Don’t Know Much About History

As I mentioned yesterday, the hits keep right on coming:

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Visiting U.S. President Barack Obama made a pointed quip Tuesday about Russia’s sale of Alaska to the United States in the 19th century.

Referring to the long history of Russia-U.S. trade stretching back more than two centuries, Obama told an audience of business people in Moscow:

“Along the way, you gave us a pretty good deal on Alaska. Thank you.”

Note to White House briefers: the Russians don’t think that the sale of Alaska to the United States was funny.

6 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    Perhaps Obama should get a special briefing before he goes to Mexico and laughs about the good deal we got on Texas.

  • Dave, is that any way to speak of the best and the brightest?

  • Do we think the burning of Washington by the British was funny? I recall Tony Blair got off a pretty funny line about it.

    That’s one of the purposes of humor: it draws the sting. Sting necessarily precedes drawing of same.

  • PD Shaw Link

    In fairness to THE MAN, I didn’t know Russia had an issue with Seward’s Folly. I do have an understanding that more than one American frontier purchase was under the duress that the territory was unprotectable anyway, but I thought 19th century Russia was pretty pro-American.

    So, Dave is the the angst about Alaska anti-Czarist propaganda or a long-term view that the Americans stole it?

  • Given that the article does not mention whether the Russians in attendance laughed, how do you know that they don’t find it funny?

    You’re assuming that, because some Russian nationalist historians regard “Seward’s Folly” as a disgrace, this means that all Russians do. I think your logic is flawed.

    Now, I haven’t been able to determine whether the businessmen laughed or not–the easy way to tell. However, I would point out that a cursory search of Russian newspapers and blogs don’t mention this at all. Which leads me to believe that the Russians didn’t notice or care about the remark.

Leave a Comment