Wednesday, September 02, 2009

President Obama sends his regrets

Obama not smooth on Gdansk

The Polish 70th anniversary commemorations of the beginning of World War II take place in Gdansk today. This unfortunately involves the latest in a long series of U.S. snubs felt keenly in Poland. On Sept. 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, resulting in six years of war in Europe, the Holocaust and the deaths of 20 million people. The leaders of Russia, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and other countries will attend the ceremony, presided over by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The head of the United States government -- unbelievably -- will be absent.

The initial answer from the White House almost defied belief. The head of the official U.S. delegation was not to be a member of the Obama administration but former Clinton Defense Secretary William J. Perry. Over the weekend, a change was announced, and the U.S. delegation is to be headed by National Security Adviser Gen. James L. Jones. Gen. Jones will head the U.S. delegation, rather than President Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. or Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Gen. Jones will stand alongside Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Anyone want to play "who doesn't belong in this picture

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