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U.S. still top British ally: new foreign minister
Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 7/14/07 | Paul Majendie

Posted on 07/14/2007 4:10:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

LONDON (Reuters) - New British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, seeking to squash speculation that London may distance itself from Washington over Iraq, has insisted the U.S. is still Britain's number one ally.

Since Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair as British prime minister last month, he has been at pains to stress there is no cooling off in Anglo-American relations -- but two of his ministers offered mixed signals.

Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said in a speech in Washington that while Britain stood beside the United States in fighting terrorism, isolationism did not work in an interdependent world.

Then Foreign Office Minister Mark Malloch Brown followed up in a weekend interview by saying that Britain had to nurture a wider range of allies and predicting London and Washington would no longer be "joined at the hip."

Blair's decision to back President George W. Bush and go to war in Iraq sent his popularity plummeting in Britain and contributed to his departure after a decade in power. He was lampooned as "Bush's poodle."

The change of premiership has prompted speculation that Britain might accelerate troop withdrawals from Iraq. Britain has been gradually reducing numbers in Iraq and now has about 5,500 troops in the south.

Miliband, writing in the News of the World tabloid, said there would be no change to the so-called "special relationship" between London and Washington.

"With a new Brown government, some people are looking for evidence that our alliance is breaking up. There isn't any and there won't be any," he wrote.

"Nothing has changed. Our strongest bilateral relationship is with the USA," he said.

Brown is flying to Berlin for talks on Monday and plans to visit Paris and Washington after that.

He has said he will continue to work closely with the U.S. administration.

"We'll not allow people to separate us from the United States of America in dealing with the common challenges we face around the world," he said, when asked to comment about minister Douglas Alexander's words.

Brown may have been forced to step in and seek to reassure Washington there is no major change in foreign policy -- but his popularity shows no signs of fading after he finally took over as prime minister after a decade in the wings.

An ICM survey in the Sunday Telegraph showed the Labour Party enjoyed its best poll position for almost two years -- 40 percent compared to 33 percent for the opposition Conservatives and 19 percent for the centrist Liberal Democrats.

In a News of the World poll, 53 percent felt Brown was best equipped to lead Britain compared to just 27 percent for David Cameron, the youthful Conservative leader who has rejuvenated his party after three electoral drubbings.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: ally; british; foreignminister; miliband; newforeignminister

A file photo of British Foreign Secretary David Miliband arriving in Downing Street for a meeting of the government's top emergency committee Cobra, in London, June 29, 2007. Miliband, seeking to squash speculation that London may distance itself from Washington over Iraq, has insisted the U.S. is still Britain's number one ally. (Stephen Hird/Reuters)


1 posted on 07/14/2007 4:10:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: everyone

Alexander’s comments are encouraging. The concept of no “separation from the Americans” is, I think, deliberately used here. Among Churchill’s last advice to his colleagues when he stepped down as PM in 1955 was “never, ever be separated from the Americans.” It’s a quite well-known quote, especially I would think among British political figures. This deliberate evocation of America-loving Churchill by the new government is good news.


2 posted on 07/14/2007 4:20:12 PM PDT by California Patriot ("That's not Charley the Tuna out there. It's Jaws." -- Richard Nixon)
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To: NormsRevenge

I just dont care anymore about anyone other than the US. To much backbiting for far to long. Sick of the rest of the world.


3 posted on 07/14/2007 4:21:45 PM PDT by MARKUSPRIME
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To: NormsRevenge

You are looking at almost certainly the next leader of the labour party whenever that will be.


4 posted on 07/14/2007 4:22:15 PM PDT by UKrepublican
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To: MARKUSPRIME

The widows of our service personal send their grattitude for such sentiments....


5 posted on 07/14/2007 4:22:57 PM PDT by UKrepublican
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To: MARKUSPRIME
I just dont care anymore about anyone other than the US. To much backbiting for far to long. Sick of the rest of the world.

