Wasn`t Obama going to improve relations with Europeans? He is not off to a good start by returning a bust of Winston Churchill which had a valued spot in the Bush White House.
A bust of the former prime minister once voted the greatest Briton in history, which was loaned to George W Bush from the Government`s art collection after the September 11 attacks, has now been formally handed back.The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush`s tenure.But when British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: "Thanks, but no thanks."
[Barack Obama sends bust of Winston Churchill on its way back to Britain, Daily Telegraph, February 14, 2009]
A reason for Obama`s undiplomatic action was mentioned...
Churchill has less happy connotations for Mr Obama than those American politicians who celebrate his wartime leadership. It was during Churchill`s second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya`s Mau Mau rebellion. Among Kenyans allegedly tortured by the colonial regime included one Hussein Onyango Obama, the President`s grandfather.
Which naturally prompts the question, Does Obama regard Kenya as a more important ally than Britain? Does he see himself more as a son of Kenya than of America`s British-descended founders? Inquiring citizens want to know.