US-UK Relations Becoming Less Special (and that’s good)

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obama cameron beer.jpg
For those of you following President Obama’s trip to Ireland, the UK, France, and Poland, here is the opener of a piece I just wrote for the BBC on the need for US-UK Relations to get an update and reset.

The Raw Truth About the US-UK ‘Special Relationship’
During the tough-fought Democratic presidential primary between then-senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, at a wry moment during a televised debate, Clinton called Obama “very likeable” and he responded with the sterile retort, “you’re likeable enough”.
One can easily imagine David Cameron, the Queen, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Elton John and lots of British citizens waiting, on edge, for Mr Obama to offer the iconic words “special relationship”, while knowing that no matter what the president utters, he really means the UK is just “special enough”.
Mr Obama and his wife Michelle arrive for a state visit on Tuesday, and inevitably pundits will measure the trip’s success along silly lines – on whether Mr Obama and Mr Cameron publicly call each other Barack and David, whether Mr Obama gets out on a cricket field, or better yet, whether they get sweaty playing basketball together.
But the truth about UK-US relations is that while there remains a unique and special character to the bond, it is not the “special relationship” it used to be.

The rest can be read here.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

60 comments on “US-UK Relations Becoming Less Special (and that’s good)

  1. questions says:

    Protocol, protocol, protocol…..
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ninety-gaffes-in-ninety-years-2290148.html
    h/t nakedcapitalism and Prince Philip
    Here’s a sampling:
    “”People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still drying out Windsor Castle.” To survivors of the Lockerbie bombings in 1993. ”

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    So Mr. White, you’re suggesting that to think/say “still-enduring” may be better than to think/say “Special”?
    “If” – as you added – “that is more appropriate”…
    If, on the other hand, that happens to be LESS appropriate, instead of MORE appropriate, I guess we may consider the
    possibility that this is not such a good idea.
    In any case, Mr. White, kudos to you for ignoring the PREVIOUS drivel.

    Reply

  3. Paul Norheim says:

    Correction: “While one of the most FREQUENTLY expressed objectives…”

    Reply

  4. Paul Norheim says:

    Carroll:

    Reply

  5. JohnH says:

    The Queen is the richest person in Britain. Of course, politicians of all stripes are expected to defer to such people and to whatever bizarre requests they might deign to make.
    Undue deference to the wealthy is a sure sign of political depravity, just like marching in lock step with the military at Dover AFB showed that Obama’s captivity to the military brass.

    Reply

  6. Carroll says:

    From csmonitor…
    I love it ..I want the American people to see a real knock down drag out fight between the dems and repubs over who is most loyal to Israel.
    “In a statement posted on the organization

    Reply

  7. Carroll says:

    Posted by DakotabornKansan, May 25 2011, 9:59PM – Link

    Reply

  8. Carroll says:

    Posted by DakotabornKansan, May 25 2011, 9:59PM – Link

    Reply

  9. DonS says:

    Paul, I guess you are right and Steve is busy with the policy wonks in the administration . I don’t know, I guess I’m too old to even envision what it would take to retain intellectual and personal self respect while engaging with compromised individuals in a compromised system. I have a old friend who is currently about as high up in the economic policy apparatus of the administration as there is and it’s the question I want to pose to him. If I decide to go to my 50th high school reunion I think I’ll ask him face to face. It’s the sort of question it’s hard to put in an email, or even a phone call.

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Since when does the Israeli army have a “code of ethics”?
    Lemmee guess…..
    “All Israeli military actions are to be considered an act of defense, therefore; ethical”

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    Well, there are still some decent Israelis:
    “Prominent Israelis support Palestinian state
    By Tobias Buck in Jerusalem
    Published: May 26 2011 23:13 | Last updated: May 26 2011 23:13
    A group of prominent Israelis is calling on the international community to recognise a Palestinian state in the West Bank,
    Gaza and East Jerusalem, in an open letter that proposes a radical break with the current policy of the Israeli
    government.
    The letter, which is signed by 21 intellectuals, writers, scientists, former diplomats and senior officials, states:

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “An you can’t argue with money, can you?”
    No, can’t argue with ignorance, either….
    http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2011/05/feeling-the-ignorance-at-aipac-2011/
    Too bad, isn’t it? Forums such as this one could work actively to counter such ignorance. I wonder, will such an effort ever be launched, or is this as good as it gets?

