Isn't it time we told the Americans 'NO' like the French do.

#1




For all the media talk, I never thought the relationship between Britain and America was unique. Surely if Britain has a special relationship with any North American country it is Canada not America. Canada even has our Queen as head of state and if you look through history the Canadian relationship has always been steadfast, from the 1812 War when they sided with us through to the First and Second World Wars, where they fought by our sides from the very start as part of the commonwealth forces.

Similarly Australia and New Zealand have always enjoyed a far more special relationship with Britain than the Americans. Indeed India, the jewel in the Crown of our Empire and a nation steadily increasing in power and influence on the global stage, has always had a unique and endearing relationship with Britain.

I don't recall playing the Americans at cricket or rugby, or enjoying the same jovial banter with them over sport in the way we do with say the Ozzies over the Ashes.

To be honest relations between Britain and America have at times been strained since the end of World War 2.

America's demands had to be met after World War 2 in order that they loaned us money to prevent imminent bankruptcy. The withdraw from Empire being one of these demands, as well as the partition of Palestine and a recognised jewish state of Israel, something Britain warned against, but as a nation bankrupted by war we had little say in the matter.

The relationship between Harold Wilson and Lyndon Johnson was also a particuarly low point in post war relations, with Harold Wilson refusing to send British forces to Vietnam. Indeed it is roumoured that the two men were barely on speaking terms.

Harold Wilson, Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War, 1964-68

The fact that the Americans also did little to stop Irish Terrorist fund raising within their country until after 9/11, saw many commentators question this new 'War on Terror'. Indeed where had the Americans been during Britain's war on terror and did they not realise that terrorist states from the middle east including Libya and Iraq had close links with Irish terrorist organisations.

Rod Liddle: We're their allies - so why aren't they ours? | World news | The Guardian

How France helped us win Falklands war, by John Nott - Telegraph

More recently Hillary Clinton's visit to Argentina and the American state departments 'kick in the treeth' to Britain over the Falklands was particuarly galling. Indeed on the very day she demanded that Britain negotiate with Argentina over the Falklands, two British soldiers were killed in Helmand province in Afghanistan. Although during the last Falklands War according to the then Defence Secretary John Nott it was the French who helped us any way, whilst America and the State Department dragged it's feet not wanting to get involved.

Obama Administration Backs Argentina Over U.K. on Falkland Dispute - FoxNews.com

Falkland Islands: The Special Relationship is now starting to seem very one-sided - Telegraph

Hillary Clinton slaps Britain in the face over the Falklands – Telegraph Blogs

This more recent kick in the teeth from the Obama Administration has had some British commentators suggesting that Britain withdraws it's 9.000 troops from Afghanistan and redeploys them to the South Atlantic in defence of the Falklands. The Americans State Department could then go to their South American friends to see if they would make up the numbers in Afghanistan and send their young lads to the front line to risk death, injury and disfigurement instead.

Think Defence

To be honest Clinton's intervention at a time when Britain was seeing heavy casualities in the US led War on Terror was particularly repulsive and also a slight to the 255 British Servicemen who died in the 1982 Falklands conflict. Britain having seen the sacrifice and bloodshed of over 600 of it's young men and women since the so called war on terror began, with many thousands more British Service personnel injured and horrible maimed. The war on terror has also cost Britain in financial terms over $30 Billion, a figure which is still accumulating, with new military action in Libya, following Britain's 40,000 strong force in Iraq and 10,000 strong force in Afghanistan. It is little wonder that after spending all this money, at a time of what is now global financial crisis (ironically caused by US Sub-Prime Mortage Crisis) that we are now having to impose military cuts and curb Defence spending, causing Robert Gates and the US to be critical of us and other European nations in the same boat.

BBC News - Cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan tops £20bn

As for France being Americas greatest ally, I seem to recall France sending all the American military forces packing from the country back in the 1960's, as well as France refusing to back America's War on Terror in Iraq. I also remember all those 'cheese eating surrender monkey' jibes in the American media.

Barack Obama declares France biggest ally in blow to Special Relationship with Britain | Mail Online

Barack Obama calls France America's strongest ally. The president gives Britain the boot again – Telegraph Blogs

The American Spectator : Cruising for Trouble

Britain is home to numerous American bases, including the very secretive Menwith Hill , the largest NSA and NRA base outside of the US. Indeed the NSA and GCHQ have had a very close working relationship over the years (UK-USA Agreement), as do other British and American Intelligence Agencies. Even though Britain didn't become embroiled in the Vietnam War we fed the Americans intelligence via our secret listening posts on Hong Kong, we also let the Americans use strategic bases throughout the world such as Cyprus, Gibralter, Ascension Island and Diego Garcia.

