the special relationship

as seen from Arlington National Cemetery

the special relationship

as seen from Arlington National Cemetery

The special relationship 

As seen from the front row of the ceremony opening the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

The special relationship

As seen from the front row of the ceremony opening the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Americans who take the time to think about their country’s current relations with Western Europe know just enough about the latter’s situation to be worried, annoyed, exasperated, or bored.
I have always found the word Europe on the lips of those politicians who wanted something from other Powers which they dared not demand in their own name.
Bevin, Marshall, and Schuman, the allied foreign ministers, in Paris, 1948

Source: Marshall Papers, vol 6

Bevin, Marshall, and Schuman, the allied foreign ministers, in Paris, 1948

Source: Marshall Papers, vol 6

Thus it was that Clemenceau brought to success, what had seemed to be, a few months before, the extraordinary and impossible proposal that the Germans should not be heard. If only the President had not been so conscientious, if only he had not concealed from himself what he had been doing….But the President was set. His arms and legs had been spliced by the surgeons to a certain posture, and they must be broken again before they could be altered. To his horror, Mr. Lloyd George, desiring at the last moment all the moderation he dared, discovered that he could not in five days persuade the President of error in what it had taken five months to prove to him to be just and right. After all, it was harder to de-bamboozle this old Presbyterian than it had been to bamboozle him; for the former involved his belief in and respect for himself.
When President Wilson left Washington he enjoyed a prestige and moral influence throughout the world unequaled in history. His bold and measured words carried to the peoples of Europe above and beyond the voices of their own politicians. The enemy peoples trusted him to carry out the compact he had made with them; and the Allied peoples acknowledged him not as a victor only but almost as a prophet. In addition to this moral influence the realities of power were in his hands. The American armies were at the height of their numbers, discipline, and equipment. Europe was in complete dependence on the food supplies of the United States; and financially she was even more absolutely at their mercy. Europe not only already owed the United States more than she could pay; but only a large measure of further assistance could save her from starvation and bankruptcy. Never had a philosopher held such weapons wherewith to bind the princes of this world. How the crowds of the European capitals pressed about the carriage of the President! With what curiosity, anxiety, and hope we sought a glimpse of the features and bearing of the man of destiny who, coming from the West, was to bring healing to the wounds of the ancient parent of his civilization and lay for us the foundations of the future…. ….Never could a man have stepped into the parlor a more perfect and predestined victim…The Old World was tough in wickedness anyhow; the Old World’s heart of stone might blunt the sharpest blade of the bravest knight-errant. But this blind and deaf Don Quixote was entering a cavern where the swift and glittering blade was in the hands of the adversary.
the special relationship 

as seen from the ceiling of a Cambridge pub where UK and US airmen carved, wrote, and burnt their names and units

the ‘398’ in the photo of the actual ceiling (below) is in the very top, left hand corner of the historian’s reconstruction (above)

source: the 398th Bomb Group (398th.org)

the special relationship

as seen from the ceiling of a Cambridge pub where UK and US airmen carved, wrote, and burnt their names and units

the ‘398’ in the photo of the actual ceiling (below) is in the very top, left hand corner of the historian’s reconstruction (above)

source: the 398th Bomb Group (398th.org)

[The Americans] either wish to revert to isolation combined with suspicion of British imperialism, or to intervene in a pathetic desire to solve in a few months by the most childish and amateurish methods problems which have baffled statesmen for many centuries. Somehow between these two extremes we have got to guide them, both for their own advantage and ours for the future peace of the world.
Britain and America [are] now married after many months of walking out.