“[Incoming British Prime Minister] Gordon Brown is prepared to risk the future of the ‘special relationship’ with the United States by reversing Tony Blair’s support for the Iraq war, President George W Bush has been warned,” according to a report in the Telegraph. The White House fears Brown is “a much weaker political leader than Blair. There’s the fear in Washington that he won’t be as strong an ally.”
There is, of course, some question what benefit this “special relationship” has for Britain. In its present form, it has overtaxed the British military, just as the U.S. military is now overstretched, and Blair’s “apparent subservience,” to adopt former President Jimmy Carter’s term for it, “had been a major tragedy for the world.”
Carter minced no words, saying, “One of the defences of the Bush administration… has been, okay, we must be more correct in our actions than the world thinks because Great Britain is backing us.”
It is odd, after all, that outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been so intent on supporting the U.S. in an imperial adventure–recognized as such from the beginning–when the U.S. maintained official neutrality while Britain retook the Falkland Islands from Argentina (which calls them the Malvinas). Professor Robert Terrell thinks the British believe that they can moderate U.S. behavior through their “special relationship.”
Perhaps so. But by joining the U.S. in this disaster, Britain became complicit in war crimes, and the deaths of anywhere from 655,000 to one million Iraqis, not to mention its own troop losses, as well as those of U.S. and other coalition troops. Blair never seemed to realize that he had a duty to the British people and to humanity in general that supercedes any allegiance to the U.S. in general, and to President Bush in particular.
Carter said, “So I think the combination of Bush and Blair giving their support to this tragedy in Iraq has strengthened the effort and has made the opposition less effective and prolonged the war and increased the tragedy that has resulted.” Carter expressed hope for a policy change that Brown now may be delivering.
According to the Telegraph article, “President Bush’s aides fear that Mr Brown will boost Democrats’ demands for a timetable for a US pullout from Iraq and encourage wavering Republicans to defect – leaving the President more isolated.”