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'That' UK-US relationship..

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    Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 13:09
    
I thought this might be a good time to have another look at the so-called special-relationship between the United States and Great Britain.

The Times newspaper (dated Thursday November 30th 2006) led with a cover story concerning the present condition of Anglo-American relations, in particular the current state of play about the ongoing conflict in Iraq.

..The report was presented by Tom Baldwin in Washington and The Times political editor Philip Webster, under the headline Londons bridge is falling down. The report once again brings into question the nature of an Anglo-American special relationship.

The premise of the article was chiefly concerned with the one-sided political relationship between Britain and the United States, demonstrated by the supposed affiliation between British Prime Minister, Tony Blair and the American president George Bush. This one-sidedness has recently been highlighted by a speech made last Tuesday by Dr Kendall Myers, a senior US State Department official. In an academic forum, Myers noted that Britains role as a bridge between America and Europe was currently disintegrating and any attempts made by Britain to influence US policy had been, and are being ignored. Concerning Britains role in standing by the Unites States and American anti-terrorist policy, Myers said it was a done deal from the beginning, it was a one-sided relationship that was entered into with open eyesthere was nothing. There was no payback, no sense of reciprocity. Dr Myers noted that any bond that Blair and Bush had would not be replicated in the future

...The US State Department has since disowned the comments by Myers, stating, The US-UK relationship is indeed a special one. The US and the UK work together, along with our allies in Europe and across the world, on every issue imaginable

My first thoughts are that they would of course deny Myers sentiments on the understanding that US officials would never ever set a precedent and say that political relations with Britain are floundering and unbalanced, even if they are.in addition, the notion of Britain being a bridge between Europe and America can be called into question since the Soviet Union ceased to be a viable threat to Western Europe, consequently, removing Britains role as Americas first line of defence against Communist expansion.

. For me personally, the idea of a UK-US special-relationship has always been one of contention. If there ever was a specialness in the relationship between the United States and Britain, then I think it only had real substance during World War II, where the romanticism of this association was first borneven then, the co-operation between the US and Britain always came with American strings attached. The special relationship tag only seems to be trotted out on occasion when needed to re-enforce the public notion of a strong affiliation between the two countries. In political circles, I would tend to agree with Dr Myers. On an individual level, I think the UK-US bond might be an idea that is cherished. For example, during the Vietnam War, Prime Minster Harold Wilson refused consistently to entertain the Churchillian philosophy of an Anglo-American affiliation, (chiefly, to avoid sending British troops to the war in south-east Asia). However, in a conversation with the British Ambassador to the United States, President Lyndon Johnson reminded Patrick Dean that the American people owed an incalculable debt to the British for the time when they stood steadfast and virtually alone against the scourge of Hitler. (Lyndon Baines Johnson, The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency 1963-1969 (New York, 1971) p.316.). Nevertheless, despite this and perhaps many more examples, I think self-interest is simply and obviously at the heart of all national politics, and any alluding to special-relationships only serves for that period in time

for those interested, here is an online link to the article in full...

Edited by Act of Oblivion - 01-Dec-2006 at 09:39
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  Quote malizai_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 15:09
It is more like a man-dog relationship, or master-slave relationship.
Churchillian relationship was one bourne out of foresight, that evisioned the need of and dependence on the new hyper power.
 
owed an incalculable debt to the British for the time when they stood steadfast and virtually alone against the scourge of Hitler.
 
Yes a debt paid back by creating the dollar zone.
 
 
 
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  Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 16:05
Originally posted by malizai_

It is more like a man-dog relationship, or master-slave relationship.
Churchillian relationship was one bourne out of foresight, that evisioned the need of and dependence on the new hyper power.
 
搊wed an incalculable debt to the British for the time when they stood steadfast and virtually alone against the scourge of Hitler.?
 
Yes a debt paid back by creating the dollar zone.
 
 
 
 
????
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  Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 16:14
The different approach between Myers and the State Dept. to an extent signifies the different views of political vs. military establishment at large. Never tell a four-star general that his has to share his military glory with someone else; The State Dept., knowing very well that the US cannot carry world-policing duties alone, made a different statement.
In my oppinion UK and the US are traditional allies with common geo-political interest in the "war against terrorism"--blah, I sound like Bush--and great military traditions. US and UK military together (OK, throw in some French too) are unbeatable by anyone on this planet in any kind of conventional war (excluding nukes).
I personally think that, after ironing out differences in our parliamentary systems, the two countries should unite again and be one nation; I need EU citizenship, damn it!!
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  Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 16:20

are unbeatable by anyone on this planet in any kind of conventional war (excluding nukes).


