Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post:
If you're a Brit, your head is spinning. It's not just the personal slights to Prime Minister Gordon Brown -- the ridiculous 25-DVD gift, the five refusals before Brown was granted a one-on-one with The One.
Nor is it just the symbolism of Obama returning the Churchill bust that was in the Oval Office. Query: If it absolutely had to be out of Obama's sight, could it not have been housed somewhere else on U.S. soil rather than ostentatiously repatriated?
Perhaps it was the State Department official who last year denied there even was a special relationship between the United States and Britain, a relationship cultivated by every U.S. president since Franklin Roosevelt.
And then there was Hillary Clinton's astonishing, nearly unreported (in the United States) performance in Argentina last month. She called for Britain to negotiate with Argentina over the Falklands.
For those who know no history -- or who believe that it began on Jan. 20, 2009 -- and therefore don't know why this was an out-of-the-blue slap at Britain, here's the back story.
The Falklands War ensued and Ronald Reagan stood steadfastly by Margaret Thatcher as the Brits kicked the Argentines out:
Afterward, neither Thatcher nor her successors have countenanced negotiations. Britain doesn't covet foreign dominion and has no shortage of sheep. But it does believe in self-determination, and it will negotiate nothing until and unless the Falkland Islanders indicate their desire to be ruled by a chronically unstable, endemically corrupt polity with a rich history of dictatorship, economic mismanagement and the occasional political lunacy (see: the Evita cult).
Charles details other slaps at allies Obama has made and raises the question asked by a British MP regarding the president's origins; does the fact that he was born in Hawaii, spent time in Indonesia, and had a Kenyon father make Obama less emotionally attached to our old allies?
It's as good an explanation as any.