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A Comment on US UK "Special Relationship" Is it time to end it.

For years I've been a passionate admirer of the U.S. But recent events force me to ask: is it time to ditch our strongest ally?

Ever since World War I, there has been one solid plank of British foreign policy - the special relationship with the U.S. Two basic calculations lay behind this decision to stick with America through thick and thin.

The first was that we believed it stood for everything that was decent and true: freedom under law, democracy, human rights, freedom of expression.

There was also a more cynical consideration. Successive prime ministers have maintained that our selfish national interest benefited from standing blindly behind the U.S.


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Is it now time to end our unspecial relationship with America and its president Barack Obama?

The belief has been that this country's security will benefit from defence and intelligence co-operation.

However, a number of recent events have led me to ask an important question: has the time come to ditch our oldest and strongest ally?

For evidence is growing that the U.S. can no longer be regarded as a loyal or trustworthy friend of Britain.

Even more worryingly, it's no longer clear that Barack Obama's administration represents the decent and humane values of which Britain has long been so proud.

As a result, standing by the traditional transatlantic alliance is beginning to be damaging to our reputation overseas and to our national interest.

For example, consider the appalling revelations contained in this week's speech to the House of Lords by the former MI5 spy chief Elizabeth Manningham-Buller.

Dame Elizabeth shockingly disclosed that U.S. officials had deceived Britain over their use of torture following their capture of the Al Qaeda commander Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003.

She said that when she asked why he was talking so freely to his captors, she was cynically told he was boasting because he was proud of what he'd done.

The truth, she later found out, was that he had been subjected to the controversial torture technique known as waterboarding.

'It wasn't until after I retired that I read that he had been waterboarded 160 times,' she said. 'The Americans were keen to conceal from us what they were doing.'


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Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller revealed that Britain had been deceived by U.S. officials over their use of torture on terror suspects

This remarkable admission proves there was no trust in the relationship between British and U.S. intelligence chiefs - in complete contrast to the easy-going and harmonious relationship of popular myth.

This deception by the White House made Britain complicit in its barbaric and illegal behaviour, and thereby inflicted deep damage to our reputation around the globe.

Moreover, this revelation follows the controversial role played by the U.S. in the case of the terror suspect and torture victim Binyam Mohamed.

We now know that when U.S. officials leaned on British ministers to bring pressure to bear on our courts not to disclose information about his mistreatment (arguing that it would jeopardise the sharing of intelligence between the two countries), ironically, the same information had already been released by a U.S. court.

Indeed, our hapless Foreign Secretary David Miliband has sacrificed his reputation for ethical behaviour in his attempt to conceal British complicity with U.S. torture.

The British court's decision to release that information was said to be one of the reasons behind the Obama administration's coldness to Britain's concerns when Argentine forces recently started to menace the Falkland Islands in an uncomfortable echo of their 1982 invasion.

Britain was surely entitled to expect President Obama to come to the aid of an ally which, alone among European nations, has stood loyally alongside the U.S. in its two greatest conflicts of recent times - Afghanistan and Iraq.

Thousands of British soldiers have been injured in these hideous conflicts and many hundreds killed.


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Foreign Secretary David Miliband has attempted to conceal British complicity with U.S. torture

But their sacrifice, the support of the British public and the loyalty of successive prime ministers (despite the huge problems it causes in the polls) has apparently counted for nothing with the U.S..

Obama's team made the coldhearted calculation to stay neutral in the Argentine standoff, thus seeming to condone the menace to dearly held British interests and citizens.

Perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised.

For the U.S. is also the country that has launched a long and deeply shameful campaign of persecution against Gary McKinnon, a British citizen who hacked into Pentagon computers in a misguided quest for information about UFOs.

The U.S. authorities' campaign to extradite him to face trial there is devoid of all humanity, decency and compassion. American prosecutors have been told many times that they risk inflicting the most appalling mental damage on McKinnon, who has Asperger's.

They have been told that a psychiatric report has warned that suicide was an 'almost certain inevitability' should he be extradited and that he is, beyond all doubt, not an Al Qaeda spy.

Sadly, in this instance, the Americans seem to be driven by sheer vindictiveness over a dysfunctional young man who humiliated the Pentagon.

Another case of a different order, but indicative of the strain between London and Washington, concerns the fate of Cadbury.

For almost two centuries, it has been one of Britain's proudest companies and a model of corporate governance. Yet it was the subject of a vicious take-over battle by U.S. giant Kraft Foods (which was advised by the amoral U.S. investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley). Within weeks, in a shameful breach of promise, Kraft announced it was to close the Cadbury plant in Somerdale, near Bristol, with the loss of 400 jobs. It is also likely that the company pension scheme will come under threat.

Yet Kraft chief executive Irene Rosenfeld has contemptuously turned down a request to be questioned by a committee of MPs who are investigating the takeover.

Many blame this new era of anti-Britishness on the election 16 months ago of President Obama, whose anti-colonialism has been traced to stories of his grandfather having been imprisoned and tortured by the British in Kenya in the Fifties.

But this is not the principal reason. The Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Ron Suskind has revealed recently that the CIA withheld vital information from British intelligence over Saddam Hussein's alleged development of weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the


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Former U.S. president and former prime minister Tony Blair

So even while Tony Blair was at his most prostrate in front of President George W. Bush, U.S. intelligence bosses had no hesitation in deceiving us.

For many years I have been a passionate admirer of the U.S. and never had the slightest doubt that Britain was utterly right to stand by the Americans in the long Cold War against the Soviet Union.