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    Actually, the real “We” is speaking here:
    Key Jewish Donor Breaks With Obama
    Alana Goodman 05.25.2011 – 12:38 PM
    One of the most important Democratic donors in the past two decades, whose generous contributions helped pay for the
    DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C., has indicated that he will not contribute to President Obama

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “…he essentially warned Netanyahu and Mahmud Abbas again…we’re not gonna settle for your immaturity”
    Well, saying things like that, and then completely ignoring Netanayahu’s response, doesn’t exactly exude “maturity”, either.
    And who is the “we” in “we’re”??? Once again, Clemons acts as though Obama has some power, where in fact none exists. There IS NO “we” in the “we’re not gonna settle….” Is Clemons referring to this Administration?? Congress??? The Democratic party? And Clemon’s uses the “we” myth more than once in this exchange. The fact that no such “we” exists pretty much discredits the whole exchange.
    Basically, Clemons said NOTHING in this exchange, and Maddow said even less. If this is the quality of opinion and analysis we can expect from think tanks, foundations, and media personalities, then we’re better off tuning into Sesame Street, in the hopes that Big Bird will offer us a more probing and cutting edge analysis.
    Thanks for finding it for me, Paul. Hope you feel better soon.

    Reply

  15. Paul Norheim says:

    Well POA, I have a flu, and not much meaningful to do right now, so here is an exact (I hope…) transcript of the relevant
    part of the Maddow-Clemons conversation you referred to:
    Maddow: … The unspoken big elephant in the room though was how much more political room to operate this president
    now has on all foreign policy issues, not only on Israel/Palestine (…) now that bin Laden is dead.
    (then some back and forth on Afghanistan, Pakistan)
    Maddow: For Americans who…uh… think of the Israeli-Palestinian situation mostly as a metaphor for unsolvable eternal
    things…can you explain, sort of the base level importance of what President Obama said today about it?
    Clemons: Hugely important! No POTUS has gone as far as he had and said: we gotta break out of this trap and stop
    pretending that the status quo and… you know people acting like if one one side or the other…that there is a zero sum
    game…he essentially warned Netanyahu and Mahmud Abbas again…we’re not gonna settle for your immaturity. And
    saying that we’re gonna take the borders and security approach is a back door to solve both the settlement problem that
    have the Palestinians upset…but it also helps solve the Hamas problem and the other Islamists problem…because you
    wanna set up the security issue…doesn’t solve the problem, it sets the framework that …we’ve seen… David Makowsky at
    the Washington Institute for Middle East Policy, very closely affiliated with AIPAC, has been a chief advocate for what
    President Obama put on the table today. And even though we’ve seen many republican candidates come out and blast
    President Obama for this, and some Jewish leaders, the American Jewish Committee, Abe Foxman of the ADL…The
    National Jewish Defense Council have all come out with praise for Obama’s speech today. This is a real interesting
    moment…uh…that I think is important. And I think it’s important on the palestinian side too, because they’re trying to,
    you know… persue…at least a recognition of state, if not having a real state… after this…and I think these are
    important…because we just saw a George Mitchell resign and the administration basically say: What we’ve tried didn’t
    work.
    Maddow: Yeah…
    Clemons: But the President isn’t letting it go.
    Maddow: Yeah…in a big, in a big, big way…high profile way today. So…uh…Steve Clemons at the New America
    Foundation, publisher of The Washington Note, it is always great to see.. have you here.
    Clemons: Thank you, Rachel. Thanks so much.

