Friday, May 27, 2011

Just Desserts

Two things struck me about President Obama's stop over in Ireland earlier this week. The first struck me watching the President proudly proclaim his English heritage during his state visit to the UK. And no, it wasn't the obvious thought. What struck me was that if it hadn't been for the visit by Queen Elizabeth only a few days earlier, then Obama's flying visit to Moneygall would have felt like going to a nice restaurant for the evening and only having dessert.

The fact that the Queen's state visit was accompanied by all the pomp and ceremony appropriate to the occasion meant that Obama's visit was the dessert after the main course. A little rushed maybe, but a nice end to a 'pleasant evening'. However, if it hadn't been for the Queen's visit I suspect more than a few of us might have been left wondering 'what was that all about?'

The second thing that struck me were the protests at the President's visit. Or rather: the lack of protests. Imagine if it had been President George Bush arriving in College Green: with two wars on the go and Guantanamo packed full of suspected terrorists? There probably wouldn't have been enough Gardai available to make that gig go so smoothly. But President Obama arrives with two wars on the go and Guantanamo still open and... silence.

I guess Britain isn't the only country with a 'special' relationship with the United States.

1 comment:

  1. How curious that the visit focused only on Barack's Irish ancestor from Moneygall in Co Offaly.

    Not a word was said about Michelle's own Irish ancestor Henry Shields, much less was there a visit to her ancestral home in nearby Ballysheil also in Offaly. That is of course because Henry was a slave owner who impregnated (and maybe even married) a young slave girl Melvinia Shields valued at $475. Notwithstanding that Michelle owes her very existence to this Irishman, an all-encompassing cover-up - an unofficial superinjunction - was deemed appropriate for the visit.

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