BritainAndAmerica.com’s six underlying principles

Today BritainAndAmerica publishes its new masthead and its statement of underlying principles.  This website does not believe in a deep relationship between the UK and USA for historical or sentimental reasons but because of vital shared interests and values.  Those shared interests are summarised below and your comments on them are very welcome.

Britainandamericaprinciples

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51 Responses to BritainAndAmerica.com’s six underlying principles

  1. Alan S says:

    The new logo is very good. The old one suggested that the site was about Britons watching America. This new design fits with the excellent set of principles.

  2. Richard says:

    I fear democracy in the Middle East would result in disaster. Democracy unfortunately tends to result in the enlargement of the state and the reduction of freedom.

  3. Inept Rewriting of the Past says:

    “Britain and America stood togther against Nazism”: balls. Britain (and the Empire) stood against Nazism, and did so through 1939, 1940 and all the way through 1941 until December, when finally the US was forced into the war by the Japanese attack and German declaration of war. FDR had countless chances to do what Wilson did and declare war himself, but not only did he fail to do so, he pledged during and after his 1940 re-election campaign that he would not (and was roundly supported for this stance by *every* poll of the American population taken). Your defence of America in the modern day world would be a lot more convincing if you didn’t make up quite such absurd things about America in the past.

  4. Jennifer Wells says:

    Good luck with this initiative.

  5. ballotboy says:

    Sadly, having watched Fox news and read some right-wing writers, I don’t think the neo-cons feel the same way about us.

  6. ballotboy says:

    “Inept Rewriting of the Past”
    Many Americans were also reluctant to defend Europe 1945 onwards.

  7. Uncle Sam's Stooge says:

    Inept,

    But America was channeling weapons and other supplies to us in order to sustain our war effort long before they actually fired a shot, don’t forget that.

  8. JF says:

    First, I want to congratulate Tim on outlining such a concise and powerful summary of the values that unite us.

    Inept, there can be no doubt that Britain would have fallen to the Nazis if not for the intervention of the United States. That said, the modern GOP does not admire FDR. As a Neoconservative, I feel optimistic that we will never again have a dictatorial, socialist, cowardly president like FDR again.

    Ballotboy, we were so reluctant to defend Europe that we spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the Marshall Plan, we set up NATO, we stationed hundreds of thousands of troops there, and set up nuclear missile sites there. No wonder why you doubt the Neoconservative commitment to a strong UK–you’ve been fed so much misinformation and propaganda, you probably don’t even know what a Neoconservative is.

  9. Steevo says:

    I’m not sure what a neocon is either other than a term many times used as a derogatory reference πŸ™‚

    I think they’re honorable objectives Tim, coming from a man I have very high regard.

    I would like to caution against one big temptation: I agree with our commitment in Iraq for what I believe are crucial objectives but we in America cannot and should not play world cop. I know you didn’t say we should but sometimes that line is difficult to define.

    Concerning our involvement in WWII and its aftermath commitments, statements here describe it as if ‘we really did not care,’ being indifferent to the suffering and injustice. Well after WWI (‘the war which was to end all wars’) this country saw many of its young men dead and horribly maimed from a nightmare started on the other side of the world. A much, much bigger world than today. A part of the world who’s history was one seemingly of endless wars and disputes of conquering and revenge. It was still fresh in the minds of a many here who wanted nothing further to do with ‘your’ insanity. We paid a huge price and for what?

    Also, Roosevelt was a politician in his ‘pledge.’ Its fortunate he’s the one who was elected, he was not an isolationist. He wanted our involvement earlier but did not have a willing majority to work with.

    And as JF pointed out, as far as our commitment to a very uncertain future post-WWII devastated land… how anyone in modern day Europe find’s fault is beyond me. The generation in the immediate aftermath certainly didn’t. But that was a different people than today.

  10. ballotboy says:

    JF

    Lets get one thing straight – there were many in both the State Department and Congress who were reluctant to support the Marshall Plan and Truman had to work hard to sell the Plan and his Doctrine to the US public. It is not propaganda, but History – try reading some from time to time.

    While we are on the topic of History, lets face it, US foreign policy was not some charity – it was self interest. Documents from the period show that the Marshall Plan was aimed at keeping Europe afloat so it could buy US products and help the US avoid a post-war depression. The Marshall Aid was given with srings that kept the European economy tied to the US.

