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  • Morning Bell: The Special Relationship Beyond BP

    British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the White House for the first time as Prime Minister yesterday. At a time when the United States is engaged in a war in Afghanistan, when Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, and while the world economy is teetering through a weak recovery, one would hope our press corps would focus on lasting issues of physical and economic security. Unfortunately the press conference and the media coverage focused exclusively on the Scottish government’s release of the 1988 Lockerbie bomber and whether BP was involved in the decision.

    This must have been especially galling to Cameron, since as leader of the opposition party in Britain at the time, Cameron objected to the terrorist’s release when it happened. As Cameron said yesterday, there is “violent agreement” between him and President Barack Obama on the issue, adding: “It was the biggest murder in British history, and there was no business letting him out of prison.” Unfortunately Cameron parroted President Obama on another key issue as well, telling BBC News about Afghanistan: “People in Britain should understand we’re not going to be there in five years’ time, in 2015, with combat troops or large numbers because I think it’s important to give people an end date by which we won’t be continuing in that way.” This echoes President Obama’s mistaken decision to identify July 2011 as the beginning of U.S. withdrawal from the region. As long as we are being frank, we ought to acknowledge that the biggest problem with the President’s entire strategy was setting that artificial timeline for withdrawal. That led our military leaders to question the strategy in Afghanistan and put tremendous, unnecessary pressure on our armed forces to accomplish the task at hand. It also gave a psychological advantage to the Taliban, who will convince their recruits that the American will is lacking and thus they can just “wait us out.”

    As U.K. Defense Secretary Liam Fox recently put it in a major speech at the Heritage Foundation, an early departure from Afghanistan “would be a shot in the arm to jihadists everywhere, re-energizing violent radical and extreme Islamism. It would send the signal that we did not have the moral resolve and political fortitude to see through what we ourselves have described as a national security imperative.… To leave before the job is finished would leave us less safe and less secure. Our resolve would be called into question, our cohesion weakened, and the Alliance undermined. It would be a betrayal of all the sacrifices made by our armed forces in life and limb.”

    At least Cameron is still taking a hard line on government spending and deficit reduction – a position in direct opposition to President Obama’s call on all G20 nations to spend themselves further into debt. Instead of pushing for a fifth round of deficit spending like the Obama administration has done, U.K. Chancellor George Osborne has identified 85 billion pounds worth of budget savings and cuts.

    The world needs robust U.S.- British leadership, which has been strikingly absent in recent months. But from the lack of U.S. ratification for the U.S.–U.K. Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty to the Obama administration’s slap in the face on the Falkland Islands, the once “special relationship” between our two nations has faltered under the Obama administration. Britain – not China – is the largest foreign investor in the U.S. economy, and the U.S. is the largest investor in Britain’s. There are three times more U.S.-owned firms in Britain than there are in any other European country. The ties go on and on – from tourism, to defense procurement and to intelligence sharing, the United States and Britain are the best partners in the world. The British government should cooperate fully with any Congressional investigation into BP’s role in the Lockerbie decision. That way we can get beyond the BP issue and focus on the so much more that our countries can accomplish together.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Morning Bell: The Special Relationship Beyond BP

    1. rodger craft says:

      Cloe the borders to anyone from any country that allows terrorists to reside. Throw out all of the Muslims, Iranians, Afghans, Arabs, or anyone else who should not be here. See how they live without any support from the US. Let them fight among themselves like they have for centuries. Stay out of their countries and keep them out of this one.

    2. Dave, Napa Valley CA says:

      I cannot understand how misguided this President (Obama) is in his foreign policy, to include those nations who are pro-American, and investing in our economy.

      He is purposely or precisely giving the wrong advise, and they know it. Perhaps George Soros and company is pulling Obama's strings in order to gain some control of our country and degrade our control and leadership role in the world.

      Obama is so un-American in many respects and anti-Constitution oriented that he should be impeached for lying to the American people on his oath the day he was ordained as president.

      I think he is so Muslim that he cannot morph himself to our Christian values.

    3. Sharon Haas, Fountai says:

      I agree fully. I feel bad for Cameron on the release of that criminal since he was against his release but he should now cooperate since he is in charge.

      Obama is giving our country away and expecting our citizens to get on the government handout bandwagon.

      Our men and women are fighting all over the world for people's freedom while we here loose ours.

