Is Obama an Anglophobe?

The British press certainly thinks so

By the time British Petroleum completed its 1998 acronymization to BP, the company had probably spent millions in "brand consultant" fees. It’s an important point, this, because the rebranding was meant to signal that BP is no longer a mere British entity and no longer a mere oil company. And if one believes the heavy-breathing British press (and one should always be circumspect when reading both the red tops and the "quality" dailies), Obama administration officials, cable news talking heads, and members of the Republican opposition are ignoring the acronym in favor of its geographically specific root, in a blatant effort to stoke Anglophobia.

A small bit of explanation is in order. As BP’s technical teams and public relations machine flail, the Obama administration seized a rather obvious opening to deflect attention from its manifold failings and, working on the assumption that Americans suffer from congenital xenophobia, began to stress the company’s foreign roots. According to countless British newspaper and magazine accounts, the president and his flunkies refused to abide by the 1998 name change, which would be like calling Altria "Phillip Morris” or Xe Services “Blackwater.”

The Spectator blubbered that “Obama introduced an element of xenophobia, quite unworthy of his position, by repeatedly referring to ‘British Petroleum.’” The Daily Mail argued that “Obama used his failings to ramp up the anti-British rhetoric and pointedly called BP 'British Petroleum', even though the firm has not used that name since 1998.” The Guardian, a paper notoriously immune to the anti-American disease and generous to multinational oil companies, whined about the president’s “Brit-bashing” and the “administration's assault on the company it likes to call British Petroleum.”

If the BP-British Petroleum conspiracy failed to convince, a columnist for The Telegraph pointed out that a woman in Louisiana wrote to her congressman (or “wailed” to him, according to the writer) that she was prevented from visiting a local beach by BP officials and was now “at the mercy” of this “British-owned company.” It was a veritable Boxer Rebellion of anti-Albionism.

And let us not forget, The Daily Mail reminded its readers, “the fact that American firms owned the rig and safety equipment which led to the environmental disaster.” Indeed, Americans were the primary victims, too, with 11 workers killed in the initial well explosion while two died attempting to contain the damage. But here the Americans are, blaming Britain.

And it wasn’t just the Fleet Street hacks whimpering about hurt feelings. Boris Johnson, the mumbling, shock-haired Tory mayor of London, complained of America’s “anti-British rhetoric, buck-passing and name-calling.” Lord Tebbitt, a member of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, took to the pages of The Telegraph to denounce the president’s “hate campaign against the British.”

Oh dear.

Now, it is doubtless the case that the Obama administration, whose response to the crisis has been feckless and (it is true) mired in buck-passing, would like nothing better than to offload responsibility for the crisis on a foreign multinational, be it British or Botswanan. Populism plays, after all. But if the “evidence” of an anti-British crusade consists of the odd reference to British Petroleum, or the lunkheaded Sarah Palin bemoaning the “foreign companies” involved in oil exploration off of American shores, it hardly justifies this massive counteroffensive in the British press. In fact, it could be reasonably argued that this Anglo-American battle is being cooked up in British newsrooms, not the Oval Office.

Having spent large amounts of time in the United Kingdom—most of it greatly pleasurable, excepting the interminable pub conversations about silly Yanks who demand ice in their beverages and don’t properly pronounce aluminum—it strikes me as a little bizarre that this banal bit of political populism has engendered such hurt feelings.

So let me remind my British comrades of what the real thing looks like. A few recent examples: The novelist Dame Margaret Drabble confessed in 2003 that her bouts of anti-Americanism were like reflux, that “fashionable American disease,” causing her great physical discomfort. With the subtlety one would expect from a Dame with a dodgy esophagus, Drabble wrote in The Telegraph, “I detest Disneyfication, I detest Coca-Cola, I detest burgers, I detest sentimental and violent Hollywood movies that tell lies about history. I detest American imperialism, American infantilism, and American triumphalism about victories it didn't even win.”

Her last name sounds like a Britishism, so onomatopoetic—my goodness, she does writes such drabble, doesn’t she? But I will resist the Drabble-like temptation to blame an entire civilization for her tedious clichés, though I dare say that this is what actual xenophobia looks like.  

And now that the United States and England are advancing to the next stage of the World Cup, how about England's spasms of soccer-related xenophobia, like the recent stories of Arsenal, the London-based club, and its declaration that its board will “resist any foreign takeover” in response to an American businessman expressing interest in taking a controlling share. The patriotic board members professed a desire to "keep Arsenal English.” Or the consistent protests against Manchester United’s American-born owner Malcolm Glazer, which, said The Times, are “played out against a backdrop of anti-American sentiment.” Or the beknighted American owner of Liverpool, who prompted this reaction from one of the club’s former stars: “The day the club was sold to the Americans was one of the worst in the club's history.”

