Saturday, April 7, 2007

The United States as an Ally to the UK

In the wake of the Iranian UK-hostage crisis, I was appalled by many things, not the least of which were Nancy Pelosi refusing to allow the House to condemn Iran and support the UK, as well as numerous opinion pieces in the British press - including the conservative press - which opined that the U.S. was not assisting the British. I found this belief to be most distressing.

True, the U.S. government announced nothing publicly, but as I wrote at the time in response to those allegations, Nancy Pelosi does not yet run our foreign policy, no matter what she may think. There was no doubt whatsoever that the U.S. had passed word to Tony Blair that we would support the U.K. by any means he requested, including with the full force of our military. The utterly craven wing of the Democratic party aside, I could not see America doing anything less for the loyal ally that Britain has been to us.

And as it turns out, that belief has been fully vindicated. This from the Guardian today:

The US offered to take military action on behalf of the 15 British sailors and marines held by Iran, including buzzing Iranian Revolutionary Guard positions with warplanes, the Guardian has learned.

In the first few days after the captives were seized and British diplomats were getting no news from Tehran on their whereabouts, Pentagon officials asked their British counterparts: what do you want us to do? They offered a series of military options, a list which remains top secret given the mounting risk of war between the US and Iran. But one of the options was for US combat aircraft to mount aggressive patrols over Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases in Iran, to underline the seriousness of the situation.

This was precisely what we should have done. And to those in Britain who seemed to believe that the U.S. would leave Britain to its problem while offering no help, I hope this is a bit of a slap of realism in the face. There are literally only a handful of nations left in the Western world whose governments are motivated by at least a patina of idealism, loyalty, and long term goals above and beyond pure self interest - Brtitain's is one, the U.S. another. Do not go looking for any on the continent of Europe. The EU - and the UN - have already spoken to that.

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