Monday, August 06, 2007
Thankfully, John Bolton is no longer the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Today he writes an op-ed in the Financial Times that has the nuance of a junior high school angst power play but with less charm. He is telling the UK that we won't wear the charm bracelet they gave us if they also make friends with that Europe kid. I am not reducing this to a banal generalization. This is exactly what Bolton is saying.
In fact, whether the “special relationship” grows stronger or weaker lies entirely in British hands. Americans across the political spectrum are content to keep it as it is and has been essentially since the second world war. That does not mean that the two countries always agree, nor has it ever meant that Britain is a poodle following America’s lead, self-flagellating Brits notwithstanding.
There are, however, more fundamental questions. Successive UK governments have taken Britain deeper and deeper into the European Union, all the while proclaiming that nothing fundamental about Britain’s status was changing. Britain is not unique in this regard. Europeans advocating an “ever-closer union” continually reaffirm that they are not changing anything fundamental about their sovereign control over foreign and domestic policy...
Thus, saying that the UK’s “single most important bilateral relationship” is with America, but is not comparable with UK membership of the EU, is a clever but ultimately meaningless dodge. Drop the word “bilateral”. What is Britain’s most important “relationship”? Does Mr Brown regard the EU as a “state under construction”, as some EU supporters proclaim, or not?
Bolton goes on to say that we won't tell secrets to the UK anymore because they totally might pass a note to the European Union. You can only have one best friend and you need to pick like totally now. It's so like the time when we shared with them the note about how Saddam was a stinky poo head who had WMDs all over the place. We can't share stuff like this with people who make friends with that red headed girl with freckles. Like omigod!