President Obama has returned a bust of Winston Churchill to the British government. The bust was loaned to President Bush following 9/11 and had a prominent place in the Oval Office thereafter. The British government offered to allow Obama to keep it for four more years, but he was not interested.
Obama would not be the first non-white American with family roots in a portion of Britain’s colonial empire to have a grudge against the British. Moreover, it was during Churchill’s second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion. According to this report, the president’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, allegedly was tortured by the colonial regime.
Nonetheless, as Nile Gardner points out, American’s “Special Relationship” with Great Britain is vital to our interests “at many levels, from military, diplomatic, and intelligence cooperation to transatlantic trading ties.” Returning a bust of Churchill in itself will neither jeopardize the relationship nor necessarily mean that Obama has failed to appreciate the relationship’s importance. However, according to Gardner, Obama has never even mentioned the Anglo-American alliance in a major policy speech.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is lending the credibility of the United States to what Anne Bayefsky correctly calls the racist “anti-racism” bash known as Durban II. Specifically, our emissaries are attending the U.N. planning committee for that event. Bayefsky reports that
U.S. representatives were addressing a human-rights negotiating committee with an executive consisting of a Libyan chair, an Iranian vice-chair, and a Cuban rapporteur. Russian Yuri Boychenko was presiding over Monday’s “human rights” get-together. Before them was a draft document which participants plan to adopt in finished form at the conference itself. The draft now contains mountains of offensive references to limits on free speech, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish provisions, and incendiary allegations of the victimization of Muslims at the hands of counter-terrorism racists.