he political and military alliance between the U.S. and the United Kingdom, long considered inseparable, could be threatened by a British government inquiry into the Iraq War, say some commentators. The investigation has pointed a finger at the US for being "hell-bent" on a 2003 invasion, and laid bare a feeling among many Brits that their nation was led astray by America. Will the fallout from Iraq fundamentally change relations between these two countries? (Watch Tony Blair joke about fatherhood in an appearance on "Late Night with David Letterman")
The good old days are over: Perhaps the Iraq inquiry's "most productive result" will be to expose the "differences of principle, practice and perceived interests" between the UK and the US, says Mary Dejevsky in the Independent. The Iraq alliance was marked not by "unanimity" but by "misunderstandings, disagreements and, above all, conflicts of interest". This so-called "special relationship" has "had its day" and now "compromises" the UK's "national interest."
"Iraq exploded the special relationship"
Tony Blair should have been a real friend: The only way the British government could have saved the "special relationship," says Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy, is by acting like a "real friend" and persuading Bush not to go to war. Instead, the UK supported the invasion when it knew it was wrong – and has lost the trust of the Obama administration as a result. Tony Blair should have realized that "real friends speak up when a friend is making a big mistake."
"Why Tony Blair shouldn't have been a real friend..."
But it's Obama who has shunned the UK: At least Bush appreciated our support, says Con Coughlin in the Spectator. The real damage to the UK's relationship with the US has been inflicted by the "diplomatic cold-shouldering" given to us by Obama. The US doesn't have many allies willing to fight for "American values of freedom and democracy". Our troops, 9,500 of whom are in Afghanistan, "deserve far better than this president’s disregard."
"A special form of disrespect"
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