    I thank God for the US’s contribution to both World Wars and the Cold War. I have great respect for your country and much of my job involves teaching your history to 16-18 year olds because I feel it is important that they appreciate you as well. But don’t try and tell me that you did anything against your own best interest – like any country, you rightly put that first.

    My original point is that I hate the way some of your neo-con commentators sneer at us and make fun. We are different, but not inferior – they do not understand that.

  11. Teddy Bear says:

    Inept Rewriting of the Past – fitting name.
    Forgets that Britain was for appeasing Nazism until they realized they weren’t safe with this policy.
    Much like is advocated with the militant Muslim menace today.

    Problem each time is it increases the number of deaths and casualties that eventually ensue

  12. JF says:

    Ballotboy, which Neocon commentators? I feel a need to clear this up. If you’re talking about the Abducted 15, I can’t help you, because I agree that it was a debacle for Britain. But if you are referring to other issues, I would be interested in hearing them.

  13. ballotboy says:

    JF
    JF – Kondracke, Barnes, Angle and Krauthammer to name a few.

    Also, before you have a go at the Abducted 15 debacle, could you tell me how many guards died defending the US embassy in Iran back in the 1970s. Equally, what about the debacle of September 11, or December 7th 1941. The US also make mistakes, but we don’t mock them in the way that some commentators have done.

    By the way – I think the Soviets had a hand in defeating the Nazis – probably a greater role than Britain.

    Teddy Bear – Appeasement was needed, in part, because the French were so weak and the USA were Isolationist. Appeasenment was Realpolitik. Britain had few option because it had gone down the diarmamemnt road and then got stung by the post-1929 depression and could not pay for the weapons until the late 1930s without causing huge problems. Quite simply we could not have fought Hitler before 1939. Maybe if the USA had not ducked out of the League in 1921 (or at least have been willing to support sanctions rather than undermining them) Italy, Japan and Germany would have been less willing to flex their muscles. Maybe if the USA had helped stop Japan in Manchuria the first Sunday in December 1941 would have been a much quieter day. Thank the Lord the US has got wise to this.

  14. Steevo says:

    Ballotboy, first off many did not want the Marshall Plan because of what happend with our aid to Europe after WWI with the European econony, recession, instability etc. Our banks which are private businesses were left with some major unpaid depts and we ourselves entered into the worse depression in our history.

    By ’47 there was little progress in Western Europe and there were signs the situation could grossly deteriate. Food was in serious shortage. It was understood millions were starving to death. And many froze to death with no coal. Our factories were on a roll and to sustain prosperity the markets would have to expand and indeed the Marshall Plan for Western Europe did make that possible.

    It was understood by important key figures we would be entering into a bipolar world and communist expansion could well pose a serious threat. As an American all I can say is we were darn right to take it serious and do what we could to stop it. And it was not just in our interest, but every free nation’s. Don’t forget too, the cold war was not yet realized and most advocating the plan were not motivated to contain Soviet expansion.

    Don’t revise our contributions selling us out, there was humanitarian motivation. Its not like we looked over at Europe and said the hell with you. Some Americans are justifiably critical with the very cynical view of US motives whenever wherever acting purly from self-interest. And if you agree with “inept rewriting of the past” then you don’t know history and who we were before WWII. Geese you’ve given the very distinct impression, WWII can be blamed, on us? Pathetic.

  15. JF says:

    Ballotboy, there was a revolution going on in Iran at the time, so it wasn’t exactly feasible for 20 or so Marines to hold off several hundred Iranians while protecting the other 60 or so diplomats.

    Carter did nothing, but the country was outraged at his response; contrast to Blair’s inaction and the UK’s general apathy.

    The US cut diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980. The UK continues to maintain diplomatic relations.

    On to September 11. That was a terrorist attack against unarmed civilians. It’s outrageous that you would compare the events. But if you must:

    The US invaded Afghanistan in response, destroying the Taliban and occupying the country. The UK has done nothing in response to this hostage taking.

    To compare December 7, 1941 is even more crazy. The US fully entered WWII on the side of the Allies, crushing the Axis powers. In comparison, the UK has done nothing in response to this hostage taking.

    Yes, the US has made mistakes, but the US stood up for itself and took action in response to these insults. The UK, in contrast, has made weakness a virtue in order to justify its lack of response. It’s hard for Americans to understand why there isn’t more outrage in the UK over this, but I suppose too many years of “softly softly” tactics in the UK have ended up producing a soft nation.

