« All you need to know: 24th January 2008 | Main | Was this the moment when McCain sealed the GOP nomination? »

Comments

Maduka

Glad to know that Brits still love America.

This is off-topic
I would love to get your thoughts on this:

Islamic Terrorism is still our most serious immediate threat, but I see two threats looming in the horizon - China and Europe.

China and Europe are very different yet similar - I feel they are:
1. They are both not clearly defined.
2. They are both very long term projects.
3. They both have significant cultural, economic, diplomatic and military power.

I heard that Tony Blair is the preferred candidate for the Presidency of Europe. Please exactly what does that mean? I also hear (from people like Berlusconi) of a Europe that stretches from Ireland to Vladivostock - is that a possibility or a pipe dream?

Can anyone hazard a guess on what type of Europe we will see in 30 years time?

China is communist (in all but name). With a KMT government in power in Taipei and increased interdependence between Taiwan and Beijing, isn't reapproachment between Taipei and Beijing more likely than open conflict?

Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore believes that the Chinese Communist Party will morph into a Chinese version of the LDP or the Singaporean ruling party. A China-Japan reapproachement could be possible sometime in the future.

Could we have an Asia led by China/Japan sooner than later?

With a Europe led by France/Germany (and possibly Russia) and an Asia led by China/Japan - where does that leave Britain? Where does that leave America?

Is it too early to ask or should be we leave the answer to our children?

Emma

The more interesting question/poll would be:

1) How do Americans feel about Brits?

2) What do Americans think about Europeans?

You really don't want to know the answers to those questions.

The only reason Brits might consider Americans in a positive manner is because they think we will always come to their rescue - reluctantly.

Don't count on it now. The damage is done. Even the most "obtuse" among us feel the antipathy and lack of regard for the US.

Brits always say, "Hey mate! We don't dislike *you*! It's just your stupid president(s) and their insane foreign policies. Can't take a little friendly advice? It's for your own good. Because, of course, we know best".

We elect our representatives, and WE elect the president of the US. In the end, with exception of a kook fringe that sides with the European/UK socialist view, you insult the majority of Americans who dislike what you stand for.

In the future why not slag the Russians? They're worthy of criticism, and they're closer to your country. Take them on. But that would take courage, wouldn't it? It's easier to continue the limp-wristed hissing and spitting in an ally's face, isn't it?

It takes courage to face a true foe.

I have plenty of criticisms of your country, and the Yanks I know consider you to be a shaky ally at best. With the exception of some factions of your military we consider Brits to be cowards.

You fight your allies and roll over for your enemies.

Take some friendly advice, mates. Grow a spine, and start acting like the miserable sods that the English once were. Most of the world hated you, but at least you were respected.

The thing that always gets me about England is that they end up begging for help and counting on their former colonies to come to their rescue.

And they still insist on meddling in the affairs of others.

What county in the US will the Guardianstas target for a swing vote in this presidential election?

jdun

Well I can't only speak for myself and the the people that I hang out with. We think that the Britain is an unreliable weak ally. We think most Western European in general are weak, can't be depend on, and got fat on welfare checks. To us the Brits and Europeans don't know how to fight and whines at countries that they know will hold their punch like the USA but fear to criticize dictators like Putin and the Chinese.

Since Operation Anaconda the US military lost faith in the British fighting force. It has been reinforced by the the British's Sailors and Marine that got captured by Iran without a fight.

There is a strong push in the USA that we should leave Western Europe and move East where there are more dependable allies that willing to fight for freedom.

Malcolm Dunn

Nice comments above! Personally I'm not suprised by the numbers in the Guardian poll. Only a little disapointed that 29% look first to Europe. We Eurosceptics have more work to do!

Steevo

Some honest posters here.

Jonathan Powell

If I didn't know better I'd say "Emma" was the same person is "Ami". I wonder if they're part of the same coven...

Arbiter

Emma,

Well you don't pull your punches. I'll give you that.

You talk about us doing damage? Well know this: you are doing damage too, with that post of yours. Don't make yourself out to be a victim in this.

Ok. WW2 - thank you for backing us up/ saving us (that is genuinely meant - I am not patronizing.) But I rather hoped that it would be a given, rather than it having to be said.

Coming to an ally's aid in war is a privilege, not a right. We were privileged to have you stand by us and will be eternally grateful for it.

We supported you in Iraq and Afghanistan. Alright, we have made mistakes and we have not prosecuted the wars as well as you have (eventually!). But bear in mind two things:
1. Given that you have a larger population and economy than us, you would naturally be superior in troop numbers and equipment.
2. Our troops have suffered on occasion from poor political leadership (Blair in end stage; Brown all the way)

But we backed you up! Unlike some other countries. And with those comments, you desecrate the memories of those solidiers who died to fight your wars. A little gratitude would not have gone amiss.

You want to talk about courage? Look at Blair when he fought to get Iraq approved in Parliament. Bush got carte blanche with no resistance; Blair had to combat MPs, abusive citizens, hostile media and he won.

