As preparations for war with Syria continue, the White House is quietly taking on another new enemy: the United Kingdom.
A revised menu posted this morning at the official White House cafeteria in the West Wing has replaced “English Muffins” with “Freedom Muffins” in response to the U.K.’s refusal to join U.S. military action against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.
The move comes just days after Britain’s Parliament dramatically voted down a resolution authorizing Prime Minister David Cameron to take military action against Syria, which served to embarrass president Obama as he sought to build international support for the mission.
Asked about the change during a routine press conference, White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged the menu adjustment, but denied President Barack Obama had any direct role in the decision.
“Decisions about menu items are made by lower-level staff and the change does not necessarily reflect the president’s thinking,” he explained. “Clearly, however, there has been a shock to the so-called special relationship with the U.K., and I think this new menu reflects that.”
A Taste of Liberty
Freedom muffins — known simply as muffins in the U.K. — join a long line of foods to be renamed for political reasons. Hot dogs were once known as Frankfurters before the First World War and French Fries were famously called Freedom Fries in the mid-2000s to protest France’s refusal to help the United States go to war in Iraq.
This case is notable, however, because it concerns the United Kingdom, which has been America’s closest ally in recent years. Having fought alongside with America in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, Britain is now sitting on the sidelines for the first time since Vietnam.
Although the situation is the source of much consternation among much of the U.K.’s political establishment, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband — who led the charge against intervention — has a decidedly different view.
“Frankly I think the Americans are a bunch of wankers,” Miliband says in an exclusive interview. “They’re just angry because we won’t join them on their neo-liberal colonial adventure. Well you know what? F**k them. Britain isn’t America’s stooge anymore.
“If France wants to replace us as America’s closest ally, I say we let them. What have the yanks ever given us? McDonald’s and sub-prime mortgages? We’ll be fine without them. Good riddance.”
A spokesperson for John Boehner, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, says there are no plans to make the same name change in the Capitol Building’s cafeteria.