UKUSA Agreement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

RAF Menwith Hill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

RAF Fylingdales - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Britain is also home to Fylingdales, which has been giving the Americans warning of nuclear ballistic missile attack since the 1950's. Whilst USAF bases in Britain such as Lakenheath, Mildenhall, Fairford and the now defunct base at Upper Heyford, were used by the Americans to bomb Libya from in the 1980's, to bomb Kosovo from in the 1990's, to bomb Iraq from during the Bush Administrations so called 'Shock and Awe' campaign in 2002/3. Indeed the rumbling of the USAF B-52's as they took off for Iraq became something that the locals in the small Gloucestershire Cotswold village of Fairford became used to.

Perhaps not getting involved in Vietnam was Britain's best bit of post war policy, and given America's ruthless self serving foriegn policy perhaps it is time Britain looked more closely at this so called special relationship, which seems to be very one sided (even in terms of extradition treaties) and take a leaf out of Harold Wilsons book and tell the American Government 'NO' for once, ironically that is what the French, Americas greatest ally often does.

The French don't just say 'non' when it comes to American Military Internention, the basing of American forces in France or indeed when it comes to US Foriegn Policy, they also sat 'non' when it comes to the extradition of French citizens to America (such as Roman Polanski), unlike the British who signed a very one sided extradition treaty with America, allowing America to extradite at will from the UK.

Time to show just how flawed the US-UK extradition treaty really is - Telegraph

David Blunkett's startling admission on UK-US extradition treaty | Mail Online

In terms of the French, Britain is now building a far closer Defence and Security relationship with them, and perhaps given Americas devided loyalty and ruthless self serving state department, it would be wise for Britain to continue to build closer relations with our European neighbours, as well as those countries we share a geniune special relationship within the Commonwealth.


:)
 
#2
As for NATO intervention in a civil war in Libya is this not beyond NATO's remit, and is it any wonder why so many European nations are questioning NATO and not wanting to become involved in what many now see as Americas Foriegn Legion.

In terms of recent Articles this one by David Wheatcroft in the NY Times is one of the most accurate and interesting in my opinion -

Who Needs NATO?

By GEOFFREY WHEATCROFT

Published: June 15, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/opinion/16iht-edwheatcroft16.html


BATH, ENGLAND — No European should be surprised at the resentful words spoken in Brussels last week by Robert Gates, the departing U.S. defense secretary. Americans have been grumbling about the failure of the European partners in NATO to pull their weight almost since the organization was founded in 1949.

“Because we had our troops there, the Europeans had not done their share,” President Eisenhower said. “They won’t make the sacrifice to provide the soldiers for their own defense.”

But there is more to it. If the relationship of the United States with Europe in NATO included a dubious bargain from the start, the treaty organization did at least once have a clear purpose.

Now, if Americans are going to ask why they should pay three-quarters of the cost of NATO at a time of “politically painful budget and benefit cuts,” in Gates’s words, then Europeans might respond with a more existential question: Just what is the purpose of the organization any more? Who needs NATO?

Once upon a time there was a simple answer. The object of NATO, said General Lord Ismay, its first secretary general, was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down” (if only we had public servants today with that kind of pith and candor!).

Whether the Americans wanted to stay had been in some doubt. It was widely apprehended that the United States might withdraw after 1945, as it had done after 1918. There were those like Senator Robert Taft, a leading Republican in his day, who opposed American membership of NATO. “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,” Thomas Jefferson had counseled the American people in his first inaugural address, “entangling alliances with none.” And NATO was an entangling alliance if ever there was.

But most Americans accepted that the goal of keeping the Russians out was worth the price, which meant that the Americans picked up a disproportionate share of the tab. That was not only understandable but inevitable. At the end of the war, the United States was the outstanding winner, having suffered relatively minor casualties and material damage by comparison with devastated Europe, and having undergone an astonishing wartime economic boom, which only highlighted European impoverishment.

Over the postwar course of what the French called les trente glorieuses and the Germans the Wirtschaftswunder , Western Europe enjoyed its own economic transformation. And this miracle of free-market growth was combined — in Europe, that is, with a strong system of public welfare.

