You have to laugh. How many nations are so keen to be close with Washington and will send troops to their pointless wars to prove the point?
President Obama, hosting a visit by the French president, January 10, 2011: “We don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy, and the French people.”
President Obama, hosting a visit by Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, March 7, 2011: “We have no stronger ally than Australia.”
UPDATE: Looking back at previous comments by the president in this vein, we find Obama saves himself from a direct contradiction by saying “one of our strongest allies” here and there: “Good morning, everybody. I want to extend the warmest possible greetings to President Komorowski and his delegation. Poland is one of our strongest and closest allies in the world and is a leader in Europe.”
But Australia has earned this distinction from Obama before, on November 13 of last year: “The United States does not have a closer or better ally than Australia. We are grateful for all the work that we do together.”
Also, March 3, 2009: “I think this notion that somehow there is any lessening of that special relationship is misguided. You know, Great Britain is one of our closest, strongest allies.”