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. [Read more…] about An Open Letter to the British PM.