8 March 2010

Denial is not a river in Egypt

A 'foreign affairs analyst' called Nile (sic) Gardiner has a piece in today's Telegraph echoing a Washington Post editorial about Obama screwing the pooch by not being friendlier with America's allies. It includes this gem:
Barack Obama has failed to invest time in cultivating critically important alliances as well as friendships with key strategic partners. One only has to look at the appalling treatment Great Britain has received at the hands of the Obama administration to grasp the scale of the problem.
From which one might conclude, if one were a 'foreign affairs analyst' as opposed to a churnalist, that Obama does not rate Britain as a key strategic partner. Which is fair enough.

Blair committed the Army to take care of Basra in Iraq, where it failed so badly that the Iraqi government demanded it leave the country. Blair also committed the Army to pacify Helmand in Afghanistan and also undertook to eradicate heroin production. Both missions proved far beyond British capability, and US forces have had to make up the deficiency.

But I suspect the main reason why Obama has treated Gordon Brown with barely veiled contempt and Sarkozy with indifference is because they conspired to side-line the Queen during last year's D-Day Commemoration. Two-thirds of the troops who landed on D-Day were subjects of the Queen's father and she is the British Head of State - but what did for Brown and Sarkozy was that Her Maj and Michelle Obama got on like a house on fire during an earlier State visit to Britain.

It was Obama who coldly insisted that the Royal Family should be represented, hence the wincing appearance of Prince Charles at the event. As the picture above shows, Charles did not have the balls to walk alongside the French and US Heads of State, where he belonged as his mother's representative, and fell back towards the two Prime Ministers who were following behind, where protocol required them to be.

It is not Great Britain that has received 'appalling treatment' from Obama. Gordon Brown has indeed been kicked like a leg-humping dog, but I'm willing to bet that if the Queen pays a return visit to Washington, we will see our Head of State welcomed with the utmost respect.

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