    The Soviets did have an important role in defeating the Nazis, indeed. But at a horrific cost that would have been even more horrific if the US had not intervened.

    Finally, in response to your comment to Teddy Bear: the difference this time is that the US was completely willing to aid the UK, but the UK still appeased. We’re all wondering why.

  16. ballotboy says:

    “Our banks which are private businesses were left with some major unpaid depts and we ourselves entered into the worse depression in our history.”

    Our banks were also private businnesses and the depression was caused by a wide range of issues, not just loans to Europe.

    Can I suggest that you all go down to a book store and buy some History books – you sure is in need of it.

  17. JF says:

    “you sure is in need of it”

    And some grammar books, as well.

  18. Steevo says:

    That’s all you refute?

    I didn’t say our depression was caused just by upaid loans to Europe, not even close. But they were both factors with the Marshall Plan considerations, amongst a number of concerns.

    What a lame response. And of course the typical sarcasm when you’re at a dead end to address ALL points made in response yours.

  19. A. Kingman Pratt, Jr.; Maine (New England) says:

    It’s true that the U.S., like most nation states then and now, acts in its self interest. But to an extent that perhaps today’s British don’t realize, our perception of the world and our place in it comes from our inheritance of the language, culture and institutions of Britain. We sometimes like to think that we invented self government, an independent judiciary, resolute opposition to totalitarianism, etc. We were instrumental in pushing these things along from time to time, but they were in no samll part a gift (perhaps unintended) from the “old” country. I used to think that made us like cousins, but perhaps we’re more like uncle/nephew. Members of the same extended family, usually happy to spend some time together, but relieved they don’t necessarily have to live together. And disagreements tend to be transitory, without disrupting the essential relationship.

  20. Joseph Cotterill says:

    Very impressive and expansive. I particularly liked emphases on social justice and environmental responsibility, two crucial but underrated aspects of freedom and human dignity.

    One minor point. As far as democracy is concerned, it would be great for BritainandAmerica.com to insist on state-building and the reestablishment of a strong, Hobbesian sovereign force as the prerequisite for the proper liberal democracies we want to see in the world. Otherwise we run the risk of discrediting democratisation, when we leave places like Iraq as ‘incomplete’ democracies (which are, incidentally, far more bellicose than many autocracies).

    Excellent revamp, please don’t ruin it by veering off into Anglospheric rhetoric.

    Oh, and the Marshall Plan? It is a stirring story, but the sad truth is it was mostly irrelevant. Europe didn’t face a serious food shortage by 1947, and neither side of the Atlantic faced a return to the Great Depression. The United States saved the Continent between 1945-47. (As many funds were released in these two years as during the whole Plan’s lifespan).

  21. ballotboy says:

    No – the grammar was mocking US usage – sorry sarcasm failure.

    “Ballotboy, there was a revolution going on in Iran at the time, so it wasn’t exactly feasible for 20 or so Marines to hold off several hundred Iranians while protecting the other 60 or so diplomats.” – Yes and the 15 British sailors were also outnumbered.

    “Carter did nothing, but the country was outraged at his response; contrast to Blair’s inaction and the UK’s general apathy.” Britain is not apathetic (you clearly have not been following the story over here) and don’t forget the Reagan did a deal with Iran by giving them weapons to get them back. Plus Blair’s response got them back short of 444 days without having to give them weapons.

    “The US cut diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980. The UK continues to maintain diplomatic relations.” Yes and the USA uses British diplomats as a back channel.

    “On to September 11. That was a terrorist attack against unarmed civilians. It’s outrageous that you would compare the events.” The CIA goofed up on this one and you know they did. Missing this was a grave error and you know it.

    “To compare December 7, 1941 is even more crazy. The US fully entered WWII on the side of the Allies, crushing the Axis powers. In comparison, the UK has done nothing in response to this hostage taking.” Again you miss the point – I was saying that you slipped up here and failed to see it coming.
    Also you Appeased Japan in the 1930s just as we did the Germans.

    “The UK, in contrast, has made weakness a virtue in order to justify its lack of response. It’s hard for Americans to understand why there isn’t more outrage in the UK over this, but I suppose too many years of “softly softly” tactics in the UK have ended up producing a soft nation.” What do you suggest we do? Had we taken any military action the 15 abductees would have been killed. Maybe we should have taken resolute action like with the USS Pueblo. Or maybe a Gulf of Tonkin type reaction that gets us involved in a ten year war we lose.

