Frank Maguire
August 8, 2010
Barack Obama went to London
By Frank Maguire

An article making the cyberspace rounds attributed to Scripps-Howard writer Dale McFeatters, entitled "An Entourage Surpassing the Queen's," described America's potentate President's arrival at the 2009 G-20 summit in London. McFeatters March 31, 2009 article reveals that the British press expressed astonishment at the assembled mass of Obama's co-travelers. Included in the 500 staff array, paid for by the American taxpayers, were "200 Secret Service agents, a team of six doctors, the White House chef and kitchen staff with the President's own food and water."

The British Evening Standard reported that Obama also arrived with "35 vehicles...four speech writers and 12 teleprompters" to assure that POTUS would not be caught "at a loss for words."

McFeatters continues: "The press duly reported on Air Force One and all its bells and whistles, the presence of the presidential helicopter, Marine One, and a fleet of identical decoys to ferry him from Stansted airport to central London."

The President's vehicles included a Cadillac referred to by the British press as the "Beast." Said Beast is "reinforced with ceramic and titanium armor, carries tear gas cannon, night-vision devices and its own oxygen...resistant to chemical and radiation attack — what the Guardian called 'the ultimate in heavily armored transport.'

One has to chuckle at McFeatters' punch line. Conceding that the Chief in Command certainly is entitled to security, but: "Surely, ... trying to project a more restrained, humble image to the world, the president's huge retinue could be scaled back to something less than the triumphal march from 'Aida.'"

I, in order to show some sympathy for prexy Obama, offer that Obama's paranoia could be a result of his dangerous service in such hostile environments as Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the frightening environs of Tea Party America?

In addition Obama's intel (Code initials J.N.) probably apprised him of Great Britain's domestic terrorists: soldiers returning from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan; pro-life zealots carrying lethal placards; and British supporters of America's Tea Party movement, knowing, historically, that when you cross those Tea Party types, there goes the old Empire.

Since I never rely upon two not proven to be trustworthy "witnesses," I continued to search for support of McFeatters facts. I did find the original article. It is in blog format, and there were numerous comments reacting to McFeatters. It was obvious that the matter was not so cut and dried.

A number of bloggers accused the "lying right-wingers" of such things as...are you ready? ... racism. Much was the typical schoolyard tirade "Oh yeh, ya buggah?" "Bloody 'ell...says 'oo?" "Gwon! Ya muvver wears combat boots," stuff. But some wasn't. A number of responders pointed out that Obama's retinue of 500 were 200 less than George Bush brought along in 2003.

So, off again I went. After all, the story seemed to have shifted from "Obama the profligate, spendthrift suzerain" to "What in the name of Ol' Blighty does our government mean by shipping more bureaucrats about than the entire population of (fictitious) Elk's Tooth, NV?

Two articles I found cleared the matter up. One editorial from The Observor, Sunday 9 November 2003, written by Martin Bright and Anushka Asthana is entitled "Bush visit set to paralyse London." The other was from the BBC: "2003: High Security as Bush visits UK." Both provided the necessary facts which placed things into perspective.

The BBC tells us that British security for Bush' visit, which came just six months after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, was the "tightest security London has ever seen." Adding "Officers at Scotland Yard say the security measures (which cost ₤5m) reflect the general terrorist threats...."

According to the BBC at least 100,000 anti-Bush protestors made up of the "Stop the War Coalition, The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), and the Muslim Association of Britain" planned to create disruptions.

The Observor added further detail. It reported that "The chaos will be compounded by the fact that protestors are not co-operating with the police.... The centerpiece of the protest will be a huge march...arranged by the Stop the War Coalition...led by American nationals living in the UK who have gathered under the title Expats Against Bush."

One leader of the SWC, Lindsey German, threatened "the very best that George Bush can hope for is to be taken around in a helicopter and kept inside the American Embassy, Whitehall, and Buckingham Palace."

What my digging reveals is that the Left, in defense of Obama, is dissimulative in their comparison of Bush' 2003 visit and Obama's 2009 visit. This comes as no surprise. Bush is still the reviled target of the Left, and Obama is their hero. The question, rhetorical, is "Why?"

(NOTE: Article originally published in The NorthWest Connection (June 2010)

© Frank Maguire

 

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Frank Maguire

Frank Maguire was born in Dorchester, MA, 1938, attended schools in Massachusetts, California, and Arizona, where he completed degrees in music and English writing/Journalism. Frank has been married to Helen Isabel Maguire née Estevez of Culver City, California, since 1957. They have six children, 14 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

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