By European standards, the United States had the most rudimentary welfare services, and still has. President Obama struggled to introduce a healthcare scheme which, even in its fuller version, would have been rejected by most European conservative parties as too right-wing. And yet, by paying for NATO, the Americans indirectly subsidized Europe’s much more lavish welfare.

The later outcome was still stranger, and even more unsatisfactory. Forty years after it was founded, NATO triumphed. Not only was West Europe saved, not only did the Red Army never cross the Elbe, but the Cold War ended in total victory for the West without a shot fired. The Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union imploded, and its satrapies in Eastern Europe were liberated.

At which point the question might have been asked what NATO was now for. Alas, as is so often the case, an institution which had out lived its original purpose had to think of new things to do — like expanding eastward to include the former Warsaw Pact countries.

This was a betrayal of a specific undertaking Washington had given to the Russians. And it also illustrated again the baleful effect of American domestic politics: President Clinton impulsively promised that Poland could join NATO while addressing a Polish-American audience in Chicago.

Altogether, that eastern expansion was a fine example of what’s called an answer without a question. But it was also hypocritical nonsense. It was all very well lightheartedly to admit Latvia to NATO. But did anyone really believe that if Russian troops crossed the border near Karsava, France, Germany or the United States would shed blood for Latvia?

Other new tasks for NATO, quite unimagined by its founders were “liberal intervention” and “nation-building.”

Whether or not a military response in the former Yugoslavia was desirable, it’s hard to see what it had to do with NATO. Under the crucial Article 5 of the 1949 treaty, the members agreed that “an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all,” and whatever else Milosovic and Mladic might be accused of, they had not attacked any NATO member.

Then came Sept. 11. What happened in New York was certainly an armed attack on a member, though not by a recognizable state. And, once again, the American-led military response under the aegis of NATO could scarcely be justified by the treaty. That same article said that a member attacked could expect the assistance of other members, “including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area .” By what geographical sleight of hand did that come to include the Pamirs?

For all the compromises, NATO did originally represent a fair balance of interests, but that cannot be said of the Afghan war. If Americans complain about having to pay most of the cost of the alliance, Europeans could reply that that’s only fair if NATO is going to be little more than the American Foreign Legion.

A new height of dangerous absurdity came with the short-lived conflict between Georgia and Russia. Hillary Clinton — in electioneering rather than State Department mode — had already demanded that both Ukraine and Georgia should be admitted to NATO, prompting the question how Washington would have felt if Leonid Brezhnev had invited Mexico and Cuba to join the Warsaw Pact.

Then during that crisis in the summer of 2008, David Cameron struck his own attitudes. The Conservative opposition leader, who would be prime minister within two years, flew to Tbilisi and demanded that Georgia should be admitted to NATO forthwith, which bizarre suggestion, if taken seriously, might have precipitated an international war.

A voice of sanity was heard from Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former Tory foreign secretary, who said how foolish it was to make threats which were not going to be carried out. As Rifkind rightly said, “The U.S., Britain and France would not go to war with [Russia] to force South Ossetia back into Georgia.”

A slow learner, it would seem, Cameron has now led the way for the NATO intervention in Libya, along with Nicolas Sarkozy, who had also flown to Georgia in 2008 to rattle his own flimsy sabre.

Quite apart from the fact that, as our top brass keep telling us, yet another operation puts an intolerable strain on military resources, which the Cameron government is cutting fiercely, this has gone awry with alarming speed, while its justification has also quickly changed. A mission to protect life became an intervention in a civil war, or one more war to effect regime change.

Much mental energy has been expended on debating what the purpose of the European Union is and how its problems could be resolved. The question is even more pertinent about NATO. Is it really needed any more? If not, wouldn’t it be wiser to call it a day?
 
#3
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In terms of the French, Britain is now building a far closer Defence and Security relationship with them, and perhaps given Americas devided loyalty and ruthless self serving state department, it would be wise for Britain to continue to build closer relations with our European neighbours, as well as those countries we share a geniune special relationship within the Commonwealth.
...
Having charged into what looks like will be a very expensive adventure in Libya behind Paris and then, embarrassingly, being barely able to conduct it without a great deal of hand holding from a sensibly reluctant Pentagon I'm not sure this is the best time for a very junior partner to cockily declare independence.

All nations of any substance are ruthless self serving, it may not be as exceptional as most Septics assume, but from what I see the US usually comes in well behind the UK and its even slipperier European partners in those stakes.

