American Elephants

Obama Managed to Ignite a Firestorm in Britain by The Elephant's Child


I always understood that the White House had a Protocol Office that kept  Presidents informed on manners and customs in the various countries the President might visit, and with how to treat the diplomats and leaders of other countries. I don’t know if President Obama has abolished the office, or if he just doesn’t pay any attention.

On his visit to England, President Obama felt called upon to write an op-ed in The Telegraph, one of the leading British newspapers. He skirted the history of British-American relations, and then summarized what he expects the British need to do to get our full support. We must be resolute and adaptive in preventing terrorist attacks, resolve conflicts in the Middle East, invest in NATO so we can meet our commitments and then he stuck his nose into the upcoming Brexit election, which is a difficult and touchy issue in England about whether to continue membership or leave the European Union.

That ignited a firestorm. It was a remarkably poor choice for an American president to tell the British what to do.

So I will say, with the candour of a friend, that the outcome of your decision is a matter of deep interest to the United States. The tens of thousands of Americans who rest in Europe’s cemeteries are a silent testament to just how intertwined our prosperity and security truly are. And the path you choose now will echo in the prospects of today’s generation of Americans as well.

As citizens of the United Kingdom take stock of their relationship with the EU, you should be proud that the EU has helped spread British values and practices – democracy, the rule of law, open markets – across the continent and to its periphery. The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain’s global leadership; it enhances Britain’s global leadership. The United States sees how your powerful voice in Europe ensures that Europe takes a strong stance in the world, and keeps the EU open, outward looking, and closely linked to its allies on the other side of the Atlantic. So the US and the world need your outsized influence to continue – including within Europe. …

When it comes to creating jobs, trade, and economic growth in line with our values, the UK has benefited from its membership in the EU – inside a single market that provides enormous opportunities for the British people. And the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU will advance our values and our interests, and establish the high-standard, pro-worker rules for trade and commerce in the 21st century economy.

— “President Obama’s warning to those championing Britain’s exit from the EU was stark: Leave, he said, and the “U.K. is going to be in the back of the queue” on trade deals with the U.S.”

Mr Obama’s catchphrase is ‘Yes, you can! – so why is he telling us Brits “No you can’t’?

— “Obama infuriates the Brits as he threatens to send UK to the back of the queue’ if they vote to leave the European Union.”

— “Barack Obama, our fair-weather friend, is wrong about the EU”

— “Armed Forces Minister: Obama ‘Woefully Ignorant ‘ of Threat EU Membership Poses”

— “Obama might as well have declared: ‘Britain lost the War of Independence because you have small d**ks’

American presidents usually do not comment or express opinion publicly in elections in other countries, but Australia and Canada have heard from Mr. Obama about their internal affairs.

Mr.Obama has been very outspoken about his irritation at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress when he was invited by Republicans to address them. When Honduran President Zelaya was ousted in a military coup after he tried to rewrite their Constitution to extend his tenure in office, President Obama commented in favor of Zelaya and in contradiction of Honduran Law. Obama’s campaign people have turned up in other elections.

The Obama Administration Attacks Our Allies Again. by The Elephant's Child

How would Americans react if France”s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced negotiations should be held between Mexico and The United States over the sovereignty of Texas? This would be similar to Hillary Clinton’s statement in Buenos Aires alongside Argentina’s president Cristina Kirchner in March 2010.

We believe that this is a bilateral issue that needs to be worked out directly between Mexico and the United States. That’s what we are encouraging both sides to do” said Acting Under Secretary for Press Affairs at the State Department Mike Hammer during an exchange with reporters on Twitter.

Likewise “we are encouraging Mexico and the US to work this out peacefully, to work it out through negotiations”.

We want very much to encourage both countries to sit down. Now, we cannot make either one do so, but we think it is the right way to proceed. So we will be saying this publicly, as I have been, and we will continue to encourage exactly the kind of discussion across the table that needs to take place.

Insert Britain and Argentina in the previous statement. That is the only thing I changed. In his talks with President Obama in March, David Cameron reportedly got assurances from the White House that Washington would stop pressing for negotiations. Now, after his ghastly gaffe over Nazi death camps in Poland, the President’s State Department is back talking about “negotiations.”

The Falkland Islands are  British Islands. Over 95 percent of the inhabitants of the Falklands are British and want to remain so. A clear-cut case of self-determination. The islands have never been Argentine, though Argentina invaded in 1982, and 250 British servicemen gave their lives to liberate the Falklands. Argentina has no claim to the islands.  Any idea that the British should sit down and negotiate is preposterous. And we are not negotiating over Texas either.

Careless Mistakes Can Have Big Consequences! by The Elephant's Child

Yesterday on American Independence Day, British Prime Minister David Cameron found himself addressing U.S. Marines at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan.  July 4 is an odd moment for British leaders, as Americans are celebrating an historic military and political defeat for Britain.

The Daily Telegraph took up the story:

“Maybe if one of my predecessors hadn’t screwed up so badly, we’d all be one army,” Mr. Cameron said.

Graciously done sir.

Lord North has a lot to answer for, but we’re grateful.

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