Plus if you judge a nation's attitude by the people you elect, well we elected Blair in 2005 - two years after Iraq. And no matter what you may think, the American right love Blair and think him a hero. (Before you say, his MPs got rid of him; not the people).

Iran - a true embarrassment which we have to live with. But be honest - could UK/US forces honestly afford to fight Iran on top of Iraq and Afghanistan? We are both overstretched and diplomacy was the only way then. If you're going to start a fight, be sure you can win it. Otherwise, wait and pick it at another time.

I did not realize that toughness was the only virtue that America valued. In fact, much of your literature - comic books, particularly - take pride in America helping those who cannot help themselves.

Toughness is not what makes America great. I'll tell you what makes America great:
1. They are probably the best mannered people I have met;
2. They are certainly the most adventurous e.g. Nasa and the Moon;
3. Their refusal to see failure as the end of all things;
4. Their sense of optimism and hope and belief in the chance at redemption;
5. Their brilliant tv shows such as the Wire and the Shield.

If you're going to lambast other countries because they're not "tough" and "weak" - then how do you expect to be perceived? The playground bully? Fear only lasts so long - liking and loving can get you a lot further.

Ami

Oh Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan, you numpty. Am I also jdun? I don't need multiple IDs to promote my position, it exists whether you are willing to believe it or not. There is a growing and intense dislike of Europe and Britain here. How long did you think you would be able to pour hate on the American people and the American government before there was a reaction?

The only thing that keeps it underwraps is that Americans are still a little umcomfortable turning on someone that for far too many years they believed was a friend. You refuse to believe that there are a lot of Emmas, jdun, and Amis out here. That's not my problem, but it may be yours.

If I have something to say, I assure you I will say it as Ami, and would never tread on Emma's toes as she has the right to speak for herself.

Jonathan Powell

No, Ami, I wouldn't confuse you with jdun. At least he/she makes a halfway coherent argument instead of just spouting hate-filled ignorant b.s. like a rabble-rousing demagogue, which is the style you and Emma like to employ.

I realize their are prejudiced morons in America just as there are here (heard of the BNP? I'm sure if you were British you'd be a fully paid up member) but I do refuse to believe there is much appetite for your brand of xenophobia. Frankly, it's un-American.

S_baker

Arbiter,

I am not sure how to start. I will say this as an American Army Officer I would have no problem having an officer from the British Army as a Commander. As I said before I consider you closer than cousins, you are my brothers and sisters. However, having said that, tell your fellow citizens to lay off the anti-american stuff. It is really getting old. I makes me want to become an isolationist, and I think ultiamtely that would be a bad thing. I personally want to see closer ties between our teo countries. We have much to offer each other, but you can keep the Nanny state and east asian muslims!

Ami

LOL! Admit it, Jonathan, it was the word "numpty" that really got under your skin, wasn't it?

You can call me all the names you would like, and it still won't change the fact that Americans are growing sick and tired of you.

Joanna Wood

Ami, aren't you being just a little too strong? The main problem Americans tend to have with Britain is that it's not holding true to what we see as British values--and it is _that_ that we see as a betrayal of all that America stands for as well. And I think to a certain extent it's a just criticism. The reason Britain and the Commonwealth have tended to be so close to the U.S. in the past is that we have similar views on the use of force, for example--though family solidarity and sheer habit can have something to do with it as well. As Britain turns away from traditional Anglo-whatever values and beliefs, the relationship does get weaker. This isn't a matter of toughness--it's a matter of independence and national identity.

That said, I have the highest respect for Britain's military and its traditions--I have less respect for Britain's political leadership. As I recall, the U.S. has been fighting British defense cuts at least since Margaret Thatcher's time in office. It's difficult even for excellent troops to be effective with inept leadership and insufficient equipment. British troops in Iraq have built up a reputation for always borrowing equipment--which is not their fault--it's their government's. As I recall, the defense budget has shrunk during Tony Blair's time in office.

Arbiter, I agree with you on Blair. You all did reelect him, and to a certain extent, you were due some disillusionment. Iraq was not handled well, and we may have presumed on your generosity. But we are a nation that having identified a problem will not give it up for any nation or organization's say-so, and Britain should not expect otherwise. Independence is a virtue you stamped into us in 1776, and we've never forgotten it:).

Arbiter

S Baker - I agree with what you say. I also value our close ties and I too find this anti-Americanism/ anti-British sentiment dispiriting and depressing. Trolls will always exist and it is easier to be against something/someone rather than for it/them. Fortunately, many British people do not feel this antipathy, as suggested by the poll, but I agree: more must be done to combat this. It would be a very dark day indeed were America to go down the path of isolationism.


Joanna Wood - You are spot on about the defence cuts and until we do something about it, we will continue to decline. It was never about generosity to serve alongside US troops: it is a privilege, an honour and a duty. We need to stop the terrorists at all costs. But the flawed presentation for the case for war in Iraq did not help matters at all.

However, I do not think that the charge of weakness and unreliability should be levelled at us unreservedly, as Emma and jdun have done, not when our troops died in the field and not when other countries could not be bothered to serve, even though it was in their interests.

