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A London-Paris Special Relationship?


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Les Anglais considèrent un autre type de relation particulière... http://www.williampfaff.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=163 London, October 10, 2006 – Last weekend in London an organization called Intelligence Squared devoted three days of lectures and meetings to the unpromising cause of making the British like the French. Or if not like them, at least understand them better than usually is the case. The most daring proposition voiced was that of a “special relationship” with France to replace Britain’s existing relationship with the United States. Surprisingly, after an hour and half’s argument, audience opinion gave victory to a French connection. (Those attending were polled before and after the debate.) The outcome certainly surprised this participant, who had argued that the transatlantic special relationship had been bad for both Britain and the United States -- a conjurer’s illusion on both sides. But a special British relationship with France to replace it? I would think that most unlikely. The British-American connection originated in the second world war. Before, America was isolationist, tending towards hostility to Britain, the traditional enemy. The new wartime relationship was reciprocal, each side depending upon the other. Britain needed American supplies. The U.S. needed Britain to fight. If Britain had not fought on after 1940, the Axis would never have been defeated. It waged war wherever it could, from the Battle of Britain until El Alamein in October 1942, a victory followed in February 1943 by German capitulation at Stalingrad, the two together assuring Germany’s eventual defeat. American troops did not arrive in North Africa until November 1942. Americans of this generation like to think that “we” won the war. There were more British forces than American in the Normandy landings on D-Day. Russia’s East European offensives destroyed Germany’s armies. Britain and Russia won the war in Europe. The wartime special relationship continued mainly in intelligence cooperation. British intelligence had formed the American OSS (later CIA) at the start of the war, and remained the senior service until the Burgess-Maclean defections in May 1951. The shadow of the British-American special relationship was finally dispelled by American opposition to the invasion of Suez in 1956. The U.S. subsequently used the alliance to underwrite policies for which Washington found little other support, or at least it tried to do so. Lyndon Johnson pleaded with Harold Wilson to send even a Guards company to Vietnam, to lend plausibility to Washington’s claim that the western alliance was fighting world Communism in Vietnam. Wilson sensibly refused. Tony Blair did not refuse. His faithful support of George Bush in the Iraq adventure undoubtedly expresses personal conviction, but his government justifies it as having given Britain influence over U.S. policies, and as making London the mediator between the United States and Europe, both claims unsupported, and unsupportable. Blair’s incomprehensible supineness in his otherwise legitimate support for the United States bears part of the responsibility for the war’s catastrophic consequences for the United States itself, as well as for Britain and others. Qualified and critical support would have allowed Blair to dissociate Britain from America’s practices of torture and illegal imprisonment, which would have had great effect on American public opinion. Despite repeated promises to intervene in the situation at the heart of the enduring Mideast crisis, Blair has made no independent effort to promote Israel-Palestine settlement. He could have made an important difference. However the problem existed long before Blair’s arrival in office. His position has been essentially that maintained by the Foreign Office and the British political class for 50 years, while gaining little or nothing of substance in return. Of concern to Americans is that this policy has fed the American illusion of global authority as the sole superpower, leading Washington into its present fall from international grace and its military and political crises in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nonetheless, the idea that a future British government might substitute an alignment with France for the transatlantic special relationship may be attractive in theory, but seems wholly unrealistic. There would be advantages in close cooperation between the two European states with the most experience of modern international politics and great power action, possessing the most serious military resources and forces in Europe. However a fundamental hostility towards France has long been embedded in English political culture, going back to the Norman Conquest and installation of French rulers in 1066. Any new special relationship for Britain would surely have to be with Europe, but not with the EU that now exists, which will undoubtedly be changed fundamentally during the decade to come. An organization of 25, or 27, or more, members cannot conduct a serious common international and strategic policy, nor act with dispatch and effect. Yet the consciousness of Europe’s essential unity and the need for a new form of cooperation is evident everywhere. This, I think, has yet to be generally realized: expansion and the rejection last year by France and the Netherlands of the proposed European constitution exploded the Europe originally conceived in the 1950s. New structures must be invented to create a flexible Europe, of common identity and shared essential interests, that does not depend upon the United States -- in recognition that the United States simply is no longer dependable. Britain was the leader of Europe when the war ended. The other Europeans expected it to go on leading. It rejected that opportunity, and retreated to the Atlantic connection. It might find that the opportunity exists once again, in a new Europe that must change. But is it capable of seizing such an opportunity? Copyright 2006 by Tribune Media Services. All Rights Reserved.

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rien de special,un groupe d'expert anglais quelconque est arriver à la conclusion o combien revolutionnaire que la relation special avec les USA ne leur apporter plus que des emmerdes(Iraq,JSF).Que c'est plus facile de discuter avec ses petits camarades européens qu'avec le gros monstre outre-atlantique. Sauf qu'il n'y aura pas de special relationship avec les européen(parceque l'UK n'est pas dans l'europe sic)parceque c'est le fruit d'une histoire particuliere avec les USA. Pourtant ça serait pas mal,peut etre dans le futur; vlà un bref résumé.

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Ils ont besoin de creer une organisation special pour qu'ils se rendent que les USA "f*** them very deep"? ...[09] La semaine derniere un sondage donnait qu'1 anglais sur 4 auraient preferer etre francais ... mais ou vas t'on si les rosbeef se mettent a nous aimer !!! Y vas tomber quelque chose [29]

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Sauf qu'il n'y aura pas de special relationship avec les européen(parceque l'UK n'est pas dans l'europe sic)parceque c'est le fruit d'une histoire particuliere avec les USA.

Pourtant ça serait pas mal,peut etre dans le futur;

Que les francais sont en pleine décadence et ne sont pas fiables, que l'Europe n'est rien militairement, que les valeurs pronées par l'UE sont celles du renoncement...
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Traduction , svp ![44]
je doute qu'il te la donne, en mp peut etre [08]

sinon je ne me fie pas aux rosbifs, je ne leur fais pas confiance, par le passé toutes les cooperations -allechantes sur le papier- soit ont capoté (Concorde), soit ont tourné a leur avantage ou a celui de leur "fideles alliés americains" (WW2 par exemple, mais meme avant ou apres), soit ils ont quitté le navire (recemment avec Airbus)!

"definitely not a reliable country" , enfin au moins vis a vis de nous français [11]

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Traduction , svp ![44]
Oh! Quelle déception! Moi qui vous croyais cultivée ... ou bien est-ce encore une de vos poussées de moralite aigue ? Définitivement incurable.[40]

je doute qu'il te la donne, en mp peut etre [08]

sinon je ne me fie pas aux rosbifs, je ne leur fais pas confiance, par le passé toutes les cooperations -allechantes sur le papier- soit ont capoté (Concorde), soit ont tourné a leur avantage ou a celui de leur "fideles alliés americains" (WW2 par exemple, mais meme avant ou apres), soit ils ont quitté le navire (recemment avec Airbus)!

"definitely not a reliable country" , enfin au moins vis a vis de nous français [11]

Je crois au contraire que nos amis anglais a toujours vouloir s’asseoir sur deux chaise en même temps, Europe et Amérique, sont en train de prendre conscience que si l’un ou l’autre retire la chaise ils vont se retrouver le cul par terre.

Avec les déboires du JSF, je ne serais pas surpris que la GB fasse des efforts de comportement dans les prochains projets européens auxquels ils participent et participeront en évitant de, soit s’accaparer le projet (Eurofighter) ou de le lâcher (frégate Horizon).

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