No one died in any of these imperial takeovers of British soccer teams, no wildlife killed, no beaches littered with tarballs. But perhaps the outraged columnists in the UK should inform their football-obsessed readers that, like BP, most everything is globalized these days—from the strikers on their favorite club, to the companies headquartered in London. BP is a multinational corporation with American subsidiaries and workers, Swiss well operators, and a gaffe-prone Swedish chairman. And McDonald's—that often-invoked symbol of American cultural hegemony—is no longer run out of Ray Kroc’s garage. The dreaded hamburger giant uses local products, employs regional officers and franchisees, is staffed by high school students from Flanders and Dortmund, and is eaten by almost everyone on Earth.

Sarah Palin’s lame attempt at vilifying “foreign” BP, or Barack Obama’s subtle attempt to underscore the company’s non-American roots, is little different than former BBC reporter Andre Gilligan complaining that London is “owned by Americans,” with its streets “lined with New York Bagel shops, Manhattan Coffee Company outlets.” The stakes are different, of course, but the sentiment is much the same; if the city goes to pot, if the oil well explodes, it ain’t our fault.

Obama is a blame-passing protectionist. Palin is an attention-seeking populist. And the poor British columnists are giving me reflux, that fashionable and incredibly painful American disease.

Michael C. Moynihan is a senior editor of Reason magazine

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  • ||

    ...the British press to take a deep breath and learn to separate stupid populism from poisonous xenophobia.

    While there is a space between the two, it is not wide and frequently crossed.

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  • ||

    Yes, well, thank you for that...whatever it was.

  • ||

    Is President Barack Obama an Anglophobe?

    Yes, I think he is. Leaving aside the gratuitous and stupid "British" Petroleum, he has gone out of his way on any number of occasions to kick the Brits in the nads. For starters: Returning Churchill's bust? Telling the Argentines to go ahead and invade the Falklands, we don't care?

  • CatoTheElder||

    He never said to invade the Falklands.

    He told Hilary that she should say that it was okay to invade the Malvinas.

  • ||

    Yes, what's the deal with disliking the UK? They're an age-old ally, and he should like them for their socialist ways. Very odd.

  • cynical||

    He's never forgiven them for defeating his past incarnation in WW2.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    If you're not talking about Mussolini, this is an amazing, if random, Godwin.

  • cynical||

    No, I was talking about Tojo.

  • ||

    He only sent that tacky Churchill bust back to make roon for the Chia Obama.

  • ||

    Aresen,

    Okay, England or the U.S.? Not a prediction, who do you favor?

  • ||

    The Ferengi.

  • ||

    The Franks? They've already been eliminated.

  • ||

    No, I mean the Ferengi, of TNG and DS9.

    Pure capitalists until they got "reformed" in the last season of DS9.

    Note that the Ferengi had not fought a war in 1500 years.

  • ||

    I hate to break the news to you, but the Ferengi didn't qualify. They're pretty bad at soccer, to be frank.

  • ||

    The Ferengi would just bribe the referee.

    Come to think of it...

  • ||

    Yes, it's quite apparent that, whatever our other failings, the U.S. is not paying the officials enough.

  • Tman||

    It was pretty clear from day one of the Obama administration that Obama has problems with the British, including the return of the Churchill bust in the Whitehouse and the immediate snubbing of the British press.

    In a different world, our media may have inquired as to if this reversal of deference to our UK brethren was a result of the Obama family's history with the British during the Mau Mau uprising of Kenya's war for independence from the British occupying forces.

    I would love to hear his answer for that one. Not to say I would disagree with him, but it would be nice to know if our president held deep seeded animosity towards one of our most important allies.

  • ||

    Which would take precedence over what is best of the nation he is currently President of.

  • ||

    You are so very right on this. He is small enough to be using his office as President to get even for his personal grudges against whites, doctors, the British, you name it...

  • Number 2||

    Wasn't this the man who was supposed to make the whole world love us again? Who won a Nobel Peace Prize simply for taking office?

  • U.K.||

    We want a divorce.

  • ||

    The US 'applied' for a divorce in 1776, and you granted it in 1783.

    It was your decision to move back in.

