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  • Obama: France, Not Britain, America's Strongest Ally

    The Obama administration is not known for its pro-British track record, but this is by far the strongest indication yet that the current White House has little regard for the Special Relationship and its unique role in modern American history. During a White House photo-op with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, President Obama had this to say:

    We don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy, and the French people.

    Quite what the French have done to merit this kind of high praise from the US president is difficult to fathom, and if the White House means what it says this represents an extraordinary sea change in US foreign policy. Nicolas Sarkozy is a distinctly more pro-American president than any of his predecessors, and has been an important ally over issues such as Iran and the War on Terror. But to suggest that Paris and not London is Washington’s strongest partner is simply ludicrous. And rather hypocritical after it was recently revealed that the US Ambassador to France had described Sarkozy as “thin-skinned and authoritarian.”

    The French president himself is no doubt bemused by President Obama’s warm embrace, not least after making clear his own less than flattering views of his US counterpart in the past. As The Times reported in the early months of the Obama presidency, Sarkozy clearly sees Obama as lacking experience and suffering from delusions of grandeur.

    On the US President, Mr Sarkozy said: “Obama has a subtle mind, very clever and very charismatic. But he was elected two months ago and had never run a ministry. There are a certain number of things on which he has no position. And he is not always up to standard on decision-making and efficiency.”

    In another swipe at the American leader, Mr Sarkozy was quoted… making a dubious joke about the Obamania sweeping the European media. According to L’Express news magazine, Mr Sarkozy talked to another set of visitors about Mr Obama’s planned visit to the Normandy beaches in June, Mr Sarkozy said: “I am going to ask him to walk on the Channel and he’ll do it, you’ll see.”

    There is of course no comparison between the extremely close-knit relationship between the United States and Great Britain, from defence and intelligence ties to economic investment and cultural exchange. It is an alliance forged over the course of 70 years, from the beaches of Normandy to the battlefields of Afghanistan. Today in the war against the Taliban there are more than 10,000 British troops fighting alongside their US allies, compared to 3,850 Frenchmen. Nearly 350 British soldiers have laid down their lives in Afghanistan in contrast to French losses of 53.

    These kinds of presidential statements matter. No US president in modern times has described France as America’s closest ally, and such a remark is not only factually wrong but also insulting to Britain, not least coming just a few years after the French famously knifed Washington in the back over the war in Iraq.

    Perhaps the White House would like to confirm that this is what the President of the United States firmly believes, or clarify the comments? Either way, this latest remark from Barack Obama will only further strengthen the impression of a president who is both woefully out of his depth on the world stage, as well as contemptuous of traditional friends and alliances.

    Originally posted at The Telegraph.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    25 Responses to Obama: France, Not Britain, America's Strongest Ally

    1. PippN, Maryland says:

      O'Bama means "he" likes France more than England. The largess of America sees that quite differently. But, then again, O'Bama has proven, time and again, that he neither understands nor cares about the largess of America's choices.

    2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Obama: France, Not Britain, America’s Strongest Ally | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    3. Dennis Georgia says:

      France would not exist today if not for the brave men that gave all on Normandy. I can not see where thay have been so great to America, they folded to the Germans just like they folded to socialism. Guess it is one socialist to another.

    4. Robert Morrison, Ann says:

      Even for this rare francophile among conservative ranks, this presidential statement is hard to swallow. If President Obama were truly looking for America's staunchest ally, he might consider Australia–which has fought bravely by our side in every American war in the last century. (In truth, we might have to admit that we joined Australia's side in the two world wars, since they were fully engaged years before we were.)

      France is a vitally important American ally. France is our oldest ally. We have never gone to war against France (at least not officially). And Sarkozy is indeed a great improvement over Chirac. But even the socialist Mitterrand was a better ally to us than Chirac.

      France may yet play a crucial role in the world struggle against jihadism. France could be in this war what Poland was in the Cold War–the fulcrum for turning back this lethal assault on faith, reason, and human rights.

      We should remember that Winston Churchill–the most pro-American British statesman in history–was also attached to France. So attached, in fact, that he even recommended a Union of Britain and France to stave off a collapse of the Third Republic in the face of the onslaught of the Third Reich.

      President Obama's verbal miscue is but another example of errors we fall into when we mistake the world for Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Let's hope he learns better in time.

    5. Mark Stevenson, Virg says:

      Normandie, Brittany. Perhaps our President was confused.

    6. Leith Wood Richmond says:

      What an inane thing for an American President to say. No love lost for England, but that was obvious, when Churchill's bust was rushed back to England, after Obama took office. No common sense and not smart.

    7. Pragmatic in Texas says:

      PippN beat me to it. I sincerely hope our British friends and allies understand that what is stated by this President does not necessarily mean it is true.

      The common critical thinking and honest American citizen understands and appreciates all the contributions the UK has given to us freely over the past 200 plus years.

    8. Michael, Texas says:

      This man in our White House that has yet given proper documents such as his real birth cirtificate and says to our American brothers and sisters that have fought for the right to say and speak our free comments that france is our closest alli, all i can say is ask those poor dead solders of WWII what they think of his comments on behalf of America.

    9. Brad, Chicago says:

      Was the President trying to use hyperbole to flatter his guest without realizing the potential diplomatic consequences or does he truly mean that? I suppose, if he takes it for granted that England is our closest ally, having more friends can't hurt. It would be a nice play, if he has assured England, in private, of our friendship, so that he can exaggerate feelings in order to control diplomacy. If he is trying to remake the country, he will still need allies out in the world.

