohio says:

      Could we please have some dignity in the White House? Obama is narcissistic!! It is ALL about him. He wouldn't know class if it slapped him square in the face!!

    44. Przytarski, Milwauke says:

      Being Polish I understand him not being there, just as over 20 other country leaders were not there. I mean how would it look with the POTUS dying in a plane crash while going to the funeral of the POTPR who died in a plane crash.

      As for the golf, I have no problem with that. Since it was Sunday, nothing else was planned, and no major issues popping up, why not spend some time golfing and spending time with the family afterwards? Is Sunday not supposed to be a day of rest?

      As for signing the book, well thats nice, but I'm sure he sent a personal letter himself which most likely was delivered by the U.S. ambassador to Poland, Lee Feinstein, who represented the United States at the service Sunday in Krakow.

      And as for the "insult" for the missile system, given that ballistic missile defense is a technology that doesn't actually work, I see this less as "abandoning Poland" and more as "shutting down a government boondoggle." A strong NATO and EU is worth much more than a system that was all flash and no substance.

    45. Marsha, Ohio says:

      There were other options he could have done. We know he couldn’t fly. He could have signed his condolences at the embassy. Showed some respect for pete sake!!

    46. polishfriend, Wrocla says:

      thank you for this, at least now we know, who our real friends are. It's kinda ironic, because our , now dead, President, was very pro american, and rather anti russian. Somehow Russian president managed to fly there and pay respect. Now people in Poland feel more sympathy for russians . we can't depend on USA or European Union, because when we are in need, they always give some lame excuses. They promise many things, but after all, it's just talking. Our history proves that. During Second War, you didn't help us neither. We were alone. nevermind

      look at Saakashvili, and what he did-thats a true friend! shame on you barak….bush, obama – great choices, america… Russia is smart, very smart. Russian president had to drive 5 hours , and then fly in special airplane.not because he loves our president. But they know that our friendship is worth it.

    47. Zack says:

      you guys are sooooo desperate. give it a rest. Read what Przytarski wrote, he said it better then I could. Keep trying…its ignorance like this that will keep the democratic majority in november and for that I thank you!

    48. Billie says:

      God Bless you, Polishfriend! Our deepest sympathies and condolences to all the good people of Poland.

    49. Thomas, California says:

      There was a valcano causing airports to be shut down all over the world. That's why he didn't go. You lying right wing hypocrites.

    50. Mike, Colorado says:

      Analyst Bluepapers takes a more skeptical look at the Severnyi airport situation and the background of the company responsible for upgrading and last handling the Polish AF1.

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