Monday, March 09, 2009

Even Smarter Diplomacy!

Last week, yours truly told you how badly President Obama stepped on his you-know-what by treating British Prime Minister Gordon Brown like the leader of any old country. As it happens, President Hopenchange telephoned Prime Minister Brown shortly after the low-key visit ended -- in fact, Brown was still on his plane when Obama reached out to him. British papers are speculating that the president called to apologize for overlooking diplomatic niceties. Apparently, according to American sources inside the White House, President Obama is so "exhausted" and "overwhelmed" by the demands of his job that he just hasn't had time to get up to speed on all this presidential protocol stuff. (Yes, even with all that community organizing experience, it turns out that being president is really hard work! I mean, who knew?)

But, before we throw our Dear Leader a pity party replete with tiny violins (remember, Barry: you won!), I think it's worth considering that maybe, just maybe, President Obama does think that Britain is just any old country and deserves to be treated accordingly. Witness:
[A] State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit []reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.

The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment."

Now, whether or not this guy was taking his cue from President Obama, that's an impolitic thing to say, period. It's also a very stupid thing to say to a reporter, especially a reporter from the country you just royally pissed off.

Worst of all, it's really going to suck for our soldiers when President Obama goes hat-in-hand to Britain asking her to commit her armed forces to a cause he seeks to win, and has that quote thrown back in his arrogant face.

In other Smarter Diplomacy! news, there's this.

Tra la. I feel safer already.

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