Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bermuda Love Triangle Gone Wrong

President Obama is man of few skills. But there is one skill in which he truly excels. . . angering the British. He’s done it again.

As you may recall, there are currently 17 Uyghurs residing at Guantanamo Bay. . . that is to say, there were.

Earlier this month, the United States obtained the agreement of the president of Palau, Mr. Johnson Toibiong, to take thirteen of these gentlemen off our hands for the minor sum of $200 million. Why he could not take all seventeen is not known. Perhaps the Palau Hilton was full? Perhaps Palauan President Toibiong didn’t like the fruit basket? We don’t know. But we do know that this left Team Obama with the little problem of four unwanted Uyghurs.

The brain trust charged with handling this delicate situation are named Greg Craig and Daniel Fried, two senior level Obama advisors who have been assigned the task of dispersing the inmate at Gitmo, giving new meaning to the barman’s call: “You don’t have to go home. . . but you can’t stay here.”

So what did Team Obama come up with? No, they didn’t just drive them to a rest stop in Cuba and shove them out the door. They flew them to Bermuda, and set them free.

Now, don’t think for a moment that they did this without the permission of Bermuda’s Premier, Ewart Brown. No, they weren’t that crass.

And don’t worry, there was no dirty deal. Bermuda was simply “playing the Good Samaritan in recognition of its 400 year friendship with the United States,” said Brown. The fact that 78% of the island’s income comes from financial services, an industry now owned by Mr. Obama, or that 90% of Bermuda’s tourist industry is dependent on the United States had nothing to with this, or so we are assured.

Nevertheless, Fried and Craig got them quite a good deal. Premier Brown not only agreed to let them settle in Bermuda, but he agreed to let these Uyghurs become naturalized citizens -- a right not even held by many persons born on the island itself.

So why would this upset Britain? Well, there seems to be some vague relationship between Britain and Bermuda. Indeed, Bermuda is considered a British Overseas Territory. Thus, Bermuda’s head of state is the Queen of England, and all matters related to foreign policy and/or security, which includes immigration, fall under the purview of the Governor of Bermuda, Sir Richard Gozney.

And here’s the kicker. . . Team Obama never told anyone in the British Government they were doing this until it happened. Read that again.

This is a major diplomatic slight, equivalent to Britain negotiating a secret treaty with the Mayor of Kansas City. Naturally, the British are quite upset. Whitehall officials are privately accusing Team Obama of treating Britain “with barely disguised contempt.” Said one senior British official:

"The Americans were fully aware of the foreign-policy understanding we have with Bermuda and they deliberately chose to ignore it. This is not the kind of behavior one expects from an ally."

Moreover, the British now face a very real problem. Remember that promise of citizenship? That will give these Uyghurs the right to travel to the UK and to apply for British citizenship. Thus, while they can still be denied entry to the United States, they cannot be denied entry to the United Kingdom. Take that you dirty Brits.

But wait, there’s more. After the British became upset, Team Obama lied about informing the British. Indeed, Team Obama trotted out zombified-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to claim that she discussed the transfer with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in what she described as “an uneasy conversation.” Really? “Guess what we’re about to do to you!” I wonder how that conversation ended?

Britain, however, denies this, as does Bermuda Governor Gozney who stated, “We were only told this morning.”

United States official, speaking off the record, seemed to concede this point with their defense: “We did talk to them before the Uyghurs got on the plane.” As does Premier Ewart Brown, who himself described the talks that led to this as “private and somewhat restricted.”

And like that, the love between America and Britain vanishes without a trace. . . another victim of the Bermuda Love Triangle.


JG said...

It's pretty obvious Obama is making a deliberate effort to turn his back on our European allies. I can understand his desire to build Middle East relations (or, well, I can see why HE would want to) but really, there's no point building up one section of the world while openly dissing the other. I mean, post-WWII, we're allies with England AND Japan. We can do this. He just doesn't want to.

BevfromNYC said...

It is disturbing to say the least that Bush was vigorously criticized for making unilateral decisions affecting the world, but now Obama is unilaterally negotiating the naturalization of potentially dangerous terrorists to protectorate countries of our most favored allies.

He has basically just indicated to England, not only have we dumped former terrorists into one of your protectorate nations, but we have negotiated that these same former terrorists will be citizens of the protectorate and, as a result, become a citizen of the UK. Oops, did we forget to ask you if that would be okay. How's he going to spin this to be Bush's fault?

And since Bermuda's economy depends on American tourism, isn't he putting our citizens at risk? I think a boycott of Bermuda should follow.

LawHawkSF said...

