EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – MARCH 11, 2009
By Rich Trzupek
The best writer in America – whom, you will be surprised to learn is not your humble correspondent, but is in fact Mark “He’s A Hate Crime in Canada” Steyn – predicted last week that: “…in 2012, after four years of the man who was supposed to heal America’s relations with a world sick of all that swaggering cowboy unilateralism, those relations will be much worse.”
Proof that Steyn is prescient (it means “prophetic” kids, but is a much cooler word) came almost instantly from our friend and closest ally across the pond. Or, er, the nation that was our friend and closest ally until the fabulous new administration managed to insult them. But hell, when you’re “bff” with Vladimir Putin, who needs the UK?
The first shot across the bow of the British ship of state came shortly after President Obama took office, when, without explanation, he returned a bust of Winston Churchill that had been a gift from the British after 9-11.
The move baffled the Brits, who can be touchy about these things. Move it to another room, sure, but return it? What’s up with that? Actually, it should be easy to figure out. If you’re going to turn America into a socialist state and fire up the politics of appeasement, the last thing you need is Sir Winston scowling at you every day.
But hey, it’s just a piece of art, so who cares? The more tangible insult came when Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited the White House to meet with our new leader. Tradition, and the “special relationship” that the US and UK share, dictate that the British Prime Minister and the President hold a joint press conference, as well as attending a formal state dinner. None of this happened, which irked the Brits enough that even the London Daily Telegraph (no friend of the Republican party) worked themselves into a snit. The following additional detail, from the Telegraph’s Sunday edition, is just precious:
“Mr. Brown handed over carefully selected gifts, including a pen holder made from the wood of a warship that helped stamp out the slave trade – a sister ship of the vessel from which timbers were taken to build Mr. Obama’s Oval Office desk. Mr. Obama’s gift in return, a collection of Hollywood film DVDs that could have been bought from any high street store, looked like the kind of thing the White House might hand out to the visiting head of a minor African state.”
DVDs. Really? Well, even I must admit that is indeed “change”, although I’m having a hard time believing it.
Anyway, it’s easy to understand why the President didn’t want to hold a joint press conference with Brown. Without his trusty teleprompter, Obama is about the worst extemporaneous speaker this side of Stuttering John, and Brown might have laughed outright if the White House staff had started setting up the equipment for the President to read his latest script. That plainly wouldn’t do.
But no state dinner? What’s that all about? I know this is the new, laid-back White House and all that, but is it really wise to feed the British Prime Minister franks and beans?
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State was making new friends, cozying up to Vladimir Putin’s gang of ex-KGB thugs in Russia. The reasons are obvious of course, and they follow the “realpolitik” formula that the Clintons are so fond of. If we’re pals with Mother Russia, they’ll lend us a hand dealing with their buddies in Iran, perhaps to the point that they will even stop selling them weapons and nuclear technology (even though we all know that Iran isn’t actually developing nuclear weapons or anything like that).
And that’s great, but guys like Putin don’t do favors out of the kindness of their hearts. There’s going to be a price to pay, something like – oh – being a little more understanding when Mother Russia next attempts to counsel its wayward children in the family of nations.
The cowboy who proceeded President Obama was downright rude when Russia tried to “restore order” in Georgia, or “negotiate” with the Ukraine and the like. Surely, in this new, enlightened age that has gloriously arisen from the ashes of the last eight years, our new President will clearly see that the “internal affairs” of far away, albeit democratic, republics are really none of our business and he will welcome the guiding hand of the Russian Federation to help their forlorn, misguided neighbors through their crises.
Snub the Brits, while Ivan and Hillary swap spit. Those are certainly interesting foreign policy choices. It could make a guy yearn for a cowboy in charge. It almost makes you forget about the price of Sarah Palin’s shoes. Just kidding. Who could forget about that! But maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t a matter of a “choice” at all, for the Telegraph also had this marvelous tidbit:
“A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr. Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr. Obama had failed so far to “even fake an interest in foreign policy”.
Yeah. It shows.