I tend to feel that way too, but for some reason, I still try not to feel that way.
6 posted on 07/14/2007 4:24:23 PM PDT by mutley
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To: MARKUSPRIME

Lousy attitude. We’re not friendless in this world, as this article shows.


7 posted on 07/14/2007 4:25:55 PM PDT by California Patriot ("That's not Charley the Tuna out there. It's Jaws." -- Richard Nixon)
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To: everyone

Oops, I should have said “Prime Minister Brown’s comments are encouraging, as are those of Foreign Secretary Miliband.” Alexander’s comments are bad, but he’s a secondary player.

Iw was Brown who used the phrase “separate us from the United States.” I strongly suspect this was deliberately chosen for its historical resonance.


8 posted on 07/14/2007 4:27:52 PM PDT by California Patriot ("That's not Charley the Tuna out there. It's Jaws." -- Richard Nixon)
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To: UKrepublican

Im glad you speak for widows.


9 posted on 07/14/2007 4:31:43 PM PDT by MARKUSPRIME
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To: NormsRevenge
U.S. still top British ally: new foreign minister

Good for them, Australia is ours.

10 posted on 07/14/2007 4:32:17 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: VR-21
Good for them, Australia is ours.

Good quip. lol
11 posted on 07/14/2007 4:37:34 PM PDT by mutley
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To: MARKUSPRIME

‘I just dont care anymore about anyone other than the US. To much backbiting for far to long. Sick of the rest of the world.’

That’s precisely how liberal America felt in 1939. In 1941 it learnt that such isolationism was folly of the highest degree.


12 posted on 07/14/2007 4:39:44 PM PDT by britemp
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To: VR-21

‘Good for them, Australia is ours.’

Have you informed Australia of this? Perhaps if you do they might send a few more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan as the current 1500 puts them way behind pulling their weight per capita in the coalition, despite the pro-war rhetoric spouted by their politicians. Bit less hot air, few more troops please Ozzies!


13 posted on 07/14/2007 4:43:24 PM PDT by britemp
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To: MARKUSPRIME

I don’t need to - your comments pissed all over their graves.

You really think they’d appreciate you degrading out committment and sholder to sholder stand with your nation?

Instead you are ignorant, and take some comments from a nobody and use it as an excuse to give us the finger.

Utterly pathetic.


14 posted on 07/14/2007 4:54:40 PM PDT by UKrepublican
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To: UKrepublican

How do you think Americans feel being savaged by europe for years and years as far back as I can remember? The US has defended that sorry ass continent for over half a century and we get spit on constantly.I am sick of it.I guess I am just tired of the backbiting and grow weary of the shanks in the back. I thank the british military,but I loathe the anti-US EU nancy boys.


15 posted on 07/14/2007 5:00:29 PM PDT by MARKUSPRIME
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To: britemp
My reason for saying what I did is because I've recently spent time working in England and Ireland and I couldn't so much as buy a meal or a drink without catching a ration of $hit about George Bush, Iraq or whatever else made their roids itch.

I swear I'll kiss ass to keep from ever going back there again, and I relish the opportunity to return some of the hospitality I received there.

16 posted on 07/14/2007 5:00:30 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: MARKUSPRIME

I know how you feel. Whatever you do don’t visit any British newspapers, left or right, especially stay away from the comments made by ordinary British citizens. Totally sick of the rest of the world.


17 posted on 07/14/2007 5:04:52 PM PDT by CremeSaver
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To: UKrepublican
Why don’t you give a rest. I was lurking at a British site about two years ago and the topic of conversation was “how can we reclaim prime European real estate that American graves now occupy? Oh, hey I have an idea let’s plow under the American crap.” Our widows appreciate you too. And you think you are going to lay guilt on us? Think again, you had better curb the mouths of some of your citizens before your nose is out of joint over how sick and tired we are of you.
18 posted on 07/14/2007 5:13:57 PM PDT by CremeSaver
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To: CremeSaver

As if a few comments on an online comment page mean anything.

