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Author Topic: How to win friends and influence allies.
G2
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The OJT of President Barack Mountain Dew Hopenchange Obama continues. If you read the US press, no problems - what a shocker! However, go check out some reporting from across the pond where they are not so deeply in love with all things Obama that they cannot see the disrespect The One has shown their leader and them just what he thinks of them; of course, I'm sure they had an idea when Obama returned to the British Embassy the Winston Churchill bust that had been displayed in the Oval Office since Tony Blair lent it to George W. Bush. Nice opening move there Obama. [Roll Eyes]

Start with Tim Shipman of The Telegraph whose headline today is, "Barack Obama is running scared of tough questions":
quote:
It will doubtless be seen as self-indulgent bleating by the media but there is much about this incident that is revealing about the way President Obama does business.

A Washington Post colleague just called me and said that the White House press corps cannot think of a single previous occasion when a British Prime Minister was treated in this way.

British Embassy staff, irritated themselves, had to twist Robert Gibbs' arm to get even two questions per side in a quick oval office doorstep. The press availability was initially going to be a 'pool spray' with softballs lobbed by the agencies. No10 and the embassy have managed to get this changed. But they were caught spinning that a Rose Garden presser had been cancelled because of the weather. The White House denies a presser was ever planned. In the old days we had cold weather pressers in the Old Executive Office Building, across from the White House.

Why does this matter? Three reasons:

- Major British hack involvement in a full blown press conference has always been regarded as useful by the White House press corps. We ask different questions from them, usually more aggressively and get answers they could not. There were several spiky and revealing moments between President Bush and the BBC political editor Nick Robinson. It is bizarre that Mr Obama is less willing to answer questions than Mr Bush. It reflects very poorly on his tendency towards control freakery, which has been in evidence since his campaign.

- It's discourteous to Mr Brown, who was desperate for his big moment with the podiums. On his two set piece trips to see Bush there were proper pressers at Camp David and then in the Rose Garden. Why gratify him with the first European trip and then snub his big PR moment? There will be no private relaxation time for Mr Brown with Mr Obama, a given on previous prime ministerial trips. I know he's busy but it shows that he is not really that interested, as my sources were telling me last week.

- Obama has been running scared of the international media and the British press in particular since the start of his campaign. He didn't give a single interview to a British outlet even when he was in the UK. This is very unusual, particularly from a man who so desperately wants to be loved on the world stage. We know we're not special, given Obama's general contempt for beat reporters (as opposed to his schmoozing with editors), but it is still peculiar.

For someone that was going to "restore" America's reputation, that's pretty damn bad. Shipman made reference to UK reporter, Alex Massie, from The Spectator. Alex has this:
quote:
The White House could easily have granted the press conference Gordon Brown so clearly craved. Though there was something a little craven, a touch humiliating about much of the build-up to this week's Prime Ministerial visit to Washington, it's reasonable to suppose that, in this instance at least, Brown may have been treated a little shabbily. The kindest way to view this is that the White House is so focused on economic fire-fighting that it has little time for diplomatic niceties; alternatively it sends a tough reminder as to who wears the trousers in this relationship partnership [relationship is struck out in reference to Obama's slight of the relationship of the USA to the UK]. There'll be none of this Athens to Rome nonsense, Mister Brown. (Was it just a coincidence that the BBC went big on Macmillan visiting JFK in their footage last night?)

There is a third possibility, of course. Obama has been briefed about the British press corps and sees no reason to humour them.

<snip>

But there's still a sense that, apart from his interview with Al-Arabiya and a CBC interview, Obama doesn't quite appreciate that there are times when his international audience might have questions of its own that are unlikely to be asked if the only people doing the questioning are the American members of the White House press corps.

This is hardly a hanging offence, and it may even be too much media special-pleading, but despite all the demands on the President's time it would not do him any harm to spend a little of it engaging with the rest of the world's media. After all, if he wants to lead the world - and to call on the rest of the world to do more itself - then he might deign to talk to it first.

