President Obama is flying to Britain to persuade her people that their best interests lie in remaining shackled to the rotting corpse of the European Union.
According to one of his foreign policy advisors, he is doing this because he is Britain’s “friend.”
“We have no closer friend in the world and if we are asked our view as a friend, we’ll offer it.”
This information is very touching and sure to warm the cockles of any Englishman’s heart. But is it actually true? Here are some reasons to suggest that President Obama’s selfless ‘love’ for Britain may not wholly be sincere.
1. He has never forgiven the British for – allegedly – torturing his Kenyan grandfather
Obama’s grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama was rounded up in 1949 in the very early days of the rebellion and spent two years in a high security prison.
Once a cook for a British officer, his family claim Mr Obama was horrifically tortured, whipped every morning and evening until he confessed.
His third wife Sarah Onyango said white jailers would squeeze his testicles with parallel metallic rods and pierce his nails and buttocks with pins.
Mr Obama, whose involvement with the rebellion has never been clear, was left permanently scarred and bitterly anti-British.
2. He rejected the White House bust of Winston Churchill (who was Prime Minister at the time of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. See 1.)
The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush’s tenure.
But when British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: “Thanks, but no thanks.”
3. He snubbed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
True, Brown is eminently snubbable. But that surely wasn’t the real reason that in 2009 Obama refused five times to give the British prime minister a private meeting and then, added insult to injury by giving him a really crappy going home present: a box of DVDs which wouldn’t even play on a UK machine. Brown’s people, on the other hand, had taken care to come up with a thoughtful and generous gift: a pen holder made from the timbers of the Royal Navy anti-slave ship HMS Gannet.
4. He dissed the Queen
Full charge sheet here, courtesy of John Nolte. It includes: bungling a toast to Her Majesty; allowing his wife to commit the ultimate lèse majesté by giving her a hug; then he gave her an iPod loaded with photos and videos of himself.
5. He let it be known that he prefers Britain’s oldest enemy the French
“We don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy, and the French people.”
6. His Brokeback-Mountain-style love-in with Prime Minister David Cameron was insincere – and probably counterproductive
So they flipped burgers together; so they ate hot dogs at basketball game; so Obama calls him “bro.” This is coded language for: “America’s the Daddy now, posh boy – and you’re my bitch.” Also, that hot dog thing: how is that going to help community relations with the Religion of Peace?
7. “British Petroleum”.
No one calls BP that any more. Except when it’s President Obama trying to make a cheap shot political point, in an election year, by resorting to a bit of casual xenophobia. Dictators, mad mullahs, and African despots play this game all the time. But you’d expect better of the President of a nation with which Britain supposedly has a “Special Relationship.”
8. The Falklands
In the great days of Reagan and Thatcher when maybe there was a Special Relationship, it was with America’s tacit assistance that Britain – at the behest of the islanders – wrested the Falkland Islands back from the Argentine invaders. Much blood and treasure was expended in this exercise; it is part of Britain’s national myth. So how disappointing that in a more recent round of Argentine sabre-rattling in 2010, the US should more or less have sided with Britain’s old enemy.
Obama and Cameron blame one another for their mutual failure to take effective action in 2013. (Even though, judging by the Libyan debacle, the kind of action they wanted would probably only have made things worse). The White House view is that Cameron bungled the parliamentary vote which led to his bombing plans being vetoed: this resulted in Obama having to abandon his plans too. However, the British countered that the Americans had rushed them into it and that that’s why the vote was lost. Whatever, it all ended up with a big mutual sulk.
Probably Obama’s only intelligent foreign policy decision in his entire presidency was to let his “bro” David Cameron lead the Libyan operation – with the result that, notwithstanding Benghazi, he could blame someone else when it inevitably went tits up. This Obama duly did in the infamous Atlantic interview.
Mr Obama said that the intervention “averted large-scale civilian casualties (and) prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict”. But he added: “And despite all that, Libya is a mess.”
He left no doubt that he felt blame rested with Europe over the continuing chaos in Libya.
“When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong, there’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up,” said Mr Obama.
Mr Cameron became “distracted by a range of other things”, he said.
Perhaps Obama doesn’t know but someone should have briefed him. Libya is the “special place” that Cameron goes back to in his head whenever things are tough at home. He loved that bit where he was greeted by the locals in Benghazi as a liberator. (Though he appears to have edited out the stuff that happened next, like half the country being taken over by Al Qaeda and ISIS; all those refugees; etc)
11. “Free riders aggravate me.”
That was the other cruel jibe from the Atlantic interview. Obama was accusing Britain – and therefore Cameron – of failing to pull its weight with regard to defence spending. This is, of course, quite true. Cameron has spent his period as prime minister mercilessly paring down the UK military. That’s because Cameron prefers spending the money giving unnecessary aid to help failed states buy more jets and palaces, rather than defending the free world.
12. It’s in America’s interest that remains in the EU, not Britain’s
Do you really think that Obama gives a smidgen of a damn about whether or not the EU is really good for Britain? If so then I have the most amazing bridge to sell you. No, the US wants Britain in Europe to try to keep the French and Germans in check – as has been the plan ever since 1947 when it passed the resolution “Congress favours the creation of a United States of Europe.” Also, being a left-wing fan of bigger government and democratic unaccountability (see his various Czars; his contempt for the Constitution), Obama is naturally sympathetic to the EU’s aims and its ways of doing business.
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