China would be a real bitch tho'.........


I need EU citizenship, damn it!!


Just illegally immigrate to Spain, it's worked for so many people so far....
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 16:37
Originally posted by malizai_

It is more like a man-dog relationship, or master-slave relationship.


..I would tend to agree that in general the United States has had the firmer grip on the 'relationship', but i think that Harold Wilson's stance during the Vietnam War demonstrates that Washington did not always have its own way, and it could be argued that the affiliation was at least balanced during the Reagan/Thatcher years, particularly the co-operation in Britain's war over the Falkland Islands. However, i do tend to think that the 'specialness' is generally oversubscribed and cynically employed and dominated by the American image of Winston Churchill and Roosevelt....

indeed, British politicians have probably been more aware of the limitations of the relationship since its birth and thus 'employed' their own wiliness to achieve the best possible arrangement in combined political dealings.. To counter this, it has been suggested that some within the White House have also been wary of British political manoeuvring, and have sought to contain British furtiveness by limiting the apparent openness of a special relationship....
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2006 at 03:48
The special relationship wasn't born in WWII. It's always been there. It has got weaker over the years as non-British immigration has diluted the WASP proportion of the US population (something similar has happened in Australia), but it is essentially a shared heritage thing.
 
When you read the same books in the same language - including comic books, and you chant the same nursery rhymes and are fed the same historical myths, as well as sharing a common legal system, you're going to have a special relationship.
 
Even the Declaration of Independence asserts that the new country was reestablishing the rights that had been subverted by the king - the immemorial rights of Englishmen. And see the ninth amendment to the Constitution for a tacit recognition that the new document takes its thrust from the British constitution
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  Quote TheDiplomat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2006 at 04:28
Before all else, The Americans are the children of John Locke:An English man!
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Dec-2006 at 05:05
Originally posted by gcle2003

The special relationship wasn't born in WWII.


..yes i agree in general that the shared culture does form a special kind of relationship, however, i think the idea of political 'unity' and a 'bond' was moulded by the personal diplomacy between FDR and Churchill during WWII, it appears to be 'the' image that most people envisage when looking at Anglo-American relations...and it is that wartime relationship that provides the 'idealistic' vision of specialness that has not existed since....given the huge personalities of the two main figures, it was perhaps more genuine then but has since failed to live up to expectations...

..i think Dr Myers has yet again highlighted the flaws and realities of Britain's state of affairs with the US...
    
    

Edited by Act of Oblivion - 01-Dec-2006 at 17:17
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  Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2006 at 05:53
Originally posted by JanusRook

[QUOTE]
are unbeatable by anyone on this planet in any kind of conventional war (excluding nukes).


China would be a real bitch tho'.........


If attacked on her homeland, yes,but that would be crazy. Noone in their right mind would take on the Chinese in a ground war. One word comes to mind: Puson. Another word comes to mind: nukes. But that's a whole other bag of candy.



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  Quote Exarchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2006 at 09:19
Personnaly I think this relationship of American dominance has gone too far for Britain to go back.
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  Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2006 at 11:11
Originally posted by TheDiplomat

Before all else, The Americans are the children of John Locke:An English man!

Also, we Americans are still capitalist (thanks to the great Scotsman Adam Smith).


Edited by Emperor Barbarossa - 02-Dec-2006 at 11:13

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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Dec-2006 at 08:10
The "onesidedness" of the relationship is purely a Bush-Blair phenomenon, and even then limited pretty well only to the Iraq position.
 
In 1990 it was Margaret Thatcher that bullied Bush Sr into going to war over Kuwait.
 
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2006 at 08:00
Its swung back and forth in terms of influence, but for the last half a century, its been more in America's favour. But rather than Britian being a loyal lapdog, i think it just accepted that the post-Suez crisis world was a different place, went along with the Americans when it suited them (both Iraq wars), and didn't when it wasn't in their interest (Vietnam).
I'm not sure i buy into the 'special relationship' hype though.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2006 at 09:43
Originally posted by Cywr

I'm not sure i buy into the 'special relationship' hype though.


...i don't either Cywr, i accept there maybe an element of 'political understanding' as both governments appear to operate in a similar manner, and i accept there is a reasonable closeness, possibly even tolerance in policy matters, but i do not see any real evidence of a 'specialness'...

...only today, it is has been reported that the US and UK are at odds again over the Joint Strike Fighter programme...."Britain has threatened to pull out of a planned 10 billion purchase of the new fighters if the US refused to share secret computer technology needed to maintain operational sovereignty over the Armed Forces"....(The Times newspaper, dated Monday 11th Dec 2006)...