Benedict Brogan of Britain's Daily Mail reported on his blog:
quote:
"the joint press conference No10 was banking on is off. . . . Embarrassing." He later updated the report: "If Downing Street was expecting the kind of love-in that marked the first Blair-Clinton gala at the White House or the Blair-Bush Colgate and video moment at Camp David, this new administration has proved it wrong. There never was going to be a press conference, despite what No10 said. And there is no couple time planned. No Stevie Wonder, no Meet the Parents, no burgers."
The British are among some of our staunchest and most reliable allies. Treating them like this is not a smart diplomatic move - downright stupid really. Just another bump on the road as the amateur administration tries to figure out how to lead.
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Kent
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Allies?!?!? Don't you remember the war of 1812? The Revolutionary War? The Boston Massacre? They deserve to be snubbed this way.
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rightleft22
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“Isn’t it un patriotic to question a sitting president in times of war?”
“If your not with us your against us” and the rest of the rubbish shoved down our throats eight years ago. Oh yes that was then this is now.

****e!

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kenmeer livermaile
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Screw Brown, screw Blair. They were both part of the problems Obama is stuck with. Maybe Obama wants a better PM in Britain and doesn't want to contribute to Brown's status?

As for the world press: we owe them nothing. They owe us nothing. Obama didn't run a campaign for President of the World. I want a president who is willing to negotiate and meet with anyone when there's something needing to be done. Photo ops with Brown and stories for foreign press aren't high on my priority list right now. This will change, and later on, I expect to see Obama muster as global a bully pulpit as possible.

You know, there's a time for that. It's called the UN. Nothing wrong with getting a rep for being tight-lipped until there's something needing to be said.

"This is hardly a hanging offence, and it may even be too much media special-pleading, but despite all the demands on the President's time it would not do him any harm to spend a little of it engaging with the rest of the world's media. "

Well that's nice to know. Of course, it might well do harm to "spend a little of it engaging with the rest of the world's media."

Anyone wanna tell me what the story is here?

Newsflash! Obama doesn't talk to foreign press! What does this mean? Who knows?Not the foreign press, anyway.

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Wayward Son
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Does anyone know why it is that those who criticized the Left (and many on this board) for being too harsh on Bush and--gasp!--calling him names!--seem to be the same people who are Obama's harshest critics and call him every name in the book (plus a few new ones)?

Just wondering...

[ March 04, 2009, 11:47 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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cherrypoptart
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Our old enemies are now to be our allies. So where does that leave our allies?

Obviously, as our new enemies.

It's quite clear that Obama refuses to meet with any leaders of Britain, or their press, without first establishing some preconditions.

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flydye45
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This isn't significant.

Of more significance is what Krauthammer observed regarding Obama's "secret" letter to Putin essentially telling him he'd screw over Poland et al regarding missle defense for help on Iranian nukes.

Putin leaked it, Poland has a good idea of how good an ally Obamerica is and President Obama looks like a particularly egregious act on The Gong Show.

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Viking_Longship
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Obama is massively popular in Britain. Gordon Brown is despised by every Brit I know right and left. I think Obama will be forgiven.

Labour is on the way out. Obama mayy have just cost Brown a chance to shore up his political standing slightly, but it's not nearly enough to save his party.

Having said that, Mr Obama, I think you can get away with this once.

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vulture
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I have no problem with Obama returning the bust of Churchill; for all that Churchill is highly regarded as a wartime leader here in the UK, he also did some pretty nasty things too. Including a fairly strong-handed repression of the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. Consequently Churchill's reputation in Kenya is basically that of colonial opressor. Throw in the fact that Obama's grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama was tortured in the stamping out of the rebellion, and it's not hard to see why Obama wouldn't exactly want a bust of the guy in his office.

The way the press are reporting the Brown visit though, makes it sound like a planned 2 hour meeting between Brown and Obama was cut short to 1/2 hour due to Obama's busy schedule - he had to meet the Boy Scouts of America later that day. I think that establishes pretty well where he puts the UK in the pecking order of importance...