As for our newspapers - the biggest selling newspapers the sun and the times have BOTH been supportive of the US.


19 posted on 07/14/2007 5:18:15 PM PDT by UKrepublican
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To: britemp

Well said - how quickly they forget.

We gad 40,000 troops in there to defeat saddam.

How much did the aussies have?

A token gesture by politicians with rhetoric and on their way to defeat anyway (look at the aussie polls - Howard is sadly TOAST).

It means little in comparison to a nation that has stood by you - the first in and one of the only ones to stay behind when the others were running for the exit.


20 posted on 07/14/2007 5:20:41 PM PDT by UKrepublican
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To: CremeSaver

You speak for noone mate. Most Americans would laugh at your desperate anti British rhetoric.

You base your opinions...on a web chat? Absurd.

We have our morons, evidently you do to.

You’re not without extremists, anti americans, anti bush, anti iraq etc.

Our country has elected a parliament that supports the WOT and Iraq.

BOTH our leading parties do.

YOUR country threw out those that did in favour of a party that favours cut run and surrender.

We’re doing out part - instead of directing your anger at us - put your efforts into defeating the real enemy in your own home and return a republican president and a republican congress.


21 posted on 07/14/2007 5:23:30 PM PDT by UKrepublican
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To: NormsRevenge

Gordon, you want to stay on our good side? Fire Mark Malloch Brown. Yesterday. Or better yet, make him ambassador here, where he’ll either learn manners or blow up spectacularly.


22 posted on 07/14/2007 5:31:01 PM PDT by RichInOC (Thatcher '08: Now More Than Ever.)
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To: VR-21

Genuinely sorry that you had to put with such crap.

The vast majority of British people are decent and fond of America,even those who may not honestly rate Bush. I do genuinely hope that you come back here again and meet more Britons and see that such ignorant ranting idiots are the minority.

All the best.


23 posted on 07/14/2007 5:32:04 PM PDT by the scotsman
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To: CremeSaver

Genuinely sorry that you had read such crap.

The vast majority of British people are decent and fond of America,even those who may not honestly rate Bush. I do genuinely hope that you come here and meet more Britons and see that such ignorant ranting idiots are the minority.


24 posted on 07/14/2007 5:33:20 PM PDT by the scotsman
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To: UKrepublican
One comment? Do you think I base this on one comment? I just spent the better part of a month reading comments from Sun readers. It was heart warming, and I'm still wallowing in the love and affection that the average Brit has for Americans and the United States. Yes, that is sarcasm with a capital "S." How do we exist being so fat, so stupid, a b@astard nation with no history and no culture? How in the world are we possible?

I have spent the last year reading The Daily Telegraph, and I'm especially fond of the "Your View" section. It is enlightening to say the least. Is it possible for them to get through a week without having the usual anti-American red meat thrown to Telegraph readers? So don't be stupid and don't call me mate, we are not "mates."

You take care of your country we will take of ours. We can both do without one another, and in my opinion it is long over due. Hate and contempt is not exclusive property of the United Kingdom it can, and does go both ways.

25 posted on 07/14/2007 5:43:10 PM PDT by CremeSaver
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To: CremeSaver

Roots go deep. Principles embedded in such things as the Magna Carta and the Pilgrims were brought to us from the old country and found a good home here. Though the UK is more socialistic the US, and nowadays less Christian than it once was, yet, at bottom, I think we have the same roots.

I think one has to overlook the pettiness of some...on both sides.


26 posted on 07/14/2007 5:58:37 PM PDT by sasportas
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To: the scotsman

Thank you, scotsman. Ignore the above rant it was not meant for you.


