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Not to be cruel, but the UK is hardly our only major ally. We can also look to Canada, Australia and Japan for support in the future. I think our relationship with the UK will not deteriorate. After all, what does the UK have to gain by breaking our long-standing alliance? British colonial history is more than enough excuse for terrorism to continue on its shores, even without the alliance with America.

We may lose Europe, which would be a shame. But to a certain degree, it's not up to us what Europe chooses; after all, the European countries are at least nominally democratic.


"The United States must implement a sustained and effective public diplomacy campaign aimed at winning over hearts and minds in the United Kingdom." I don't mean any disrespect but this seems humorous. I don't think that's realistic. We need to get more real and understand why that is fundamentally flawed if there is to be any hope.

If America wants to maintain a strong offense and defense against Islamic fanaticism and stand for basic human rights such as freedom from tyranny and freedom of expression, I just don't know what we can do to help in the relationship. In this day and age where factual information is so readily available, to witness Europeans constantly believing erroneous and false representations of our intentions, actions, what we have been and who we now are is not only disheartening but disgusting. There is too much of a desire to wanna believe the negative and misleading and fill a need for their own self-esteem. To put it blunt, they want to see a big bad America.

Problems lie much deeper into the psyche and soul and a void in need of being filled. The 'progresive' Socialist multicultural platter is the easy solution and for obvious scapegoat reasons.

I think much of the article is well written article but I'm not so sure if we lose Britain, we become friendless... I agree with JF. But that said I'm not sure we will even lose Britain because it may be more difficult to play the blame game when not only Blair, but Bush is gone. And if large-scale terror strikes continue on the isle or continent there may be a change of perspective over the nature of the threat of Islam and the need for a wake-up call, which may help unify our nations.


Steevo, agreed. But I think that even before the foreign policy in Britain can change, domestic policy must change. Britain needs to claw back more sovereignty from the EU so that it can crack down on its homegrown Islamists, otherwise the rest is moot.

As the Conservative Party no longer seems interested in protecting sovereignty, I wonder if the third parties can provide a solution. I know the BNP is considered to be fascist, so perhaps UKIP is a reasonable alternative. But I'm not up to date on Britain's domestic politics, so UKIP may not be a significant force. Can any of the British readers clarify?

Drew SW London

"The European Convention on Human Rights, introduced into British law by the Blair government through the Human Rights Act of 1998..."

This is a lie direct. His Majesty's Government's lawyers drafted much of the 1950 declaration and HMG acceded to its terms at that time. Already enshrined in law (there is no British law, by the way, as any Scot will tell you) by that treaty, the HRA merely eliminated the need to seek redress under the Convention in a non-UK court.

I doubt if many American citizens would put up with so few rights as the ECHR actually provides - in such areas, for example, as freedom of expression.

Confronted with ill-informed and patronising comments such as this, perhaps "the stunning rise of anti-Americanism in Britain" is rather less surprising than you suggest.


JF, UKIP is a largely spent force politically. It enjoyed a brief moment in the sunshine three years ago when it enjoyed the support of Robert Kilroy Silk, a minor TV celebrity on these shores. Unfair though it may be, it is viewed as a single issue party - and so unlikely to make any kind of electoral break through.

I don't agree with much of what passes for "analysis" of America or it's politics in Britain or the Continent, but I don't think this should be an excuse for a self-pitying "damn them all" attitude on the part of Americans. Even judged on conservative terms George W. Bush has been a hopeless president; that this should have made folks in Britain less amenable to the alliance with America should be expected.

From a wider perspective, I think the author seriously overstates the importance that American politicians attach to the relationship with Britain.

Mary Fernandez

Oye gevalt!

I have to agree with Steevo and JF. To suggest the way to bring America back into British hearts is a PR campaign is ludicrous. If the 400 years since Jamestown hasn't endeared you to us, a PR campaign won't do it. George Bush isn't the cause of anti-Americanism. Even if you don't like him, he's hardly enough to tear such a long lasting familial relationship asunder. He is a symptom. It is not Americans who are changing, it is the British.

The last two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall has been like watching a frog boil. (And I think 'frog' is appropriate metaphor.) Simultaneous with rapid, unassimilated immigration, there high rate of expatriation for fed-up Brits. Those left behind are rapidly abandoning 1,000 years of English common law for this undemocratic monstrosity called the EU. Christianity and even secularism are being swallowed up by Islam. While you're always welcome here, Britain is being resigned to the left, exclusively pro-European and anti-American. We Anglophiles in the U.S. have had to watch in horror.

Americans can only provide a tether for like minded Brits. In the end, it is up to you to convince your fellow countrymen about what they are giving up.


Thank you, James. So it is up to the Conservatives, then, but with David Cameron in power, it looks like it will take yet another generation before the Conservatives are again ready to challenge the idea of an ever closer union.

I don't agree with much of what passes for "analysis" of America or it's politics in Britain or the Continent, but I don't think this should be an excuse for a self-pitying "damn them all" attitude on the part of Americans. Even judged on conservative terms George W. Bush has been a hopeless president

I don't think Americans take a "damn them all" attitude; no matter what they say, everyone wants to be liked and admired. So do we. But I think Americans are not prepared to sacrifice their values to be liked--we're willing to be patient and wait for the world to come back to us, rather than chase down the ever fickle opinion of the "international community."

