The beloved and often controversial Iron Lady of Britain, prime minister Margaret Thatcher was given a funeral ceremony in St. Paul’s Cathedral yesterday. Notably absent were all members of the Obama administration including the President, Vice President Biden and the First Lady. The White House sought cover from this obvious snub by “sending” two Reagan era Secretaries of State. Firstly, Shultz and Baker would have gone anyway and secondly these men obviously do not represent the this President. Nobody from the current administration could be bothered to attend (and to be clear the invitations were turned down before the events in Boston).
The offensiveness of this appalling act is all the more apparent when one considers the breadth and depth of the British delegation to President Reagan’s funeral in 2004. Our good friends across the pond did not see the Gipper’s death as an opportunity to make a political statement against his conservative record. They treated the occasion with the appropriate dignity and in good British style did what needed to be done. In attendance were the sitting Labour Party Prime Minister (Labour being the equivalent of the Democrats in the UK), Prince Charles along with the ailing Lady. Tatcher. In fact, aware of her own failing capacity, she had taken the time to record this moving video in tribute the American President 18 months in advance of his actual death.
The British public are rightfully offended and outraged as are many Americans including myself. As an individual American with great respect for the UK and for the ideals Mrs. Tatcher represented I’d like to offer my sympathy to the people of Britain and offer my apologies for this obscene oversight by our leadership. We should all take the time to do so publicly.
Greg Autry serves as Senior Economist with the American Jobs Alliance, Economist with theCoalition for a Prosperous America and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – a Global Call to Action. He blogs regularly at: http://www.gregautry.us/blog and on the Huffington Post.
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