Open Thread: Does Obama Know the Difference Between England and Great Britain?
Following the contemptible storming of the British Embassy in Iran by violent protestors, President Obama rightly condemned the Iranian government for not controlling the protestors and protecting a diplomatic outpost. In doing so, however, he made yet another embarrassing foreign policy gaffe: referring to the embassy as "English" instead of "British."
How do you think the media would have treated a Republican presidential candidate if he or she made the same mistake? Check out a video of the press conference after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
In case the president is unaware, England forms part of Great Britain, which also includes Scotland and Wales, though not Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. There is no such thing as an “English” embassy anywhere in the world, and there hasn’t been one for several centuries.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this latest slip-up by President Obama. After all he recently described France as America’s closest ally, and famously declared that he has traveled to no less than 57 states. But it would be nice if the leader of the free world bothered to look at a map once in a while, or even paid a visit to the British Embassy in Washington, currently housing the Churchill bust that Mr. Obama unceremoniously threw out of the Oval Office soon after his inauguration.
The "English" gaffe not only calls into question Obama's foreign policy expertise, but also his opinions on the relationship between the US and Britain. Rather than fostering continued relationships with countries throughout Europe and strongly supporting Israel, many of Obama's policies have denigrated those relationships while appeasing enemies and adversaries. Calling France America's closest ally was a blow to the "special relationship" shared by the US and Britain since the Great Rapprochement in the two decades leading up to World War I.
Of course, the White House and the media will inevitably dismiss the remark as a minor blunder, but it will not be the first time Obama has treated the key ally of Britain without the respect it deserves. What are your thoughts on the matter?