As far as GWB, he's turned out to be a far more complicated President than any side anticipated. As a conservative, he has had his stellar moments: two massive tax cuts; the installation of two solid conservative Supreme Court justices, which will tilt the balance for generations; and of course, the strengthening of the American military and the prosecution of the war on terror.

But Bush has, as you point out, some critical flaws. Once he makes a decision, he will stay with it no matter what the data reveal. That has led to him attempting to appoint his crony Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, thankfully shot down. It has led to him hanging on to Donald Rumsfeld beyond his ability to serve effectively (I'll reserve judgment on the correctness of his vision until a decade has passed). And the coup de grâce to conservative solidarity has been his attempt to ram through his illegal alien amnesty bill against all reason.

I used to think that history would look more kindly on Bush 43 than the current media environment allows, but beyond the sheer derangement of the Left, he certainly has a lot to answer for to the conservative movement.

that this should have made folks in Britain less amenable to the alliance with America should be expected

I'm afraid this is the self-pitying attitude that you were criticizing earlier. As far as Afghanistan is concerned, that is an obligation of Britain as a member of NATO, and has little to do with Bush. The cause there is unequivocally just. As far as blaming anti-Americanism on Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, I would just remind you that British intelligence played no small part in that decision.

It will be interesting to see if anti-Americanism does diminish after Bush leaves office, or if the antagonism is due to more lasting flaws in our relationship (such as continuing British grievances over friendly fire incidents, the NatWest Three, and Kyoto, to name a few).

From a wider perspective, I think the author seriously overstates the importance that American politicians attach to the relationship with Britain.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with this sentiment. Making concessions to Britain (as odd as that sounds to say when speaking of our closest ally) does not win elections in the US.

Da Coyote

Although I personally value our allies across the pond, I must say that American politicians are very unlikely to court the British electorate (as of the moment they aren't even courting the American electorate!) both because British goodwill doesn't win elections and because of the very American "virtue" that sees America (mostly DC, NY & South Cal) as the center of the world while places like the UK, Japan & Canada are only as valuable as what they can contribute towards the domestic battle for political power.

The few Americans that are even aware that the EU is trying to enthrall the Lion are split into two groups: one that doesn't think the EU is a threat to America either militarily or ecomomically, and one that sees the EU's dominance over Europe as a prelude to an eventual UN global government. Neither see the rise of the EU as having an impact on American elections or impacting the gay marriage/abortion/immigration debate, and thus is of no real importance.

Honestly, there is so much alarm here in the states about the UN, the so-called North American Union, and the Law of the Sea treaty (not to mention the idiots with their 9/11 conspiracy theories) that most Americans simply aren't aware of the EU beyond the occasional reference to the Euro.

Maybe Jon Tuffley's "New Anglian Confederation" isn't such a bad idea after all.

Simon Newman

I don't see how an America less concerned to 'project power on the world stage' would result in long-term decline - judging by the examples of past empires, the reverse is more likely true; that over-extension risks hollowing out the Republic.

Re the risks to the US-UK alliance, I doubt Al Qaeda terrorism is much of a threat in the short to medium term, us Brits are still not much for letting terrorism change us, despite the BBC's best efforts. Possibly a major nuclear attack on London could do it, but they'd have to get the timing just right, link it to a particular political action, and in any case I'd probably be dead, so why worry...

Destruction of the UK as an independent country within the EU is a much more immediate threat - just as the UK can't have an alliance with California, it's hard to see how the USA could have an alliance with the UK when the UK is just a part of the EU state.

Simon Newman

I agree with comments that destruction of Britain within the EU (which may be completed within the next few years if the new Treaty goes into effect) will not necessarily leave the USA friendless; Australia is probably the USA's most useful and closest long-term ally, and the alliance with Japan is likely to remain close as Japan seeks a counterweight to China in the Pacific. Indeed the relative decline of the USA relative to China may make this more important.

Canada is a bit different - its location in America's shadow means that unlike Australia and Japan it faces no conceivable military threat (other than a theoretical one from the USA itself); and where Australia under Howard has recently been strong in asserting Anglosphere values of liberty & the rule of law, Canada seems increasingly socialist, welfare-statist and generally 'European'. Canada will never be a threat or enemy to the USA but Canadian politicians have much to gain and little to lose from an anti-US stance.


Simon Newman, while I generally agree with your post, Canada is far more vulnerable to an American backlash than you imagine. We are, by far, its most important trading partner, and if our softwood lumber dispute was any indication, we could make life extremely difficult for Canada were it to choose to realign against us. Canadian politicians may be able to squeeze an election out of America-bashing, but the blowback would certainly cause much longer term damage. Canada's economy is so intertwined with ours that it can never pull away from the US to the same degree that the UK is planning.

That said, Stephen Harper appears to be moving the country in the right direction, even if it is only incrementally, so I don't think the danger of such a blow-up is likely in the short term.