27 posted on 07/14/2007 5:58:39 PM PDT by CremeSaver
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To: sasportas
I am so tired of Europe, including the Brits. The other day I was reading a thread about WWII. The British poster listed every ally and their great contributions, all except one. A “stupid American” said, “Hey how about us? We were there too.” The amount abuse that rained down in this poor dumb ba$tard was not to be believed from our so-called friend. Our military was insulted and disparaged in the most despicable ways. They were berated as inept and incompetent, “all gear and no idea.” Oh, and everyone’s Grandad said, “When the Germans fired the allies ducked, when the Brits and French fired the Germans ducked. But when the Yanks fired everybody ducked.” Hahaha. I was just doubled over I was laughing so hard. Did you know that if it wasn’t for the Russians, that Britain would probably be speaking German, they just couldn’t hold on much longer and thank goodness for the Russians. It was disgraceful.

It is said over and over again that we arrived late, just in time to claim all if the glory. I have always wondered why when our “dear friends” were hanging on for dear life why did we wait? Now I realize that our fathers and grandfathers knew what they were doing. This anti-Americanism isn’t new. This has been going on a long, long time. We need to disengage ourselves from Europe, as our founding fathers warned over two hundred years ago. We must not make the same mistake a third time.

28 posted on 07/14/2007 6:18:28 PM PDT by CremeSaver
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To: CremeSaver

Well, having never actually been in the UK, I’ll have to take your word for it.

Apparently, it is the same sort of thing we experience with the Canadians. I don’t get it. America has always befriended our allies.

Re: your comment about the Brits attitude towards the Ruskies in WW2, I guess they would like us better if we were a totalitarian bully like the Soviets.


29 posted on 07/14/2007 6:32:21 PM PDT by sasportas
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To: sasportas
I don't get it either. I just could not belittle and abuse someone who is supposed to be a "friend." For me, it cuts so deep because my heritage and ancestry is English. SmileyCentral.com

How's that for irony?

30 posted on 07/14/2007 6:40:58 PM PDT by CremeSaver
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To: NormsRevenge
New British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, seeking to squash speculation that London may distance itself from Washington over Iraq, has insisted the U.S. is still Britain's number one ally.

Of course we are. We owe them Big Time. Why would they cut us off before they get something in return later?

31 posted on 07/14/2007 6:44:33 PM PDT by krb (If you're not outraged, people probably like having you around.)
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To: CremeSaver

Creme, the British poster was an idiot,period.

And the ‘everyone ducked’ joke is an old,old one and just a silly one.Dont read too much into it.

Can I say one thing though?.

This is probably a reaction to AMERICAN attitudes to Britain in world war 2...

The British people frankly, Creme, are SICK FED UP of OUR contribution, our INCREDIBLE AND IMMENSE contribution in two world wars being ridiculed and marginalised more and more the further we recede from 1939-45...

Frankly, we have had now SIXTY YEARS of being told that America ‘bailed us out’, ‘saved our ass’, that ‘we would be speaking German if not for America’ etc etc.

It is in films...tv....print...the internet. The most successful recent Hollywood war film (Private Ryan) only mentions us in order to insult and distort our actions in Normandy...

On this site and on any, it seems that many Americans truly believe that they won two world wars singlehanded and that you bailed us out/saved us etc etc....I even increasingly read how you won the Falklands War for us...

So I am TRULY SORRY that you read ignorant comments from this side of the Atlantic about America in ww2.

BUT perhaps you may wish to reflect that there is just as much if not more arrogant,ignorant and frankly offensive rubbish talked about Britain and its role in the two world wars by far too many of your fellow countrymen and women...

This is a problem BOTH nations have.


32 posted on 07/15/2007 3:53:17 AM PDT by the scotsman
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To: CremeSaver

Again, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

You’re the sort of person that reads a few remarks on a newspaper message board and makes some absurd capricious decision that it represents the whole of the UK.

Well that’s just insane.

As for going it alone - your politicians don’t agree with you and neither do the majority of your people.

Most British people love America, it’s culture and it’s history. Most are glad that historically we have stood sholder to sholder.

