Posted by: Dr Churchill | July 19, 2019

The Big Three and Why the English Speaking Peoples Always Stand Together

The current state of the US’s & UK’s “Special Relationship” is based on the term which was coined by Winston Churchill during the early stages of the Second World War, and it is an apt reminder of why Britain needs to “crash out” of the European Union today in a pel-mel fashion, by diving out headfirst…

Still back in the days after Winston Churchill’s greatness over the decades following the second world war, most US presidents were circumspect about assigning an elevated status to the special relationship with Britain, until today’s President who has warmed up to the idea swiftly.

Because during the decades of the Cold War — although the US and particularly the establishment Washington valued the United Kingdom as a vital and distinctive ally, especially for its pivotal role in the European theatre, as well as in the ASEAN and in NATO, the Atlantic alliance — they did not trust the “junior partner” very much because they were afraid that England was overrun with Cambridge Communists who were eagerly giving away all the secrets of the West to the Russians because of an immature idealism and a sense of entitlement and privilege.

Yet it was the close connection between the US and the UK that can be traced to June 1940, when the amazing defeat of France by Nazi Germany transformed the geopolitical map of the world, and pushed Churchill to gravitate towards his natural allies Stalin and Roosevelt.

And it was the continuing Churchillian British defiance against the mighty German NAZIs, that proved essential, in order to prevent a total Nazi and Axis powers global dominance, because my grandfather Winston Churchill knew that defeating Hitler would require both the Russian and the American participation in the war — and he sought to be the sentinel guarding Thermopylae with his 300K British troops rescued from Dunkirk, until such time that the Americans and the Russians would see fit to come to his aid.

And it was the capitulation of France and the unification of Europe under Adolf Hitler that caused the French collaborationist Petain government to break diplomatic relations with England — that caused Britain to crash out of Europe and finally decide to chart it’s own course with the only remaining natural ally the United States of America (Children of a Common Mother) and the countries of the British Commonwealth, dominions and empire, right along with the reluctant ally, Russia and her Soviet empire.

So, however the historically heroic Churchill and the Russian people suffered for the first two years of the war — it was President Franklin Roosevelt who in his weakened physical and mental state, was siting on the sidelines for the first two whole years of the war, waiting to see who would be declared the winner of this awful conflict, so he can make a separate peace with the Victor.

FDR as an opportunistic Democrat, did not mind the least bit to make an accommodation, if not an alliance with Herr Hitler, because he was fully convinced that most all of the American people were appeasers, who did not want to fight once again over Europe. And that was his terrible miscalculation, as seen by the independent Americans who rushed to the aid of Churchill as individual citizens paying their own way to cross the Atlantic and join the conflict as volunteers and patriots for the cause of the Ligtht, Liberty and Democracy, for this world.

Some of them had even been fighting alongside the Republican freedom fighters of Spain a few years prior to the Second World War — where the Germans perfected their technique of destroying civilians cities through brutal air bombing attacks against innocents in order to break the back of the resistance to their bloody aims and to the dark brutality of tyranny they exposed in order to install their evil empire as overlords of the whole of Europe and the rest off the World.

It was especially then that it became apparent to Churchill and to the British people that crashing headfirst out of Europe was pivotal to their survival — in the emerging age of German super-airpower, at a time when the U.S. was still focused on manufacturing tractors and automobiles, and could not match Germany’s aggressive armaments production tactics that were honed throughout the German NAZI conquest of Europe’s all manufacturing powers, and that of the Japanese juggernaut that had been unleashed and it was toppling state after state like dominoes falling all over Asia, and increasingly looking as the war will be ending with the Axis powers dominating all of Europe and Asia.

To his credit though, FDR however, also believed that, after the obscenity of the First world war, it was necessary to set out fresh principles in order to forge a more decent and stable world after the first world war — the “war to end all wars” and that is why he claimed that he dithered and prevaricated for two whole years, until the Japanese forced his hand, by destroying the American Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor, and effectively taking over the whole of the Pacific in one clean fell swoop.

