Dear Prime Minister Brown:
I noted, with interest, the reception provided you by President and Mrs. Obama upon the occasion of your first State visit to our shores. As a private citizen who has never held elective office, I usually leave maters of State to the State Department and the Executive branch. However, due to recent events, I feel I must express myself regarding your treatment by our new President.
First, allow me, on behalf of the American people, to apologize to you, your wife, and your country. Because of the way democracies work (and remember, we learned most of what we know of democracies from your ancestors), we periodically elect a new leader. He or she is chosen to not only lead our country, but to represent our country to other countries and other visiting dignitaries. I wish I could claim that Mr. Obama, being new to the job, and all, is just having some first-100-days jitters. I fear this is not the case. I am deeply concerned that he and his administration are tone-deaf, when it comes to foreign policy, and are confusing the ways you treat friends with the way you treat foes. I’m afraid that President and Mrs. Obama insulted you. Even worse, I’m afraid that they might have done so out of a boorish sense of disdain for your country, our shared history, and your country’s support of our mutual efforts to fight Islamic Fundamentalism. Regardless of their motives and their feelings, Great Britain is our oldest, most loyal, and most treasured ally. You deserve our respect, our gratitude, our admiration, and our friendship. By their rude behavior, I’m afraid that you and the British people may believe Americans are ungrateful, spoiled, and boorish. Please let me assure you that the President’s behavior does not reflect the sentiments of the United States of America. And I hope that you will not allow his slight to drive a wedge between our two great nations.
By the way, the gift of the commissioning paper for the HMS Resolute, the pen holder fashioned from an oak timber taken from your anti-slavery ship, the HMS Gannet, and the seven-volume bio of Winston Churchill were all amzingly thoughtful and touching gifts. They reflect a deep and sincere understanding of the shared history between our countries, and a desire to nurture and grow that relationship even further. Our gifts…did nothing of the kind.
Please do not misunderstand my desire to insure that the relations between our two countries are not damaged bears no relationship to my opinions on your desire to see a “global solution” to the current worldwide economic meltdown. Despite what you may have heard from the Obama administration, this country has no desire to become a socialist state. We the People have no intention of surrendering our sovereignty to anyone – not the U.N., not the E.U. and not to any other well-meaning organization, bent on world domination. Like any other friends, we can agree to disagree.
Please allow me to address one final slight. Back in 2001, your predecessor gave then-President Bush a treasured and valuable bust of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, as a sign that our two countries were united in a common fight against a common enemy: radical Islam. For the remainder of President Bush’s two terms, the bust sat in the Oval Office, occupying a place of honor. Now I understand that he ordered it removed and shipped back to England. I hear you tried to explain it was a gift – a valuable one – and that it would be appropriate to display it in a museum, if Obama did not want it in his office. Apparently, he ordered it packed and shipped back to England, regardless. That is unbelievably rude. Winston Churchill is a hero of mine. Every one alive today, living in a free country, owes Sir Winston a debt of gratitude. If President Obama did indeed do what I heard he did, rest assured that there is a large segment of our country (we like to call it “a majority”) that does not condone what he did, nor do we agree with him on matters of State.
In closing, I would like to assure you, once again, that America is your ally, your friend, and you partner in the War on Terror, regardless of the double-speak and word-parsing coming out of the White House. While the world may have thought that Obama was the best man for the job, just under 50% of us disagreed. I see now that we were right. Please don’t let the actions of an inexperienced politician drive a wedge through our two nations’ shared future.