First, there was the embarrassing and insulting treatment of the Brown family by the White House during the recent state visit. Now, the White House has put out a briefing booklet that appears to go out of its way to insult the British from referring to them as a declining world power to elevating France over Britain as an ally to noting its small size. It seems that the White House has been taken over by anglophobes.
In the official press kit, the White House refers to England as “slightly smaller than Oregon.” Nice. Of course, in population, England has 60 million people as opposed to 3.7 million Oregon residents. If size really matters, Oregon wins. Great Britain occupies an area of 80,823 square miles while Oregon covers an area of 98,466 sq mi.
The White House then gives an incredibly sophomoric rendition of the history of England — adding “The losses and destruction of World War I, the depression of the 1930s, and decades of relatively slow growth eroded the United Kingdom’s preeminent international position of the previous century”.
While the White House refers to Britain being “one of the United States’ closest allies,” it points out that France is “America’s oldest ally” and “a close partner with the US in the war on terror.”.
I guess that that is still better that Germany which is described as a reliable US ally” since 9/11 and “about the size of Montana.”
Once again, there seems to be a serious shortage of sophistication — and frankly class — in the White House staff in handling such things. With a whopping 500 people in tow, this briefing book inevitably was going to get out.By the way, are there really people on the Obama staff that do not know about England and France and Germany. If there are such people, shouldn’t they stay home to finish a distance learning course before setting off on a diplomatic mission?
Judging from the article below, the Brits do not appear humored by their England for Dummies portrayal.
For the full story, click here.
17 thoughts on “White House: Britain Is A Declining Power “Slightly Smaller Than Oregon””
What Mespo said too.
““We know who our friends are and it’s NOT the FRench””
It is indeed sad and ironic that the words spoken by US Colonel Charles E. Stanton and uttered shortly after the Battle of Messines in reverent homage at Lafayette’s grave could now be construed by the French as a threat:
“Lafayette, nous voilà” (Lafayette, we are here)
But a sense of history, graciousness of spirit, and gratitude for past sacrifices were never neo-con virtues, now were they?
“We know who our friends are and it’s NOT the FRench”
So, the Battle of Bennington wasn’t the turning point of the American Revolution because it DIDN’T convince the French to back us against England?
Well, Lizy. I gather from the tone of your remarks that the briefing booklet matter is only the latest Obama outrage from your particular viewpoint. Would that be accurate?
I was so appaulled when I read about this yesterday. Well, My dear Brits, this is the new president….and not all of America voted for him. We know who our friends are and it’s NOT the FRench. After 9/11 and the French would not join with us in our fight against terrorism France became worse than a 4 letter word. Americans boycotted french restaurants, french products, ebay sellers refused to sell to anyone from france. What we call French fries (you call them chips) became known as American or Patriotic Fries at restaurants. French toast which is only fried bread in an egg wash also had its name changed. You couldn’t even find French dresing for salads in the dressing isle. The American public was livid. And now we are supposed to be their friends and not our brethren the British? This is a travisty. But remember…Obama…He was supposed to be our savior. Yah right.
The British Empire is no longer an empire and we will be dealing with the legacy of colonialism in Africa and elsewhere for God knows how long. Nevertheless, England is like a beloved aunt; there may be things that upset us about her, but we ought to keep them to ourselves.
I didn’t know that about the Canadians; i.e. burning down the Whitehouse. Thanks for the update, I’ll be sure to read up on it later.
Per Clapton’s father, seems to me that excelling at blues guitar is more of a nurture than nature issue.
It is rather interesting in that you may have nailed the English issue right on the head.
The White house was burned down by Canadians and Eric Claptons father was Canadian.
Can the English accomplish anything on their own?
“If there are such people, shouldn’t they stay home to finish a distance learning course before setting off on a diplomatic mission?”
They’re probably the Cheney “stay behinds” Sy Hersh has been reporting about.
There’s an anecdote from the Bush 43 salad days of Bill Clinton counseling Tony Blair to stick tight with the US no matter how dodgy the project. Like most of Clinton’s smack talk, that counsel hasn’t aged well. Clinton and Blair seem to be none the worse for wear, though. The rest of us, not so much. Oh well, those things which hurt, instruct.
There was a very good reason why France did not join us in Iraq. They were right and Bush was wrong. They did join us in Afghanistan. Although I do not agree with putting the diminishing power language in the press briefing, I think it is an accurate statement. The thing I don’t understand is why does the Press need a briefing booklet?
“…the Brits do not appear humored by their England for Dummies portrayal.”
Sounds more to me like we’re shipping off dummies for England, diplomatically speaking that is.
Considering England’s dubious pedigree; i.e. breaching the Treaty of Paris and burning down the Whitehouse while Madison was President, saddling the U.S. with cleaning up some of the world’s worst problems such as the Indo-Pak conflict in Kashmir and the Israeli/Palestinian fiasco, not to mention having the audacity to claim we don’t speak English goodly enough for them — I say F#@$ the limeys.
They’re gonna have to produce quite a few more Eric Claptons to make amends.
Here’s the correct link:
Here’s The Guardian’s take. I really don’t know whether to laugh, cry or both. Our president needs to come back to earth.
They should have just hired campaign staff. This kind of press debacle never happened until he started hiring people with DC zip codes. Then again maybe I’m biased, if he filled the white house with campaign people I’d still have a job
“— adding “The losses and destruction of Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the depression of 2008-2016, and decades of relatively slow growth, along with it’s adpoption of torture and the failure to bring it’s own war criminals to trial or maintain the rule of law, eroded the United State’s preeminent international position of the previous century”.
I don’t think the gift thing was a mistake. I keep wondering if the UK is being punished for pursuing a criminal investigation of torture which directly implicates the US.
France did not support our invasion of Iraq, while the Brits contributed the greatest number of troops from the “Coalition of the Willing”. No good deed goes unpunished.
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