  • U.K.||

    But he beats me! And the sex! Ughh!

  • ||

    She bitches non-stop. You're right about the sex - she lies on her back and does nothing.

  • Sam||

    Oh, she does something. She lies on her back and thinks of herself.

  • ||

    The American people want a divorce as well; from Obama, and not the Brits. Putting aside the propagandistic press on both sides of the Atlantic, we are allies and friends.

    Part of my roots are in Wales, and my husband was born in the UK. He still has family there.

    America despises Obama and what he is doing to BP. We are working to put him out of office, preferably before the end of his first term. Pay attention to our elections, if you are Brits, and notice we are electing conservatives, Republicans, and pro-Constitution and capitalism folks.

    Obama and Soros can take a hike, and if they cannot find the transportation, we will provide it for them!

  • ||

    Soros. Such a profiteering scoundrel.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Of all the things to complain about, referring to BP Plc as "British Petroleum" is trivial insignificance.

    Folks refer to ExxonMobil as "Exxon" all the time.

    I'm in the business and I often erroneously use the old names out of habit. I even called Shell "Royal Dutch" a few days ago.

    I'd bet that most folks think Miller Lite is brewed by Miller Brewing, too.

    And, of course, Obama hates the UK. The UK was the colonial oppressor of Kenya and a strategic ally of the United States in the pre-Obama era.

  • Jozef||

    Came to say the same thing; it takes me a while (decades) to get used to a new name. BP is still British Petroleum for me; same with Royal Dutch Shell, Phillip Morris, Cingular, Comcast and other companies.

  • J||

    If someone says "Kentucky Fried Chicken" instead of KFC, it's because they are blaming Kentucky for fat people.

  • ||

    Not to mention it's where the U.S. got all those icky notions about individual rights and limited government.

  • ||

    This is a stupid column. Yes, clearly, the President is an Anglophobe, and yes, clearly, he has made an effort to stir jingoistic fervor to (1) help along his laser-like focus on finding someone to blame for this debacle, and (2) distract everyone from the fact that BP was the oil company he liked best, and which liked him best. Hey BP, meet Reverend Wright. That's not the oil company I knew...

    So Moynihan's complaint boils down to: sure, the British press might have reason to complain about such shameful behaviour, but goll-ee aren't they going overboard?

    Given the high dudgeon on the topic of the oil spill on this side of the pond, by Moynihan's many peers in the press, this is very much the pot calling the kettle black. That is, Moynihan's complaints about the British press are about as hysterically overwrought as the British press themselves have been.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Hey BP, meet Reverend Wright.

    Good one! I assume that the introductions to grandma and the Reverend Wright were made under the bus after impact.

    Remarkably little has been made of how BP "Beyond Petroleum" was Obama's favorite oil company before the Gulf disaster because of its advocacy of Cap'n Trade. Unlike the archtypically evil oil companies that inhabit the progressive's imagination, BP was the first major oil company to express its belief in AGW and to advocate legislation to combat it. It now appears that concern about dubious AGW risks diluted concern about the very real risks of offshore safety and environmental degradation. Not everything can have first priority.

  • ||

    Doesn't matter if the "B" stands for British. Corporations are not patriotic or nationalist (except to the extent that they love Corporate Tax Havens like the Caymans). It's silly to assume that they care about the Gulf coast or Prudhoe Bay, AK any more than they care about Aberdeen, UK or any other geo-political entity in which they operate.

    BP probably loves America exactly as much as Obama loves Great Britain.

  • Sean Healy||

    Well the "B" for "British" really matters to the actual British, who have invested a lot of their pension money in the company. That's the bottom line here. It's not culture; it's economics.

  • CatoTheElder||

    silly Yanks who demand ice in their beverages and don’t properly pronounce aluminum

    You not only do not properly pronounce aluminium, you do not spell it correctly.

  • Bat chain Puller||

    Is there an uglier word in Brit-speak than "polythene"?

  • ||

    Fortnight

  • Marc St. Stephen||

    If the Brits consider pronouncing French words correctly, we Americans will consider adding extra syllables and letters to our words.

  • jester||

    It is ironic that a man whose birth father was Kenyan would be calling someone (or some entity) out on its origin.

    Did he do the same about Japan when accidental accelerations were the hot news ticket? I can't remember.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Japan has giant, laser-equipped robots as well as Kaiju for that ass. You don't piss off the Japanese.

  • ||

    Japan has giant, "laser"-equipped robots as well as Kaiju for that ass.