This is what happens when you put the children in charge of the school. No sense of past or future, only the here and now. No concept that there are adults out there who have spent decades or centuries building relationships that can be destroyed overnight by changing the rules in the middle of the game. And of course there's the arrogance of the child who knows not only what's best for his group of children, but for everybody else's children too. Obama is an overgrown child who has been given the keys to the most powerful forces on earth. We're in for a very dangerous future.

Writer X said...

Unbelievable. Yet believable. And this is the same diplomatic team we trust with North Korea? Iran? What a bunch of clowns. Interesting that this faux pas barely measured a blip in the newspapers, at least in my city. Reading about it here is the first I've heard of it.

AndrewPrice said...

JG, I have to admit to sharing your amazement. I fully understand and fully endorse the idea of trying to improve our relationships with foreign countries whereever possible. But WHY keep spitting in the face of our best friends? He's got a trade war brewing with Canada. He keeps doing things that any fool knows will anger the British. He created a banking war with Switzerland. Why? How does this help him?

Bev, you are 100% correct (as always) about the comparison with Bush. Bush's "unilateral action" was after consultation with foreign leaders, Congressional leaders, and always involved the consent of the government's involved and many of our allies. But hopey changey Obama gets no criticism for doing the very things Bush was wrongly-criticized for doing.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, The MSM hasn't picked this up because it's bad for Obama in every way: (1) he angered the Brits and looks like a fool, (2) he is releasing terrorists (in fact there were protests in both Palau and Bermuda, and (3) it reminds us that Gitmo is still open despite his promise to close it the minute he took over the job.

And you're right, this does not speak well for North Korea or Iran.

Lawhawk, I would normally agree with you, but I wonder if there isn't more of a pattern or philosophy behind this. Why does he keep picking on the Brits? And why do it in a way that any fool would know would be insulting? It could just be incompetence, but it feels like it's something more.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: You may be right, but you have a tendency to find more intelligence in Obama than I do. I don't think he's smart enough to pull off intentional insult. I think he's extremely provincial and posing as a sophisticate. Despite his currying of the Muslims, I still expect him to have a casual lunch with a Muslim diplomat some day where he orders ham sandwiches for everyone. His naivete scares the hell out of me, so maybe I can't handle the idea that he might actually be planning these things carefully. He's not just any fool, he's the big fool. I can only hope (oops) that I'm right and you're wrong.

BevfromNYC said...

Lawhawk, I think in his rush to at least complete one of his campaign promises (and in my view his most dangerous), he and his people did not understand the implications or maybe they did not realize that Bermuda is a protectorate of the British Empire. Either way it is a naive blunder. Just add it to the list. That list must be getting pretty long...

Tennessee Jed said...

I almost wonder if this isn't some kind of sub-conscious payback for G.B.'s support of the Iraq war. Of course with this administration, almost nothing is unintentional or subconscious.

AndrewPrice said...

Tenn Jed,

You could well be right. This could be a revenge sort of thing. That would fit with Chicago-style politics.

What makes this even stranger though, is that he and Gordon Brown should be political fellow travelers. So why would he do these things to Brown, particularly at a time when Labor is in such trouble in the polls?

Maybe it is personal?


I have a hard time thinking this was a mistake because the career State Department people tend to know these things. But maybe the problem is that they side-stepped State and they are running everything through the White House.

I don't know. But I do know that this bodes poorly for our foreign relations for the next four years.

StanH said...

If ignorance is bliss, Barry’s one peaceful SOB. The good news is when pictures of Muslim terrorist show up taking a swim in the Atlantic off Bermuda, IMO further degrades the Messiah persona to nit-wit. This guy is just shooting from the hip, and I agree with Lawhawk is quite dangerous. God help us we’re gonna need it.

patti said...

barry is doing to britain what he's done to the american people for the last eternal months: spreading the charm, then bending 'em over.

i loved the part about britain being "pissed" in the article i read. welcome to our stae of mind. eesh.

StlDan said...

Andrew, I don't think Obama even consultants the Career people at State. He put Hillary in there for appeasement and to keep an eye on her. Then he appointed several special envoys so he could side step her and state, it follows the same pattern as moving the census to the Whitehouse, appointing Czars and trying to use White House office of budget, instead of the CBO for cost figures for health-care reform. It is all a method to consolidate power in the Executive Branch.

DCAlleyKat said...

Another lover discovers the only ally of Barack Hussein Obama is Barack Hussein Obama.

AndrewPrice said...

DCAlleyCat, LOL! You are so right! I wonder when the media will discover how little room there is in his heart for anyone else?

StlDan, I think you're right. I think he planted Hillary there and then immediately pulled all of the functions of State into the White House. . . and this is the disasterous results.

Patti -- graphic, but true. :-)

StanH, I am so looking forward to the pictures of these guys playing on the beach. Of course, we won't find them in the American media.

Post a Comment