Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Putting the "special" in "special relationship"

I do hope that some day, a British Prime Minister will have the spine to announce that which is obvious to the rest of us: There is no "special relationship" or "connection" between the UK and US. There's only a one-way street: The US has the power, and you have the option to obey or obey. Welcome to the club!
When Tony Blair offers himself as a Middle East peace envoy, he is casually rebuffed by the American President between bites on a bread roll. Told by Bush that 'Condi is going', the normally fluent Blair is reduced to inarticulate jabbering. 'Well, it's only if, I mean, you know, if she's got a... or if she needs the ground prepared as it were... Because obviously if she goes out, she's got to succeed, if it were, whereas I can go out and just talk.' Yeah, just talk.

It was awful for Tony Blair to be caught asking for permission to go to the Middle East. It was dire to hear George Bush saying he wouldn't let the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom go out - not even on a pointless trip. It looks even more humiliating when the French Foreign Minister is going.

In the build-up to the action to remove the Taliban in Afghanistan, George Bush was delighted to let Tony Blair go globe-trotting as an ambassador-at-large. The American President was happy to use Mr Blair in the same way on the road to war in Iraq. When it does not suit the White House, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is grounded.
(via Kevin Drum.)

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