    FTFY

  • Amakudari||

    I don't know whether he did, but if so, it wasn't anything outrageous. At least, the hypersensitive Japanese press never picked up on it, and the running story the whole time was about how these nasty Americans were being xenophobic and, besides, the whole cultural concept of a CEO apologizing was so straaange. They never bothered to investigate American reactions to the Ford rollover deal, which were pretty similar.

    The most outrage I ever heard from Americans (I travel) was from administration mouthpieces, though.

  • CatoTheElder||

    And, remember that Obama relies on Japan to finance his deficits.

  • Rudan||

    "Drabble wrote in The Telegraph, “I detest Disneyfication, I detest Coca-Cola, I detest burgers, I detest sentimental and violent Hollywood movies that tell lies about history. I detest American imperialism, American infantilism, and American triumphalism about victories it didn't even win.”

    And that's in the conservative papers. Remember the Guardian's sickening letter writing campaigns to tell those stupid Americans not to vote for Bush again?

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "lunkheaded Sarah Palin," dude? I'm sorry, but you're talking about our next president.

  • cynical||

    Presidette. It's the proper word for chick Presidents.

  • ||

    It's just a public relations silver lining in the cloud of oil. Better BRITISH Petroleum that exxonmobile fouling the pristine waters of America

  • shrike||

    But the AM radio nuts keep claiming BP and Obama are best buds with BP donating vast sums of money to his campaign?

  • CatoTheElder||

    That the AM radio nuts are correct is an inconvenient truth.

  • DoDoGuRu||

    One more former Obama booster under the Hopenchange Bus.

  • ||

    It's 'aluminium', you dolts.

    Yes, one more tricky syllable to contend with.

    And 'nukular' is really 'nuclear'.

  • Amakudari||

    Please continue. I find your comments informative and refreshing.

  • ||

    Drabble? Why thy name is Moynihan.

    A 15 paragraph flop.

  • ||

    Isn't BP actually BRITISH PETROLEUM? What's the problem with calling a SPADE a SPADE??

    Oh wait. Maybe the corporatist 'libertarians' are the licking BP's boots?

  • cynical||

    "Isn't BP actually BRITISH PETROLEUM?"

    The BP isn't an abbreviation. They changed their name to just be "BP".

  • CatoTheElder||

    It's actually BP Plc. Two letters followed by an abbreviation for public limited company, which is British for "corporation".

  • DoDoGuRu||

    I assume you're calling a club a spade because you're an idiot.

  • ||

    "BP was the first major oil company to express its belief in AGW and to advocate legislation to combat it"

    Wow. Translation : BP is one of the most fascist oil companies, ready to buy the lies of the enviros because environmental regulantion would actually BENEFIT THEM.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Duh.

  • ||

    Hey, while I agree that no Brit should get her politically correct panties in a bunch just because Obama refers to the oil conglomerate by its former name, likewise, any decent libertarian should jump ugly on any person who gets offended by references to Obama as a colored communist or a black bolzhevik or a narcissistic negro. Such people need to be told to get over it already and overcome their primitive politically correct mindset.

    Group think must be belittled and ridiculed at every turn. That is why the message must be communicated over and over again that being black, in and of itself, is nothing about which which to be proud. As being a cracker, in and of itself, is nothing about which to be proud. As being an american, in and of itself, is nothing about which to be proud.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Although I agree with your second paragraph, your first one confounds me.

  • cynical||

    It shouldn't -- he's a racist neoconfederate, and hates being called out on it. Sometimes the ugly answer is the right one. You should think the worst of people more often.

    Granted, if the state didn't have a monopoly on the administration of justice, we might not be calling him a racist. Lynch enough people out in the sticks and people will keep their mouths shut.

  • ||

    Invloking racism is the first refuge of an intellectually lazy and shallow group think moron.

  • ||

    The Art-P.O.G.-

    The point is that even if Obama is referring to BP's old name, and even if he is emphasizing the "British" in British Petroleum and thereby calling attention to its "national origin," so what? The same applies if one refers to Obama as the black bolzhevik. So what?

  • ||

    Hey cynical, do you have any evidence to support your allegation that I favor state laws, policies or rules based on race?

    Do you have any evidence to support that which is implicit in your allegation that I am a "neo-confederate?" Namely:

    that I believe a confederate state, or any state for that matter, had the right to enact and enforce laws condemning a person to a life of bondage, based on a person's race, or any other measure for that matter.

    Further, do you have any evidence to support the allegation which is implicit in your second paragraph? Namely:

    That I support the non-state murder of a person based on race.