Blair would make a good ambassador to the U.S. If not in an offical capacity then as a private citizen in industry. There is a tremendous amount of goodwill toward him here. I listened to his speech to a joint session of Congress several times. I greatly admire the man. This part made my heart swell:

"But, members of Congress, don't ever apologize for your values.

Tell the world why you're proud of America. Tell them when the Star-Spangled Banner starts, Americans get to their feet, Hispanics, Irish, Italians, Central Europeans, East Europeans, Jews, Muslims, white, Asian, black, those who go back to the early settlers and those whose English is the same as some New York cab driver's I've dealt with ... but whose sons and daughters could run for this Congress.

Tell them why Americans, one and all, stand upright and respectful. Not because some state official told them to, but because whatever race, color, class or creed they are, being American means being free. That's why they're proud."

When my country is attacked I always think of Blair saying "never apologize..."

Mary Fernandez

Popular Democracy Triumphs!

Ding Dong the immigration bill is dead!

Mary Fernandez

Sorry if the above is a bit of inside baseball, but I'm hoping you guys get your referendum on the EU Treaty. The Senate received so many calls from outraged Americans, that the switchboard crashed. Maybe the same will work for Britain (especially, if Gordon wants to prove he's different from Blair).

On the other hand, I don't like his choice for Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, and I absolutely loathe Mark Malloch Brown. (Malloch Brown did his utmost to alienate Americans as Deputy Secretary General of the UN.)


"Re the risks to the US-UK alliance, I doubt "Re the risks to the US-UK alliance, I doubt Al Qaeda terrorism is much of a threat in the short to medium term, us Brits are still not much for letting terrorism change us, despite the BBC's best efforts. Possibly a major nuclear attack on London could do it, but they'd have to get the timing just right, link it to a particular political action, and in any case I'd probably be dead, so why worry..."


Simon Newman

JF - I take your points re Canada; Canada is certainly vulnerable to the US in trade terms; as with the levy on Canadian maple syrup which I believe is still in effect, forcing Americans to eat that horrible fake mapleen stuff! :)


I think most of our finest is dripping from Vermont, Simon. Medium Amber.


Simon, indeed--we all have much to gain from free trade! Corn syrup just isn't the same as the real thing.

Simon Newman

Vermont syrup is great, but it would be nice to get real syrup at IHOP, and Vermont's few producers can't meet demand at a reasonable price.


It is rather expensive but I don't know if its any more than Canadian which is also great, I can't tell any difference in quality. Fortunately we've never had a problem obtaining either and we're in our Pacific Northwest. It is such a treat, really a luxury and I heartily recommend Brits who plan on visiting to look for a pint... and enjoy. :-)

Simon Newman

Steevo - my (laboured) point in the UK and the rest of the world Canadian maple syrup is much cheaper than in the USA, where Vermont maple-farmers have ensured there's a huge protectionist levy on imports of syrup from Canada. Vermont syrup is expensive because there's not much of it.


More nonsense from Nile I see...

1) Nile appears totally blinkered in that he imagines Americans see the UK as he sees the US. It's a vain fallacy. As several posters here have pointed out - the US likes the UK, but the relationship is no more special than that with Australia or Japan. Nile would do well to remember Reagan over Grenada, Kirkpatrick over the Falklands, and Eisenhower over Suez - the US is quite capable of abandoning Britain should it deem doing so to serve their interests. The special relationship exists only when the US and UK interests coincide - they won't on every issue.

2) The idea that Blair is an unrewarded poodle, is not hugely unfair, it is hugely apt. Blair has acquiesed to the US administrations demands, and received precious little in return. Witness in particular the Pentagon ripping up the State Department's plan for post-war Iraq as a case in point.

3) The ECHR has nothing to do with EU. American policymakers have always viewed Britain as a valuable ally as it was 'their man' in Europe. Withdrawing from the EU won't endear us to Washington.

4) If the UK is as subservient as Nile would wish, then I doubt it would bring a more global perspective to US policy-making. If you really think that the US is too isolated in it's opinions, then you need someone to go in and offer alternative opinions, not to just nod along with whatever garbage is being spouted by the White House.


Adam, how about some specifics for your second point? What has the US demanded from the UK that were against the UK interests, and what has the UK demanded from the US that the US refused to provide? We're all aware of the grudges over the friendly fire incidents (highly regrettable), the NatWest Three, and Kyoto, but considering how insignificant those are in view of the overall relationship, what else did you have in mind?

Simon Newman

"The ECHR has nothing to do with EU"

Not true - the Court is not an EU body but you have to sign up to the European Convention of Human Rights, and thus agree to obey the Court's verdicts, to be in the EU.



Re: point 4, I think Blair was right in thinking Americans are more responsive to people they see as sympathetic to their ideas--unsurprisingly. Britain probably does have far more influence on American policy-making from the inside, as a partner, than she would have if she tried, say, the recent French methods of diplomacy:).

If America gets into an uncompromising mood, the way we did with Iraq, Britain can say, "well, we're with you--we've committed political and military resources to this, but are you sure you want to do it this way...?" It's far more effective!

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