What's Wrong with the Brits?

Across the pond, the British are subjected to an Iraq War Inquiry -- sort of a South African-style reconciliation auto-de-fe seeking political and cultural vengeance for former Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to join with America in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Diplomats, generals, soldiers, and politicians have entered the chamber to criticize or justify doing what was obviously the right thing for a close ally to do: join the U.S. to usurp Saddam Hussein and engage jihadists on the ground in the wake of 9-11.

In the midst of the political posturing is the elephant in the room: the "special relationship" between the two English-speaking nations since the War of 1812. There have been some notable setbacks: the Suez conflict of 1956, when the U.S. withdrew support from the U.K. and Israel, and America's reluctance to back the U.K. in the Falklands War of 1982 come to mind. But for the long haul, the U.S. and the U.K. have been allies. World War I solidified the relationship when U.S. troops were shipped "Over There" to fight the Hun on behalf of Britain and France. In World War II, the U.S. went back over, and the special relationship flourished during the Cold War against Soviet Russia and the attendant political warfare by the KGB.

As Cambridge don Christopher Andrew, the dean of intelligence scholarship, reveals in Defend the Realm, his recently published and unprecedented authorized history of Britain's counterintelligence security service, wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill allowed American leaders access to Ultra, the biggest secret of the 20th century. The Brits, at war with Germany in 1939, broke the allegedly unbreakable Enigma code in 1940, allowing them to survive until the U.S. entered the war in late 1941. Ultra intelligence assured the success of the Normandy landings and played a key role in hundreds of military and intelligence operations during the conflict.

And the U.S. reciprocated at the beginning of the Cold War in 1945 by allowing the British access to Venona, the second big secret of the century, composed of intercepted and decrypted cables from Moscow to its agents abroad, including two hundred or more spies burrowed in every department of the Roosevelt wartime government. The Venona project was so secret that the head of the newly formed CIA and President Harry Truman were excluded. But not the Brits, even though the U.S. -- most notably in the person of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover -- was leery of Britain's loose vetting of many of their intelligence officers.

This turned out to an accurate appraisal after the discovery that the infamous Cambridge Moles were passing Venona material to Moscow. First, Guy Burgess and Donald McLean fled to Russia in 1951. But not until 1963 was the most notorious of the Cambridge ring unmasked: the suave Kim Philby, who served as British intelligence liaison with the U.S. and allowed access to the most explosive secrets gleaned from Venona, including the names of several atomic spies working for the Soviets. The fourth member of the ring, Anthony Blunt, was caught later in the decade but allowed to continue in his role as Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures until he was exposed in 1978. The fifth mole, John Cairncross, after several false accusations against innocent British intelligence officers, was identified in 1990 by Soviet defector and KGB colonel Oleg Gordeivsky in collaboration with Chris Andrew in their book KGB: The Inside Story.

Thus the Special Relationship has been far more special than previously known in light of the revelation of Ultra in 1975 and Venona in 1995. The Americans and the Brits are joined at the hip via a common language and culture -- from Shakespeare, literature, poetry, films, and theatre -- and an addiction to the British royal family. Add in serving as allies in two world wars, Korea, and Vietnam; the sharing of atomic secrets; the displacement of U.S. warheads on U.K. soil; and the reality that the largest overseas investor in America is the U.K. But sharing the most heavily guarded secrets in modern history elevates the kinship to a plane unprecedented in global relations.

So what happened to drive a wedge between two great friends over a justifiable and honorable war? One factor is the role of European Union malaise, defined as it is by world socialist zeitgeist. The EU effort to pull Britain away from the special relationship with America is relentless. After all, the driving force behind the expansion of the European Common Market to create the EU was hatched by jealousy of the power and size of the American economy. While the U.K. has joined the community, it has not integrated fully with monetary union (the pound remains the currency of U.K., and not the euro) and a referendum to approve the latest EU Constitution continues to be postponed. Savvy Brits know better than to subsume their sovereignty into what is fundamentally a version of the USSR. And the EU knows that it needs to wean the U.K. away from America to accomplish its goals to outweigh U.S. trading and manufacturing wealth.

There is another possible factor instigating anti-American feeling in the U.K. against alliance with America as personified in the Iraq War Inquiry. A half-century of KGB propaganda has had its effect worldwide. Hatred of America is expressed today as it was with the formation of the Communist International, created n Moscow in 1922 to foment world revolution in order to form a global union of soviet socialist republics. The propaganda machinery created then, and carried out until the collapse of the USSR in 1991 by the KGB's "active measures" against Western democracies, has ingrained revulsion of the U.S. for its role as the bastion of freedom against the promises of utopian communism. The socialist cadres in Britain are famously vocal and, like most leftists, impervious to reality and common sense. The Inquiry is another opportunity for them to push their manifestos.

As is the case with fringe political angst, the Inquiry is Monty Python-like and humorously pathetic. It serves no useful purpose except to bang the same drum echoing across the Atlantic from the U.S., where the Left never ceases in its criticism of the Iraq War.