But I have come to believe - and it pains me terribly to say this - that U.S. values are no longer civilised values.

In recent years, there have been too many troubling and hideous episodes, ranging from the abuse of human rights at Guantanamo Bay to the horrors inflicted on Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib jail and the U.S. security services' immoral recourse to torturing terror suspects.

The time has come to work out a fresh and much more distant relationship with the U.S.. For too long, British politicians - with Tony Blair merely the most abject example - have humbled themselves before U.S. presidents. This strategy has clearly been unsuccessful.

Significantly, Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, a country with a population of seven million, has demonstrated again and again that it's more effective to defy the U.S. and treat it with contempt.

Only this week, the Israeli government announced a plan to build hundreds of homes in disputed east Jerusalem in defiance of the wishes of U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, who was on a visit to Israel.

The U.S. government has shown over and over again that it is prepared to stand by Israel while ignoring that country's many abuses of human rights.

Maybe if our politicians stood up more to our American cousins, they would treat us with more respect - and honesty.


Added: Mar-11-2010 Occurred On: Mar-11-2010
By: 24038462
In:
Iraq, Afghanistan, News, LiveLeaks
Tags: uk, us, specia;, relations, blair, brown, bush, obama,
Views: 6651 | Comments: 33 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • A little pompus and Naive me thinks, but nontheless true. Hey GLOBALIZATION is a tough dirty business for the neocon,liberal elites.

    And the "division" continues from the great uniter...ugggh

    Black is white, Right is Wrong, Evil is Good. Time to re-read Orwell's 1984 folks.

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • Globalization is essential to free trade. Capitalism is the future of the human race, don't like it? Go live in DPRK, IRI, or some random 3rd world country.

      That being said, it doesn't have to resort to a master slave scenario. Just because the current system is exploited by a few doesn't mean the system itself is bad.

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • United we stand....devided we fall.

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • Both of our countrys are suffering casualties but with the partisan bickering going on it seems almost like devided we stand...united we fall.

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • i still like and respect the american people, just not the goverment

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • As I do the peoples of Britain!!!!

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • I feel the same way about our government in the states.

      The UK is in a similar situation as well.. mass-immigration, deficits, the end of privacy (cameras everywhere), and your close proximity and ties to the UN.

      The American people need to stand up for our freedoms and against our two ruling parties. I hope the UK does the same by voting for the peoples interests, by voting for the BNP and UKIP =]

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • Our progressive president prefers the company of dictators and thugs. He can relate with those people. Besides, the UK is way to full of icky white people for him. He has "new" friends to help him bring his dream of Marxism to the US.

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • Comment of user 'ReplicantDeckard' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • I think your Obamah.Has not forgiven us for what we did to one of his distant relatives.Who I believe was a Mau Mau Terrorist in Kenya.
      Women and baby killers,cutting the tendons of cattle and leaving them.Taking drugs so the thought they were invincible.
      They were not.

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • Could you provide some evidence that Obama has ever had anything to do with this man?

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • The story goes that the Brits flogged obama's paternal grandfather... who was allegedly involved with the Mau Mau terrorists. It is difficult to believe that this fact (?) would influence obama to such an extent as to corrode relations with the strongest strategic and economic partner of the U.S. I believe he has led a cloistered life and is simply not worldly nor prepared to listen to advice from his handlers.

      Britain became a part of the European Union (as distinct from being an autonomous na More..

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • I think the Brits should do what they think is best. I dont want them to have to follow us blindly into every conflict we have. The same applies to us, we help others out even when its not in our best interest and it cost us dearly.

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • Comment of user 'gregory_peckory' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I think it is time you ditch hussein obama the destroyer of capitalism...

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • you must be a muslim living in the uk, if not..brake ties with us. when things go bad enough for you, don't come crying for us to fight your damn battles for you, like you always do. if you don't like the way they are treated at gitmo, welcome them in the uk, they have taken over your country any damn way

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • Ive never liked the yanks anyway. Fcuk em.

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • As far as the Anglo American alliance; we are a common race and share common values. Allies are important, in times of war and in times of peace. Just because Obama is too dumb to understand that, don't let yourself get clouded.

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • I see 2 things that make us (as 2 countries) stand together.

    UNITED in both names.

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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  • Your britain facilitated ( at best neglected ) the Starvation of many Irish people - - - while your ( subjects ) ! ! ! Dieing slowly before your eyes - - - your people ( british ) - - - Stole their Land -Property - Liberty - Freedom - - - AND THEIR LIVES ! ! ! And now your gov't is doing the same thing to you and your countrymen ! ! ! Then I read this - - - Steaming Pile of Arrogant Ignorance ! ! ! Your country doesn't deserve our allegence - although we give it ! ! ! If you no longer want More..

    Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • shut up you fuking prick, our soldiers are dying in Afghanistan for your country and its people, we were not attacked but we acted because we have a bond with America and value what it stands for. By the way the UK white population is around 90% to 94% so there will be no sharia law, ever.

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • Comment of user 'BasilHoneycup' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Free Ireland!

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • Here in the Colonies - - - We have many Rights - - - one of which is the First Ammendment - - - Freedom of Speech - - - It is a Bitch isnt it ! ! ! People are dying from countries all over the World ( Respect to the Britsh Military ) - - - Fighing against IslamFascism Terrorists - - - Not just your people from your little island ! ! ! Such a narrow view of the world around you ! ! !

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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    • Not retarded - - - PISSED OFF ! ! ! Maybe restraint was in order ! ! ! I am a work in progress ! ! !

      Posted Mar-11-2010 By 

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