Barack Obama Insults Poland – Again
Nile Gardiner /
Last week I wrote a piece urging President Obama to attend the funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the Polish First Lady, and 94 senior officials who perished in the Smolensk air disaster. I noted at the time:
The Obama administration has on numerous occasions failed to acknowledge the importance of Washington’s allies, and has often appeared indifferent, even hostile towards America’s closest friends. It is important at this time of tremendous pain and suffering in Poland, that the President of the United States sends a clear message that the American government and people are with them in heart and spirit.
The White House did subsequently announce that the president would attend the funeral ceremony in Krakow this past weekend, but like many world leaders he was unable to do so due to the grounding of flights over much of Europe.
One would have thought that President Obama might have used the time he would have spent in Poland paying his respects to the Polish fallen. For example he could have visited the recently erected Victims of Communism memorial in Washington, or at the very least have signed the condolence book at the Polish Embassy. But what did he choose to do instead? Play yet another round of golf.
As Joseph Curl at The Washington Times reported:
On a cool but sun-drenched Sunday, the president and three golfing companions went to Andrews Air Force Base to play 18 holes. It is the 32nd time Mr. Obama has played golf since taking office Jan. 20, 2009, according to CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller.
After canceling the Poland trip on Saturday, the White House announced that Mr. Obama had no public schedule for Sunday. He was to have arrived in Krakow in the morning, attend the 2 p.m. funeral and leave for home by 5 p.m., arriving back at the White House after midnight.
Mr. Obama has not gone to the Polish Embassy in Washington since the accident, but Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. both have. There, they signed a condolence book.
Curl also notes that Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, gave up playing golf in the aftermath of the Iraq War:
Mr. Obama has played golf far more often than former President George W. Bush. In his eight years in office, Mr. Bush played just 24 times. His last time as president was Oct. 13, 2003. He said in 2008 that he gave up golf “in solidarity” with the families of soldiers who were dying in Iraq.
It is hard to think of anything more insulting to the Polish people on the day they mourned the loss not only of their president but much of their political and military leadership, for the president of the United States to be enjoying a round of golf after canceling plans to attend the funeral. It is yet another disgraceful example of crass insensitivity to a close American ally, which has become the hallmark of the Obama administration’s amateurish foreign policy.
Just eight months on from humiliating Warsaw by pulling out of the agreement over Third Site missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, the White House has insulted the Poles yet again. This is no minor diplomatic faux pas – it is a second full-blown slap in the face for a key US partner, whose soldiers are currently laying their lives on the line alongside their American allies on the battlefields of Afghanistan.
Cross-posted at The Daily Telegraph.