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “….given that Congress is Congress and Netanyahu is in charge both in
    Israel AND in the US Congress?”
    As you may or may not have noticed, Paul, that has been my primary gripe about Steve’s latest murmurings about the so-called “peace process”. Steve has commented as though Obama has some sort of magic ability to move this “process” forward, despite the main obstacle, that IS NOT Israeli intransigence, but is de facto intransigence on the part of his own party.
    Now, it will be even harder for Obama, as Netanyahu has launched an effort to discredit Obama by prompting the right wing, here, to become more engaged in advancing the zionist narrative, and to use our “alliance” with Israel as a political talking point designed to portray Obama as a betrayer of that alliance. Obama, if wishing true change in the status quo, is powerless to effect that change. This last dog and pony show in Congress, best described as political beastiality, (YES, I DO mean sex with animals), underscores just how powerless he truly is.
    And even more devoted to maintaining the powerlessness of the POTUS in this matter, are the guardians of the narrative; our media, and those in the public spotlight, such as Steve Clemons, who refuse to work to take the power out of this contrived and carefully manicured narrative. There are PLENTY of facts and historical references that could be spotlighted as a means to equal the playing field and bring the narrative into a less biased and propagandized context, but fear of repercussion seems to have stolen the courage that those such as Clemons once had to challenge the status quo.
    Until the narrative matches the facts on the ground, the American public’s carefully nurtured ignorance will continue to support and abet our complicity in Israel’s despicable behaviours. Steve seems to have abandoned all pretense of working to expose the holes in the status quo narrative. I was not able to catch his latest back and forth with Maddow, but I certainly didn’t read any glowing testimonies here to his courage to rock the status quo by those of you that watched the clip. So I assume that it was just one more nothing-ventured nothing-gained rewrite of the same old crap, with Maddow carefully avoiding ANY criticism of the Israelis, and Steve avoiding challenging Maddow’s lopsided ommissions and biases. If I’ve got it wrong, I certainly would appreciate someone enlightening me.
    Unfortunately, we aren’t making omelets, or scrambling eggs here. The metaphors are quaint, and certainly aid in our reluctance to apply direct and accusatory criticism. But we witnessed a major shift this week. The cards are on the table, and here is where we will see the courage, or the lack of courage, of those who have inserted themselves into the process, and lay claim to a concern for human rights, justice, and peace. Steve has certainly inserted himself into both the process, AND the debate.
    Seems he now wishes to extricate himself. I’m dissappointed, more than a little.

    Reply

  17. DakotabornKansan says:
  18. DakotabornKansan says:

    POA, Thank you very much for the advice. I appreciate your valuable insight on things that I not considered.

    Reply

  19. DakotabornKansan says:
  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA, I wish that I knew someone……”
    Well, I am sure that there is a skilled craftsman or two in your area, its just a matter of you doing the research neccessary to find them.
    Just bear in mind that the bid process, when employed to decide what tradesman will take on your project, is a guarantee that you are probably axing the guy who is in fact the most capable. Look at THEIR WORK, not THEIR PRICE. NEVER hire a tradesman who has not been recommended, and whose work you have never seen. DO NOT rely on photographs. Ask to see ACTUAL finished projects. Although customer privacy is my foremost consideration, I have found that there is always a past client or two that is willing to open their doors occassionally to display and market my wares.
    And if a prospective finish carpenter does not volunteer DETAILS of the designwork, pass. It is the details that define the quality of the product. Reveals, margins, proportion, scale, all combine to make or break a project. Even the most skilled craftsmanship cannot hide bad design.

    Reply

  21. Paul Norheim says:

    “In other words, Steve is walking on egg shells rather than breaking eggs to make an omelet.”
    That’s your words, DK. But speaking of omelets, why do you think Steve Clemons or Barack Obama or anybody else in
    America right now are capable of making omelets – given that Congress is Congress and Netanyahu is in charge both in
    Israel AND in the US Congress?
    Making omelets is what revolutionaries do, and right now, rumors are that the kitchens are in the Middle East, not in
    Washington DC.
    If the revolutionaries succeed, we’ll be confronted with the astonishing paradox that non-violent Muslims have found a
    recipe for making omelets WITHOUT breaking any eggs, while the current chefs in Washington-London-Paris break eggs all
    the time, but don’t have a clue how to make omelets.

