Obama did this by dissing both the late Winston Churchill, who led Europe’s fight against the Nazis, and the current British Prime Minister. Staffers then compounded the offense by deriding Britain as being no more important than any of the world’s 190 other countries. (That’s right. The country that invented parliamentary democracy and whose troops fought and died with ours in Korea and other bloody wars against totalitarian regimes is deemed no more important than a tiny county like Nauru, which has only 14,000 people and survives through money laundering and selling passports to non-citizens).
The only European country that has really helped the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq is Britain. France, Germany, etc., have only sent token contingents to Afghanistan (for non-combat roles) and nothing to Iraq. The less Britain is willing to do for us in the future, the more of our own troops we will have to put into Afghanistan in the future.
By the way, Obama’s election won’t get us anything from the French. The French president effusively praised Obama before his election, but then refused to send any additional troops or personnel to help the U.S. in Afghanistan after the election.
I recently visited my French relatives, who live near Nice. All of them –- ranging from my wife’s avowedly Marxist father, who called me the night of Obama’s election at 2 a.m. in the morning to congratulate me, to her centrist, more distant relatives –- say that Obama’s election doesn’t entitle the U.S. to any additional help or cooperation, whether it’s ending bans on American products, or sending more French troops to Afghanistan.
My wife’s dad takes Obama’s election as America’s confession that we were wrong all these years – a racist, imperialistic, oppressive, hegemonic power that deserves no help.
My wife’s more distant relatives, many of whom like the U.S., nevertheless say that France should look after itself and its own industries, and let the U.S., which is wealthier and more powerful, take on the exclusive role of rooting out the Taliban. And they think now is not the time for France to end its trade restrictions on U.S. products, even those that the WTO has said are invalid, since France needs all the jobs it can get.
Obama campaigned on the theme that he would get our allies to help us more, by replacing George Bush, whom he claimed had singlehandedly antagonized the world. But Obama’s election is getting us nothing from our “allies,” and only serves to embolden hostile countries like Russia, which ridiculed the Obama Administration for a recent gaffe in which the State Department incompetently translated the Russian word “reset,” with embarrassing results.