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  1. #1
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    The 'special' relationship.............

    The relationship between the UK and the US has often been termed the "Special relationship" by international observers and writers (and British PM's).

    What do the clan think, Special or Specious?


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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang
    The relationship between the UK and the US has often been termed the "Special relationship" by international observers and writers (and British PM's).

    What do the clan think, Special or Specious?
    Just my belief, but I see the UK and US as being the greatest of allies. I admire the UK for their place in history as well as the current world theater. I will forever see Margaret Thatcher as one of the world's greatest leadership minds of all time. The US is the US in no small part because of the UK, and I'm proud to call them our ally.

    Between language, history, tradition and culture the US and UK will forever be tied together.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    I would say special in history, but specious today.

    I would not count upon any European country standing with America in the future. Times have changed, so have the people. In general, our perceptions of the various people's of Europe are inaccurate and antiquated. Heck, "Europeans" really don't exist, it is rather a collection of countries that are bound by a man-made geographical structure. What you have are British, French, Germans, Danes, etc. And, even though most are white, they don't all get along, not even close.

    So, I would not necessarily count the UK as an ally in a upcoming crisis. The historical ties are undeniable; England was once an American colony (that's why they have our last names - many of our forefathers sailed and discovered, then settled England).

    But I have many good English friends, and the way they view the world is surprizingly different from the way an average American views the world.















    (yes, the colony statement was a joke)

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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    I would not count upon any European country standing with America in the future.
    I agree with the exception of the UK. You're right, "Europe" is not the great ally of a few years ago. However, I still see Britain as our closest friend at this point. Does the viewpoint of the average Brit differ from the average American? Yea, but I'd say it's closer to ours than most other countries.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    Interesting take on the question Coy. I admit that I hadn't thought about the US/UK relationaship in a European context, more as something that stood on it's own.

    As to whether there is such a thing as a 'European', I'd have to suggest yes but with qualifications. Europe obviously has a continental, geographical identity, but it also shares other things.

    The constituent countries of Europe share cultural references, political philosophies, common linguistic roots and religious affiliations. It's these things that tie them together and can provide the glue that may one day see them bonded together in political union.

    The problem comes when the bugbear of history is considered and it's here that Europeans, who are all keenly aware of their own histories (Imprisoned by them might be a better term), feed the resentments that will keep them apart.

    Britain, for it's part, has historically not had to carry the same odious historical baggage as our neighbours and being an Island, has been more able to look to the West and the development of it's once proud colony the USA as a more suitable ground for alliance. George should have given you the vote; it's the single biggest screw up in British colonial History.

    And it would seem that we have far more in common and far more shared interests and we do.

    Problem is that many Britons are of the opinion that the relationship is 'special' on their side but 'specious' on the US side. It costs us more than we gain by it to put it in blunt terms, and it's only special when the US wants us to do something. Should we need something, the argument goes, then we'll probably have to whistle.

    That's why a lot of my countrymen are now starting to consider that Europe and it's political machinery, despite being polluted by French Arrogance, shameless opportunism, and moral cowardice is where our true interests lie.

    And a lot of Brits, such as myself, resent GW and his friends for pushing UK public opinion into the arms of people less interested in having a relationship with the US.

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    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    Fat, I'm not real confident in Europe. I think European civilization, the greatest civilization in the world's history, is weak and dying. I see them becoming more fractured from each other over time. Europeans are too weak to stand with one another in the face of severe adversity.

    Case in point: Denmark. Most of the European politicians I've read about, spit (figuratively) upon Denmark and the cartoon thing. If ever a time was needed for European politicians to back up one of their own, it was then. Instead they danced the coward's dance (again). I'm surprized that Chirac didn't say, "Peace in our time, now go home and get yourselves a good night's sleep."



    You saw what the unorganized Muslim youth did to France for 3 weeks. For 3 weeks Muslim youth ruled parts of France. What a hoot!