I'm not as hostile to the EU as most folk on this site but the destructive beggar thy neighbor attitude of the core member countries when faced with a collective liquidity crisis that may cause a second and probably fatal meltdown of the global financial systems makes DC look rather benign.
 
#4
Having charged into what looks like will be a very expensive adventure in Libya behind Paris and then, embarrassingly, being barely able to conduct it without a great deal of hand holding from a sensibly reluctant Pentagon I'm not sure this is the best time for a very junior partner to cockily declare independence.

All nations of any substance are ruthless self serving, it may not be as exceptional as most Septics assume, but from what I see the US usually comes in well behind the UK and its even slipperier European partners in those stakes.

I'm not as hostile to the EU as most folk on this site but the destructive beggar thy neighbor attitude of the core member countries when faced with a collective liquidity crisis that may cause a second and probably fatal meltdown of the global financial systems makes DC look rather benign.
The truth is NATO should not be getting involved in Libya, it's a civil war in North Africa. If Nato wanted to get involved in civil wars in Africa in order to save lives it should have started with Rawanda, and trying to prevent the genocide that took place there.

As for the EU, our EU partners have not demanded that Britain start negotiations with the Falklands, they have said that the matter is a British one. The French were also much better allies during the last Falklands war than the Americans according to the then Defence Secretary Sir John Nott.

As for being slippery, ruthless and aggressive, American Foriegn Policy takes some beating. Most European nations are far more liberal and don't wish to get involved in foriegn conflicts or civil wars which as David Wheatcroft points out in his article above, are increasingly seen as beyond Nato's remit. I just wish Cameron would come to the same logical conclusion.
 
#5
...
As for being slippery, ruthless and aggressive, American Foriegn Policy takes some beating. Most European nations are far more liberal and don't wish to get involved in foriegn conflicts or civil wars which as David Wheatcroft points out in his article above, are increasingly seen as beyond Nato's remit. I just wish Cameron would come to the same logical conclusion.
The Septics are simply in charge and not much good at the empire business.

The French at least as Africans see them are even more belligerent and invasive than DC. The Brits support and will sell arms to any sordid regime that supports corporate profits. And like the Germans and Club-Med countries they are all terrified of the poor and huddled masses of sub-Saharan Africa ever getting to their streets.

This is a very european and plainly racist agenda and it makes even some good old boys within The Beltway uneasy. A version of Jim Crow is alive and well and living in Brussels.
 
#6
lets see how many styron threads with the exact same content today?
 
#8
Excellent Thread. 10/10 mate

USA is self serving, they dont care for others, only when their interests are met.

Plus, there are people in the USA government who have had links to IRA in the past.

What does that tell you?
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
the US has been self serving since it came out of isolationist guilt from trashing the world in the 30's, now its done it again it doesnt have to hide as its 'camping out' in hundreds of countries for the purposes of trade assuring military assistance. britain has been a poodle since we lost the pound as the world currency to the dollar and were bullied off the world state until the second marshal plan.

the world and especially europe should be saying no a lot more but that doesnt mean I want europe to become a the USE which some politicians seem to want it to be. a European Defense Treaty could replace NATO without the US and could be much more secure if we forced countries to provide either funding or capability so those who have conscript armies or cant justify the expense of a major setup can allow a third party to provide and train their forces. allow the russians to become as active as they once were but this time part of the 'good guys', which would help to stabilise russia as well as provide the US with a decent political counter in time for when china pops up as a proper spending and militarily active superpower.

we dont need a european superstate but what they should do is sack a shitload of eurocrats and instead have a ruling body composed of the deputy heads of the component countries which would give greater accountability to the nation states.
 

Travelgall

LE
Kit Reviewer
#10
Oh Great. Yet another anti American thread, I haven't seen one of these before! Its not like their Pedros aren't risking life and limb to help out guys when they're in trouble. Its not like we haven't fought together as friends since the Boxer rebellion. Its not like we don't get anything out of them in terms of Int sharing or Nuclear Missile technology etc.

France protects its own citizens like Roman Polanski. Nice example, a Paedophile who drugged then Analy raped a 13 year old girl, and isn't extradited because French snobbery means that creatives and politicians don't have to obey the rules the little people live with. Wow, I wish we could be more like France.

So Obama is an arse, so what. Anybody with 1/2 a brain cell knew that. I've read your post history and you're starting to sound like a bit of a broken record.
 
