Sex, lies and the special relationship | Letters
In current months, the weird behaviour of Donald Trump has left many in the UK anxious about the reference to Britain’s “closest ally” (Retweeting Britain First, 29 November). As a Canadian, I discover it odd to listen to that the US is taken into account by Britons to be their closest ally. In the nice wars of the final century, Americans initially profited from neutrality, delaying entry for 3 years, till 1917 and 1942; and in the case of the second world struggle they solely dedicated to the struggle once they have been straight attacked. (In 1941 then Senator Truman even proposed to help Germany if the Russians seemed to be profitable in the East.) Canada and Australia, in distinction, instantly entered each wars alongside Britain. Of more moderen classic, Canadians and Australians fought alongside allied forces in Afghanistan. But we didn’t drag the UK into the Iraq debacle. If you wish to know who your true allies are, ask who was there for you while you have been in want, and who dragged you right into a silly, unjustified struggle on false pretences.
Professor of economics, University of Calgary, Canada
• I share Jonathan Freedland’s keenness to ditch the “special relationship” (The special relationship is a delusion, 2 December), which, as he says, the US doesn’t view as we do and about which the UK is unrealistic.
However, it won’t be simple to finish it. Just as the Brexit negotiations are exposing how a lot nationwide independence the UK misplaced in the civil sphere by being in the EU, so ending the shut US-UK hyperlink would reveal simply how dependent the UK is on the US in the navy sphere, for procurement for Trident and typical defence. Placing the relationship on a extra hard-headed foundation would take time.
• You can’t assume that the majority of what Trump says is the fact, writes Jonathan Freedland, “as you would for a normal occupant of that office”. Has Freedland forgotten Bill Clinton’s public assertion in 1998: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”? Or the lies and deception advised by President George W Bush to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003? Or, certainly, the 2012 New York Times report that famous President Obama had “embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties” of US drone strikes that “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants”?
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