Various of the UK political blogerati have been reflecting on the fact that “the enemy” referred to in President Obama’s inauguration speech yesterday was, er, Britain. The Times’s Sam Coates asks:
Did you notice how the British were the only nation disparaged in the speech (we were the enemy America was defending itself against…)?
Benedict Brogan at the Daily Mail has more:
Put aside Aretha Franklin singing God Save the Queen (with the wrong words), Gordon Brown will have noted how Britain’s history as the colonial bad guy infused Barack Obama’s striking inaugural speech. The new President was kind enough to refer to us as the “enemy” when he recounted the dark moments of the winter of 1776 when the Revolution nearly collapsed. He quoted from George Washington’s address to his shivering and under-equipped army as they braced themselves to be finished off by the advancing Brits and their German mercenaries. The general and future first president was in fact quoting an essay by Thomas Paine, but it helped turned the tide in the audacious Christmas eve attack on Trenton across the Delaware. Paine wrote:
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. . . . Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it!”
But hey, new spirit of multilateralism and that, right Mr President? … Right?
(Afterthought: no need for any Americans to have to worry about repulsing Brits from their shores these days. With the pound in freefall, none of us can afford to buy the dollars anyway…)