    I'm tempted to ask some of my German friends if they think the Turks are going to take over their country. I don't think Germany has the capacity to defend itself. You should have seen the looks on their faces as they discussed the France thing. They looked very worried - like they know it could easily happen in Deutschland.


    I've been very fortunate in getting to know a number of Brits very well. They were not all the same of course, but honestly, I was shocked and amazed at some of their opinions and attitudes, once we got to know each other. They are very different than the Americans I know. I think in some ways, Americans have more in common with Germans, than with the Brits, language aside.

    The most fascinating aspect of the English weakness is their shame of being English. They won't come out and say it, but in many conversations, all I heard them say was how evil their country had been (India, Hong Kong, and other colonies), and how they were such terrible people. They have little pride or patriotism.

    Another fascinating display of European weakness: Bosnia. The blustering powers of Europe were unable to do anything, in their own backyard, without Uncle Sam doing it for them. Should I, for a second, really respect Europe as a entity, or power?

    Blair has stood with America, and I am amazed that he did. His people have not. Europe, including England, should not be counted on in the future for the next world stress. They will be no-shows.

    They're cooked. I say that the greatest, the most important, the most significant, the biggest contributors to the world's culture in history, are dying.


    Remind your British friends, that there are still hundreds of thousands of US soldiers in Europe. It costs us alot. Too much if you ask me. Remind the English that when England needed military assistance in the Falklands, we were there.

    If anything, I see the States as paying too much for the special relationship. Let's get our troops out of there, let's let the Europeans clean up their own back yard for a change.

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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang
    The relationship between the UK and the US has often been termed the "Special relationship" by international observers and writers (and British PM's).

    What do the clan think, Special or Specious?
    Specious without a doubt when it comes to the British government, and overt disdain by the citizenry. I've talked to more than a few Brit's and was surprised that none of them had anything good to say about us. The same is true for our other "close relationships" with Canada, Mexico and most shocking to me, Israel, who from the discussions I've had feel we have way too much influence in their affairs and would like us to butt out. Looks like we're damned if we do, damned if we don't.

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    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    Specious without a doubt when it comes to the British government, and overt disdain by the citizenry. I've talked to more than a few Brit's and was surprised that none of them had anything good to say about us. The same is true for our other "close relationships" with Canada, Mexico and most shocking to me, Israel, who from the discussions I've had feel we have way too much influence in their affairs and would like us to butt out. Looks like we're damned if we do, damned if we don't.
    The British Government are the only people who would support you virtually without question,as they are now tied very closely to George and his gang.

    As for the citizenry, I don't speak for any of them but myself, but I'd be surprised if they weren't personable towards Americans.

    Does it ever occur to you to ask why people think of America in the way that they do? I'm not suggesting for a minute that you indulge in the navel-gazing that the English do on occasion, but I think it'd be interesting to consider.

    It can't just be jealousy can it? I've noted however that you guys seem to be hurt, despite British participation in Iraq. Why is that?

    The English do have a self-flagellating attitude to their national identity from time to time, but to be honest I've noticed it's when we are confronted by our colonial past (Which is far from the absolute horror occasionally portrayed by Hollywood), by foreigners that we start to wring our hands in shame, amongst ourselves we're fairly well adjusted. I think it's called getting your retaliation in first, disarm them before they get a chance to upset you.

    The English need a much stronger national identity within the Union before we try to tackle anything else.

    The Irony in all of this is that it springs from the extreme self assurance that we used to enjoy in our days of glory. Apologise for how great you are.

    As for Bosnia, the problem so often in European affairs is France and their dubious attitude to international co-operation and shameless propogation of all things French. Domestic and international progress within the EU is doomed as long as the French hold the position of power they currently enjoy. Angela Merkel may change the balance of power as new German chancellor however and I hope she does.

    Hub is right, as far as Europeans are concerned, the Brits really are your closest friends right now. For how much longer however I can't say. I hope I'm wrong.

    A change of President would help.

