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28 August 2007

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Cold War Zoomie

"...I had been going to these places for years and never heard the hostility towards an American leader that I did then."

You must not have been in those pubs during the Reagan years.

And the entire entertainment media back then blasted Maggie and Ron contantly.

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Cold War Zoomie

JJackson,

You make some good points. The most important being that the UK viewed the American people and the Bush Admin as basically separate entities before the 2004 election. Those who understand our system knew that we cannot just chuck someone out of office with a vote of no confidence. Bush did not have a comfortable victory in 2004, though. It was a very tight race.

To be more serious than my comment last night, one aspect I left out is how closely our governments work together. More specifically, the average American and Brit have no idea how closely the DoD and MoD work together. On the intel side, our SIGINT operations are comingled in the UK. We have joint operations at places like the link below regardless of how the British Press constantly refers to it as "an American spy base"...

Menwith Hill

(The FAS got one thing right: it's a joint US/UK operation.) I can't speak for the HUMINT and other intel services out there, but we work very closely with the UK in SIGINT.

We also have close relationships left over from the Cold War NATO days, and we are still developing Command and Control as well as telecom systems that interoperate with the Brits and other NATO forces. The Defense Information Systems Agency has a Royal Marine LTC as the US/UK liaison. I'd venture to guess there are tons of these type of liaison relationships still going strong. Plus, we still have multiple DoD bases and facilities in Britian.

On the civilian side, try to visit the US embassy in London some time in Grosvenor Square. It isn't some small operation.

Finally, add our commercial trade relationship to the mix:

British-American Chamber of Commerce

Gee, I wonder if those joint SIGINT operations can come in handy for international trade intelligence, too?

Hmmmm.

Jim Schmidt

"I long for my college years (mid sixties) when the fire burned to change the government. Maybe a spark has been re-kindled. I hope so."

TR Stone

I agree. Your comment echoes a previous discussion in this forum whether ideas or enonomic self interest drive political events. Probably both, but, in the spirit of your sentiment, I thought you might enjoy the following line of movie dialogue.

Wally: "I've lived in this city all my life. I grew up on the Upper East Side. And when I was ten years old, I was rich, I was an aristocrat. Riding around in taxis, surrounded by comfort, and all I thought about was art and music. Now, I'm 36, and all I think about is money. "

"My Dinner With Andre", 1981

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