Barely a year later, in 2009, Mr. Obama blew off the twentieth anniversary celebrations of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. He sent instead a video in which he notes that the Fall of the Wall made it possible for Germany to elect a woman chancellor and America to elect a black president. How’s that again? Did Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., ever say “Ich bin ein Berliner?”
So now, when Ukraine is convulsed in anti-government demonstrations, as violence threatens the capital of Kiev, we have this vulgar and insulting comment from the Obama official specifically tasked to handle a delicate situation.
Blank the E.U.? Germans are understandably outraged. So are Austrians.
It’s not clear to us that the U.S. position should track with the E.U. position on Ukraine. There are many occasions when European and American perspectives must necessarily depart. We hold a different place in the world and in history.
American Exceptionalism is real. We should not be ashamed to stand apart from the European Union when our interests and convictions require it.
Still, whatever became of “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind”? The previous administration embarrassed all of us, to be sure, with loose talk of “Old Europe” and “New Europe.” Another name for their Old Europe might have been NATO.
And ten years ago we saw infantile reactions on Capitol Hill to French opposition to our position on Iraq. Some Members of Congress even went so far as to ban French fries in the House Cafeteria, dubbing them instead “Freedom fries.”
To the tens of thousands of Christians fleeing Islamist persecution in Iraq, those congressional freedom fries will seem all the more absurd.
As bad as those yahoo reactions to Europe’s differences with U.S. policy were, this degrading Nuland talk of “Blank the E.U.” ought to be beyond the pale.
It seems no one can get fired from the administration. Granted, the president cannot fire Vice President Joe Biden for announcing at the 2010 White House signing ceremony for Obamacare that this is “a big f-----g deal.” The hosed-up launch of Obamacare might be seen as divine punishment for such an arrogant act. Secretary Sebelius seems all the more secure in her job having presided over the “disastrous” launch (their word) of the Healthcare.gov website. Susan Rice misled the world in the hours after the tragic deaths of four Americans at Benghazi—and she was kicked upstairs to the White House national security staff.Victoria Nuland is in a class of her own. We never recall her being associated with anything except embarrassment to the United States and its special role in the world. Will she be fired? Of course not. She’s a perfect representation of the administration she serves!
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