Fact Check

Alex Singleton on Barack Obama

Opinion piece by London 'Daily Telegraph' editor criticizes President Obama's handling of foreign policy?

Published Apr 4, 2011

Claim:   Opinion piece by London Daily Telegraph editor criticizes President Obama's handling of foreign policy.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, April 2011]


This is a very sobering article. Our handling of relationships with the Britons over the oil spill won't help either.

From The London Daily Telegraph Editor On Foreign Relations


"Let me be clear: I'm not normally in favor of boycotts, and I love the American people. I holiday in their country regularly, and hate the tedious snobby sneers against the United States . But the American people chose to elect an idiot who seems hell bent on insulting their allies, and something must be done to stop Obama's reckless foreign policy, before he does the dirty on his allies on every issue."

One of the most poorly kept secrets in Washington is President Obama's animosity toward Great Britain, presumably because of what he regards as its sins while ruling Kenya (1895-1963).

One of Barack Hussein Obama's first acts as president was to return to Britain a bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office since 9/11. He followed this up by denying Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on his first state visit, the usual joint press conference with flags.

The president was "too tired" to grant the leader of America's closest ally a proper welcome, his aides told British journalists.

Mr. Obama followed this up with cheesy gifts for Mr. Brown and the Queen. Columnist Ian Martin described his behavior as "rudeness

personified." There was more rudeness in store for Mr. Brown at the opening session of the United Nations in September. "The prime minister was forced to dash through the kitchens of the UN in New York to secure five minutes of face time with President Obama after five requests for a sit down meeting were rejected by the White House," said London Telegraph columnist David Hughes. Mr. Obama's "churlishness is unforgivable," Mr. Hughes said.

The administration went beyond snubs and slights last week when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed the demand of Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, a Hugo Chavez ally, for mediation of Argentina 's specious claim to the Falkland Islands, a British dependency since 1833. The people who live in the Falklands, who speak English, want nothing to do with Argentina . When, in 1982, an earlier Argentine dictatorship tried to seize the Falklands by force, the British — with strong support from President Ronald Reagan — expelled them.

"It is truly shocking that Barack Obama has decided to disregard our shared history," wrote Telegraph columnist Toby Young. "Does Britain 's friendship really mean so little to him?"

One could ask, does the friendship of anyone in the entire world mean anything to him?

"I recently asked several senior administration officials, separately, to name a foreign leader with whom Barack Obama has forged a strong personal relationship during his first year in office," wrote Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post, on Monday. " A lot of hemming and hawing ensued."

One official named French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but his contempt for Mr. Obama is an open secret. Another named German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But, said Mr. Diehl, "Merkel too has been conspicuously cool toward Obama."

Mr. Obama certainly doesn't care about the Poles and Czechs, whom he has betrayed on missile defense. Honduras and Israel also can attest that he's been an unreliable ally and an unfaithful friend. Ironically, our relations with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have never been worse. Russia has offered nothing in exchange for Mr. Obama's abandonment of missile defense. Russia and China won't support serious sanctions on Iran. Syria's support for terrorism has not diminished despite efforts to normalize diplomatic relations. The reclusive military dictatorship that runs Burma has responded to our efforts at "engagement" by deepening its ties to North Korea .

And the Chinese make little effort to disguise their contempt for him.

For the first time in a long time, the President of the United States is actually distrusted by its allies and not in the least feared by its
adversaries. Nor is Mr. Obama now respected by the majority of Americans. Understandably focused on the dismal economy and Mr. Obama's relentless efforts to nationalize and socialize health care, Americans apparently
have yet to notice his dismal performance and lack of respect in the world community.

They soon will.

—London Daily Telegraph editor — Alex Singleton


Origins:   This item about Barack Obama is actually a combination of two opinion pieces, neither of them written by the London Daily Telegraph's political editor, Alex Singleton, or published in that newspaper. Both segments were penned by Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret who was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration and is now a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade. The first section (up through the quote "Does Britain's
friendship really mean so little to him?") comes from Kelly's 15 March 2010 column ("Administration animosity against allies not limited to Israel") and the second portion (from the quote "I recently asked several senior administration officials" onwards) was taken from Kelly's 14 March 2010 column ("Feckless foreign follies").

Somewhere along the way, in writing about Kelly's columns, someone included an excerpt from an 11 March 2010 opinion piece ("Barack Obama has made me want to boycott America") by London Daily Telegraph contributing editor Alex Singleton. This excerpt (quoted below) was subsequently placed at the head of the piece and resulted in all of Kelly's writing being credited to Alex Singleton rather than just the single opening quotation:

Let me be clear: I'm not normally in favour of boycotts, and I love the American people. I holiday in their country regularly, and hate the tedious snobby sneers against the United States. But the American people chose to elect an idiot who seems … bent on insulting their allies, and something must be done to stop Obama's reckless foreign policy, before he does the dirty on his allies on every issue.

Last updated:   4 April 2011


    Kelly, Jack.   "Administration Animosity Against Allies Not Limited to Israel."

    Jewish World Review.   15 March 2010.

    Kelly Jack.   "Feckless Foreign Follies."

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.   14 March 2010   (p. A21).

    Singleton, Alex.   "Barack Obama Has Made Me Want to Boycott America."

    London Daily Telegraph.   11 March 2010.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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