- Oct 28, 2007
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
America's New Frenemy
As David Cameron arrives in Washington, tension over the BP mess is threatening the cozy relationship between two great allies.
Can this marriage be saved?
When British Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama meet Tuesday at the White House, they might want to bring along a family therapist, if sovereign nations can make use of such services. The long-vaunted “special relationship” between the United Kingdom and the United States has seldom been more tetchy and irritable.
They have, as the shrinks say, issues. Not just the BP mess and the Lockerbie bomber flap, but also nearly opposite economic policies—Obama calls for taxpayer-funded global stimulus while Cameron is slashing his government’s budget—and the increasingly troublesome dilemmas of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Some have stressed the ideological differences between Obama and Brown and then Obama and Cameron but in reality, we need something very different from the love fest that was Clinton / Blair and then Bush / Blair. We don't want to be the US' poodle: sending our troops to die for the US, tied into one sided "special relationships" while insulted at every turn by US dealings. (How long were the IRA allowed to fund raise freely and openly in the US while they bombed our streets and city centres?)
The feeling of a need to distance ourselves from the US have been there quite a while in many quarters in the UK. I like Obama for his seeming desire to keep us at a distance, he will be (for different reasons than many US posters and commentators will think) the best thing for the UK in that we may finally see the "special relationship" for what it is and go our own way in the world.
Right now, we're agreed on some areas: the need to have an exit strategy and potential timeline to exit Afghanistan, dealing with the budget deficit (although differently from Mr Obama's plans) and dealing with terrorism and the threats of terrorism from the specific places in the world we see right now.
Other good articles on the recent visit to the US -
Real Clear Politics
I don't want the UK to snub the US, I would like to see the BP issue and the Megrahi release dealt with without a snub or insult to a great country like the US but certainly this period seems to be the start of a new road for the UK - and I don't mean towards the EU instead. We aren't the power or industrial nation we once were but we do still have other friends and markets to explore and we are still a powerful nation