    10. WHICH WAY says:

      OBAMA CONTINUES TO CONFIRM HIS IMPOSSIBLY POOR JUDGEMENT IN ALL BUT HOW TO DISMANTLE FREEDON AND LIBERTY.

    11. Linda J. Sullivan, K says:

      Any chance this guy will act like a real President any time before leaving office? Better hurry up and practice, you only have two years left. Holding family grudges while in office is beneath even a Democrat isn't it? I look forward to getting that bust back, it can be the guest of honor at the celebration party.

    12. Marc Steward, Middle says:

      Having heard Obama’s comments on the radio, my initial feeling was that of anger and disappointment. In such a statement, he is so fast to forget the alliance between the US and the UK that has existed for generations. The UK and the US share an alliance in wars past and present, suppressing evil and terror by all means. In World War II France proved untrustworthy, whilst there troops in Afgan’ aren’t permitted to actually doing any fighting. The UK and the US also share great affiliations in cultures and beliefs, and so it gives me huge pleasure to see comments of disapproval from our transatlantic cousins. Long may The United States Of America be The United Kingdoms strongest ally and VICE VERSA!

    13. Kalashnikat in Color says:

      "Lafayette, We are…confuseled…" Yup, France was our dearest friend during the Revolutionary war…and how about when the Vichy French fired on American/Allied forces liberating North Africa…Oh…Well…How 'bout when they handed us VietNam cuz they coudln't win it?

      Yuh…Rite. O'Bambi really meant Luxembourg…they're really great allies of ours…and they speak French, that's what he was thinking of…

    14. Richard ,Philadelphi says:

      Our President is doing what he does best,he totally reflects his late father's feelings towards America.The apple does not fall far from the tree.Obama admires France because its a Socialist Country.Britian is our strongest allie in the past 100 years.France was once over 200 years ago.

    15. Erasmus, Los Angeles says:

      You commit a logical flaw when you transform Obama's statement that "There is no stronger ally than France" (which admits there could be similarly strong allies) into "France is the *strongest* ally"

      Also, Obama said this last July:

      "Mr. Prime Minister, we can never say it enough. The United States and the United Kingdom enjoy a truly special relationship. We celebrate a common heritage. We cherish common values….In short, the United States has no closer ally and no stronger partner than Great Britain."

    16. Ryan, Italy says:

      Sorry, but we've never had a war with France, and we've had TWO wars with Britain! One of them won with the aide of French Money, Navy and lives! And don't kid yourself, the British on the whole see Americans as ignorant, uncultered hillbillies just like the French. They just keep it to themselves for the most art.

    17. John Clark, UK says:

      I take everything Obama says with a pinch of salt. I do hear that Obama's been practising for his next job by asking his staff if they'd like a Mint Julep after lunch!

    18. Shane Maple Valley. says:

      Thanks Ryan for speaking on behalf of the British population. Im English and I dont know anyone that regards Americans like you write. Oh and I think you will find that France doesnt have wars with many.

    19. computer repair says:

      Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

    20. Taff, United Kingdom says:

      The size of the uk and our armed forces in relation to the US and France is small in comparison.

      We do however give our all in the support of our allies on the ground.( the proof is in our casualty figures!). My trust lies with our fellow brothers in arms we serve alongside, rather than the powers that be who send us.

      Governments come and go – camaraderie and friendship are for life!

    21. Wes in cincy says:

      Obumble does not have a clue on how to be presidential.

      He needs to go back to organizing community barbeques.

    22. David, Phoenix, AZ U says:

      Long live the friendship of the US and the UK. I am a fan of President Obama, and I'm surprised to read he actually referred to France as the strongest ally. The sentiment in the US towards France is not the most positive one, and the same feeling is believed to be shared by the French towards Americans. The UK is the strongest ally the US has ever had!!

      I've been to both the UK and France and I'll take the UK ten times over France

      D.

    23. Drew M says:

      Prompted by a comment below.

      I'm not so sure about converntional armed forces, but that's true of nuclear capability, with the UK slightly ahead of France the last time I looked. The same goes for economic clout. I've long known that the Americans and French have been less than warm in their mutual opinions of the other. Certainly, it's by far the case that the citizens of both nations, are going to knock each other before any other country. Personally, that's of no concern to me, as I've been to France more than the US, but had more American "girlfriends" than French. I'm bemused by Obama's comments, especially when this article, contrasts so mardedly, with another article I've posted on my facebook page, in which he praises "England" and it's people. Westerns used to show Native Americans supposedly saying hite man speaks with forked tongue". I think, from where we sit, the French and British could be forgiven for revsing that quote by one word!

    24. Drew M says:

      I'm not so sure about conventional armed forces, but that's true of nuclear capability, with the UK slightly ahead of France the last time I looked. The same goes for economic clout. I've long known that the Americans and French have been less than warm in their mutual opinions of the other. Certainly, it's by far the case that the citizens of both nations, are going to knock each other before any other country. Personally, that's of no concern to me, as I've been to France more than the US, but had more American "girlfriends" than French. I'm bemused by Obama's comments, especially when this article, contrasts so markedly, with another article I've posted on my facebook page, in which he praises "England" and it's people. Westerns used to show Native Americans supposedly saying white man speaks with forked tongue". I think, from where we sit, the French and British could be forgiven for revising that quote by one word!

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