Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Is the alliance all one way?

A Conservative friend whose credentials in support of the alliance are impeccable, not just to the extent of being married to an American and having borne two children over here, expresses her frustration with the current state of the alliance:

[I]f the 'special relationship' is damaged, it is America's fault. Too often lately it has looked all one way. You could start with Clinton shaking hands with Gerry Adams. After 9/11 and Afghanistan, it was looking good, but post Iraq it all fell apart.

1. The UK did not receive any significant contracts in the rebuilding.
2. Rumsfeld spoke of us with disrespect actually during the war.
3. When the EU was punished over steel subsidies, Blair begged for an exemption for the UK and did not get one. He was told to negotiate directly with Tom DeLay and other senators even though he was the British PM
4. The recorded conversation between Blair and Bush painted Blair as a supplicant who thought himself less significant than Rice (and Bush agreed)
5. The NatWest 3 thing did not help.

In sum, as a proud Briton, I am not prepared to be a client of the United States. The coalition of the willing was, in effect, a coalition of two. Of course Britain is the junior partner, but she is a partner, and not a low-level employee. What is special about the relationship for us? America gets a European partner, world class intel, nuclear subs, men, whole regions pacified and many millions of your taxpayer dollars saved.

What does Britain get? MFN trading status?

America is goingto have to give something to this relationship, and I do not mean a standing ovation for the PM in Congress. We stand with you far more than any European ally, but receive no special treatment in dollars or in trade. Usually, we do not even receive respect.

The way the Bush White House treated Michael Howard was the start of my loss of regard for the man. Do American conservatives actually care about their British counterparts? They are willing to see us sold down the river to a bunch of cod-socialist Euro fanatics, to the man who wanted to force Gibraltarians to become Spaniards, just because Blair is a good toady.

Lord Tebbit, whom I'm sure you will agree is neither a wet nor a weasel, said just the other day that he was aghast to see Britain reduced to taking diktats from Europe on the one hand and America on the other.

I'd be interested to hear from people what they feel about this and whether or not it resonates with them. If so, what should America and the President in particular do about it? If not, what do they regard as the future of the alliance, if any? Comments are welcome at angloamericanalliance [at] gmail [dot] com.

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