Let's see - how long have we had a relationship with the U.K.? Um, how about forever? Admittedly, in the early days, it was a bit rocky (ahem), but not only have they been one of our staunchest allies, they have also been one of our closest friends. Those days seem to be over now:
BRITAIN’S special relationship with the US — forged by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in the second world war — no longer exists, says a committee of influential MPs.
Instead, America’s relationship with Britain is no more special than with its other main allies, according to a report by the Commons foreign affairs committee published today.
The report also warns that the perception of the UK after the Iraq war as America’s “subservient poodle” has been highly damaging to Britain’s reputation and interests around the world. The MPs conclude that British prime ministers have to learn to be less deferential to US presidents and be “willing to say no” to America.
The report, entitled Global Security: UK-US Relations, says Britain’s relationship with America is “extremely close and valuable” in a number of areas, particularly intelligence co-operation. However, it adds that the use of the phrase special relationship, in its historical sense, “is potentially misleading and we recommend that its use should be avoided”.
Yikes. Sounds like they're telling us they're just not that into us anymore:
It does not reflect the “ever-evolving” relationship between the two countries and raises unrealistic expectations, the MPs say.
“Over the longer term, the UK is unlikely to be able to influence the US to the extent it has in the past,” the committee adds.
In an apparent rebuke to Tony Blair and his relationship with President George W Bush, the report says there are “many lessons” to be learnt from Britain’s political approach towards the US over Iraq.
“The perception that the British government was a subservient poodle to the US administration is widespread both among the British public and overseas,” the MPs say. “This perception, whatever its relation to reality, is deeply damaging to the reputation and interests of the UK.”
While the relationship between the American president and the British prime minister was an important part of dealings between the two countries, the cabinet and parliament also had a role to play. “The UK needs to be less deferential and more willing to say no to the US on those issues where the two countries’ interests and values diverge,” the MPs say.
They are also critical of the US use of extraordinary rendition and torture. The report calls for a comprehensive review of the use by the CIA of British bases, such as that on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, to carry out extraordinary rendition.
“The issues relating to rendition through Diego Garcia to which we have previously drawn attention raise disturbing questions about the uses to which US bases on British territory are put”, the MPs say.
They express regret at “considerable restraints” on the ability of both the government and parliament to scrutinise US activities carried out on British territory.
Hold the phone - I thought Obama was going to end all of that. Hmmm. Is it possible he lied to us. Impossible, right? Oh, yeah, sure:
“We recommend that the government should establish a comprehensive review of the current arrangements governing US military use of facilities within the UK and in British overseas territories.” The review should “identify shortcomings in the current system of scrutiny and oversight ... and report to parliament on proposals to remedy these”.
The report also demands a statement from the government on the implications of the Court of Appeal judgment regarding the alleged collusion of MI5 in the torture of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident.
Last month the court ordered the government to release evidence from American intelligence reports which showed that MI5 was aware of the torture.
Senior US officials subsequently suggested that releasing such evidence might prevent the US from sharing some intelligence with Britain.
Ah yes, the Obama "tit for tat." THAT should have been his campaign slogan, if you ask me. I thought Bush was bad about payback. Who knew it was going to be worse with Obama? Well, most of us, really, because we could tell he was an arrogant, petulant, immature, power hungry egotist.
Check out a sampling of some of the Comments following this article:
John Higgins wrote: As an American, I stand by Britain. Despite the idiot in the White House, and despite what a bunch of MPs say, we share a common history, have stood shoulder to shoulder on the field of battle; there is no other country to which America is more indebted, there are no other people which Americans could love more.
Emanuel Goldstein wrote: Special relationship - it takes two to tango. Mr Obama has mocked the UK, and our Royalty, whilst fraternising with tinpot dictators such as Chavez and Gaddaffi.
William Brown wrote: The UK needs must be wary of an America whose leadership stands in awe of Venezuela's Mr. Chavez and is likely to side with Argentina should occasion arise.
And this is one is along the same lines of Obama's treatment of Netanyahu. That would be his treatment of PM Gordon Brown:
adam jackson wrote:you brits should have called it off when our president gave brown a box of dvds he couldnt watch, and her majesty an ipod full of his own ramblings.
Yeah. That would be a reference to those tasteless, classless, CHEAP ass gifts the Obamas gave to the Browns on their first official visit. Beside the dvd's Brown couldn't watch, not just because he is going blind, but because they were not suitable for viewing in Europe, there were the cheap helicopters from the White House Gift Shop Michelle gave to the Brown's two boys. These would be cheap-ass gifts for anyone on their economic level, much less as the President of the United States. There was no thought, no care, no graciousness in those gifts at all. State Gifts, I might add, that are required by law. Pathetic.
Heck, they couldn't even be bothered to have a State Dinner for them. Oh, no. They can throw parties regularly to have the stars they want, and on our dime, even let that sexist pig JayZ into the Situation Room, but handle official duties with class and grace? Hah!
Then there was Obama giving back the bust of Churchill pretty much as soon as he got into the Oval Office. Yeah, that carried a bit of a sting for our friends across the Pond.
No wonder the U.K. is breaking up with us after all these years. Who could blame them?