....Dr Myers suggestion that the US-UK relationship has no element of American conciliation still appears to be ringing true....
    

Edited by Act of Oblivion - 11-Dec-2006 at 09:46
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  Quote malizai_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Dec-2006 at 16:33
Mr Myers said of Britain's attempts to influence US policy in recent years: "We typically ignore them and take no notice."

Kendall Myers, a senior analyst at the US state department's bureau of research and intelligence, said he felt "a little ashamed" at Tony Blair's treatment by George Bush as the prime minister had received so little political "payback" for supporting the US over Iraq.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1960873,00.html

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Must watch the following link.(with a pinch of salt)
 
I think the relationship has to be taken in the light of cultural affinity and shared history. I dont think it is anymore than that though, unless there is an alignment of interests(Falklands being the exception rather than the rule). At the end of the day they fought Britian for their independence, for the sake of a fate independent of the British.


Edited by malizai_ - 13-Dec-2006 at 16:34
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  Quote malizai_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Dec-2006 at 17:13
Thought this might be of interest.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
special relationship, n, state of political and diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the United States of America forged during World War II; by extension, occasional status of personal relationship between British and American leaders, eg: Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt; Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan; Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

USAGE 1: denotes common history between the countries, common culture, legal tradition and language.

USEAGE 1a: also joint political strategies, esp. on diplomatic and defence issues. Blair frequently referred to special relationship with ex-president Clinton: "Bill Clinton became a close friend of mine." As Blair gears up for meeting with new president George W Bush, there is speculation over whether the special relationship will survive their greater ideological distance.

CONTESTED USAGE 1: with its global interests and multilingual population, the US has several other close foreign associates, namely Israel, Japan, Mexico and Canada.

CONTESTED USAGE 2: as a member of the European Union, the UK ascribes to the EU's stated aim of "European co-operation". Its enthusiasm for a European rapid reaction force and siding with the EU in trade disputes is said to have diluted close US-UK relations.

DISPUTED: following 1939-1945 war, US vigorously challenged the UK as a global trading power. President Eisenhower failed to back Britain in Suez Crisis (1956).

CURRENT OMENS FOR SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP: Blair's office has spoken of desire to develop a "pick up the phone" relationship with Bush. The UK joined the US in recent bombing of Iraq. Blair has signalled he may eventually co-operate with controversial US plans for a National Missile Defence system.

ORIGINS: "What I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples ... means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States." Winston Churchill in 1946 Sinews of Peace address to US president Harry S Truman.

A PROBLEM WITH PERCEPTIONS? More commonly acknowledged in the UK than America. It has been said that this special relationship was special mainly in that only one side knew it existed.


Reader Naomi Cheesman adds: Special relationship is also a term I've heard with reference to a homosexual relationship, used by people who can't quite bring themselves to say "partner" or "lover". It also crops up in a snide way in some of the more moralistic media.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2006 at 09:42

..Hello malizai...thank you for your response to this thread...

Originally posted by malizai_

USAGE 1: denotes common history between the countries, common culture, legal tradition and language.


..the above words point perhaps to the only notion of 'specialness' between the UK and the US...although, obviously to varying degrees of animosity and friendliness according to a particular period in history...however, this relationship can be found between the UK and such countries as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc perhaps even all of the ex-colonial nations? So, maybe the 'specialness' with the US does not deserve such an accolade? Maybe there could be some confusion between 'special' and 'normal'...?...

..however, (and this does not apply, or any way relates to you personally malizai) i must add that i think the following sentiments are the single most ridiculous connotation and expression i have read since being on this forum...a ghastly and totally generalised misunderstanding....

Reader Naomi Cheesman adds: Special relationship is also a term I've heard with reference to a homosexual relationship, used by people who can't quite bring themselves to say "partner" or "lover". It also crops up in a snide way in some of the more moralistic media.


..anyway, thank you malizai for your interest in the topic......
...AOB...
    
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  Quote malizai_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2006 at 12:37

Oh dear! i have included the readers comments(this is the first time i have read them) in the list, an oversight. I fully agree with your view, on this wholly unnecessary abstraction. Modern art in words, i guess.

"people who can't quite bring themselves to say "partner" or "lover". "LOL
He's got issues.
 
Another thought, they dont play cricket, football or rugby!! How bizarre!!


Edited by malizai_ - 15-Dec-2006 at 16:59
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  Quote Timotheus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2006 at 18:05
Originally posted by TheDiplomat

Before all else, The Americans are the children of John Locke:An English man!


And the grandchildren of Samuel Rutherford, a Scot!
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