As for not liking the Bush administration - that doesn’t make them anti american and it in fact - it only really puts them in with the majority in your own country anyway, no matyter how much we may not like it.


33 posted on 07/15/2007 4:46:52 AM PDT by UKrepublican
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To: the scotsman; CremeSaver
I'm not really sure what all of the fuss is about. For goodness sake, most relationships end in divorce. How would any sane person expect a relationship between two very diverse countries to survive these turbulent times?

CremeSaver, If you are upset now, I would suggest that you avoid the Telegraph "Your View," today. Maddening, yes. Insulting? absolutely. LOL!

Last week The Sun had a thread where Brown is removing Winston Churchill from history lessons? I wish there would have been more information on the story for as a poster asked, "How can you teach the history of the 20th century and not mention Winston Churchill is beyond me?" Me too. It seems to me that the British are in a very difficult situation. Their national pride won't allow them to be swallowed up by Europe, even though their government is pressing for it. On the other hand, they don't want to feel as if they are subordinates to the US either. From what I am reading they see their national identity eroding daily by the massive number of immigrants who don't want to be British (remind you of anyone?), and they have a government that doesn't listen to its citizens (again, sound familiar?). I see a people who are very angry, and at the same time a people who feel very impotent to solve their situation. I see a people whose smallest problem is whether or not to remain a close ally with US.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we are facing a very similar situation. I wish the British well, they have tough times ahead, and those times are nothing that anyone but themselves can cure. For us, we had better be paying close attention to our own backyard, there's a sinkhole back there, and it's growing daily.

P.S. I once suggested that we follow Winston Churchill's dream of an English speaking alliance between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and the US. I was told in no uncertain terms, leave out the US and it would be a good idea. Well, hell's bells it doesn't get more blunt than that, does it? These are the times we are living in. Every generation needs a villain. "Tag, we're it." Don't let it get you down Creme, there are people of good will everywhere, we have the scotsman and many more like him, concentrate on the good discard the rest.

34 posted on 07/15/2007 5:43:47 AM PDT by asp1
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To: NormsRevenge
This is a very significant political statement by Foreign Sec'y Miliband.

Check my memory, but didn't he have an environmental or scientific portfolio recently, and hasn't he been involved in the row over "global warming" (TM)?

35 posted on 07/15/2007 9:03:05 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: UKrepublican
The widows of our service personal send their grattitude for such sentiments....

Sentiments not widely shared.....

Americans will not forget that, when all our "new best friends"(TM) were called away to their estancias on urgent business on 9/11, it was your PM, Tony Blair, who showed up sitting in the gallery of the House of Representatives during President Bush's address to the nation, the PM's pockets bulging with fine old Royal Navy brass knuckles.

When our "friends" ran, your people ran toward trouble, ready to catch a friend's back. That gets remembered for a long, long time.

And nobody over here thinks Tony Blair was President Bush's "poodle" ..... he was working very hard at selling us a proposition central to multilateralism, globalism, and the establishment of supranational entities like the International Court of Justice. We didn't bite, but it wasn't for any lack of trying on the part of Blair and his government. He wanted to be the middleman who delivered a new transatlantic relationship between the U.S. and the E.U., and he worked at that idea quite assiduously. The President, on the other hand, is constitutionally bound to keep us out of certain kinds of arrangments, just as PM's Major, Blair and Thatcher all avoided e.g. joining the euro group.

36 posted on 07/15/2007 9:16:03 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: CremeSaver
You take care of your country we will take of ours. We can both do without one another, and in my opinion it is long over due. Hate and contempt is not exclusive property of the United Kingdom it can, and does go both ways.

That's out of line. It's so off-base I don't know where to begin, but putting all that together based on a few cutesy-pie "man bites dog" posts in a popularizing British MSM blog is, to put it gently, like going over Niagara in a barrel just to prove something.