    Reply

  22. DakotabornKansan says:

    POA, I wish that I knew someone with your skills in the KC area. My home has a mini-vator that runs between the first and second floors. Since the death of my son six years ago, it is no longer used. I plan to have it removed and floor and closets built (molding also required), which seems to be a major project and a big headache to me.
    Two of my favorite PBS programs were This Old House and New Yankee Workshop with Norm Abram. It was always amazing to me, who was born with

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And don’t forget, Paul, this “silence” has been punctuated of late by essays about alleged PALISTINIAN crimes, where the official script was followed by rote, even before all the “facts” about these crimes had been fully flushed out.
    This IS NOT the Steve Clemons of yesteryear, who seemed unafraid to deviate from the official narrative in regards to Isr/Pal. There has been a definite change in “tone” here on this issue, notable on those rare occassions that Steve sees fit to comment.
    But regardless, it doesn’t take a foreign policy wonk to see the handwriting on the wall. NEVER has the two state solution been so deceased. There IS NO diplomatic CPR that is going to resuscitate any kind of future for a Palestinian State. This last week must have surely convinced the Palestinians that Hamas offers the ONLY avenue left open, that peaceful dissent and diplomatic overture only leads to more oppression, a further loss of land, and a bleaker future for their children. And surely, watching events unfold, how can we expect the rebeling “arab street” to react, if not with further distrust of American motives and agendas??? It is as though Congress and the zionists have launched a campaign DESIGNED to further radicalize the Palestinians and the “arab street”.
    Our Congress’ reaction to Netanyahu’s speech was OBSCENE, and an embarrasment to anyone that believes in peace, human rights, and racial/religious equality. The hypocricy, while we are engaged in Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq under the guise of concern for “human rights” and “democratic reform” is stunning. I have never been so ashamed of my government, and have no doubt their duplicitous subservience to the Israeli agenda has signed the death warrant to the peace process.
    Things can only get more violent from here, and who can doubt that rather than blaming Israeli intransigence, and american complicity, the Palestinians will instead be cast as the villians, while their people are subjected to the full horrendous potential of Israeli military might.
    Shame on Steve for his silence. It is as disheartening as the shameful din of our Congress, celebrating atrocity, prejudice, and injustice.

    Reply

  24. Paul Norheim says:

    Re finish/Finnish: sorry POA, it was not intended as satire, just a stupid misreading.
    “Our own Congress’ standing ovation for apartheid…”
    Imagine the following hypothetical performance: Netanyahu is invited to Tahrir Square in Cairo to hold exactly the
    same speech, and the American Congress is invited to be his audience, cheering ecstatically whenever Netanyahu
    says “Judea and Samaria”, “No refugees to Israel”, “Undivided Jerusalem” etc… Right outside Tahrir Square, the
    Egyptians can watch the performance live on huge TV screens…
    What would be the difference? Well, not much. The embarrassing, and also dangerous fact is that the Arab Streets
    have access to TV’s as well, and watched the scandalous performance of the US Congress live from al Jazeera, CNN,
    or BBC – just like I did.
    The remaining detail is Obama’s signature: a US veto at the UN in September – confirming what everybody knows,
    that on the Israel/Palestine issue, it’s Israel/USA against the whole world.