Perhaps history has been too kind to FDR, and perhaps that is why, in the drafting of the Atlantic Charter, it was Roosevelt, even more than Churchill who affirmed the basic precepts of a rules-based liberal & democratic world order, including the right of self-determination of all peoples, the principle of no territorial changes by force, the reduction of trade barriers, the advancement of social welfare and the promotion of international disarmament — and all other future rights and benefits, as a lengthy magical wish list for the future of the World, after the second world war should have ended…

A tall order indeed, but after the fall of Pearl Harbor, it was that Atlantic Charter, which became the documentary basis of the “Declaration of the United Nations” in January 1942, when the UN was first convened in spirit and paper alone…”

And although the Allied victory in 1945 owed much to the Russian & Soviet Red Armies — because in the four years between France’s collapse and D-Day, it was the Russian Soviet forces that inflicted about 90% of the German army’s battle casualties and also suffered upwards of 90% attrition rates amongst the dead of the war — still the heart of the alliance was the US&UK allied powers, fighting together and forging a brotherly relationship.

And after the fateful first two years of the war during which time Britain stood alone — it was that convergence of the US & UK armed forces, that came to define the war effort as just one example of the close historical relationship between the two major powers, where the sharing of planning, armaments, defensive positions, spy-craft product, exchange of “signals intelligence” and the institution of the Combined Chiefs of Staff were the most notable examples.

And as this relationship was rooted in a shared heritage of classical political liberalism, going back to the English Parliament’s struggle against monarchical power and against the threat of invasions by tyrannical European powers in the 17th and 18th centuries — it also provided a backdrop for the future foundational stones of the “New World Order” edifice.

Still, the growth of American financial wherewithal coupled with American ingenuity and Yankee innovation of productions methods and engineering, created a significant armaments dominance as the war progressed, became the dominant factor of contention because Russia was bleeding its population suffering over 90% of the war dead, and Britain was similarly hemoraging as it was described by Josip Stalin in his conversation with Churchill and Roosevelt during the Teheran conference of the “Big Three” where he said that the war was being fought with American money, British strategy, and Russian men.

Backbiting naturally ensues amongst allies, and especially emanates form newspaper men, who in 1944 wrote in the British yellow press tabloids, funny comments about the “Yanks” being “oversexed, overpaid and over here,” thus prompting the American trope, that the Brits were “undersexed, underpaid and under Eisenhower.”

And amidst all that nonsense, is where the idea of a “Special Relationship” came in, with Churchill first amongst all British leaders feeling the time ripe for reconciliation amongst Allies, while believing, or at the very least hoping, that the junior partner (himself) could manage the senior partner, because of his vast diplomatic and strategic mind, and the fact of their shared language, cultural values, and that of the judo-christian religious concerns that most of the population of the two countries embraced.

“It must be our purpose to make use of American power for purposes we regard as good” is how another British Foreign Office memorandum put it, during the crazy days at war’s peak, back in 1944.

What’s more, being relatively new to “World Power,” the US would surely need the help, advice and guidance, of Great Britain, that at any rate had been a seasoned global power veteran over the few prior centuries…

Tellingly, a Foreign Office memorandum stated in 1944, that “It must be our purpose to make use of American power for purposes we regard as good, and if we go about our business in the right way, we can help steer this great unwieldy barge, the United States of America, into the right harbor.”

In 1943, Harold Macmillan, a future British prime minister, reached for a classical analogy to describe Allied Force Headquarters in Algiers. “We … are Greeks in this American empire,” he told a colleague languidly. “You will find the Americans much as the Greeks found the Romans — great big, vulgar, bustling people, more vigorous than we are, and also more idle, with more unspoiled virtues but also more corrupt.”

“We must run AFHQ as the Greeks ran the operations of the Emperor Claudius.”