Can understand why Obama wouldn't want much to do with the British politcal journalist pack though. I listen to BBC radio driving to work every day, and I've pretty much given up on them doing anything other than trying to trip people up and twist their words; it's no wonder politicians have given up on the idea of giving straight answers to questions when it's like tying raw meat to yourself and going swimming with sharks.

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KnightEnder
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Whaaaaa!

Is this the best y'all have got? Mountains, molehills and hills of beans come to mind. [Frown]

KE

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Athelstan
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I’m not sure myself about Obama’s father being tortured by the British in Kenya. He belonged to a tribe that favoured British rule and himself worked as a cook for a British Officer. The story that he was there to spy on the British to help the Mau Mau can’t be proved, as there is no documentary evidence. This is because we burnt it all before we left. Perhaps he holds a grudge about the 62 – 66 Borneo Indonesia War

Gordon Brown is not the showman Blair is but that’s no bad thing in my book. If Obama doesn’t want to play the game I would say could we have our Bases back. You could start with Menwith Hill although this might upset the plans of the Menwith Hill Patriots Baseball team.

quote:
House of Commons Debate 4th February 2009

Mr. Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool, Walton) (Labour)
We are at a point in time when we have a new American President, whom I shall pray in aid in the course of my speech. I urge hon. Members, and certainly the Minister, not to get too excited by President Obama. I would, if I may, refer him to page 309 of “The Audacity of Hope” to show how difficult it can be to appraise American intentions. President Obama is talking about the need to establish a consensus before the kind of precipitate action for which the Bush Administration became a byword is taken. He says:
“Nor do I mean that we round up the United Kingdom and Togo and then do as we please”.

I find that a rather disparaging comment. I think that it shows disdain, if not contempt, for the United Kingdom—or perhaps he is just being absolutely honest. Nevertheless, it is the framework within which I believe that the new Administration will work.

Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases

Looks like it’s the sceptical relationship from now on.

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Viking_Longship
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But without us you have to reconcile yourselves to being full fledged members of Europe instead of keeping one foot on each side of the Atlantic.
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Athelstan
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So its the 51st State or getting into bed with the French, tough choice. Anyway Michael Jackson likes us.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Does anyone know why it is that those who criticized the Left (and many on this board) for being too harsh on Bush and--gasp!--calling him names!--seem to be the same people who are Obama's harshest critics and call him every name in the book (plus a few new ones)?

Just wondering...

Does anyone know why it is that those who criticize the right (and many on this board) for being hard on Obama and--gasp!--pointing out his amateur mistakes--seem to be the same people who were Bush's harshest critics and routinely called him every name in the book (plus a few new ones)?

Just wondering too...

[Razz] [LOL]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by KnightEnder:
Whaaaaa!

Is this the best y'all have got? Mountains, molehills and hills of beans come to mind. [Frown]

I am pretty sure that no matter what your Dear Leader does, this will be your reaction. That's what it's been so far as he alienates our allies, destroys the market and breaks his promises (earmarks, transparency, new taxes only on the rich, etc). Hero worship like this is going to get you, and all of us, in trouble.
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TomDavidson
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Oh, G2, it warms my heart to suddenly see conservatives rediscover their ability to be suspicious of people in power.
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cherrypoptart
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But one thing everyone has to admit, I would hope, is that the right criticized Bush a lot more than the left holds Obama fairly accountable for his mistakes.

They say there may finally be some cracks in Obama's dike though, and some on the left, at the NYTimes for instance, are growing weary of putting their fingers in Obama's crack every time it looks like it's leaking again. (Sorry, that's just a really bad image...). But for anyone who Depends on Obama, these constant and embarrassing mudslides are getting to be too frequent and are causing too much of an international stink to politely ignore any longer.

But the point is I think it's fair to say the right was more critical of Bush than the left is of Obama. Some may assert the reason for this is because Bush was so much more incompetent, but so far it looks like Obama has every intention of proving that just plain wrong.