#11
America won't come a knocking until China (In the next 10-15yrs or so) starts shoving it's colosal weight around, by then they(China) will be so well rooted in 3rd worlld developing countries that'll be too late and we'll see a rapid decline in their influenece anyway.
As far as leading the world America can go and swivel TBH.
 
#13
Oh Great. Yet another anti American thread, I haven't seen one of these before! Its not like their Pedros aren't risking life and limb to help out guys when they're in trouble. Its not like we haven't fought together as friends since the Boxer rebellion. Its not like we don't get anything out of them in terms of Int sharing or Nuclear Missile technology etc.

France protects its own citizens like Roman Polanski. Nice example, a Paedophile who drugged then Analy raped a 13 year old girl, and isn't extradited because French snobbery means that creatives and politicians don't have to obey the rules the little people live with. Wow, I wish we could be more like France.

So Obama is an arse, so what. Anybody with 1/2 a brain cell knew that. I've read your post history and you're starting to sound like a bit of a broken record.
No - it's illegal to extradite a French citizen full stop, so you can't extradite the citizens of Americas greatest ally. Britain on the other hand signed a famously one sided extradition treaty back when the Home Office was under the stewardship of David Blunkett.
 
#14
No - it's illegal to extradite a French citizen full stop, so you can't extradite people from Americas greatest ally. Britain on the other hand signed a famously one sided extradition treaty back when the Home Office was under the stewardship of David Blunkett.
So who's fault is that? Its not the USA's fault that we were ruled by a bunch of supine tossers between 1997 and 2010. If the French look after their people who are we to criticise them. David Blunkett is a yorkshireman like yourself and Whet.
 
#15
So who's fault is that? Its not the USA's fault that we were ruled by a bunch of supine tossers between 1997 and 2010. If the French look after their people who are we to criticise them. David Blunkett is a yorkshireman like yourself and Whet.
I am not saying it is all Americas fault that we signed such a treaty, although I would like the situation rectified and the currently badly thought out legislation replaced with legislation which protects British citizens and allows British courts to make extradition decisions based on prima facie evidence, as is the case in America.

What is interesting is that hardly any wanted IRA terrorists would extradited to Britain when we requested extradition in relation to terrorist activity and attrocities.
 
#17
So who's fault is that? Its not the USA's fault that we were ruled by a bunch of supine tossers between 1997 and 2010. If the French look after their people who are we to criticise them. David Blunkett is a yorkshireman like yourself and Whet.
Well you were offered peanuts so you have to accept you get monkeys!! Too right we look after our own, why should a bunch of Septics tell us what we can and cannot do.
 
#18
Well if it gets 'Hooky' on a free flight to the US it will be worth it.
Trouble is that 'is umin rights may be affected and "bleeding heart liberals" like Styron wont want him to go to the usa to face trial. Me, give me the keys to Hooky's electric chair, I'll make sure all the contacts are nice and clean before he sits down.
 
#19
Trouble is that 'is umin rights may be affected and "bleeding heart liberals" like Styron wont want him to go to the usa to face trial. Me, give me the keys to Hooky's electric chair, I'll make sure all the contacts are nice and clean before he sits down.
I am fine with Captain Hook and other such terrorists going to America, however I object to the legislation being used increasingly in Fraud Cases and with regard to the recent case of Gary Mckinnon. I would also like the legislation to allow a decision on extradition to be made based on prima facie evidence in a British Court. The Americans won't extradite without prima facie evidence being put before a court, so why should we.

Time to show just how flawed the US-UK extradition treaty really is - Telegraph

Is this the same US judicial set-up, I wonder, that did so much to frustrate Britain's efforts to repatriate alleged IRA killers from America in the 1970s and 1980s? Do you recall the likes of Desmond Mackin, Peter McMullen and Liam Quinn, all wanted by Britain to face charges of terrorist atrocities? I do, and I can tell you what became of them: US courts turned down extradition orders on all three.

Yes, for years, while America's Noraid was funding the IRA's murder campaign, the US judiciary was helping to protect its perpetrators from facing justice. Turning a blind eye to accusations of terror was politically acceptable, it seemed, as long as it wasn't happening inside the US.

Then came 9/11, and the game changed overnight. Suddenly America had a ringside seat at terrorism's horror show. In Washington, transatlantic extraditions were very quickly restored to the diplomatic menu.


Natwest Three caught on extradition's one-way street - Telegraph
 
#20
Styron - So the French said "no" did they.......

Try telling that to the 60 plus families that have attended repatriation of their fallen in Afghanistan.


 

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