Scragged Apologizes to Obama

We misjudged him, and are sorry.

It is not news that Scragged generally takes a rather dim view of Barack Hussein Obama and all his works.

When Mr. Obama was first elected, we had a certain amount of optimism; for one thing, change is tough and it is extremely difficult for any president to make government more efficient or effective.  We thought he'd at least try.

It didn't take long, though, for the clear pattern of his doctrinaire leftism, socialism, and statism to become apparent, even more so than during the campaign as revealed to his misfortune by Joe the Plumber.  Like the Tea Partiers but, alas, unlike many elected Republicans, we've always stood against all attempts to expand the reach, power, scope, and cost of government as exemplified by almost every proposal Obama has made.

We've saved our deepest scorn, though, for his sorry misadventures in foreign affairs.  Whether bowing to dictators, apologizing for the good America has done, or betraying our allies, virtually everything Mr. Obama has done overseas has been at best useless and more frequently utterly destructive to American power, prestige, and all the values we stand for.

Worst of all, Mr. Obama has at every turn showed utter contempt for our closest international friends in the world, the English.  Whether summarily returning the bust of Winston Churchill, gifting Her Majesty the Queen with an iPod containing his own speeches, or declaring neutrality concerning Argentinian threats over the English territory of the Falkland Islands, Mr. Obama has made it plain that historical ties and alliances mean nothing to him.

Or so we thought.

New evidence, however, displays the exact opposite.  For once, Mr. Obama may have been behaving correctly - though, naturally, without bothering to give the American people a proper explanation.

So, let us honor this President's Day by apologizing to the current incumbent for misinterpreting what was truly going on.

It was not Mr. Obama and his administration that betrayed England.  It was, instead, the government of England that showed contempt for Americans.

Who Cares About Terrorist Murderers When Money Is At Stake?

The first inkling of the truth came not even a year into Mr. Obama's presidency, when the United Kingdom chose to release the convicted terrorist murderer Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi on the "compassionate grounds" that he was in the final stages of terminal cancer.  Mr. Megrahi was convicted of bombing Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, slaughtering over 200 Americans and many other people on the plane and on the ground.

Justice did not reach Megrahi until years later thanks to the arrogance of Libya, but when Libyan dictator Qaddafi was attempting to rejoin the international community, offering up the guilty terrorist for a fair trial was a sacrifice he had to make.  Megrahi was duly tried and convicted under Scottish law, and imprisoned in Scotland.

Scotland operates as a semi-autonomous region in the UK with its own laws and procedures, so the British government claimed it had nothing to do with Megrahi's release.  This smelled deeply fishy to us at the time, particularly considering that British firms were negotiating Libyan oil rights at the time, but we grudgingly accepted PM Gordon Brown's protestations of innocence.

As the London Telegraph reveals, we were quite wrong and naive to do so - and here we are eighteen months later, and the "dying" Megrahi seems to be doing quite comfortably in a government-funded villa, thank you very much.

Documents obtained by the Daily Telegraph show that a Foreign Office minister sent Libyan officials detailed legal advice on how to use Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s cancer diagnosis to ensure he was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds.

The Duke of York is also said to have played a behind-the-scenes role in encouraging the terrorist’s release.

The government of England were not the innocent bystanders bamboozled by a rogue Scottish judiciary, far from it; instead, officials of the government and even the Royal Family gave the Libyan dictator's minions legal advice on how to abuse England's court system to get the result they wanted.  Why?

The documents disclose in detail how British ministers and officials were desperate not to allow Libyan anger over the ongoing imprisonment of Megrahi to derail the growing commercial relationship between the two countries...

It can now be disclosed that within a week of the diagnosis [of Megrahi's cancer], Bill Rammell, a junior Foreign Office minister, had written to his Libyan counterpart advising him on how this could be used as the grounds of securing al-Megrahi’s compassionate release from prison.  [emphasis added]

All this happened before Mr. Obama was elected.  He bears no responsibility or fault for the shameful betrayal already under way by England before he even took the oath of office.

Yes, Megrahi boarded the plane to Libya while Mr. Obama was in the White House; but the crime and contempt for American lives took place well before.

A Proper Response?

Given what we now know, what ought President Obama to have done?  It was abundantly clear that Britain's government of the time, facing a potentially devastating election, cared far more about Libya's oil money than justice for American dead.  There wasn't too much Mr. Obama could do about it either: the Brits already wanted to bail out of both Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving American lives even more on the hook there than they already were.

It wouldn't be realistic to expect Mr. Obama to publicly condemn British perfidy; the consequences elsewhere would be too grave.  Knowing the truth, though - and, let us repeat, the direct involvement of the Royal Family - there's suddenly a new light shed on what seemed all along to be wanton disrespect to our closest ally.

We were wrong.  Mr. Obama was simply expressing a fully justified contempt in a way that caused no direct political effect, but nevertheless sent a highly appropriate and desperately needed message.

Well, the Labour government that cut the dirty deal with Libya is gone; history will be the judge.  In its place stands a somewhat more conservative and profoundly different coalition government with David Cameron at the helm - and, it's interesting to note, the wanton discourtesies have been strangely absent for the past few months.  Is it possible that we judged Mr. Obama unfairly?

David Cameron can't fix the wrongs of his predecessors, and it's unfair to expect him to.  Mr. Obama can't fix them either; where Reagan could fling bombs at Qaddafi, our military has its hands rather full at the moment.

We still revile most of the rest of the Obama agenda, but where we have apparently misjudged him, it is only right to apologize and set the record straight.  So, as regards our anger for Mr. Obama's disrespect to England: We apologize.  The message he sent was, in fact, richly deserved and earned in full measure by their betrayal of us.

Now, concerning Obamacare...

Read other articles by Hobbes or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
Reader Comments

England? I thought the Israelis were our "closest international friends in the world"?

February 21, 2011 6:16 PM

not anymore with a Muslim president....

February 23, 2011 7:42 AM

To be fair Britain did send in the S.A.S in to help the Libyan uprising over throw the dictator General Gaddafi, and so couldn't wait to get rid of him as much as you. I bet they don't tell you that on CNN. but yes the British government can be as capitalist as any other government when it suits, unfortunately. Long live America and Britain, God bless you. lets hope we both get new Governments at the next elections.

February 18, 2012 4:08 PM
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