    Can you produce such evidence? If you cannot, what does that say about you?

  • Tony||

    Not calling people niggers, or whatever you call political correctness, is not you being oppressed. It's the most rudimentary form of etiquette. Treating minorities with respect and not lecturing them about whether they're allowed to be "proud" is something you do because you're a decent human being. Sorry if that feels like oppression, I'll not invite you to a dinner party, where these things can get complicated.

  • Judge Lucien Veritas||

    You have no standing to give a lecture from a position of moral authority to any one on any topic, Tony.

  • Tony||

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that your attitude doesn't come from racism. Just roboticism. Though you do sound like you probably live near a few good hangin' trees, and probably a few sheep with PTSD.

  • CatoTheElder||

    He's just a communist ... no need to attach racial qualifiers.

  • Heywood U. Reedmore||

    You wrote: "Sarah Palin’s lame attempt at vilifying “foreign” BP"?

    Vilifying? Here was her comment:

    "...learn from Alaska's lesson with foreign oil companies... Don't naively trust – verify."

    In other words, regulators should do their job. Perhaps it was unfair to suggest the standard should only apply to "foreign" companies. But it's hardly vilification.

  • ||

    Don't you understand? If you criticize Obama, you have to throw a bone to the other side and criticize Palin as well. Its de rigueur to be considered cool and relevant with other elites.

    The words chosed to smear Palin "lunkheaded" "lame" "attention seeking". Repeated denigration by name calling is the number one tool of propaganda. Many of the Reason writers have bought into this tactic used mercilessly by the left. Intellegentcia group think is still group think.

  • Barack||

    Do I hate the English? Of course; what self-respecting Irishman doesn't?

    Speaking of that, Rahm told me a good one the other day...

    ----------------------------------

    Three Englishmen were in a bar and spotted an Irishman. So, one of the Englishmen walked over to the Irishman, tapped him on the shoulder, and said, "Hey, I hear your St. Patrick was a drunken loser."

    "Oh really? Hmm, I didn't know that."

    Puzzled, the Englishman walked back to his buddies. "I told him St. Patrick was a loser, and he didn't care!"

    The second Englishman remarked, "You just don't know how to set him off. Watch and learn," he says, getting up and heading for the Irishman.

    So, the second Englishman tapped the man on the shoulder and said, "Hey, I hear your St. Patrick was lying, cheating, idiotic, low-life scum!"

    "Oh really? Huh, I hadn't heard that before."

    Shocked beyond belief, the Englishman went back to his buddies. "You're right. He's unshakable!"

    The third Englishman remarked, "Boys, I'll really tick him off. Just watch." So the third Englishman walked over to the Irishman, tapped him on the shoulder and said, "I hear St. Patrick was an Englishman!"

    "Yeah, that's what your buddies were trying to tell me."

  • monolith||

    It's the Irish who are considered stupid.

    http://www.irishjokes.co.uk/jokes/an_englishman/index.shtml

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  • ||

    I think those silly Brits have gone into grumpy guts mood because Obamas scapegoating of BP has wiped millions off of pension funds in the UK (which are heavily backed by BP shares) and maybe it's hyperbole to suggest that he will purposely bankrupt BP (forgetting that private institutions can't piss million dollar bills like government ones) then that will wipe out millions of pensions à la Robert Maxwell. When the Guardian starts defending an oil company against the whims of a black socialist you can either question your sanity or conclude that maybe they're right.

  • ||

    Good point. The significant thing about this is not whether Obama is actually anti-British but that almost everyone in the UK has decided that he is. They will in future interpret silly (but to the British spotentially symbolic) decisions such as the one over the Churchill bust in that particular light. Attempts by American diplomacists or others to convince the British public otherwise had better not be as ham-fisted as they usually are, as the public mood in the UK is not very kindly disposed to the US right now.

    British deaths in the Afghan war, which has cost as much to British taxpayers as BP is paying Americans for the oil spill and which was launched on this side of the Atlantic with little clarity or consensus as to the vital British national interest other than out of sympathy for Americans after 9/11, have now passsed the 300 mark.

  • ||

    The Guardian defending BP and Reason defending Obama. "Wake up damn it! Wake up! I don't like these long nightmares!"

  • ||

    Outbreaks of anti-Americanism by the bien-pensant this side of the pond are nothing unusual. The only novelty in this one is that the current president is a Democrat.