    Reply

  25. DakotabornKansan says:

    Paul Norheim says,

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, if in fact Steve IS in some sort of capacity advising the White House on Isr/Pal, then that would explain his silence, if only out of sheer embarrassment.
    The Palestinians have been thrown over a cliff. The only possible outcome of this last week’s “diplomatic” charade is an escalation of the violence.
    What other options are open to the Palestinians? The Right Of Return, nixed, Jerusalem, nixed, Obama and Netanyahu’s assurances that there will be no UN creation of statehood. Our own Congress’ standing ovation for aparthied, violent oppression of peaceful protest, the incarceration of children, accelerated settlement expansion, and frying non-combatant women and children in white phosphorous.
    To be honest, I no longer have any respect for those that remain silent in the face of what is occurring. Steve has ignored FAR TOO MUCH this last year to lay claim to any kind of unbiased analysis, or to assert that his silence is due to any sort of responsible or proffessional confidentiality.
    Using simple logic, one has to assume his silence is an effort to go along to get along. Too many epic events and situations have passed, ignored, to apply a benefit of the doubt.
    (Paul, I am not “Finnish”. I can’t decide if you are being satirical, or if you really don’t know what is meant by “finish carpenter”. I do the tail end of the carpentry involved in “finishing” a building. Moldings, mantles, doors, cabinetry, closet shelving, drawers, poles, etc,. My actual apprenticeship as a youth was in fine furniture building, with a master, long dead know, who had a shop in Van Nuys CA, catering to the Hollywood wealthy and the local high end decorator trade. But for a number of years now I have done finish carpentry under the employ of well established high end custom home builder who caters to Bakersfield oil and agri money. To be honest, I love it. The “good ‘ol boy” wealth in this area is far less pretentious than the Beverly Hills/Malibu kind of wealth, and I find I am far more respected and appreciated for my craft by the oil and farm barons. Until I moved to Tehachapi, and started plying my trade in this area, I had no idea there was such huge wealth in the Bakersfield area. There is some SERIOUS money here.)

    Reply

  27. Paul Norheim says:

    As for I/P, DonS, Obama seems to be the only one outside Israel who still tries to pretend that the Peace Process is not
    dead. In the meanwhile, there are reports about serious internal disagreement within Hamas (the Gaza leadership versus
    the exiled leader in Damascus); and on Friday Egypt will open its borders to Gaza on a permanent basis.

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    Any Finnish carpenters around here?
    “PERKELE
    An essential Finnish curse-word denoting the devil, and typically pronounced with an exaggerated rolling of the “r”
    for added emphasis. It is often one of the first words in the Finnish language that foreigners visiting this country
    pick up.
    (…) Cannot be translated without loss. Versatile word that can be used alone or repeated indefinitely.
    Originally name of the thunder god. In the Christian era used as a name of the Satan. Perkele is such a powerful
    word, because it includes both of these connotations and in addition is very often associated with ‘sisu’, the
    attitude of never ever giving up.”
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=perkele

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    “[Obama] will not, IMO, alter US policy subservience to Israel.”
    I agree, Don. The only relevant thing to focus on before the US presidential election is the events in the UN in
    September, the Hamas/Fatah development, and the outcome in Israel’s neighborhood of the ongoing revolution in
    the Middle East.
    “We don’t know if Steve is engaged at the WH.”
    Well, it looks like he is – as I quoted above: “…whenever I sit in the White House/Roosevelt Room discussing with…”

    Reply

  30. Paul Norheim says:

    And POA, just a Post Scriptum to my comment above:
    I have no doubt that certain “honest” words frequently used to characterize Netanyahu by, say former chief of staff Rahm
    Emanuel and others still working in the White House, are exactly the kind of profanities that make certain people complain
    when you use them in your comments here. The language in Regularfolksville and in the Oval Office is at times
    indistinguishable:
    “In Jerusalem in 1971, I heard the foreign minister, Abba Eban, entertain his guests with the story of his visit to the
    White House during the Johnson administration.

    Reply

  31. DonS says:

    Paul, we don’t know if Steve is engaged at the WH, as we did with the Lybia working group when his name popped up.
    We can guess some of his ideas, and we know the political forces arrayed against the Palestinians. And we know the kabuki on both sides; and that Netanyahu is a predictable slimebag, and that Obama is in full reelection mode so his reportedly going off the reservation must be taken with a grain of salt.
    Obama has turned out to be a reliable factotum for the establishment, though he continues to be bashed and he continues to grovel, figuratively. He will not, IMO, alter US policy subservience to Israel.