    “The Soviets did have an important role in defeating the Nazis, indeed. But at a horrific cost that would have been even more horrific if the US had not intervened.” The Soviets softened up the Nazis for three years before D-Day – If the USA had got involced in 1939 (or even before) this would not have been needed and the Cold War could also have been avoided.

    “Finally, in response to your comment to Teddy Bear: the difference this time is that the US was completely willing to aid the UK, but the UK still appeased. We’re all wondering why.” Quite frankly, the British public, like the American public, don’t trust Bush on the military front. By the way, not all Americans are struggling to see why we didn’t go nuclear on Iran – just the Neocons, which is where I came in.

    Is that better Teddy Bear? By the way Steevo really needs to try harder – he has taken a very out of date interpretation of the Marshall Plan. Try reading Geddes on this topic. Equally, the USA has to shoulder some blame for the failure of international relations in the 1930s.

    Anyway, off to bed now as tomorrow I have essays to grade.

  22. Steevo says:

    I feel sorry for Tim, his intent here is a nobel one.

    I blame much of the friction here not only on defensive ego but a manipulative self-serving ideological media and decades of negativity about America. Now the aftermath of a humiliating experience on the Brits and I think its especially hard for either nation to accept any criticism.

    Joseph, William Clayton reported to Washington that “millions of people are slowly starving” in ’46 – ’47.

    The reconstruction plan was developed at a meeting of the participating European states on July 12, 1947.

    This has gone woefully off topic intent. My apologies for my part.

  23. Steevo says:

    Out of date, baloney.

    The documents: http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/marshall/large/

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development:
    http://www.oecd.org/document/10/0,2340,en_2649_201185_1876938_1_1_1_1,00.html

    Every major source I’ve found backs it.

    Yeah try reading this guy Geddes so I can finally know who’s responsible for WWII?

    Prove where I’m wrong instead of your arrogent and simplictic condensation.

  24. ballotboy says:

    “Prove where I’m wrong instead of your arrogent and simplictic condensation”

    It seems that you getting all steamed up – is that’s whats causing the condensation. Plus, if you’ve not red Geddes, you should get out of the debate. Naming the Truman Library as a balanced piece of History, especially when it’s the “whistlestop” tour of the Cold War shows your lack of historical understanding. The OECD link is a blind one – in more ways than one.

  25. Teddy Bear says:

    I really wasn’t intending to go too deeply here into WW2 politics, just mainly to snub the ‘nationalist’ and divisive claim of Inept…which really grates from either side of the ‘pond’. Thanks though for the further clarification.

    One think I love about this site is it brings like minded individuals together across the globe who share a similar vision and have the intelligence and AWARENESS to see what’s going on in the world today, and what is and isn’t being done about it. I think patriotism is entirely laudable and is one of the qualities necessary to build a good nation. Nationalism is simply mindless racism in another form, and only serves to alienate others and bring ones own society down.

    With the principles that B&A have outlined above I would only add the following proviso. These are similar principles that were used (or abused) to enable the UN to become the corrupt organisation it is today. I only mention them as one example where those of evil and negative intent can use qualities that we laud to undermine our society. An example would be ‘compassion’ which sounds great as an ideal, but in practise if it is being used as a lever to allow mediocratic and parasitic elements to leech off of us, then it is not a virtue but a weakness.

    What I would like to have added here is that these ‘virtues’ be applied WHERE DEEMED JUST, and not to make ourselves feel good by aligning ourselves with lofty ideals. This is one of the big mistakes that many liberals make, seemingly unable to use discrimination in the application of their liberalism.

  26. Steevo says:

    Ballotboy I have no idea what you want. What claims you have made I’ve directly responsed to.

    You’ve made this as pure American self-interest. We were even responsible, or almost?, for WWII. Whoever Geddes is he’s spoon fed you exactly what you want.

    This thread was intended to discuss Tim’s 6 points. You couldn’t handle them and continued with prejudice contrary to the stated purpose and hope for this forum.

    I agree with Teddy’s above post 100%.