Bernie Reeves is editor and publisher of Raleigh Metro Magazine.
Across the pond, the British are subjected to an Iraq War Inquiry -- sort of a South African-style reconciliation auto-de-fe seeking political and cultural vengeance for former Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to join with America in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Diplomats, generals, soldiers, and politicians have entered the chamber to criticize or justify doing what was obviously the right thing for a close ally to do: join the U.S. to usurp Saddam Hussein and engage jihadists on the ground in the wake of 9-11.

In the midst of the political posturing is the elephant in the room: the "special relationship" between the two English-speaking nations since the War of 1812. There have been some notable setbacks: the Suez conflict of 1956, when the U.S. withdrew support from the U.K. and Israel, and America's reluctance to back the U.K. in the Falklands War of 1982 come to mind. But for the long haul, the U.S. and the U.K. have been allies. World War I solidified the relationship when U.S. troops were shipped "Over There" to fight the Hun on behalf of Britain and France. In World War II, the U.S. went back over, and the special relationship flourished during the Cold War against Soviet Russia and the attendant political warfare by the KGB.

As Cambridge don Christopher Andrew, the dean of intelligence scholarship, reveals in Defend the Realm, his recently published and unprecedented authorized history of Britain's counterintelligence security service, wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill allowed American leaders access to Ultra, the biggest secret of the 20th century. The Brits, at war with Germany in 1939, broke the allegedly unbreakable Enigma code in 1940, allowing them to survive until the U.S. entered the war in late 1941. Ultra intelligence assured the success of the Normandy landings and played a key role in hundreds of military and intelligence operations during the conflict.

And the U.S. reciprocated at the beginning of the Cold War in 1945 by allowing the British access to Venona, the second big secret of the century, composed of intercepted and decrypted cables from Moscow to its agents abroad, including two hundred or more spies burrowed in every department of the Roosevelt wartime government. The Venona project was so secret that the head of the newly formed CIA and President Harry Truman were excluded. But not the Brits, even though the U.S. -- most notably in the person of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover -- was leery of Britain's loose vetting of many of their intelligence officers.

This turned out to an accurate appraisal after the discovery that the infamous Cambridge Moles were passing Venona material to Moscow. First, Guy Burgess and Donald McLean fled to Russia in 1951. But not until 1963 was the most notorious of the Cambridge ring unmasked: the suave Kim Philby, who served as British intelligence liaison with the U.S. and allowed access to the most explosive secrets gleaned from Venona, including the names of several atomic spies working for the Soviets. The fourth member of the ring, Anthony Blunt, was caught later in the decade but allowed to continue in his role as Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures until he was exposed in 1978. The fifth mole, John Cairncross, after several false accusations against innocent British intelligence officers, was identified in 1990 by Soviet defector and KGB colonel Oleg Gordeivsky in collaboration with Chris Andrew in their book KGB: The Inside Story.

Thus the Special Relationship has been far more special than previously known in light of the revelation of Ultra in 1975 and Venona in 1995. The Americans and the Brits are joined at the hip via a common language and culture -- from Shakespeare, literature, poetry, films, and theatre -- and an addiction to the British royal family. Add in serving as allies in two world wars, Korea, and Vietnam; the sharing of atomic secrets; the displacement of U.S. warheads on U.K. soil; and the reality that the largest overseas investor in America is the U.K. But sharing the most heavily guarded secrets in modern history elevates the kinship to a plane unprecedented in global relations.

So what happened to drive a wedge between two great friends over a justifiable and honorable war? One factor is the role of European Union malaise, defined as it is by world socialist zeitgeist. The EU effort to pull Britain away from the special relationship with America is relentless. After all, the driving force behind the expansion of the European Common Market to create the EU was hatched by jealousy of the power and size of the American economy. While the U.K. has joined the community, it has not integrated fully with monetary union (the pound remains the currency of U.K., and not the euro) and a referendum to approve the latest EU Constitution continues to be postponed. Savvy Brits know better than to subsume their sovereignty into what is fundamentally a version of the USSR. And the EU knows that it needs to wean the U.K. away from America to accomplish its goals to outweigh U.S. trading and manufacturing wealth.

There is another possible factor instigating anti-American feeling in the U.K. against alliance with America as personified in the Iraq War Inquiry. A half-century of KGB propaganda has had its effect worldwide. Hatred of America is expressed today as it was with the formation of the Communist International, created n Moscow in 1922 to foment world revolution in order to form a global union of soviet socialist republics. The propaganda machinery created then, and carried out until the collapse of the USSR in 1991 by the KGB's "active measures" against Western democracies, has ingrained revulsion of the U.S. for its role as the bastion of freedom against the promises of utopian communism. The socialist cadres in Britain are famously vocal and, like most leftists, impervious to reality and common sense. The Inquiry is another opportunity for them to push their manifestos.

As is the case with fringe political angst, the Inquiry is Monty Python-like and humorously pathetic. It serves no useful purpose except to bang the same drum echoing across the Atlantic from the U.S., where the Left never ceases in its criticism of the Iraq War.

Bernie Reeves is editor and publisher of Raleigh Metro Magazine.