Saturday, May 28, 2011

Essential relationships

Winston Churchill, the politician who coined the term to describe a special relationship to the U.S. and the UK, could never imagine that one day that an American president would withdraw from the White House a bust of him. The decision took Barack Obama, who now, in his State visit to the UK, has described the relations between the two countries 'essential' to the world.

The UK is the most visited country (more than fifty times) by U.S. president since the mandate of Jimmy Carter (1977-1981). We are Canada (35), a neighbor, France (34), always the exception, and Mexico (29), another neighbor, and problematic. The relationship, therefore, seems particularly effective, although there have been around.

The interest rule, but also the personal chemistry is important, therefore, in some cases, it is easy to discern what has been before, if the chicken or the egg. Lyndon Johnson distanced himself from Harold Wilson's refusal of the British Labour to support it in the Vietnam War. And John Major and Bill Clinton is disliked.

By contrast, Franklin Roosevelt and Churchill could drink brandy together, although you first lie down on the British side was an incorrigible imperialist. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were a couple ideological fact. And George W. Bush and Tony Blair decided to go together to the Iraqi hell.

The policy was that alienated Anthony Eden, British prime minister, President Eisenhower. The Suez Canal has been a source of inspiration, but also of destruction. Was a source of pride for the French, who financed it, and Gamal Abdel Nasser, who nationalized. But Suez is historic for being the setting for London understood that the world had changed and that his relationship with Washington, then took over in the Middle East should be more special.

In 1956, Nasser nationalized the canal and froze the assets of the company owner, shared by British and French. Eden's response was a conspiracy with the French and Israeli intervention in Egypt, to which the UN is opposed by a US-sponsored resolution, which also sank the British pound.

The United Kingdom, which had to withdraw its troops, was no longer a great power. When telephoned Eden Guy Mollet to tell him that he had no choice but to announce a ceasefire, the French prime minister was meeting with German Chancellor Konrad Adenuer. The historian William Hitchcock and has told the meeting: "Mollet, sunk by the words of Eden, returned to the room in which he hoped Adenuer and said, 'It's time to build Europe".

That is, Mollet concluded that France should not side with the United States. By contrast, Eden's successor, Harold Macmillan, understood that the world had changed and that the UK should be in line with U.S. objectives. Macmillan to Kennedy forged a special relationship that came across to London and claimed its nuclear arsenal to Churchill, unequivocally and unambiguously pro-European pro-American.

A year ago, a British parliamentary committee gave special relationship buried. "The perception that the Government acted as a lapdog of the (Bush) in Iraq has spread among the public," the committee said. Now, Obama has raised the relationship is considered necessary. Cameron and Obama are very different.

One belongs to an aristocratic lineage that dominated an empire where the sun never set, the other is a half-breed with roots in Kenya, part of the former British Empire. But the interests bring them together again in a world that challenges Western hegemony. Obama said he was convinced that "the rise of China, India and Brazil is not the end of American and European leadership, but just in case, has reaffirmed that" the alliance with the United Kingdom remains indispensable.

" There are, however, more than one but, as in any friendship. Wikileaks leaked reported to Moscow that Washington, as evidence of goodwill on the British nuclear arsenal. Cameron, unlike Obama, supported the unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. London knows that Obama once said that Sarkozy is "the best and closest ally." And if it seems a mystery why Obama pulled the bust of Churchill in the White House is not a secret that inspired the special relationship was the one who sent suppress anti-British rebellion in Kenya.

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