It's kind of funny though that during the Bush years many liberals told us to check out the media of Europe, Britain in particular, to find out what is really going on. It looks like that may actually be some good advice, especially very soon now. There's nothing like offending someone to get them to fess up to the truth about things. Britain's love affair with Obama is coming to an end.

In a way, you have to give it to Obama for being so bold. Insulting the most revered figure in Britain like this, jeez. But it's understandable why Obama doesn't like him. Put aside the imperial aspects of Churchill, and we still have the fact that Obama was always more of a Neville Chamberlain type of guy. Appease at any cost.

[ March 05, 2009, 09:06 AM: Message edited by: cherrypoptart ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I am pretty sure that no matter what your Dear Leader does, this will be your reaction."

There are times when a person unwittingly offers themselves a helpful potion. If you'll examine your statement you'll find that it invites its own refutation at a glance. For example:

"I am pretty sure that if you caught Obama screwing your dog with a strap-on, this will be your reaction."

OK. That extreme exaggeration only counterbalances the figure of speech aspect of your statement, which was not delivered as a precise syllogism or such.

Let's approach the real world:

"I am pretty sure that if Obama declared war on Iraq because it was amassing WMDs, this will be your reaction." (you may move this hypothesis to 2002-3 to balance the comparison)

"I am pretty sure that if Obama wrote executive orders condoning torture while steadfastly telling the world that we don't condone torture, this will be your reaction."

What you're doing, G2, is projecting your former opaque allegiance to Bush/Republicans onto KE. Since you cannot condone, through genuine recorded recent history, your support of the Bush administration, your self-comforting alternative is to accuse others of being as foolish regarding Obama as you were of Bush. Since you cannot elevate your Bushism by facts, and cannot keep the truth of that history from sinking into the muck, you instead attempt to drag Obama supporters like KE down to your present lowly political state.

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rightleft22
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“Does anyone know why it is that those who criticized the Left (and many on this board) for being too harsh on Bush and--gasp!--calling him names!--seem to be the same people who are Obama's harshest critics and call him every name in the book (plus a few new ones)?”

This is something that has really been concerning of lately as I see more and more of it. The naked projection and open contradictions within an argument suggesting a closeness of thought which is truly scary.

Anyone who doesn’t agree is wrong or biased, the proof, they don’t agree with my thinking. You’re wrong because you disagree with my perception. The media is biased accept for the media that isn’t, the proof, biased media reports stories in a way I would not and don’t like.

“When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.” CS Lewis

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Wayward Son
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After watching Bush parley worldwide sympathy after the 9/11 attacks into worldwide contempt, it will take more than the snubbing of a Primer Minister to earn him the level of criticism that Bush acquired.

Give Obama some time, folks. He's new at this. You can't expect him to master destroying foreign relations like Bush in just a few weeks. [Smile]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Besides, let Gordon suck ass for awhile. Be good for him. We made France and Germany and anyone who didn;t support Bush's war suck nuts; let's not leave anyone out.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
In a way, you have to give it to Obama for being so bold. Insulting the most revered figure in Britain like this, jeez.
Just a side note: Brown is in no way the most revered figure in Britain. He's not even close. I mean, if you asked your average Brit who they revered, Stephen Fry would show up before the Prime Minister nine times out of ten.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Gordon is Ford to Brown's Nixon, really. He doesn't have much 'tall', as Clinton once described political clout. He's a seat warmer.

Imagine if McCain had been elected our president instead of Obama. Seat-warmer.

[ March 05, 2009, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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cherrypoptart
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> kenmeer livermaile

> We made France and Germany and anyone who didn;t support Bush's war suck nuts; let's not leave anyone out.

Maybe that's what it is. Bush facepalmed the people who didn't support us in Iraq, and now Obama is giving it to the ones who did, like Poland and Britain.

Darned if you do, danged if you don't.

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flydye45
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This is equivilent to the "Merkel" shoulder rub. And didn't that make the news. "How horrible" went the hyperventilators.


Wayward

Perhaps he's new to this, but darned if he doesn't show a lot of promise.

