blind_html [Fwd: WHAT'S BEHIND BARACK'S BRIT SNIT]

  • From: Nimer <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Brandon Shuttleworth <shuttleworthb01@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 21:56:05 -0600



-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        WHAT'S BEHIND BARACK'S BRIT SNIT
Date:   Wed, 11 Mar 2009 03:25:47 -0000
From:   Ray T. Mahorney <coffee-craver@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To:       Blind-chit-chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To:     <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>



http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/03092009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/whats_behind_baracks_brit_snit_158653.htm <http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/03092009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/whats_behind_baracks_brit_snit_158653.htm>
WHAT'S BEHIND BARACK'S BRIT SNIT

By ARTHUR HERMAN
March 9, 2009 --

PRESIDENT Obama's first hosting of a foreign leader, the UK's Gordon Brown, was a diplomatic
disaster.

Obama failed to hold a joint Rose Garden press conference, the usual protocol when a US
president and a British prime minister first meet - a lapse widely
noted in Britain and in the diplomatic community. This raised real fears that Obama intends to
de-emphasize the decades-old US-UK "special relationship"
- fears that seemed confirmed when the White House press secretary referred to a "special
partnership."

Also notable were the two leaders' choices for the traditional gift exchange: Brown's carefully
chosen official gifts included a pen holder made from a
Royal Navy vessel that once fought to end the Atlantic slave trade and a first edition of the
eight-volume biography of Winston Churchill begun by Winston's
son Randolph and completed by Sir Martin Gilbert. Obama paid him back with a stack of Hollywood
movies on DVD that Brown could just as easily have ordered
from Netflix.

Nor is Brown the only British ally Obama has treated with disrespect. In one of the most
arresting acts of his first days as president, Obama ordered a
bronze bust of Winston Churchill (which Tony Blair had given George W Bush after 9/11) returned
to the British embassy.

This was a stunning posthumous attack on the memory of a man who was not only the living
embodiment of the Anglo-American special relationship (Churchill
was half American), but of its ideological foundations.

The alliance that Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt crafted to win World War Two was more than
just good strategy. They forged it in order to assert and
defend an ideal which had fallen on hard times in the dark days of 1941, that of individual
human liberty.

Originally born in Britain, this common ideal holds that human beings have a God-given natural
right to arrange their lives as they see fit without interference
from any authority, whether pope or king or government bureaucrat. The belief has always been
America's most precious historical legacy, and the rock on
which our friendship with Great Britain is built.

It was that ideal which the Founding Fathers inherited from Britain, expressed as the rights of
freeborn Englishmen. Our founders fought and nearly lost
a war of independence against the British crown, and devised their own Constitution, to preserve
the same ideal.

Likewise, it was to extend that ideal that American soldiers died at Gettysburg and Antietam,
and British sailors died in a 40-year war to end the Atlantic
slave trade. It was in order to defend it that Churchill and FDR drew up the Atlantic Charter,
and created Lend Lease.

That same ideal led American and British soldiers to wade ashore on D-Day, and American and
British sailors to endure kamikaze attacks at Okinawa. It made
both countries stand fast against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

It is also why Blair and then Brown stood by George W. Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was to commemorate that ideal and its legacy that Blair originally gave Bush the Churchill
bust - and why Brown gave Obama the Churchill biography.

Those eight volumes will plainly sit unread on the White House bookshelf - because Barack Obama
clearly considers that legacy, like the Anglo-American alliance
itself, to be outdated.

Perhaps the president simply believes some other nation should replace Britain as our closest
friend. (For a while, the Clinton administration meant to
put Germany ahead of the UK.) Or perhaps Obama has a different view of the special
relationship - one held by the likes of his onetime mentor, the Rev.
Jeremiah Wright.

These critics don't see a legacy of freedom going back to Magna Carta. They see a historical
procession of self-serving white males. And Churchill is not
the man who singlehandedly stood up against Hitler and who warned us all about the Soviet
Union's iron curtain, but a white supremacist.

In this view (which also sees an America steeped in racism, colonialism and greed, rather than a
nation dedicated to the proposition of liberty under law),
there is no need to preserve any precious British-born legacy.

At times, of course, both the United States and the United Kingdom have fallen short of their
shared ideals. But taken together their shows how the idea
of liberty empowers human beings to resist and overthrow tyranny with a force unequaled in
history.

Churchill's life is an eloquent summing up of that story. That's why it's a shame that Obama
will never read Sir Martin's work. If he did, he'd discover
how one man can inspire a people with the notion that liberty is worth defending, not just in
prosperity but in a nation's darkest days.

He might also learn why, not so long ago, Americans and Britons felt compelled to join forces to
oppose a generation of would-be political messiahs who
imagined they could make a better world by stifling that legacy of liberty.

Arthur Herman's latest book is "Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That De stroyed an Empire
and Forged Our Age."
Home
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are trademarks of NYP Holdings, Inc.

Ray T. Mahorney
WA4WGA

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