  27. JF says:

    “Britain is not apathetic (you clearly have not been following the story over here) and don’t forget the Reagan did a deal with Iran by giving them weapons to get them back. Plus Blair’s response got them back short of 444 days without having to give them weapons.”

    I’ve been following the fallout since the kidnapping, but I haven’t read any calls for military action in retaliation. Perhaps I’ve missed those editorials, can you please direct me to those?

    If you knew anything about the hostage crisis of 1979, you would know that they were ended by the Algiers Accords, which had nothing to do with Iran-Contra. Did you say you were a teacher? Scary.

    “Yes and the USA uses British diplomats as a back channel.”

    What proof have you of that statement?

    “The CIA goofed up on this one and you know they did. Missing this was a grave error and you know it.”

    Incredible, I marvel at your willful ignorance. Responsibility for counter-terrorism belongs to the FBI, not CIA. And your intelligence services really proved their superiority by thwarting the July 7, 2005 bombings. Oh wait, nevermind..

    “Again you miss the point – I was saying that you slipped up here and failed to see it coming. Also you Appeased Japan in the 1930s just as we did the Germans.”

    We failed to see it coming? It wasn’t our responsibility to stop it. Since you’re not aware, NATO didn’t exist then, and neither did any strategic defense treaties with the UK. You let them take the Rhineland. Then you let them take Austria. Then Czechoslovakia, then Poland. Is it any wonder why it is the US that had to take care of Yugoslavia?

    As for appeasing Japan, again you have it wrong. It was the League of Nations which awarded Germany’s old colonies to Japan. Let me take this moment to point out, since you don’t know, that the US never joined the League of Nations, so our hands are clean there. When Japan invaded Manchuria, the US condemned it. Then the US canceled the 1911 U.S.-Japan commercial treaty, embargo scrap metal and gasoline shipments to Japan and deny Japanese shipping the use of the Panama Canal. For pity’s sake, why do you think Japan attacked us? Because we were strangling their economy! I’ll take that kind of “appeasement” any day! As usual, you have it all backwards.

    “What do you suggest we do? Had we taken any military action the 15 abductees would have been killed. Maybe we should have taken resolute action like with the USS Pueblo. Or maybe a Gulf of Tonkin type reaction that gets us involved in a ten year war we lose.”

    Yes, re-establish your deterrence credibility to ensure this never happens again.

    “The Soviets softened up the Nazis for three years before D-Day – If the USA had got involced in 1939 (or even before) this would not have been needed and the Cold War could also have been avoided.”

    Our non-involvement is indeed regretful, and FDR will burn in hell forever for that. But to blame the war on the United States is insane. Hitler and Tojo were responsible, and Chamberlain served as an enabler. Is this the kind of revisionist history you teach your students?

    “Quite frankly, the British public, like the American public, don’t trust Bush on the military front. By the way, not all Americans are struggling to see why we didn’t go nuclear on Iran – just the Neocons, which is where I came in.”

    I’m sure the British would be more than happy to allow the Iranians to acquire nuclear weapons. What’s less clear is if you’re willing to wait for that, or if you’ll pre-emptively appease by just giving them the weapons. Iran will not stop on its own. It must be stopped by others. Who is going to do it, the EU? See what use they were with your marines and sailors.

    “Anyway, off to bed now as tomorrow I have essays to grade.”

    A teacher, eh?

    “you’ve not red Geddes, you should get out of the debate”

    Teacher, what does it mean to “red Geddes”?

    Ballotboy, do yourself a favor and demand the dismantling of the BBC before it absolutely destroys what is left of your educational system.

    Besides Mr. Montgomerie, are there any Brits here who actually like the US?

  28. Keir says:

    I don’t agree that Britain would have necessarily have fallen with American help; I think they could have made an agreement with the fascists to focus on the Soviet threat. That Britain didn’t is to Her everlasting honour.
    FDR hoodwinked Churchill into having British Commonwealth citizens die to prevent the Nazis from spreading across the Atlantic, and paying for it through the nose until nothing was left. Last month saw Britain finally ending such payment after so many decades.
    It was the US under Marshall Plan that created the concept of an EU (why give $15 billion to little states when it’s more efficient to have one body take care of it) leaving Britain in the weak and lowly state it is in now where ever more sovereignty is being ceded.