    Reply

  32. wot-a-joke says:

    “both looked awkward” (8:59PM) — ??? … perhaps he just wanted to naturally bow and scrap like he did for the Saudi regime’s front man!
    ‘Special’ relationship! … yeh?, … so what about putting Her mugshot on a new dollar bill like they do north of the border in Canada!
    Rule Britannia, …. la, la, la …

    Reply

  33. Paul Norheim says:

    “And anyone else pondering Steve’s silence about this dance Netanyahu is engaged in with Obama? Odd, isn’t it? Unless, of
    course, Steve is afraid to speak honestly, because of the doors that will slam in his face.” (POA)
    POA, there are other possible answers. Let me remind you of the post below this one, where he says:
    “I think about this quote from Teddy Roosevelt whenever I sit in the White House/Roosevelt Room discussing with various
    other policy intellectuals and Members of the President’s National Security Council team the fast currents of a shifting world
    and the power bets America needs to make.” (SC)
    It’s highly unlikely that Steve, asked to provide his advise to the White House regarding the Middle East revolutions, omits
    the Israel/Palestine dimension of the drama. What he says/hears in the Roosevelt Room is of course confidential. I believe
    that this somewhat restricts what he can say on his blog during this period: If he speaks honestly (giving him the benefit of
    the doubt) to the administration, talking publicly about the same issues gets somewhat complicated, because whatever he
    says at TWN is likely to duplicate his confidential advises to the White House.
    Secondly, Steve has often stated that he uses The Washington Note as a political tool, to influence Washington, to influence
    this or that player in specific circumstances. Now, if the WH wants to hear his voice directly, why bother typing his opinions
    on his blog in addition?
    We can only hope that he follows Roosevelt’s words while advising the administration. And if we want a really lively TWN
    with a host playing the role as an honest oppositional critic in public, let’s put our hope in Palin becoming the next POTUS!

    Reply

  34. Paul Norheim says:

    “And anyone else pondering Steve’s silence about this dance Netanyahu is engaged in with Obama? Odd, isn’t it? Unless, of
    course, Steve is afraid to speak honestly, because of the doors that will slam in his face.” (POA)
    POA, there are other possible answers. Let me remind you of the post below this one, where he says:
    “I think about this quote from Teddy Roosevelt whenever I sit in the White House/Roosevelt Room discussing with various
    other policy intellectuals and Members of the President’s National Security Council team the fast currents of a shifting
    world and the power bets America needs to make.” (SC)
    It’s highly unlikely that Steve, asked to provide his advise to the White House regarding the Middle East revolutions, omits
    the Israel/Palestine dimension of the drama. What he says/hears in the Roosevelt Room is of course confidential. I believe
    that this somewhat restricts what he can say on his blog during this period: If he speaks honestly (giving him the benefit
    of the doubt) to the administration, talking publicly about the same issues gets somewhat complicated, because whatever
    he says at TWN is likely to duplicate his confidential advises to the White House.
    Secondly, Steve has often stated that he uses The Washington Note as a political tool, to influence Washington, to influence
    this or that player in specific circumstances. Now, if the WH wants to hear his voice directly, why bother typing his
    opinions on his blog in addition?
    We can only hope that he follows Roosevelt’s words while advising the administration. And if we want a really lively TWN
    with a host playing the role as an honest oppositional critic in public, let’s put our hope in Palin becoming the next POTUS!

    Reply

  35. Obama's piss-stained panties says:

    I’m suprised Prince Philip dodn’t just call Michelle a coon.

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gads, its surreal. Three nuclear reactors in meltdown, holes in the containment vessels.
    A foreign leader whose troops SHOOT american citizens, and who bitch slaps our President with impunity, gets standing ovations in Congress.
    And what did everyone wanna talk about today? Obama’s toast, and his seeming ignorance about how to act when subjected to the brit’s weird obsession with archaic pomp and protocol.
    And anyone else pondering Steve’s silence about this dance Netanyahu is engaged in with Obama? Odd, isn’t it? Unless, of course, Steve is afraid to speak honestly, because of the doors that will slam in his face. OR, he is afraid to adhere to the script, because he knows too many people are reading his stuff that are simply too intelligent to buy into more BS on this topic.
    Safer just to clam up, I guess.

