U.S. relationship with Britain is strained

War in Iraq is taking its toil on thelongstanding “special relationship.”

.A day after a high-level U.S. commission heavily criticized America’s current strategy in Iraq, President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair talked U.S./U.K. involvement in Iraq at the White House. After their meeting, Bush announced that America and Britain will continue standing together to try bringing peace to Iraq. But the past year in Iraq has left many, especially the British, asking how much influence the British government actually has over the Bush administration, if any. It seems like the longstanding historic “special relationship” between the two countries is reaching its end.

Blair, increasingly known around Britain as Bush’s lap dog, is currently facing heavy pressure from home to distance himself from Bush and American foreign policy. His decisions pertaining to Iraq have heavily embarrassed the British people. They are pushing for Britain to become the top leader in Europe and stop focusing on its partnership with the United States. For once we are seeing the British demanding to be a part of United Europe, one that they hope can act as a sanity check to U.S. foreign policy.

It is hard to dispute British claims that the relationship between our two countries entails Britain being subordinate to the United States, due mostly to the economic power the United States wields. Furthermore, current ideologies diverge between the two powers. Unlike during the Cold War, the alliance is economic and only vaguely cultural. Now, the controversy and the international backlash over British supported American actions in Iraq have enraged the British, all but severing the relationship between the two countries.

The relationship between the United States and Britain will never be the same again, courtesy of Bush and Blair. After a rich partnership captured beautifully in the relationship between Eisenhower and Churchill, the times of the British- American Laurel and Hardy are over.

It is time for Britain to make a decision: be at the helm of the European Union or risk being cut adrift. As Britain continues to strive to be a bridge between the European Union and the United States, it is alienating both.