Feb 5 2011 - 10:46am
Obama sells out U.K. to Russia despite his popularity there
In news certain to shock the United Kingdom, where President Obama is popular, every Trident missile supplied to Britain by the U.S. will be known to Russia as part of Obama's arms control deal, according to information obtained by Wikileaks. From the Daily Telegraph:
A series of classified messages sent to Washington by US negotiators show how information on Britain’s nuclear capability was crucial to securing Russia’s support for the “New START” deal.
Although the treaty was not supposed to have any impact on Britain, the leaked cables show that Russia used the talks to demand more information about the UK’s Trident missiles, which are manufactured and maintained in the US.
Washington lobbied London in 2009 for permission to supply Moscow with detailed data about the performance of UK missiles. The UK refused, but the US agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain.
During the negotiations, somebody must have told Obama to lie back and think of England. Unfortunately, it looks like he did. Most galling is the willingness of U.S. negotiators, and thus President Obama, to use Britain to secure the support of Russia for an arms control treaty that puts America at a disadvantage.
In fact, Britain has up until this moment had very strong sentiments for Obama. During the 2008 election, a British poll found that 53 percent felt certain Obama would make the best president:
Barack Obama is overwhelmingly Britain's choice to be the next US president, five times more popular than his Republican rival, John McCain, a Guardian/ICM poll shows today. Carried out ahead of the Democratic candidate's visit to Britain next week, the poll reveals that 53% feel certain he would make the best president, with only 11% favouring McCain; 36% declined to express an opinion.
There wasn't much question from region to region either:
The survey, carried out late last week, found that Obama's support is strongest among male voters - 57% of whom want him to be president. There are small regional variations in support: 50% back him in the south-east, against 57% in the north of England. But overall enthusiasm for an Obama presidency is solid across people of all ages and backgrounds. Unlike the US, there is no evidence of young Britons being keener on Obama than older people.
Even an article in the Daily Mail in December still boosted for Obama, headlined, "Finally something to smile about: Obama's popularity is on the rise as Sarah Palin's takes a tumble." And the London Times reported in July 2009 that British support for the U.S. following Obama's election was up 16 points from the previous year, at 70 percent:
Europeans have grown fonder of the US since Barack Obama became President, but Israeli affections have cooled and the Muslim world has barely noticed the new man in the White House.
These are the findings of a global opinion survey published by the Pew Research Centre yesterday. The poll found the biggest change in mood in Western Europe.
In Britain and most European countries, sentiment towards the US has returned to levels not seen since before the Administration of George W. Bush.
The French love America, with 75 per cent pronouncing themselves favourably disposed towards the US. Britain rings in second with nearly 70 per cent, up 16 points since last year.
This isn't the first time Obama has spurned the British. Within days of becoming president, he returned a bust of Winston Churchill that was a gift to the U.S. He gave the Queen an iPod and the Prime Minister some DVDs.
In other words, here's how Obama has cultivated the "special relationship:" By treating the Brits like a dog.
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