A combination of American brawn and British brains—that was the conceit behind London’s conception of the special relationship.

In Washington, things naturally looked a bit different, not least because of the legacy of 1776, but because in all American folk memory and all of America’s textbooks, Britain, one might say, was the original “evil empire” — the brutal overlord, from which the Americans had escaped thanks to the combined efforts of the Founders, the Minutemen, the clergy and the much hoped for Divine Providence. Therefore, any deep cooperation with the British carried a rather steep price and a malodorous reputation…

Remember that when the US had entered the First World War in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson had demanded that it be called an “associated” rather than an “allied” power, in order to show that it did not share the imperialist values of Britain and France.

Similarly during the Second World War, one of Roosevelt’s primary strategic aims was to end all vestiges of European colonialism.

So in 1942, FDR’s insistence that Great Britain should concede independence to India, provoked a private threat of resignation from my grandfather Winston Churchill who saw the survival of the Empire linked to that of Victory and also saw it as paramount for the survival of Great Britain as well.

This was prophetic as we can see later, when during the Suez canal crisis of 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower pilloried Britain at the UN because he regarded the joint British and French invasion of Egypt to recover control of the Suez Canal as a grotesque reversion to the unacceptable 19th century empire habit of gunboat diplomacy…

Suez canal aside, it was in the Cold War and during the global struggle to confront and contain the spread of malignant communism, that British power became of the greatest value to NATO and the secret asset to the Americans.

But attitudes in Washington shift at a glacial speed, and as the US set out to confront communism world-wide, the new policy came into effect after the Westminster College of Missouri speech, where Winston Churchill spoke about “The Sinews Of Peace” and this is where my grandfather rather eloquently explained that in this new global struggle, British power was as great an asset for America as it had once been, during the ravages of the Second World War.

Because although Britain was teetering in retreat from her global Empire, she still had an industrial output in the early 1950s equal to that of France and West Germany combined, and its armed forces numbered nearly a million, trailing only the Soviet Union and the U.S. In 1952, Britain followed the superpowers in testing an atomic bomb, thereby becoming the world’s third nuclear-armed state. It also retained bases around the world at key strategic points, from Gibraltar to Singapore, which enhanced the projection of U.S. power.

Most U.S. policy makers still avoided the term “special relationship.” In 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson ordered all copies of a memo that used the phrase to be burned. He did not contest “the genuineness of the special relationship” but feared that, “in the hands of troublemakers,” the memo “could stir no end of a hullabaloo, both domestic and international.”

By 1962, Acheson believed that Britain was just about “played out” as a global power. His warning that it had “lost an empire and not yet found a role” touched a raw nerve in London, but Macmillan’s government had already decided to do as Acheson was urging and make the “turn” to Europe. Yet it did so in order to bolster the special relationship. The British cabinet concluded that “the Common Market, if left to develop alone under French leadership, would grow into a separate political force in Europe” and eventually might “exercise greater influence” on the U.S. than the British were able to do, which could undermine Britain’s position as “the bridge between Europe and North America.”

Do the U.S. and the U.K. still need one another in the age of Trump and Brexit? Join the conversation below.

In the event, the U.K. was kept out of the European Common Market all through the 1960s by French President Charles de Gaulle, who was still bitter at les Anglo-Saxons for marginalizing him during World War II. Even after the U.K. finally joined the European Community in 1973, its leaders continued to see their country as a bridge between America and Europe. Their tactic was to manage disagreement with U.S. policies discreetly, in contrast with the Gaullist practice of public denunciation. Britain’s axiom, one might say, was “Never say ‘no,’ say ‘yes, but’”—with the “yes” stated loyally in public and the caveats uttered behind closed doors.