  • monolith||

    I thinks some of its just linguistic.
    Calling the company British Petroleum rather than BP seems very strange in the UK.
    Moynihan seems to be suffering from prejudice envy. He always seems desperate for the US to be insulted.

    I think for true xenophobia you should be looking at the tabloids coverage of the england-germany match in the world cup.

  • ||

    True. The USA are not seen as sporting rivals and games by England against them are little more than curiosities.

  • ||

    Not the 'Achtung! For you, Fritz, the war is over!' headlines again, is it?

    Oh, those wacky British tabloids.

  • ||

    I've listened to and read a lot of animosity not only toward Obama but Americans from UK media and Brit citizens commenting over the Internet. It seems there hasn't been much more than lip service sympathizing with our devastation and long-term consequences and a huge BUT, concerning their pride. Obama would've expoloited Exxon/Mobile, Conoco, Shell etc. Last I heard Exxon is still involved with lawsuits from, how long ago now?

    If this had been Exxon/Mobile at fault off a UK coast with similar devastation environmental and economic it would have resulted in endless big bad Yanks and anti-American sentiment thick enough to slice. There is no "special relationship" because we have become a blame-scapegoat for so many Brits in their twisted self-esteem. It is no longer Great Britain, it is Great Victim.

  • ||

    I think most people feel genuine empathy with Americans over the oil spill, but find the behaviour of Obama over-the-top and really very impolite and unhelpful while the job of controlling the disaster was still going on. His refusal of European technology and assistance also makes Obama's rhetoric seem insincere.

    Also BP has never quibbled about paying the bill to clean up. So for such a well-respected firm to be talked to like some teenage kids who had been trying to run off without paying a restaurant bill seems strange.

  • ||

    Well said, Technomist, 100% spot on.

  • ||

    My point exactly. Anti-Americanism has been rife in the UK for decades. Their sneering condescension and gratuitous insults are woven deeply into British life. Americans who want to see for themselves need only go to Manhattan to watch Brits play DAS (designated American sucker) when some unsuspecting fool lets a Brit sit at his table.

    Brits never got over losing their empire, destroying their class system, allowing millions of immigrants in or playing backup to Uncle Sam. They created the socialist paradise that's forever ruined their culture and find it convenient to have us as the scapegoat.

    Jolly bunch of losers.

  • monolith||

    total and utter bullshit.
    sure you cab hear plenty of anti american sentiments in the UK but its nothing compared to the huge popularity of the US.
    You have to be totally deluded to think otherwise.

  • ||

    The only popularity in the US is the delusion our citizenry in general have looking favorably upon the UK, believing they feel the same. Its not so and we need to understand.

  • ||

    Most British people have a broadly favourable view of America. It is not that America is loved (although personally I do love America), or Americans are thought of as just the same as us, but we recognise the broad commonalities we have and we are driven closer together by our common linguistic culture (which is growing more inter-related year on year).

    It is of course true that there are those that hate the US. I would suggest around 20% at most, with the majority being leftists and the remainder old-fashioned conservatives of the sort who seem to make up the majority in France. I suggest that a lot of these people hate the US a lot less than they say they do, and watch US shows, listen to US music, use the slang, visit on holiday etc.

    You need to distinguish between anti-Americanism, which is as vile as any other racism, although considered acceptable amongst the privately educated Champagne socialists at the Guardian and the BBC (the exact equivalent social class to the arugula munchers around Obama who hate Britain) and people disagreeing with a certain policy or finding strange or unpleasant a certain cultural feature of what is after all a different country.

    The British press having a go at Obama is about them trying to sell papers by painting the UK as some poorly treated underdog, it is not an expression of anti-Americanism.

    Personally I think it is crystal clear Obama dislikes and disrespects our country. It is also obvious that repeatedly using the wrong name for the company is designed to emphasise its foreign origins. I find it shocking anyone would bother to dispute either of these two statements.

    Please, Reason, let's not have US libertarians and righties line up behind US elitist prejudices while UK ibertarians and rightists line up behind the bloody Guardian. One of the best things about the internet age is the way our political cultures are becoming intertwined, we (the right, the libertarians, the free marketeers) have enough enemies without taking aim at each other.

  • ||

    Benighted, lunkhead.

  • People Power Hour||

    C'mon, give Barry a break; he doesn't know his own arse from a hole in the ground, so how would he know BP isn't British Petroleum?

  • ||

    It's NOT football. It's soccer.

