THE LONDON-WASHINGTON AXIS CALLED INTO QUESTION
The traditional alliance of the British crown with its former American colony, an alliance that served as a foundation for the British foreign policy during the times of Winston Churchill and also Margaret Thatcher, is called into question today. In effect, the United Kingdom has no other option than choosing between its Atlantist commitment and its European interests. However, as Cedric Housez notes while analyzing statements by British leaders, they reject this choice. Today’s criticism of Tony Blair’s participation in George W. Bush’s military adventures is limited to expressing a will for a balance in transatlantic relations.
Cédric Housez, VOLTAIRE NETWORK
Interesting article about the "privileged relationship".
Historically, it is British governments who have always insisted on the existence of a "special" or "privileged" relationship, attempting to convince themselves that the US actually needs them: "the United Kingdom is presented as a “bridge” between Europe and the United States and, thus, as a guarantor of good transatlantic relations."
However, the UK role has been that of an US alter ego (some would say Trojan Horse) within Europe, whose job was and is to maintain its (European) allegiance to US policies and political philosophies, ("The United States should be the driving force of a western pole that controls and benefits the world...European countries must follow the American “locomotive” and the United Kingdom should create that tie.") and when this has not been forthcoming, to disrupt European unity when it dared to stray from US designs. This was demonstrated clearly during the build up to the Iraq war. ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2775579.stm)
However, as the piece points out, there is rising criticism of US-UK ties, even though this may not have reached proportions important enough to consider realignment or a more agressive use of its supposed influence: "The British former European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Chris Patten, and the former British ambassador to the United States from 1997 to 2003, Sir Christopher Meyer, allege that the invasion of Iraq would not have taken place had Tony Blair not supported George W. Bush". This supposed influence has been disproved though, by the new Security Doctrine and Bob Woodward's revelations: "It was just two weeks later when the president decided to go to war. “That decision was first conveyed to Condi Rice in early January 2003 when he said, ‘We're gonna have to go. It's war.’ He was frustrated with the weapons inspections. He had promised the United Nations and the world and the country that either the UN would disarm Saddam or he, George Bush, would do it and do it alone if necessary,” says Woodward" .
All this has obviously had its effects, even though it remains doubtful whether the US would ever actually do anything alone. The US Dept. of State has now gone on record (confirming the takeover of State by Donald Rumsfeld's policies):
"Building on its experience in Iraq, the Bush administration says it wants to be able to form "coalitions of the willing" more efficiently for dealing with future conflicts rather than turning to existing but unreliable institutional alliances such as Nato."
"We 'ad hoc' our way through coalitions of the willing. That's the future," a senior State Department official said in a briefing this week that reflected Washington's search for alternatives to the post-second world war global architecture in the new era of its "war on terror"."
"We are focused on the enduring dynamics of coalition warfare,"
Of course these "coalitions of the willing" are only likely to include US vassals, such as the UK with its "privileged relationship", and will, of course be outside international law, otherwise there would be no need for such coalitions...
David Sketchley, MEDIALENS, 08/01/06
I believe there [are] a significant number of Brits who would support the idea of a multipolar balance of powers were it to be properly presented to them by both Government and Media.
Both those seem to have thoroughly lost themselves in blind Atlanticism and a peculiar form of racism dismissed as "Euro-scepticism" (more accurately, Europhobia)
What do you do with a European population where the prevailing thought-form remains that Europe is vaguely "somewhere over there", that remains so stubbornly in denial of its predominantly European ethnicity?
Please include me in that group who see HMG as playing the part of a Trojan horse, rather than acting as Uncle Sam's alter ego. And Irak II, as you point out, has clearly exposed the subversive nature of the game that HMG plays in the EU.
Of course, other EU countries are only too aware of perfidious Albion but can only react to it with embarrassment. They warn us: keep playing this game and you will find yourself increasingly marginalized, playing a second-class role.
But when have British governments ever troubled to look further ahead than a few more years of electoral office? As for the media, Rupert Murdoch has more than effectively performed a coup d'etat in favour of Langley, Virginia through his kindergarten Press.
As Cédric Housez points out, the prevailing view among Britain's rulers is still that of a unipolar capitalist world policed by the US military. The idea of a multipolar balance of powers is, even if considered, dismissed. It is only taken seriously by a few UK politicians, some soldiers and -more significantly- by professional military think tanks.
This really happened: about 25 years ago, I confronted that well-known Atlanticist, Dr David Owen (whatever happened to him?), with the remark that it was such a pity that Britain -with its much-vaunted 'independent nuclear deterrent'- had not emulated De Gaulle by abandoning NATO.
"Where do you come from?!" he exploded, his face going all the shades of puce you can imagine. From a far more loyal place than he ever did, I would now add as an afterthought.
Gangsters and traitors, to the Tower with them all!
Gilipolla, MEDIALENS, 08/01/06