Competence and commitment, given the lack of resources and support by the Government, may not be wholly unjustified charges.

Ami

Joanna Wood,

I think you may have confused me with some other poster on the thread. I have never disparaged nor questioned Britain's "toughness" as it isn't anything that concerns me. The biggest issue that I have with the British is hypocrisy. I take issue with Britain's eternal lecturing, its persistent and annoying nagging, scolding, constant reproach, constant criticisms, and their very public censure of everything that we do, and then have the gall to tell us it is all in the name of "friendship." I don't treat my "friends" that way and then expect to keep them.

When was the last time you heard Britain praise the US for anything? They are more apt to heap praise on Russia or China than their "friend," the United States. I don't mind that they criticize us, but I do mind them calling us "friends" in the same breath. That is the crux of my problem with the British. Was I too harsh? :-)

If the British spent half of the time addressing their own problems instead of haranging the US in what they percieve as ours, they would still have an empire and we would still be the colonies.

My God, I can't even stand the GEICO gecko anymore, that's how sick of the British I am.

Malcolm Dunn

Then why do you keep coming onto this blog making the same points again and again? This is the Britain and America blog after all.

Steevo

So true Ami. The hypocrisy posturing to know better is so deeply ingrained in self-delusion, with so many nowadays. Things could be SO different if there was depth regarding respect for another people.

Ami

Oh, I see Malcolm, I should only come to this site if I want to hold hands and sing kumbiya with our British "cousins." I have no doubt that I would be more welcomed if I were to bash America, mildly of course, and agree with the soft insults that so many British find necessary to offer to their dear American friends. And, my goodness, wouldn't I be popular if I agreed with all of the advice that the British think we need concerning our elections, our healthcare system, our second amendment, and everything else we do?

I have noticed so many new names on this site, Malcolm, what has happened to the Americans who used to come here regularly? Didn't they agree with the British world view? Did they eventually leave you to continue the conversation you're having with yourself? I'll do the same. Happy now?

Steevo

That is a point I'm contemplating. I hope you're not completely committed, yet.

I really think Tim needs to make a serious change in subject matter. Stuff that's mostly void of the political and the serious temptation to continue to tell Americans how to do it.

I can imagine this forum months from now being all Brits getting off their real meaning for life.

Ami

The British have a funny way of showing their love, don't you think, Steevo? Yes, I'm quite done with the British, but I do wish you well and have always appreciated your posts. Take care.

Malcolm Dunn

Yes, very happy Ami.

Adam

Two points I feel are worth making:

It is a mistake to assume that the views expressed by the British press accurately reflect those of the British public – they don’t, particularly attitudes towards America (as indicated by this poll). Indeed, is this not the point of this blog?

Several of the posters above appear to have made this fundamental error. Although, they do make very valid points about recent British dithering.

I think part of the problem is that [Great] Britain appears to be losing a great deal of her cultural self confidence. Tighter integration with the European Union must be considered as one of the likely causes.

The US has been actively encouraging closer European ties since the end of World War II (for obvious & understandable reasons). I think it’s time this message was updated to discourage full UK integration and strategies devised for an enhanced transatlantic relationship (TAFTA being an obvious one).

I genuinely believe that changes are required on both sides of the pond.

jdun

Here is the latest example of what we think of Britain from a popular American Blog.
http://minx.cc/?post=253229

We use Britain and Western Europe as an example of not being the ideal State that the US like to become.

The closer ties between America and Western Europeans has seen considerable strain in the past decade and might not be able to mend. For a lack of better wolds there is hatred toward Western Europeans by the American people. Go to any American forums/blogs (political, social networking, gaming, etc) you will find some dislike toward the Western Europeans.

jdun

I really think Tim needs to make a serious change in subject matter. Stuff that's mostly void of the political and the serious temptation to continue to tell Americans how to do it.

---------------------

And this is the reason why their so much hatred toward the British and Western European. You guys whine, bitch, and complain until your ass fall off.

You look at Kosovo. A small region that the European can't stop the figthing. They beg the US to help them stop the fighting and we did without any bitching. When it comes time for us to ask help from Western Europeans countries what we get are lectures and a lot of whining. There are thousands of US troops in Kosovo and most US citizens would prefer to move them to Iraq and Afghanistan.

What can you expect from welfare states?

billm99uk

I know it's a pain when some Brits want to tell you who to elect for President, but, face it, a US president has a significant impact on what actually happens in the UK that just doesn't apply the other way around. It's just inevitable that some are going to want to stick their oar in...

Joanna

billm99uk,

I think there may be a difference of political culture involved as well. Americans may comment on European elections, but they do not expect that commentary to have any effect in the country in question. I remember being quite startled to see French papers taking time to note the reactions in American papers to Sarkozy and Royale's candidacies. We just don't think that way. We'd consider it extremely arrogant of us to tell the French how to vote.

As to an American president having a significant impact: Americans reacted so srongly to the Guardian's attempted interference in 2004 because yes, we do have this bad habit of treating Britain and other European countries as equals--and thus, expecting them to treat our elections as equally independent.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad

ExtremeTracker

  • Tracker