  • ||

    I'd bet that most people still refer to Altria as Phillip Morris and Xe as Blackwater or else run the risk of simply never being understood. BP on its own but British Petroleum is still recognizeable.

  • ||

    Man up, Ladies.

    Sure BHO hates the British. Almost as much as he hates the Americans.

    It just happens to be your turn in the barrel.

  • Mike M.||

    Nail right on the head. The funniest part is they could have seen this coming if they had just bothered to read his autobiography, because it's all spelled out right in there.

    After Obama, never again will America make the horrible mistake of electing an unknown, unvetted guy who has never done anything to the White House. The lesson here for the U.K. is: be careful what you wish for.

  • ||

    After Obama Carter, never again will America make the horrible mistake of electing an unknown, unvetted guy who has never done anything [in]to the White House.

  • ||

    Why, oh why must the world continue to suffer with a leaderless America. God, please help sustain us until we can remove this incompetent pestilence from the White House in 2012.

    Obama is destroying our economy, and America's International Military strength every day. Yes, he returned the bust of Winston Churchill - pure stupid petulance. Who cares that his father was a fourth rate Kenyan?

    Marxists in the White House and Socialist Progressives controlling Congress has proved a disaster. A little brouhaha with our cousins across the Atlantic is a minor, and temporary flareup. Yes, it's the British Press looking to sell newspapers. Big deal!

  • ||

    I suspect that the rhetoric and disproprtionate plundering of the company, which has had an artificial effect of driving down of the BP share price, will have major repercussions for the future: a part of the public which is not remotely anti-American is being affected and seeing a side of the USA that they really do not recognize or like.

  • ||

    If you think that part of the public is seeing a side of the USA that they do not recognize or like now, just wait until you see the everything-old-is-new-again Isolationist America.

    The 'world' has been railing for decades against the role of America as the world's policeman. I wonder if they are really going to like it when the hated cop just refuses to leave the station-house.

  • ||

    And what does that have to do with the Dear Leader (PBUH) using BP as a whipping boy to distract attention away from his own fuck ups?

  • Friedrich Engels||

    Who cares that his father was a fourth rate Kenyan?

    Obama has dreams from his father.

  • ||

    Mr Moynihan like most of the other columnists at Reason were seduced by candidate Obama. His gratuitous Palin-bashing is just compensatory redirection. Defensive playground indignation; "oh yeah, well at least I didn't vote for that loser Palin!"

  • CatoTheElder||

    Correct. Libertarians who voted for Obama have no excuse. For anybody with three digits in their IQ and a modicum of interest in politics or economics, nothing about Obama's performance in office has been surprising.

  • underzog||

    Obama is somewhat like the Neville Chamberlain of our day (no wonder he returned that bust of Churchill).

    A musical aside -- the whole Star Spangled Banner is rarely sung except by the late Isaac Asminov and me: HERE

    However, the third stanza is especially not sung because it is so anti British:

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore?
    From the havoc of war and the battle's confusion.
    A home and a country shall leave us no more.
    There blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution.
    No refuge can save the hireling and the slave from terror of flight and the gloom of the grave....

    I would hesitate to sing the whole thing if there were any Brits around.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • ||

    Yes, I agree. What a silly column. The President repeatedly displays naked contempt for one of his country's longest standing allies and that's OK because sundry journalists and members of the chattering classes in Britain express anti-American sentiments from time to time? The diplomatic standards required from a President and a newspaper columnist are identical ? Or is everything beyond an occasional newspaper column is above Obama's pay grade ?

  • ||

    It is connected. Just as BHO uses ginned-up hate towards BP to justify an attempt to ram Cap and Trade down America's throat, he will use the growing (on the left and right) discontent with the 'Stan war to refuse all future intervention.

    I doubt that treaties will matter much. Were I an American ally, I'd be looking to my own defense, and not counting on any help from America.

  • ||

    ...all future intervention...

    I don't think he'll be President quite that long.

  • ||

    I wasn't aware BP wasn't just an abbreviation for British Petroleum before this mess, though I'd expect the administration to know better.

  • Historyscoper||

    See how deep Obama's rabbit hole goes free with the Historyscoper at http://historyscoper.com/obamascope.html

  • Totally POd||

    God do I wish BP was a wholly owned British entity. We (Americans) would probably recover some of the losses we've experienced if it were so.

    Instead, we will bankrupt BP and get essentially nothing but a bankrupt company as a result of our approach.

    BTW, this conservative American has never waivered in his support of true allied countries...read UK et al.