  29. JF says:

    Keir, my apologies. It is of course self-evident that the US didn’t enter the war to destroy the Japanese Empire or fight the Nazis in Europe. It was all to dismantle the British Empire and encumber the UK with debt. The defeat of the Nazis and Japanese was a strategic blunder. Think of how much longer we could have oppressed the UK if we had kept them in power.

    Fortunately, we came up with the master plan for the EU and forced the UK to join, thus accomplishing the same thing in the end. Time to give ourselves a pat on the back.

  30. Gildas says:

    Also you Appeased Japan in the 1930s just as we did the Germans.

    You teach History?

    Japan’s reason for launching the war was to seize the Dutch colonies in what is now Indonesia in order to acquire their oil. The reason? The US had cut off oil supplies.

    Japan reasoned that given that, the US would not allow it to attack the rest of SE Asia, and therefore in order to win it had to knock out the US Fleet at the outset. Hence Pearl Harbor.

    I am sure that you can dig up examples of (shock horror) the US acting in its own interests after WWII. Of course the UK was not immune to that either – in 1946 Truman cut off Britain’s food shipments because he discovered the Attlee government had been reselling them to the continent at a profit.

  31. Steevo says:

    Gilda, your understanding of our role with Japan prior to the war is exactly mine.

    JF, I would not wanna have to debate you, except to vote the proper way πŸ™‚

    I haven’t been here too long but I have come to wonder if some are here for Tim’s stated intent. I don’t agree with Americans, unprovoked and without reason, to simply rub it in. And as proof with many of my responses, I don’t agree with Brits doing the same.

    The reasons for this web site were more or less obvious from the day I began. As clearly stated now… they are honorable, no? Since its almost impossible to ignore derogatory and inflammatory comments which destroy this experiment, if there are posters so resentful and bent on finding reason to make the others’ nation low in character and actions, why not find another forum?

    It may be an impossible attempt but for those of us willing to acknowledge Tim’s 6 points as worthy, lets try to keep ideology, Left to Right, in perspective. When discussing differences on the issues presented, stay determined for a common and constructive end goal. Nationalism is ever present and whether its simple-minded racism as Teddy stated, its certainly similar in potential hate and disgust. Respect on the other hand can go a long way trying to reason it through for the good indeed.

    Ballotboy, no hard feelings mate. Sorry it took off.

  32. Kevin Sampson says:

    Ballotboy-I would also like to know exactly how we ‘appeased’ Japan.

    I don’t think it can be said that we ‘saved’ Britain from the Nazi’s, we saved it, and all of western Europe, from the Russians. Hitler had already scrapped Sealion and turned his attention to Barbarossa before we entered the war. Once he attacked the Soviet Union, Germany was doomed. However, I don’t think Stalin would have stopped after crushing Germany. The Red Army would have rolled across Europe like a wave, ‘liberating’ France from the Vichy government and Spain from the hated Franco. They might have stopped at the Channel, or maybe not. The only thing which prevented this was the presence of the US military.

  33. Rebecca says:

    By ‘America’ you seem to mean ‘United States of America’. Isn’t there a better way of describing USA citizens than ‘Americans’?

  34. TimberWolf says:

    Good to see British and American NeoCons getting on so well, and discovering a common view of history and current events.

  35. JF says:

    Rebecca: no. There is no one in the world who mistakes “American” for Canadian, Mexican, or any citizen of Central or South America.

    TimberWolf, I agree. This site is a superb idea, even if the posts aren’t very frequent.

  36. Tim Montgomerie says:

    JF: Thanks for your encouragement. We’ve increased posts to at least one a day recently and are determined to increase the frequency of posting further in the weeks ahead.

  37. Teddy Bear says:

    JF – Re: “Besides Mr. Montgomerie, are there any Brits here who actually like the US?”

    Like every country, every relationship, there’s good and bad, positive an negative within. When all is said and done, I’m a Brit and I love the USA. They’ve made my world far richer for their existance, and they display a grand moral expansiveness in much of what they do.

  38. JF says:

    Teddy Bear, many thanks. Americans realize they aren’t perfect, we’ve made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. It is very discouraging when we see the polls which put us at the top of dangers to the world, and when I read blogs that should be our natural allies (this site, Iain Dale’s Diary, Brussels Journal, etc.) and see commenters come out of the woodwork just to bash the US, I get frustrated.