Few U.K. leaders were more Americophile than Margaret Thatcher. Her rapport with President Ronald Reagan became legendary, though she could be caustic about him in private. She supported his firmness toward the old Soviet leadership but encouraged his opening up to Mikhail Gorbachev (a man with whom she famously decided she could “do business”). Even when furious about Reagan’s apparent readiness to sacrifice the principles of Western nuclear deterrence during the Reykjavik summit of October 1986, she responded with classic “closed doors” diplomacy. She invited herself to Camp David and “hand-bagged” the president into a public reiteration of NATO’s official policy.

President George W. Bush (right) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the White House, January 31, 2003. PHOTO: BROOKS KRAFT/CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES
Yet nothing Mrs. Thatcher said in private or public could stop the president from unilaterally sending U.S. troops into Grenada in 1983, even though this was a Commonwealth country and Queen Elizabeth was its head of state. And after 9/11, Prime Minister Tony Blair supported President George W. Bush over the invasion of Iraq, partly in the hope of bringing peace and democracy to the Middle East, but got little for his pains except a tarnished reputation.

Such episodes have prompted criticism that the special relationship is just a fig-leaf for the continued waning of British power. Yet the U.S.-U.K. relationship does remain distinctive in several respects. The sharing of military intelligence, dating back to World War II, has evolved into the so-called “Five Eyes” network of global surveillance among the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

No American ally other than the U.K. has been allowed the same access to U.S. nuclear technology and delivery systems.
The nuclear relationship is also truly special. No other American ally has been allowed the same access to U.S. nuclear technology and delivery systems, in the form of first Polaris and then Trident ballistic missiles. More amorphous, but equally unique, is the habit of consultation: British and American politicians, officials and members of the armed forces at all levels find it natural to talk with their opposite numbers. The common language helps, as does the historic commonality of worldviews and political values.

In consequence, the special relationship has proved a linchpin of the NATO alliance. The U.K., along with France, is the U.S.’s only European ally with a significant “out-of-area” military capability—as seen in the recent reinforcement of British and French forces in Syria, to allow the Trump administration to pull back U.S. troops. And the British are regarded as far more reliable allies than the French. As for the European Community and eventually the European Union, Britain’s membership and its trans-Atlantic bridging role have been supported by every U.S. administration from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.

Which brings us back to Mr. Trump and Mr. Darroch. Today, the cohesion of the West matters as much as ever in the face of a newly assertive Russia and China. Under fourth-term President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continued interference in the domestic politics of Western democracies threaten the stability of the postwar order. Mr. Putin has recently dismissed liberalism as “obsolete.” In Beijing, President-for-life Xi Jinping has embarked on a grandiose strategy to take control of the South China Sea and to expand China’s global reach under the “one belt, one road” initiative.

In 2019, the U.S. remains the world’s leading military and economic power, but its hegemony is under threat from these challengers. Arguably it needs allies as much today as it did during the Cold War. (And yes, those allies definitely need to do more to sustain the alliance.) Yet President Trump has been erratic in his attitude to NATO, hostile toward the European Union and positively jubilant about Brexit—none of which is conducive to the solidarity of the West.

The Darroch affair might seem like a storm in a British teacup. But it also matters to the U.S. Mr. Trump has made no secret of wanting a Brexiteer as British ambassador. And Boris Johnson, the man likely to become Britain’s prime minister next week, pointedly refused to support Mr. Darroch in a recent TV debate. Mr. Johnson’s critics have suggested that he is anxious to appease the president in the hope of a favorable post-Brexit trade deal. Mr. Johnson says that he will “leave” Europe by Oct. 31, “do or die.”

Yours,
Dr Churchill

PS:

Indeed, historically, the postwar special relationship has been most effective when Britain has had strong links with Europe as well as the U.S.

If anything now, Brexit will strengthen the special relationship, and thus the entire Western World will be strengthened at will.

A bientot then.

Let’s get out of the Germany’s Third Reich 2.0 already.

Crash out of it if necessary, walk out of it if need be, or simply waltz off into the brilliant English landscape of a sunny day.


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