A couple of weeks ago I noted the deft rhetorical sleight of hand used by US presidents and senior policy makers to make foreign governments feel good about their relationship with the world's superpower without making other countries feel bad. The 'America has no better friend than...' formulation allows any number of nations to dine at the high table.
But on his visit to Israel, it seems President Obama may have changed the rhetorical landscape somewhat. I doubt this sentiment will ever be expressed by a US president about Australia (my emphasis):
So as I begin this visit, let me say as clearly as I can –the United States of America stands with the State of Israel because it is in our fundamental national security interest to stand with Israel. It makes us both stronger. It makes us both more prosperous. And it makes the world a better place. That’s why the United States was the very first nation to recognize the State of Israel 65 years ago. That’s why the Star of David and the Stars and Stripes fly together today. And that is why I’m confident in declaring that our alliance is eternal, it is forever – lanetzach.
Lord Palmerston's famous quote suddenly leaps to mind:
Therefore I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.