If one believes Nile Gardiner, President Barack Obama has made himself the most hated, despised American President in Great Britain since Richard Nixon. The problem goes beyond Obama’s trashing of BP over the Gulf oil leak disaster. According to Gardiner:
“The key catalyst for rising anti-Obama sentiment in the UK has been his disastrous handling of the BP issue, and his relentless desire to crush Britain’s biggest company. There is no doubting BP’s responsibility over the Gulf oil disaster, and it is right that the firm is being held to account for its failures. But the brutal, almost sadistic trashing of BP by the imperious Obama administration, which has helped wipe out about half its value, threatens its very future, as well as the pensions of 18 million British people and the jobs of 29,000 Americans. There is now the very real danger of the bankrupting of a great British enterprise, and the prospect even of a Chinese or Russian takeover.
“Instead of adopting a constructive, statesmanlike approach, Barack Obama’s decision to launch a ‘boot on the throat’ campaign, while adopting a thinly veiled Brit-bashing agenda, has generated significant bad blood in America’s closest ally. At the same time, the president has inexplicably rejected offers of help from the UK and an array of European countries, no doubt out of both pride and protectionism.”
When Obama was running for President, one of his campaign themes was how then-President George W. Bush had wrecked relations with America’s friends and that how he, Obama, would restore those relations through “smart diplomacy.” President Obama seems to have instead adopted a stance of deliberately insulting America’s traditional allies, especially Great Britain.
“But this is not the whole picture. President Obama’s handling of BP is part of a far bigger problem. This is an administration that has consistently insulted Britain, and has even sided with her foes in some cases, most notably in its wholehearted support for Argentina’s call for negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falklands, a position that has been strongly backed by Venezuelan tyrant Hugo Chavez. Time and time again, the Obama team has undercut America’s key allies, from London to Prague to Jerusalem, while kowtowing to the enemies of the United States in the name of engagement. It is a disastrous foreign policy that not only weakens American global power, but generates resentment and anger in nations that have traditionally stood shoulder to shoulder with America.”
Why is President Obama doing this? Partly, Obama’s anti-Britain stance seems to derive from a personal dislike of Great Britain and her people. His trashing of BP is also motivated by both an antipathy toward capitalism in general, and oil companies in specific, plus a desire to shift blame from his administration for its mishandling of the oil disaster. That Obama’s strategy also hurts British investors, many of whom depend on BP dividends as part of their pensions, does not enter into his considerations. The number of people harmed by Obama administration policies, ranging from suddenly laid-off aerospace workers to senior citizens who can’t find doctors who will take Medicare, are legion.
One is wondering now if the people of Great Britain, who had once looked down upon George W. Bush as a “cowboy,” are now missing the man from Crawford yet. It must be so, and not just in Great Britain.
Barack Obama: the most unpopular man in Britain?
What Does Barack Obama Have Against Great Britain?, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, March 6th, 2009