    So I apologize if I come across in a heavy-handed way to any of the posters here. I’m an Anglophile who is grateful to Britain for providing the world with the common law system, parliamentary democracy, and the values of transparency and accountability. I believe in a strong and independent Britain, and any criticism I have is only with the best intentions to ensure Britain maintains its leadership role (much like our British allies occasionally criticize the US to make sure we stay on course).

  39. Teddy Bear says:

    JF – Re: “It is very discouraging when we see the polls which put us at the top of dangers to the world,”

    What are you really seeing here?
    Isn’t it simply the power of the media to shape public opinion that is being demonstrated. If we are going to be intelligent and try to re-shape the world into some sort of moral sense then we have to be pragmatic and realise how powerful a force this is. We can know that eventually the shit ust hit the fan. This dumbing down of society that the media is engaged in, so they can wield their ‘power’, eventually has to kick them up their own ass. That’s why I think sites like these are so important to maintain a moral and intelligent standard, raising awareness on a host of important issues, and attract those who must increasingly become disillusioned by the status quo until we are the mainstream.

    Don’t be discouraged – it will get a lot worse before it can ever get better – it has to – natural law :o)

  40. S. Baker says:

    Regardless of the comments posted, I consider you my brothers and sisters and I would never abandon you to Nazis, Muslims, or anyone else for that matter!

  41. S. Baker says:

    Regardless of the comments posted, I consider you my brothers and sisters and I would never abandon you to Nazis, Muslims, or anyone else for that matter!

  42. BrasherBoot says:

    Im afraid that the global phenomenon of Anti Americanism is something much, much, deeper. Something that the US and Americans will have to face up to sooner or later.

    The fact is, the USA is stagnating and losing its leadership role.

    For instance, it is losing its manufacturing base (to China), its financial world premiership (to London), its ‘cultural’ leadership (to Europe, China), its wars (in Iraq, Somalia, Vietnam), its global influence (in South America, in the Middle East, in Asia, in Europe).

    In short in all of its industrial and commercial spheres, America is losing its share and its dominance. All except its military ‘prowess’, which will collapse when the rest reduces or goes.

    When going up, a power is always magnanimous. When going down, a power becomes embroilled in unnecessary wars to prove itself.

    The world awaits the collapse of a once great giant.

  43. JF says:

    BrasherBoot, the world awaits this, or you? I’m sure that you look forward to living under Muslim dominion, or Chinese dominion, or blackmail from a newly arrogant Russia, but your children will surely curse you for having supported them.

    Do you think these entities and countries will support free and fair trade, human rights, democracy, and peace as the United States has? Do you think these countries will subject themselves to the idiotic oversight of the United Nations as the United States has?

    Perhaps it would be best if the United States loses its position as the world leader. Then we could reclaim our full sovereignty. It’s unfortunate that Europe will no longer exist as we once knew it by then.

  44. Brasherboot says:

    “The world awaits this or you?”

    Hey, dont shoot the messenger – and dont go flying away from my points and bash on about how the world owes the US a living.

    The world existed happily before the USA and will exist after its power fades. Neither does the USA have some pre-ordained ‘right’ to global supremecy.

    There are nations (China, India et al) and supra national organisations (aka the EU) that are collectively eroding the USA’s powerbase and will continue to do so.

    Open your eyes a little and you can see it; from US debts, China’s growth, EU’s cultural expansion and so on.

    Tell me, do you deny that America isnt in anyway losing its commercial dominance or its global influence?

    And please dont insult me by suggesting its in someway Anti American (that’s a a very tired retort) – its simply reality.

  45. JF says:

    Brasherboot, I don’t deny that America’s relative power is declining. What I dispute is your statement that “When going up, a power is always magnanimous. When going down, a power becomes embroilled in unnecessary wars to prove itself.” I don’t believe any power has been as benevolent as the United States during its rise, and you misinterpret the intentions of the United States if you believe that Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq are simply the results of an American desire to flex its muscles and strike fear into the world.

    Vietnam was an attempt as forceful containment. Somalia was a thankless but humanitarian attempt to save lives. Afghanistan was a retaliatory and defensive action, not initiated by the US. And Iraq was a genuine attempt to overthrow a dangerous tyrant and bring democracy to a people who had never before benefited from freedom.

    Your contention otherwise reeks of anti-Americanism. Your denials indicate either self-delusion or such thorough absorption of BBC propaganda that you can’t believe Americans can ever act out of a sense of wanting to help. It’s a tired retort because it must be constantly brought up to rebut you and your kind’s tired accusations.

