March 11, 2009

Before Obama Downed Brown, He Harrowed Taro

Hatched by Sachi

We have all heard about how our new president, Barack H. Obama, snubbed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, head of the government of our most important ally since the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. But before Obama dissed Brown by refusing to allow him a full press conference or state dinner -- and reciprocating to a beautiful, meaningful gift from Brown by sending an aide to Blockbuster to grab a DVD boxed set in return -- the One perfected his boorishness by treating the prime minister of another ally like the hired help.

In late February, Prime Minister Taro Aso of Japan was actually the first foreign dignitary to pay a formal visit to the White House under the Obama administration. The Japanese were very proud of the fact that their PM was the first to meet this popular and historic American president, about whom they had heard so much; Aso himself -- who already had the reputation of being an ignorant, near-illiterate yokel who was out of his depth -- desperately needed the visibility of the summit to burnish his sagging popularity.

Aso's economic reform plan has not gone well in Japan; in fact, it has been a disaster. Every policy he implements, every word he utters, turns him into the butt of jokes on Japanese comedy shows (which can be even ruder than Letterman and Leno here). His approval rating is in single digits in some polls, worse than that of No Mu Hyon's final days as a South Korean President.

So he had pinned his hopes on this meeting with President Obama, Aso's last chance to achieve something, anything, in his administration. But as things turned out, this "summit" produced what Yoshihisa Komori of the Japanese (and Japanese language) Sankei Newspaper calls "absolutely minimum results."

But forget the thin contents of the meeting; Obama's treatment of the prime minister was much worse, according to Komori (I have translated the story into English):

It was unprecedented that there was no state lunch or joint press conference [sound familar?].

There was no private one-on-one meeting, which is what is needed to meet the requirement of a "summit."

Just before the meeting, President Obama talked about the importance of the U.S.-Japan friendship and strengthening the alliance for east-Asian security. However, Mr. Obama did not take any action to publicize the message.

Mr. Obama gave his first speech to Congress that same night. The U.S. government, public, and media attention were all on that speech; they paid little to no attention to the prime minister's visit.

This meeting reminded Japanese of Prime Minister Tomiichi Murakami's visit to the U.S. in January of 1995. However, even during that visit, Murayama was allowed to stay at Blair House, the official guest house. But not Aso; he was forced to stay in a hotel in a Washington DC suburb. The duration of the visit was less than half of Murakami's.

What is it about our over-his-head president and his "Peter Principle" Secretary of State? They kow-tow to our enemies -- and needlessly offend our friends.

What does Obama or the country gain by dissing countries that have traditionally been our strongest and most faithful allies, including Great Britain and Japan? Add to these examples the raft of loudmouthed, thuggish Israel-haters, antisemites, and Jew-baiters named to various critical sub-cabinet level positions in the Obama administration... an almost calculated affront to our closest ally in the most volatile region in the world.

Whether Obama likes it or not, high-level public diplomacy is an integral part of the job of president. If he has the time to party hearty every night in the White House, as we've heard, then couldn't he have squeezed in a state lunch or dinner, maybe even a full press conference? That doesn't seem like too much to ask of President Hope-y Changitude.

Hatched by Sachi on this day, March 11, 2009, at the time of 4:37 PM

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» An even worse snub to a friend of America.... from Random Jottings
Big Lizard writes that before Obama's snubs to Gordon Brown, he had treated the PM of Japan even worse... From a Japanes story on Prime Minister Taro Aso's visit. (Which I bet you didn't even know happened--I didn't.) ...It was unprecedented that ther... [Read More]

Tracked on March 12, 2009 10:12 AM


The following hissed in response by: adagioforstrings

"snubbed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, head of the government of our most important ally since the Treaty of Ghent in 1814."

Not to be persnickety, but that is a bit of an overstatement. During the US Civil War, Britain supported Jefferson Davis & built his navy leading to the US suing Britain after the war for the Alabama Claims

To be even MORE persnickety, technically, the US was not an ally to Britain during WWI, only an associated power. The US & the UK did not sign a formal alliance until WWII:

When the United States entered the war, President Wilson insisted that it be referred to as an Associated Power rather than an Allied Power. Wilson stressed that the United States had entered the war for its own reasons and entertained war aims that did not necessarily coincide with those of its Europeans Allies. The United States was the only Associated Power during the war.

The above hissed in response by: adagioforstrings [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2009 5:38 AM

The following hissed in response by: Karmi

Great info, Sachi! MSM must’ve missed that story, i.e. I hadn’t heard about it until now. If either incidence had happened in W’s administration, we would still be hearing about this…24/7! Obama has to be the most incompetent – and anti-America - president ever, and MSM can’t keep covering for him much longer.

The above hissed in response by: Karmi [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2009 6:08 AM

The following hissed in response by: Geoman

I think Obama is following the Costanza principal. If everything Bush did was wrong, then, conversely, the opposite would be always right. So if Bush met our allies with dignity and honor, the opposite would be what we should do! And if Bush nominated cabinet appointments that did not have tax problems, then nominees with tax problems are the solution! And if Bush contained North Korea, we should let them do what they want!

Really, the Costanza principal explains everything....

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2009 9:53 AM

The following hissed in response by: David M

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 03/12/2009 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

The above hissed in response by: David M [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2009 10:52 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dishman

Obama is too busy partying at The White House to be bothered with such things.

The above hissed in response by: Dishman [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2009 2:14 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman


You are correct in your summation of history, but allies in the past are not near as handy as allies in the present, who the Obama administration seems determined to make allies of the past

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2009 2:22 PM

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