Barack Obama made an impassioned plea to America’s allies to send more
troops to Afghanistan, warning that failure to do so would leave Europe
vulnerable to more terrorist atrocities.
But though he continued to dazzle
Europeans on his debut international tour, the Continent’s leaders turned their
backs on the US President.
Gordon Brown was the only one to offer substantial help. He offered to
send several hundred extra British soldiers to provide security during the
August election, but even that fell short of the thousands of combat troops that
the US was hoping to prise from the Prime Minister.
Just two other allies
made firm offers of troops. Belgium offered to send 35 military trainers and
Spain offered 12. Mr Obama’s host, Nicolas Sarkozy, refused his request.
Poor Barack pulled out all the stops to convince them to do more. He tried hope:
The derisory response threatened to tarnish Mr Obama’s European tour, which
yesterday included a spellbinding performance in Strasbourg in which he offered
the world a vision of a future free of nuclear weapons.
He tried lecturing:
Mr Obama – who has pledged 21,000 more troops to combat the growing insurgency
and is under pressure from generals to supply up to 10,000 more – used the eve
of Nato’s 60th anniversary summit to declare bluntly that it was time for allies
to do their share. “Europe should not simply expect the United States to
shoulder that burden alone,” he said. “This is a joint problem it requires a
He even tried outright threats:
He said that failing to support the US surge would leave Europe open to a fresh
terrorist offensive. “It is probably more likely that al-Qaeda would be able to
launch a serious terrorist attack on Europe than on the United States because of
proximity,” he said.
But, alas, no more help from our friends abroad than when that detestible, mentally retarded, chimpy, cowboy (spits on the ground in disgust) was in office. This must be Bush's fault, somehow.