I guess running a campaign or voting present ISN'T the same as running a country.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Well, Obama didn't say 'you're either with us or against us'. A snub is a snub not an overt denunciation.

I would find it refreshing if more people might view the new president not in terms of Bush's Shadow, an opposing contrast to the retired Idjut King, but instead in terms of what he's doing in the world now.

I used comparisons to Bush because that was how this thread started, and certain people here seem to be able to think only in terms how a thing accords or discords with their brand of conservative ideology and its recent historical associations.

So, putting all that aside: Brown is a non-player on the global scene right now. He inherited the legacy of a Bush rhemora, Brown, and is now caught in the drainward vortex of Brown's loyal suction of Bush's buttocks.

I doubt Obama would ever snub the current Chinese premier, or Putin or the current Russian president, or a conference with Iran's rulers (but a meeting w/ Ahmadinejad himself? why not? treat a clown as a clown).

Obama said he would be open to discussion. He did not say he would be closed to deciding when where and how.

Y'all are watching some major geopolitical diplomatic hardball being played. Obama has no choice if he's to truly lead but plow his own course, because the USA<>world diplomatic framework of 60 years is now completely collapsed.

He knows an American president can no longer expect full respect just for being the president. He knows that if he wishes to retain some of the status once called The Leader of the Free World, he's gonna have to game and muscle, and not via some stupid monolithic war in some screwy country we helped screw up nor in some grandiose but indefinable War on Terror.

That was little boys playing cowboys and indians. Obama is not a little boy.

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
In a way, you have to give it to Obama for being so bold. Insulting the most revered figure in Britain like this, jeez.
Just a side note: Brown is in no way the most revered figure in Britain. He's not even close. I mean, if you asked your average Brit who they revered, Stephen Fry would show up before the Prime Minister nine times out of ten.
I'm pretty certain he was referring to Churchill rather than Brown. No way Brown beats Stephen Fry even one time out of ten BTW .
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kenmeer livermaile
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I thought Arthur was more revered than Churchill in British history?

Or what about that kingie dude who kicked the Normans out?

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cherrypoptart
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You can argue about that if you want, but it would be a fair question to ask Obama about why he decided to kick the Churchill bust out of the White House, and specifically what he was thinking about as far as diplomacy with one of our strongest allies.
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Colin JM0397
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He was busy getting his new suit.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Oh, G2, it warms my heart to suddenly see conservatives rediscover their ability to be suspicious of people in power.

Oh Tom, it makes me laugh to think you believe conservatives lost that ability. Republicans, sure. Conservatives, no. Really, I thought you knew the difference.

But let's look a little more at the insult to Brown. Brown failed to get the usual Rose Garden joint-presser treatment from the White House, what about the traditional gift exchange?
quote:
Mr Brown’s gifts included an ornamental desk pen holder made from the oak timbers of Victorian anti-slaver HMS Gannet, once named HMS President.

Mr Obama was so delighted he has already put it in pride of place in the Oval Office on the Resolute desk which was carved from timbers of Gannet’s sister ship, HMS Resolute.

Another treasure given to the U.S. President was the framed commission for HMS Resolute, a vessel that came to symbolise Anglo-US peace when it was saved from ice packs by Americans and given to Queen Victoria.

Finally, Mr Brown gave a first edition set of the seven-volume classic biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.

Now that pen holder is pretty damn cool and shows some thoughtful giving. Obama is obviously pretty impressed with it - who wouldn't be? All of it is very nice. Brown also brought some gifts for the Obama's daughters, very considerate.

What was the return gift?
quote:
Gordon Brown has been given a collection of 25 classic American films on DVD as his official gift from Barack Obama.

The Prime Minister flew home from his successful trip to Washington this morning with the ’special collector’s box’ of films hidden in his luggage.

No 10 had tried to keep the present a secret, refusing to answer reporters who asked what President Obama had given to mark the reaffirmation of the special relationship.

