The not so Special Relationship

Remember this? Harold Wilson once said that “a week is a long time in politics”, a decade then must be a lifetime. Ten years ago the United States and Great Britain could not have been closer, united by the events of 9/11 and the close friendship between Tony Blair and George W. Bush; the closest relationship between two leaders since the days of Thatcher and Reagan. However, today the picture is very different and we seem to be experiencing a sustained rough patch in our relationship.

There’s no smoke without fire and this came from Barack Obama, he told the French President Nicolas Sarkozy that France was America’s biggest ally, he’s exact words were “We don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy and the French people.” This of course was a serious snub not only to David Cameron but also Britain as a whole. Mr Obama, has obviously forgotten about the 528 British soldiers that have died in America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to mention the strong partnership Britain and America shared during the Second World War against the tyranny of Nazi Germany while France were occupied.

What however, motivated Obama to come out with such bizarre comments? In my opinion there is no logic in his words, Britain is America’s strongest ally, lets remind Mr Obama of the facts shall we. Britain currently has almost 10,000 troops serving in Helmand Province while the French have under 4000. Moreover, the French refused to support America when it invaded Iraq, wow, they really are strong allies! I think Mr Obama is trying to distance himself from the legacy of George W. Bush, a dangerous move. A strong ally is there when you need them, a strong ally supports you when all others turn against you, France has proven time and time again that it is not up for the job. Mr Obama and the United States may find that next time they invade a country France might do what they always do, backdown, and Britain might not want to know.

Personally I love America, always have, so I hope this is not a permanent change, instead merely one which will go come 2012 with Obama. There’s still spark in the Special Relationship, we just need an American President who appreciates what Britain really means to the United States.

Tim Hasker

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12 thoughts on “The not so Special Relationship

  1. There are suggestions that Obama is still quite upset about the way the British treated his father in the fifties.
    Hardly a basis for modern-day foreign policy.

  2. He says that about the French now, expecting us not to notice. No doubt in a few months he will be saying the same about us, expecting the French not to notice!

  3. “…he told the French President Nicolas Sarkozy that France was America’s biggest ally…”

    I can’t find the quote that supports that.

    “In my opinion there is no logic in his words, Britain is America’s strongest ally, lets remind Mr Obama of the facts shall we.”

    What a fascinating ‘sentence’. And I see that Mr Hasker is doing what he usually does which is to invent a position for his opponents. A US president pouring flattery on a visiting French president is hardly to forget the British soldiers in Afghanistan.

    This is followed in the comments section:

    “Well if that is what is deciding his foreign policy it just confirms my belief that he shouldn’t be President”

    Well it probably isn’t because you have no evidence for this, so perhaps you could stick to reality.

  4. I mostly agree; Obama has dealt poorly with UK (and EU) relations. However, assuming that the next presidential election will be between Obama and Palin (depending on the Tea Party’s influence), Palin won’t even think about the transatlantic relationship. Judging by other Conservative blogs who repeatedly attack Obama, “Republican” seems to be a toxic word among Conservatives at the moment, and with good cause.

  5. Doug, I don’t think we need to worry about Sarah Palin becoming the GOP presidential nominee for 2012 – Sarah Palin has a strong following amongst the Tea Party, but not amongst the mainstream GOP and definitely not amongst Republican-leaning independants. Back to the main thread, this is a clear example of Obama’s constant need to be all things to all people. The man has over-promised, utilising his strong oratory skills, and is under-delivering with his extremely poor leadership.

  6. You’ve proved my point to the word! With Huckabee (the most popular Republican presidential candidate) running on an equally right-wing agenda close to Palin, the Republican campaign shows signs of lurching to a very right-wing agenda in 2012, far beyond that of the Conservatives. You bash Obama on his record, but make no mention of the Republican “alternative.” American politics is a totally different kettle of fish to British politics, and supporting a US party on the basis of simple match-making is short-sighted at best.

  7. Doug, does
    “…assuming that the next presidential election will be between Obama and Palin..”

    not contradict

    “…Huckabee (the most popular Republican presidential candidate)…” ?

    My views are not based on simple match making. They are based on many many conversations I have had with US citizens who feel let down very badly by Obama, and now feel stupid for believing his rhetoric.
    I think Huckabee is the reason Palin will not win the nomination – he will split the Christian Right vote (who’s views, as you quite correctly state, are much further to the right than anything we have in the UK).
    Mitt Romney, another serious front runner, is fiscally conservative, and less socially conservative than Palin or Huckabee (although he is attemping to appear more socially conservative).

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