COMMENTARY | It looks like President Barack Obama lost a friend in the British Parliament, but he evidently gained a significant enemy in the process. Lord Nazir Ahmed, a member of the upper chamber House of Lords, placed a $16 million bounty on Obama's head -- and added former president George W. Bush to the list too.
The Daily Caller reported Ahmed announced the bounty during a speech in Pakistan in retaliation for a similar bounty issued by the U.S. government on terrorist leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. It's unknown whether Ahmed has that kind of money, but he told supporters he would sell his home to pay it in the event someone captures either of the U.S. leaders. A threat like that should pretty well insure Ahmed never visits the U.S. again.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has not commented on Ahmed's proclamation, but the opposition Labor Party was quick to react to the often-troubling parliamentarian. Ahmed, also known as Baron Ahmed of Rotherdam, was immediately suspended from the Labor Party membership by opposition leader David Millibrand, according to a party spokesman. The odd part is Ahmed told The Telegraph he did not make any such statement.
As a former member of the opposition, Ahmed does not hold a British government portfolio so his comments are merely those of an nongoverning backbencher. Still, if he tried to visit the U.S. it could be an awkward situation for the Obama Administration. Hopefully, that will not happen.
The sad part is it tarnishes the relationship between allies and revives the old call to bring Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to trial for alleged war crimes in Iraq and other countries. It's proof this modern world believes all war should be clean and humane. Unfortunately, war never is.
It's good to see Ahmed's political party swiftly condemn his actions. Now Cameron should do the same.
- Politics & Government
- Foreign Policy
- Lord Nazir Ahmed
- President Barack Obama