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Why I’m happy the Special Relationship might be over

by Dark Politricks

In the news today is the story that President Obama has once again shown how little he cares about the UK by saying publicly how the French were the closest ally the USA had.

“‘We don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy, and the French people.”

Obviously this has sent the right wing press in the UK off into a headspin and the Daily Mail is carrying a story about how this is another major snub by Obama to Britain and especially to the “special relationship” the term that is bandied about by people who really think that the UK’s whole raison d’etre is to exist as the USA’s best friend.

This reminds me of a post I wrote about when the last major snub by Obama occurred so I thought it would be a good time to re-post as the sentiments are the same only the players are different in that instead of Gordon Brown getting snubbed it’s now David Cameron.

The last time that the UK press was full of talk about special relationships and snubs was when the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee released a report that said that the government should be “less deferential” toward the Americans and that the overused and totally phony term “the special relationship” should not be used anymore.

When I read this a great big smile appeared across my face as along with most of the country that doesn’t read the Daily Mail or Express  this couldn’t come soon enough in my opinion. I sincerely and most whole heartedly wish that this term which is bandied about by Tories, war lovers and neo-cons would die a quick and horrible death and never be uttered again for as long as I live.

Every time I hear the term “special relationship” I have to prevent my natural gag reflex from causing a stain on my shirt. The special relationship is a grown up way of saying in school kid terms that the USA is our bestest friend in the whole wide world.

Whether that is actually true or not I don’t know or really care but I do know that our behaviour in regards to deference to this relationship has caused our country considerable harm in the eyes of many across the world over recent years.

Rather than being seen as a relationship of equals, the last ten years or so was more like witnessing a small schoolboy sucking up to the big bully by helping him bash up the other kids to steal their diner money.

Who can forget the cartoons of Blair the poodle, eager to please his owner George W Bush, the gun totting cowboy who looked more like a monkey. Would we have been so keen to follow the Americans down the road to a decade of war and misery if we hadn’t of been so keen to keep our “special friendship” alive?

Maybe if we hadn’t of cared so much what the Americans thought of us we could have stood up a bit more before the wars of aggression started. Both in private and public we should have told them like a friend does when confronted with a mate about to make a mistake that their actions were wrong both morally and legally. A good friend tries to persuade another not to take a course of action that could end up harming them or others and if they decide to go ahead anyway then the friend should stand back and let them make their own mistakes.

The last ten years fighting the phony war on terror has been a major mistake that has hurt many including our friend. So looking back at our decision to help our friend what have we actually gained from being the first country to always jump beside the USA when they get itchy for a fight?

Well apart from loosing hundreds of soldiers and maiming thousands more in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts we have also spent billions which could have been put to better use in these dire economic times. For a small country we have a very expensive armed forces equipped with all the latest gadgets from Stealth boats to Eurofighter jets and Trident nukes.

It probably seems to those in charge that all this equipment would go to waste if we didn’t let it air out now and then by dropping a few laser guided bombs on far away wedding parties. If we don’t have a real enemy to fight on equal terms at least we are helping to make an enemy that will fight us for a very long time.

Apart from the cost in lives and money we also have the cost in terms of moral standing. By colluding with our best friend in their recent spell of blood lust we have engaged in torture by proxy by allowing UK citizens to be passed to US prisons knowing they would be tortured.

We have also engaged in some nasty prisoner abuse ourselves during our time in Iraq and we cannot forget that we allowed many CIA rendition planes to use our airports and airspace on their way around the world dropping off new victims and as recent Russian reports suggest bringing drugs back. We can no longer claim to have any moral authority when discussing the brutal regimes of China, Burma, Iran or North Korea as we are rightly seen as hypocrites. Do as I say not as I do..

We have also bend over backwards in allowing our citizens to become just an extension of US territory. Our recent change in extradition law enables UK citizens to be extradited to America without prima facie evidence to be provided but not the other way round.

We have the case of Gary McKinnon an autistic and slightly geeky chap with a liking for UFO’s who’s about to be extradited to the USA to face up to 70 years in prison for the crime of hacking into military networks looking for evidence of aliens. A crime committed in the UK that he could be tried here for. A crime in which the public has demanded he not be sent to the USA to face trial but a crime in which the Home Secretary who has the power to reverse the decision does not have the balls to say no to our “special” friend.

In terms of our relationship with our closest neighbours in Europe our willingness to side with America rather than Europe has always been a cause of concern. Tony Blair used to say we were a bridge between Europe and America but it was more like a drawbridge that we used to pull up now and then to call the French nasty names over. How dare they speak out in the UN against our underhand methods and eagerness for war in Iraq.

Hopefully this statement by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee will be taken on board by our government whoever that may be come May. It is obvious that the new president doesn’t hold our special relationship in the same lofty idealistic way as some over here would like. This was blatantly obvious when Gordon Brown made his first visit to the states. Denied some of the usual formalities such as a joint press conference Obama snubbed Brown who had lavished him with expensive historical presents by giving him in return only a cheap boxset of DVD’s!

Maybe this was a not so subtle sign that Obama had found a new best friend for America and wanted to give the UK the brush off. If it was a brush off it wasn’t heard properly as Brown went on to give a gushing speech to Congress that was more like a public act of fellatio than a speech made by a fellow peer. It was embarrassing to listen to especially because the same sentiment was not returned in our direction. There is nothing worse than declaring undying love to someone and being told in return that you are just a good friend.

So hopefully the time has come for our leaders to realise what the majority of our nation has understood for a very long time. America is no longer the righteous leader amongst countries it once was and standing by its side during thick and thin is doing our own country harm. We should treat the states like we do all other countries we do business with and treat each political decision on its own merits and put the best interests of our own citizens ahead of any concerns from overseas. The Americans certainly act this way so if its good enough for them then its good enough for us.

We require a more evenly balanced world containing nations of equals rather than our existing world where a solitary superpower is on the decline waiting to be replaced by a new far eastern one on the rise. A world where nations cannot use brute force to exert their will and where a country doesn’t have to choose to be “with us or against us” when demanded to make such a choice.

It’s time for the UK to realise that our best interests do not necessarily always align with those from over the pond and that its okay to disagree with US policy in public. In fact we demand that they do so from time to time.

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3 Responses

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  1. antiamerikan says

    The United States has no greater friend than ( insert any country here )

    USA presidents and diplomats bandy this phrease about so much, it has lost any significance whatsoever.

    I would take it as the ultimate compliment if just once I heard one say< The United States has no greater enemy than ( insert my country here )

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  1. uberVU - social comments linked to this post on March 29, 2010

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  2. Tweets that mention Why I’m happy the Special Relationship might be over | Dark Politricks -- linked to this post on January 12, 2011

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