  46. Brasherboot says:

    A power only exists to feed its own hedgemony but hides behind ‘morallity’ in the process.

    (Someone famous said it many years ago and I cant remember who or the exact quote).

    I dont doubt that Americans have added positive value to the world and will continue to do so.

    But, there is a classic bell-curve for powers that applies to all powers. that is, history consistently repeats itself.

    As a power rises, it generally has the goodwill of those around it. As it peaks it gets burdened down with responsibilities and forced or otherwise to act to those responsibilities. Including thankless, unnecessary wars.

    Do you honestly believe that the war in Iraq was really necessary? Afghanistan, I understand, but Iraq?

    Was Vietnam necessary? (BTW: Some put America’s peak in the 60’s, thats why I mention it – I personally, believe the peak was early this century). Nothing was gained by the US in Vietnam. Zero.

    America has an Empire. It may not be as a traditional set-up in the same manner, but it has an Empire no less.

    America does not act simply because it is being philanthropic – it acts to protect and grow its interests.

    But dont take my word for it. Let me provide a simple example; World War One. And a question you will think you know the answer to. Why did America come out on the side of the British/allies as opposed to Germany?

    Because Britain and France owed you more money than the Germans – a finding by an independent committee just after the war.

    Now tell me, is that the sign of a philanthropic power?

  47. JF says:

    Brasherboot, knowing what I know now (that there were no WMDs), no, I do not believe the war in Iraq was necessary. But I didn’t know then what I know now, and I’m not in a position to say whether our leaders lied to us or simply made the mistake of trusting our unreliable intelligence services. But going to war with bad information doesn’t make the United States evil, and it is undeniable that the United States is still in Iraq for good-intentioned reasons. It should be manifestly clear by now that we are not, and have never been there for oil, as some on the left would have us believe. Yet we continue to spend hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of our soldiers’ lives to stability the country and bring it peace. That is the act of a benevolent power.

    Vietnam, knowing what we knew then, was necessary. It was part of the strategy of containment–a strategy, I must point out, conceived of by a Democrat (Truman) and executed by a Democrat (JFK). The United States lost Vietnam because it lost the will to fight, not because it was defeated. See the Tet Offensive, which virtually wiped out the Viet Cong. The left wing media, always eager to present any American victory as a defeat (as it is doing now with Iraq) became a pawn of the North Vietnamese in using Tet as anti-American propaganda.

    What was gained by Vietnam? We signaled to the USSR that we were willing to back up our position and allies with force. Who is still around today, the US or the USSR?

    America is not an Empire. We have soldiers stationed around the world, but only at the request of the host governments. I guarantee you that if Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc. asked us to leave, we would, gladly.

    America does not act simply because it is being philanthropic – it acts to protect and grow its interests.

    Absolutely. We are a nation, and our government is responsible to the citizens of this nation, not the citizens of other nations. Sorry, that’s the way it is and the way it should be.

    As for WWI, I won’t deny that debts played any part in the decision, but I would dispute that they were the primary motivation of our entry on the side of Britain. You are ignoring the Lusitania, the Black Tom incident, the Kingsland incident, and, most importantly, the Zimmermann Telegram and unrestricted German submarine warfare on our merchant vessels.

    I have to salute your left-wing educators and BBC for doing such a superb job brainwashing you with “America is Evil” propaganda.

    Now let me ask you something: Why did we intervene in Somalia? Why did we intervene in Kosovo?

  48. malcolm says:

    It might suprise you JF , to know that I agree with pretty much everything you wrote in your last post. It is rather naive of Brasherboot to believe that nations often act for reasons other than self interest. The US involvement in Somalia and Kosovo are two examples for which your country can be proud.

  49. S. Baker says:

    Well if giving supremacy to China to produce counterfeit drugs, unsafe food, etc is what happens I am more than happy to let it happen. As for America crumbling, it reinforces my belief that most people in the world does not understand America or its strengths!

  50. JF says:

    Malcolm, thanks. Our rhetoric can sometimes get a bit heated, but I think we can agree that Britain and America share the same fundamental values. We act out of self-interest, but we also act out of genuine goodwill. America isn’t perfect, and we’ve made our share of mistakes, but the level of hatred emanating from our own allies simply defies explanation. We’re doing our best; we’re only human.

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