Are you ****ing kidding me? Seriously? A DVD collection of 25 classic movies? It was insulting enough that Brown tried to hide it. This is monumental stupidity on the part of Obama - or a deliberate insult. Honestly, I'm not sure which. Cheap out on your relatives at Christmas or birthdays but cheaping out on an ally that has stood by us for decades through some tough decisions is pretty damn rude.

Hey, what about for Brown's sons? What gift did the Obama's give in return? Two plastic replicas of Marine One from the White House gift store. No ****. Talk about a considerate gift! Really went all out didn't they? Brown probably threw those away before he even left US soil.

[ March 05, 2009, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"You can argue about that if you want, but it would be a fair question to ask Obama about why he decided to kick the Churchill bust out of the White House, and specifically what he was thinking about as far as diplomacy with one of our strongest allies."

quote:
American politicians have made quoting Churchill, whose mother was American, something of an art form, but not Mr Obama, who prefers to cite the words and works of his hero Abraham Lincoln. Indeed a bust of Mr Lincoln now sits in the Oval Office where Epstein's Churchill once ruled the roost.
I reckon it's OK to replace a statue of the revered leader of an ally with a statue of one of our most revered leaders.

Diplomatically:

"The rejection of the bust has left some British officials nervously reading the runes to see how much influence the UK can wield with the new regime in Washington."

I guess he's sending a message to the world that America is no longer Anglo-centric in its foreign relations but instead bases its foreign relations on the ideals associated with Lincoln.

Considering that in many parts of the world, Churchill is not revered but reviled. Here's an article from, fittingly enough, my hometown rag, on that same bust when it first arrived:

quote:
t is intriguing that President Bush is an admirer of Winston Churchill. He keeps a bust of the great man in the Oval Office.

‘‘Churchill is best known for his steadfast leadership during the darkest days of World War II. When Britain was standing alone against Adolf Hitler, his oratory and actions inspired Britons to withstand the worst the Third Reich could deliver.

Churchill's ‘‘blood, toil, tears and sweat” speech, delivered in the House of Commons on May 13, 1940, when he took over as prime minister, is the best known piece of political oratory in modern times. President Bush is enamored of Churchill's willingness to go it alone in the face of overwhelming opposition before the war and overwhelmingly bad odds once it began.

In the Middle East, though, Churchill was an imperialist whose good intentions got the British Empire and himself into considerable hot water.

To begin to get a handle on what the current trouble in Iraq is all about, aside from Saddam Hussein and his elusive weapons of mass destruction, it helps to look further back than the two Bush presidencies. Since Iraq was created by the British after World War I, Iraq has been a fountain for Arab nationalist distaste for the creation of a Jewish homeland.

When Churchill was secretary for the British colonies in 1921, he helped create Iraq, Jordan and

Palestine, which was intended to be a homeland for Jewish people under British mandate. Iraq and Jordan were handed over to handpicked kings, Abdullah and Faisal, the sons of the sharif of Mecca. They were not much welcomed.

Hard to get out

The idea, as Churchill put it in a speech before the House of Commons on June 14, 1921, was ‘‘to set up an Arab government, and to make it take the responsibility, with our aid and our guidance and with an effective measure of our support, until they are strong enough to stand alone ... (and) to reduce our commitments and to extricate ourselves from our burdens while at the same time honorably discharging our obligations and building up strong and effective Arab government which will always be the friend of Britain.”

In 2004, Bush's concept of what is needed to reshape and stabilize the Middle East, particularly as it pertains to Iraq, is essentially the same as Churchill's. Palestine, now partitioned into Israel and the West Bank, is still the flash point.

The problem, then as now, is that Arab nationalism constantly threatens to overtake the dream of a stable, cooperative Middle East tuned to Western sensibilities and willing to live peacefully with a Jewish state in its midst. In Churchill's time, radical Islamic Wahhabi tribes ruled by a desert sheik named Ibn Saud caused trouble. After incessant warfare with his rivals, Saud prevailed and Saudi Arabia was born. That country continues to this day to be the most determined promoter of an extreme

form of Islam that is virulently antiSemitic.

