Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Aw, shucks. Obama don't like us any more

There was a curious piece in my favourite newspaper The Guardian (perhaps I should say joint favourite, since I have a soft spot for the scourge of Berlusconi, La Repubblica). It seems that journalist Simon Tisdall is concerned about Obama’s attitude towards Europe: ‘Obama’s coolness towards Europe worries his Nato partners’.

Perhaps it’s too cheap a crack to say ‘hold on: weren’t we supposed to think his coolness was the thing we liked about him in the first place?’, so I’ll resist the temptation.

In any case, Tisdall’s complaint does feel a bit like something from the ‘he’s-stopped-going-round-with-me-at-break’ school of international diplomacy. Who cares what Obama thinks of us? Well, apart from Brown and Sarkozy of course, snubbed when they wanted private meetings with him – but then why care about them either? In any case, if being liked is the issue, we have so much liking for him over here that we hardly need Obama to contribute any of his own. On the other hand, we might start liking him rather less if he doesn’t start delivering soon.

Bring in a climate change deal that sticks, sort out the mess in Afghanistan and avoid getting us into war with Iran, and he can call us tea-drinkers with bad teeth, cheese-eating surrender monkeys and square-headed cabbage eaters for all I care. And if he sorts out those brutal little bullies in Israel, why, he’ll have earned a Nobel Peace Prize into the bargain.

Fail to deal with those things, and as far as I’m concerned he’s just another loudmouthed American blundering around doing more harm than good. Not that he’ll care if we think that of him. He’ll be blissfully indifferent to our opinion, good or bad. A healthy attitude. One that we should emulate.

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