    As far as the removal of troops and air bases is concerned I can only agree Coy, lets remove them. It may well effect the US' ability to project it's power across the globe however.

    We're caught in a state of flux I think, and none of us really knows which way it's going to shake down. All the old comforting certainties have disappeared.

    As for the Falklands Coy, we could start a whole new thread about that.

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    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang
    As for the citizenry, I don't speak for any of them but myself, but I'd be surprised if they weren't personable towards Americans.

    Does it ever occur to you to ask why people think of America in the way that they do? I'm not suggesting for a minute that you indulge in the navel-gazing that the English do on occasion, but I think it'd be interesting to consider.
    The Brits I've spoken with have been personable enough, but they have a definite negative slant on American policies and as an extention, Americans, which is somewhat humorous because half of the American population feels the same as they do.

    As for why people think of America in the way they do, my impression is that they more or less have the impression that we want want to take over the world, which IMO is laughable.

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    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    I gotta agree with what Mike has said as well. His observations parallel mine.

    Europe is cooked, stick a fork in em, they're done. Given their present state, in the near future, as an ally would they really contribute much?

    I'll add another fascinating historical point: for some 800 years, there was an Islamic presence in Spain. In the early 700s the Muslims attacked and conquered Spain, and then moved into and took Southern France. It took the Spaniards hundreds of years just to re-establish a small country in the north of their country. Hundreds of years later, the Islamic territory of Grenada was shut down (in 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue no less).

    So, it's possible for the Europeans to recover, but they're on a downward trend today.

    As far as a new president is concerned, I'd rather have a strong, though not very sharp, man in the White House, than a smooth, intelligent invertebrate. That is better for both America, and Europe in the long run.

    Hell, Gore or Kerry would have probably given Italy to the Muslims to make "peace" with them.

    Remember how Jimmy Carter "punished" the Russians for the Afghan invasion by not letting American atheletes go to the Olympics? Ha ha. A weak man is not what you want at this time in history.

  11. #11
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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    The US is the US in no small part because of the UK, and I'm proud to call them our ally.

    Between language, history, tradition and culture the US and UK will forever be tied together.
    I agree with this point of view, Hub.


    I would say special in history, but specious today.
    I also agree with Coy on how things are today.

    Unfortunatley, I see more and more how Brits feel that they need to be more aligned with the European Union, rather than the US. I think that this is a fatal error as long as France and Chirac are seen as the driving force behind the EU. Since when, and when if ever in the last 200 years, is France such a super power and world leader?? Until this changes, I only see the EU as a paper tiger or a toothless pirhana.

    I feel a certain kinship with our friends from across the pond. Unfortunately, they seem to desire distancing themselves from us. I hope that this does not happen. Our relationship is too historic, and yes special.
    Last edited by SFCRamFan; -02-18-2006 at 11:00 PM.
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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    Having personally interned at the U.S. Embassy in London, I can say this much: there is no other government in the world that we coordinate our policies more closely with.

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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    If you're one of the boys from the Chatham House in London collaborating on a project with some good 'ole boys at the CFR in New York, then it's speciaaal. The inbreeding stops there.

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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    I think its very important that england and the U.S. stay close.Tied by a lot of common ground,our relationship has suffered with Europe because our refusal to join the Kyoto protocal (wich is failing miseably)Tony Blair is starting to wake up to it,and he knows its an economy killing treaty.

    Because we choose to remain a capitalist society really erks most Europeans,and I think that more than anything has caused the rift we're experiencing today.
    Our biggest European detractors are the french,they have envied us for so long its just eating them up.

    The reason they want us to be like them is because misery loves company.

    Go U.S. and the U.K. hang tight.
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    Re: The 'special' relationship.............

    Quote Originally Posted by coy bacon
    The most fascinating aspect of the English weakness is their shame of being English.
    See, I feel the same way as all you people from Ohio.

    thats the problem with most of the Americans I know. They dont know their Atlas.


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