Following his nuclear summit, many American conservatives criticised Obama for his foolish hope that a US nuclear reduction would inspire the Iranians and perhaps the North Koreans to limit their own nuclear aspirations. If Obama actually thought this, he would indeed be a fool. But plug in the anti-colonial hypothesis and a more plausible explanation emerges for Obama's actions. Perhaps Obama views America, not Iran or North Korea, as the rogue nation that has the biggest arsenal, has actually used nuclear weapons in the past and poses the greatest threat to world security. If so, then Obama's goal was not to influence Iran or North Korea but rather to reduce America's arsenal, and in this he was completely successful.
Consider a final detail that puts the icing, if you will, on the anti-colonial theory. Shortly after assuming the presidency, Obama decided to return a bust of Winston Churchill that had been displayed in the Oval Office. The bust had been loaned to America from the British government's art collection, and to many Britons it symbolised America's relationship with Britain. Chagrined by Obama's decision to return it, British officials suggested the bust could be displayed elsewhere in the administration. Obama refused and the bust now sits in the residence of the British ambassador.
Now recall Obama's prejudice against Britain for its colonial rule in Kenya. Recall, also, that Churchill was a champion of British colonialism. He famously said he had not become Prime Minister in order to preside over the end of the British Empire. As noted earlier, he was also Prime Minister in the 1950s when British forces arrested both Obama's father and grandfather in connection with the Mau Mau revolt. Later, Churchill blocked efforts to have a government investigation of the alleged atrocities in Kenya. So when we use the anti-colonial model we have a perfectly good explanation for Obama's hostility to Britain in general, and Churchill in particular. Remove the anti-colonial model and Obama's action in removing the Churchill bust becomes inexplicable.
The world has changed a great deal since the anti-colonial heyday of the 1950s and 1960s. Today countries are rising up not through state socialism but by using what has been termed "the advantage of backwardness". Countries such as India, China, Indonesia and Chile are using their low labour costs to make stuff that other people around the world want to buy. Thus they are growing at rapid rates. Many countries once labelled "Third World" have now become "emerging markets" and they are engines of global prosperity.
Many in Britain, I know, are deeply ambivalent about Britain's colonial legacy. But colonialism is now dead and so is anti-colonialism. No one today cares about it — except the man in the White House. He is the last anti-colonial. Obama's problem isn't that he opposes foreign subjugation. It is that he is trapped in his father's time machine. He is trying to apply the ossified, antiquated solutions of a generation ago to the very different problems of the world today. Obama's approach does poor countries no favours, because his remedies would not help them rise out of poverty. At the same time, Obama is trying to end America's leadership in the world, bringing to an end centuries of Western dominance. If he succeeds, the future for both America and Europe is likely to be less prosperous and less secure.
- ONLINE ONLY: Academic Boycotts Teach Us Nothing
- ONLINE ONLY: Send in the Clowns
- ONLINE ONLY: Thatcher, Reagan and the Dictators
- The Resolute Courage of Margaret Thatcher
- America's New Isolationists Are Endangering the West
- An Alternative To Our Reckless Energy Gamble
- The Family is the Key to the Future of Faith
- Persecuted Muslims Who Love Life in England
- They Were the Future of the Tory Party, Once
- The Parable of the Stupid Samaritan
- Pope Frank: In the Footsteps of St Francis
- The Middle Kingdom's Problem with Religion
- We Abandon Christians in the East At Our Peril
- Feminism Or Islamism: Which Side Are You On?
- At Last: Gove Goes For the Culture of Excuses
- Is There a Way Out of the Tories' Modernising Mess?
- Online Only: The Kenyatta Dilemma
- Cameron is the Euro's Best Hope for Survival
- Census That Revealed a Troubling Future
- The Servant of the servants of God Departs in Peace