    Reply

  37. ... says:

    carroll – i think it’s embarrassing for those who think royalty is anything other then some outworn prehistoric power structure that needs to be done away with…that obama and others play along with the thing is really silly, but some things are slow to change..

    Reply

  38. DakotabornKansan says:
  39. Carroll says:

    Just saw some footage on Obama and his wife at the Queen’s dinner reception and have to say they both looked awkward, stiff and out of place, as if they had no idea how to behave at a function hosted by a royal.
    Don’t they have someone in the WH to teach them the proper etiquette and protocol before they attend these functions?
    Really it was embarrassing for the US.

    Reply

  40. ... says:

    have to admire rae abileah of codepink… she is the lady that was aggressively assaulted at the aipac meeting for saying what she did during netanyahu’s speech….

    Reply

  41. David Billington says:

    Steve – Apparently there is to be a joint US-UK strategy board:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/23/barack-obama-security-board-with-uk
    Some comment follows below on the prospects for this:
    http://zenpundit.com/?p=4016

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Contrary to what animal lovers may insist, only people can have relationships”
    How do you dream some of this stuff up? Many animals are monogamous. And Elephants, for instance, exhibit unmistakable grieving for lost loved ones.
    And watching dogs interact when they share environments, (such as Jake and Bernie here in this household), renders your statement as beyond absurd. Animals DO develop relationships, and DO develop emotional attachments.
    And, uh, last time I checked, Homo Sapiens were part of the animal kingdom.
    Or, uhm, are we gods now? Machines??? Alien?? Quick, tell me. If I’m not an animal, I wanna know what the hell you think I am, ’cause I woulda sworn that was blood oozing out of a cut finger today, (and thank the lord for my bathroom ceiling fan).
    But, meanwhile, back here on the planet Earth….
    Netanyahu is on “Hannity” right now. Everyone noting the shift??? The zionists are courting the RW like never before. We are seeing a major political shift. And the worms in the Democratic party are rolling over and playing dead. By design?

    Reply

  43. Warren Metzler says:

    Yes Samuel, Humans relating to one another is a skill. And if you become sufficiently skilled at social relating, you can regularly, when with a another person, experience intimacy (feel rich and full), love (deeply value the other person), and that you each repeatly empower each other (teach each other, mostly through your actions and not through words, how to become more successful at some aspect of daily life). NO HUMAN can ever experience intimacy, love, or mutual empowerment with an animal.
    Humans can definitely experience positive emotions when with an animal, can convince oneself that one is attached (connected) to an animal, and falsely assume that means a relationship is present. But not have a real relationship. Real relationships can only occur between two humans.

    Reply

  44. Reinaldo Abrahante says:

    A one term President and a short term, born of a temporary alliance Prime Minister does not a long term relationship makes; like…why should we care?

    Reply

  45. samuelburke says:

    “Contrary to what animal lovers may insist, only people can have
    relationships.”
    really?

    Reply

  46. Sand says:

    I wonder where Obama was when Bibi was getting his standing ovation(s)? — Back at Downing St. watching the telly with Cameron?
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/schedule/president
    …If I could be a fly on the wall…

    Reply

  47. Matthew says:

    I hope Jewish groups do abandon Obama….and then when he wins reelection, he will owe them nothing.

    Reply

  48. Sand says:

    arghh… *not* inviting George Mitchell.

