10 August 2006

With enemies like these do we really need allies?

I probably wouldn’t bring this up but for the fact that liberals, and others, still talk occasionally about President Bush’s “failure” to bring our so-called traditional allies to the table (and, perhaps, into the war in Iraq).  As I have understood that argument, those traditional allies numbered four:  Germany, France, Great Britain, Canada (?) and Australia.  Well, two of those traditional allies who did come to the table and into the war are Great Britain and Australia.

Peter Hitchens discusses our relatations with the British:

“The two countries were at each other's throats many times in the 19th century. Powerful forces in Washington wanted to annexe Canada and much British diplomacy was needed to prevent this. A dispute over the frontier in the far North-West almost led to gunfire in the 1850s. And Britain came close to intervening openly on the side of the Confederacy in the American Civil War. A British shipyard built the Confederate raider CSS Alabama, which did terrible damage to the North's shipping. The victorious North did not forget, and sued Britain for the then enormous sum of £3 million in compensation. There was real resentment and anger over this. Senator Charles Sumner, Chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, said Britain's breach of neutrality was so serious that it had doubled the length of the war, and that Britain ought to hand over Canada to the USA as redress.”

But don’t think, Hitchens doesn’t like us.  Nothing could be further from the truth:

“I have lived in the USA and loved it. I like Americans. I am glad of the help the USA have sometimes given us, and not resentful about the times when they have pursued their own interests at our expense.”

Incidentally, yes, this Hitchens is related to Christopher Hitchens.  In fact, they are brothers.

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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