Wahhabism, then and now, is at the heart of the Arab nationalist resistance to foreign influence. It brings grief to those who try to Westernize the Middle East, whether to bolster the empire as was Churchill's goal, or to protect Western interests as is Bush's. It is at the heart of Osama bin Laden's crusade to get rid of the Sauds, who he believes have sold out to the Americans just as the sherif and his sons sold out to the British.

Churchill was an admitted imperialist. Bush says he is not. Therefore, when it comes to shaping Middle East policy, Churchill may turn out to be the wrong mentor.

It is wise to remember that Britain and France were the co-authors of the ****ed-up mess that was named the 'nation of Iraq' by those same imperialist entities.

**** Britain. Screw 'em blue. We lost lives to escape from their imperialism back in 1776. They want to be our allies, great. But we don't need to kiss their asses; we have little if any to apologize to them for. Churchill/Britain were also instrumental in our CIA messing w/ Iran in the early 50s, which activity created the legend, MUCH exaggerated, that we put the Shah in power. We certainly worked to do that, and supported him afterward, but that revolution happened mostly of itself.

We have good relations with Britain. They are not pointing their future nukes at us or bleeding us with an ongoing occupational war. We DO need good relations with Iran and most of the Middle East, especially if we're going to help out little bubba Israel more than hurt it by our assistance.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Guess what? Britain is not much admired or even liked anymore. Not even in Europe.

Something else: I have little problem with an American president acting regal and arrogant toward rulers of another nation, although I think it should be done strategically.

My main concern is that he not act regally arrogant toward the American people.

Anyway, here's the money quote:

"The rejection of the bust has left some British officials nervously reading the runes to see how much influence the UK can wield with the new regime in Washington."

What I'm curious to see is what kind of gift Obama gives to current Israeli leaders. I think a box of Cracker Jacks would be about right. As for Israel, I think they should give us and the world a viable two-state solution. They could if they wanted to.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Nevertheless, just reading these words gives me proud chills:

"Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour'."

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Jordan
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quote:
Kenmeer:
**** Britain. Screw 'em blue. We lost lives to escape from their imperialism back in 1776.

Heaven forbid that anyone might drop a grudge after a mere two hundred and twenty years.
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Funean
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Consider the Society of the White Rose.... [Wink]
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Redskullvw
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Mau Mau, the one incidence in post colonial transistion in Africa where the whites were not simply killed or kicked out of the country. It is one of the reasons Kenya, unlike its neighbors didn't see cycles of revolution and general liquidation of whites.

Then again Mau Mau pales by today's insurrections in that all they tended to do was chop up white farmers, black government officials, and blacks who sided with law with machetes.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Heaven forbid that anyone might drop a grudge after a mere two hundred and twenty years. "

I don't hold a grudge and England swings like a pendulum do. But recent England acted as Bush's personal pimp for child prostitution. I invoke the colonial past to remind us that that, just half a century ago, Gandhi had to transcendentally kick their self-image iwth an ugly mirror to make them stop exploiting other countries.

They're no virgins, the queen is no lady, and we owe them nothing more than mutual peace and fulfillment of our part of whatever bargains we sign with them.

Respect? That's what they owe us. We kicked their ass 220 years ago. Saved their ass in WWII. SOme may say it was nice of them to assist us in Iraq, but I say that's like calling the Prussian nice for assisting that other lunatic George, King George III, invade and 'establish the peace' in revolutionary America.

So I think Brown should be grateful to get a vintage movie set. And I think they owe us some fancy pen sets.

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kenmeer livermaile
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The Kenyans during the Mau Mau uprising were virtually without weapons other than machetes, Red.
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Athelstan
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quote:
We kicked their ass 220 years ago


As I recall they were fighting to retain their rights as freeborn Englishmen so maybe I have more connection with the rebels than you do. As to helping us in WWII maybe if the US had stayed out of WWI there might not have been a WWII but then you only entered it after Germany declared war on the US. It is good of you to use the collective term We as obviously you take personal responsibility for killing and stealing the lands of Native Americans and Slavery on the Plantations.
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