    Reply

  49. Sand says:

    “… the third or so of US Jews who oppose trading land for peace…”
    That’s the figure I always believed (via J. Blankfort). However, that was when AIPAC’s audience was hovering around 2,000 — last week ~10,000 people attended that AIPAC conference (admittedly not all them identifing themselves as Jewish). But even so,
    Also, I think it’s important to note, that not all American Jews are political, however, the number of American Jews who are political, I believe the majority of them do not support Obama. I just don’t seen it, in polls and especially when I see the positions and push-back from supposedly supportive Obama entities such as J-Street. Inviting Dennis Ross, but inviting George Mitchell? — hmmm…

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  50. Paul Norheim says:

    Juan Cole sums it up after Netanyahu’s speech:
    “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

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  51. Paul Norheim says:

    Nothing new from Netanyahu; he sounded like a broken record.

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  52. Don Bacon says:

    from the bbc:
    In a joint article in the Times, Mr Obama and Mr Cameron said of their countries’ relationship: “Ours is not just a special relationship, it is an essential relationship – for us and for the world.
    “When the United States and Britain stand together, our people and people around the world can become more secure and more prosperous.
    “The reason it thrives is because it advances our common interests and shared values. It is a perfect alignment of what we both need and what we both believe.”(end bbc)
    What poppycock. Are Iraqis and Afghans more secure and more prosperous as a result of Anglo-American aggression? And how about those shared values being projected into the Islamic world?
    For that matter, are Americans and Brits themselves more secure and more prosperous as a result of the vast treasures wasted on meaningless wars? Of course not. Security and prosperity have both declined due to the ongoing Anglo-American conspiracy.
    What poppycock.

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  53. Warren Metzler says:

    I want to object to the idea of a relationship between the UK and the US, much less a special relationship. No country is an entity, each country is a political concept; a manifestation that within a special geographical border, a particular government holds sway.
    Contrary to what animal lovers may insist, only people can have relationships. Each relationship being the manifestation of two people having one or more common interests; or, in addition, two people have a deep sense of rapport (they are going in the same direction in life). So Obama can have a relationship with Cameron, or, perhaps with the Queen. But the US cannot have a relationship with Britain, and to talk as if that is true is to create a fantasy, thereby making a true understanding of the actions of the UK and US governments more difficult to understand.
    Each action of the US needs to be seen as manifestation of a view one or more US officials possess. And the same with the actions of other countries. To talk as if the US takes an action, without being clear as to which US official decided to take that action, and even more understand the mind-set of that official, or officials, is to have a very misinformed view of what really occurred.

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  54. DakotabornKansan says:

    US-UK relations are still special on this level

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  55. JohnH says:

    The algorithm used to calculate Britain’s share was known in feudal times as tribute…
    Given the fact that Britain may the final payment on its WWII debt to the US in 2006, it’s not hard to imagine that “other debts” are still being honored.

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  56. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, you’d think the felonious clowns in DC would be doing backflips to buddy up with the UK criminals, seeing as how the brits did such a great job shutting Kelly’s mouth.

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  57. ... says:

    boe – needs a branch outlet in america, maybe with the idea of moving it’s banking cartel operation headquarters to the usa.. bingo – federal reserve is created 1913… the rest is history… the 2 agree to make war for money… great bond…..like that last bank bailout. woowho..

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  58. DonS says:

    “And so what is Britain supposed to do with all that additional military spending? Keep its “special relationship” alive, of course.”(john)
    Don’t you suppose there is some algorithm that ties the British defense “contribution” to the US outlay? Future wars notwithstanding.

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  59. JohnH says:

    “British defence budgets are under serious pressure,” but they are still rising 5% per year in the midst of draconian domestic cuts. It appears that the much ballyhooed “cuts” were just a diversion to provide a phony cover of “shared sacrifice.” As such, they provided a good test market for upcoming cuts in the US military budget, cuts which will not materialize either.
    And so what is Britain supposed to do with all that additional military spending? Keep its “special relationship” alive, of course.
    British militarists are just lying low until the dust settles from their recent, highly unpopular interventions. But as soon as Obama embarks upon his next “humanitarian intervention” in a resource rich nation, you can be sure that the Brits will be their to claim their share of the booty.

    Reply

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