  • NationsPatriot||

    My Lord... can YOU be any more Populist with your blathering barrage of ranting against Each possible "Angle" imaginable?
    Do you REALLY think this hack-piece comes across as Objective? LOL

  • ||

    Anglophobe? Are you kidding?

    Obama hates the U.K. for what it did to Kenya.

    He also doesn't like white people in general in a redux of Kanye West's, "President Bush doesn't like black people."

  • Victoria||

    Mr Moynihan...as far as lunkheads go well there is obowma of course...the lowest IQ-ed biggest idiot that ever slimed his way into the white house and then there is you... also a TRUE Lunkhead and syncophant and apparently another one who like the preseident probably failed lunch...one of the many boot lickers in the press who simply aren't capable of doing the job of a journalist and who sully the enitre history of the once incredible profession....it is time for you and all like you to move on and out so true journalists, willing to do the tough investigation and ask the tough questions can rightfully take their place. If you want to work on a political campaign or be a lobbyist then just go do it....quit pretending to be some sort of a journalist.

  • ||

    I always prefer the simplest explanation. Our Presididdy isn't an Anglophobe, he's just so increibly self centered that he really doesn't like anyone who isn't him. I think that shrinks call that a sociopath.

  • ||

    The point is....regardless of how it is manifested, the lord of the flies is an arrogant, empty-headed, neurotic, dangerous, inexperienced, clumsy, incompetent head of state who is not only destroying his own nation from within, but dragging down a bunch of international relationships with him. Regardless of how anyone chooses to respond (or others choose to react to how those other nations respond), our house is burning down and the fire was set by him.

  • ||

    Perhaps it might be pertinent to discuss the virulent Francophobia that periodically affects Americans, to the extent that they'll even rename their national dish?

  • ||

    The Brits are the biggest effen whiners on the planet. And looks like soccer cheats too despite all their bull about "fair fucking play":

    I added up all the scores and they lead all nations followed by Brazil and Germany. USA lurks not too far behind.

  • ||

    http://www.fantasycheatersleag.....?page_no=1

    Ooops. Would help to provide the link.

  • ||

    of course obama hates the brits. heck, he hasn't bowed to their PM not even **once**.

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    "The Guardian, a paper notoriously immune to the anti-American disease and generous to multinational oil companies"

    What? Is this sarcastic? If so, it isn't communicated very well. The Guardian is the most left-wing broadsheet and has been fervently critical of every US administration that demonstrates expansionary instincts. Notoriously, it organised a letter-writing campaign to try to persuade Ohians to support Kerry over Bush.

    Unsurprisingly given its ideological bent, but to its credit nonetheless, it is the only UK paper to have consistently exposed the poisoning of the Niger delta by US oil companies. Most recently, it took on what is arguably the UK's scariest litigation firm, Carter-Ruck, in an attempt to expose Trafigura, a commodities trader, for inappropriate behaviour in the disposal of chemical waste.

  • ||

    Black Panthers, Obama & White Civil Rights.

    http://wvwnews.net/story.php?id=9166

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  • ||

    I can't tell whose stupider. The obviously racist British, the writer of this stupid article, or 127 comments of KKK like uneducated racism ranting against Obama...SCREW IT!!! All of the above.
    I am not surprised that the majority of comments are coming from the republicans. I must have missed something because I thought George Bush invaded Afganistan in such an inept way that we are still there because of it.
    What’s interesting is the bizarre notion of “accomplishment” bouncing around the right. Who do you have in mind, GWB? Now there’s a man who rose…from the top to, uh…the bottom. And along the way, destroyed every enterprise he touched, culminating with his disastrous terms as CEO of our country. Or his friend Cheney, who made it into Yale by accident, spent his time drinking beer and watching TV, and flunked out twice. Twice.
    Compare this to Bill Clinton, a man who came from the grimmest, nastiest kind of broken hick family and made it entirely through personal brilliance. I somehow fail to recall any praise for his bootstraps rise from you folks.
    Could it be possible you’re just making it up as you go along?

    fter all, why do conservative hate america?
    Simple: they care more about their side winning than they care about the well-being of the country. That’s why they’re shooting people in churches in response to losing elections. They believe that murdering their fellow citizens is a legitimate way of expressing their anger over losing. They believe that when the Democratic system does not play out in the way they want, they have the right to circumvent that system with violence and intimidation. So, in essence, it’s not just that they want America to fail, they are actively working to make the country fail by betraying our Democracy.

    What could be more un-American than that?

  • Scarpe Nike||

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