37 posted on 07/15/2007 9:29:32 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: lentulusgracchus

I appreciate that FRiend.

I completely realise it’s not a feeling widely shared.


38 posted on 07/15/2007 10:48:05 AM PDT by UKrepublican
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To: the scotsman

“On this site and on any, it seems that many Americans truly believe that they won two world wars singlehanded and that you bailed us out/saved us etc etc.”

Hollywood’s main market is the US, hence the emphasis they put on America’s contribution to WW2. Most FReepers, however, know better, and have zero to very little confidence in anything Hollywood puts out.

We have history books over here, you know, I, for one, know the true story. The UK, under Churchill, are true heroes in the grand drama in Europe, WW2. They refused to cave in when their backs were against the wall, with the whole of Europe overrun by Hitler. For that, they have won my fullest respect. I view conservative Churchill, not liberal Roosevelt, as the greatest single figure of the 20th century. I think you would find most FReepers would agree.

We came in late, true, but I think we deserve at least a little credit for our contribution towards the defeat of Hitler.

But what about the Pacific? Who are the heroes who hung tough? True, Britain was heroic under Gen. Slim (one of the greatest generals of WW2, in my opinion) in Burma, but America, with Australia, played the major role in the final defeat of Japan.

I have yet to hear any American whine about Britain’s lesser contribution to the Pacific war. Yet, as indicated by your post, not so on your side of the Atlantic. Re: the late, and allegedly minimal, contribution by the US in the European war.

Remove Hollywood from the equation, and the little flap is solved.


39 posted on 07/15/2007 12:16:01 PM PDT by sasportas
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To: UKrepublican; lentulusgracchus; asp1; CremeSaver

“On this site and on any, it seems that many Americans truly believe that they won two world wars singlehanded and that you bailed us out/saved us etc etc.”

Hollywood’s main market is the US, hence the emphasis they put on America’s contribution to WW2. Most FReepers, however, know better, and have zero to very little confidence in anything Hollywood puts out.

We have history books over here, you know, I, for one, know the true story. The UK, under Churchill, are true heroes in the grand drama in Europe, WW2. They refused to cave in when their backs were against the wall, with the whole of Europe overrun by Hitler. For that, they have won my fullest respect. I view conservative Churchill, not liberal Roosevelt, as the greatest single figure of the 20th century. I think you would find most FReepers would agree.

We came in late, true, but I think we deserve at least a little credit for our contribution towards the defeat of Hitler.

But what about the Pacific? Who are the heroes who hung tough? True, Britain was heroic under Gen. Slim (one of the greatest generals of WW2, in my opinion) in Burma, but America, with Australia, played the major role in the final defeat of Japan.

I have yet to hear any American whine about Britain’s lesser contribution to the Pacific war. Yet, as indicated by your post, not so on your side of the Atlantic. Re: the late, and allegedly minimal, contribution by the US in the European war.

Remove Hollywood from the equation, and the little flap is solved.


40 posted on 07/15/2007 12:21:32 PM PDT by sasportas
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To: VR-21

I’m sorry that you had a few rude comments about your government when you visited the UK and Ireland. I will say that I’m very surprised at this as I have met several Americans in the UK and they hadn’t had a bad word said to them. I’ve been to areas of the US where I have been given very rude service, but I take that for what it is- one of those things. I will also say that I’m a big fan of Ausralia, but I must say that I have always believed Americans to be more impressed by actions than words. The UK is the only ally of the US facing heavy combat on the front lines of the WoT.


41 posted on 07/15/2007 1:58:22 PM PDT by uksupport1
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To: sasportas

Thank you for one of the best posts I have read on FR.

The modern ignorance on both sides of the Atlantic is a sad and dangerous trend.It can only improve I suppose.

And you need not ‘ask for a little credit’. Those of us who know and respect history know the immense sacrifice of your nation and thank you for it.


42 posted on 07/15/2007 3:14:46 PM PDT by the scotsman
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