    4. ron decker, hilton h says:

      President Obama's date for the beginning of withdrawl is not that big of a deal. All anyone needs to do is look at US economy, tax structure, and form of democracy to see we cannot afford to stay there for many more years. As more and more people lose their level of economic standard of living they will vote their pocket book. Whether you are worth 20 million or 20 thousand you get one vote. Historically this can be seen. No matter how much pr you buy sooner or later when it gets down to it people in this country vote their pocket book. Those that mean us harm are not ignorant we just want to think they are.

    5. Patriot Cat, Texas says:

      I'd like to know if Cameron is a member of the Bilderberg Group. In fact, I'd like to know what,if anything, The Heritage Foundation knows about this group and its policy-makers across the world. It would seem that this is a most dangerous axis of powers.

    6. Patrick Soule, Olymp says:

      Someone needs to know how to use spell check and / or get a dictionary. "Great content with distractions leads to distraction". Yes, you can quote me on that.

    7. Pete Kleff, Cypress, says:

      The attention on the Lockerbie bomber is a misdirection ploy by a compliant press.

    8. Ron Turner says:

      I noticed that when the people are running for office or incumbents in some way trying to justify their possition on or about taxes their comments seem to be in generalities such as "the american people do not want any new taxes" or "now is not the time to raise taxes". No one seems to follow up when interviewing them to be more specific. Of course the american people don't want new taxes or to increase. I would like to know what their position is on repealing the current and ambiguos tax code and replacing it with a "fair tax". This is only on issue of many. While we probably do know the answer I think the constituants should know their specifics on the positions. Aren't journalist suppose to be asking not avoiding these questions?

      Where am I wrong.

    9. Warren Lyckman Hills says:

      Some times when in young boys playing baseball, the boy that owns the ball and bat can pick them up and go home when the game is not going to suit him.

      This seems to be the same ploy of the Republican Congress now except that they do not own the ball and the bat. But they just go home anyway.

    10. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      I agree with Cameron. Especiallly about pulling out our troops. The reasoning behind this is as follows. We have accomplished our mission in Iraq, and no longer need to be there. It is up to that Nation to do with its Liberation what it will, and that will in most probability be just as it has done for centuries.

      We also need to pull our troops out of harms way in Afghanistan. They have, in effect, cornered the enemy. Yet the people of Afghanistan are still in their historical roles of War Lords, Drug growers, and beggers. This is a no win situtation. therefore I would reccommend the withdrawl of all troops immediately, give a thirty day notice to turn over all Terrorist, and if not complied with, Nuke the Nation. They will never change, the territory is known to them for a thousand years or more, and they will not aide us in our endevor. Just surround the borders.

      In other words, remove the Terrorist and the Drugs at the same time, and Pray for the Dead.

    11. Doug/Bath PA says:

      With the Lockerbie bomber how come no one is talking about how the president didn't appoint anyone to speak on behalf of U.S. America families who were and still are affected by this terrible tradegy? How outraged they were, when the found out that they had no say in the release. Nor was the government going to advocate on their side, except for the president to say that it was a mistake to release him and blame McAskill.

    12. Blair, Franconia, NH says:

      Al Magrahi should be returned to his Scottish prison cell.

    13. Haig Bedrosian, IL says:

      Perhaps it's time to consider giving the people of Afghanistan the choice in the direction of their country. What is it that they want? If they want us to stay, we need to insist that they fund our military presence in their country so this war doesn't burden the American tax payer indefinitely. If they want us to leave, it would be the decision of the people of Afghanistan to reclaim the responsibility of policing their own nation.

      Neither is a losing proposition for America, and neither requires us to leave the region completely. We will still have a presence in Iraq and in Turkey, in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf. We can still perform intelligence and covert operations in the region. And should the Taliban resurface to threaten us or our allies, we can still mobilize the troops and the weaponry necessary to deal with that threat. Afghanistan will never be beyond our reach.

    14. Ronald McCloskey,, M says:

      Lockerbie was a terrible tragedy and that man should never have been released. But, all the investigating in the world will not change things. It will only give the blowhards in Washington another chance to look tough. We have many mor important things to worry about than something which we can do nothing about.,

    15. Ariely, Israel says:

      Terrorists acting against civilian should not be realized for life time.

      Forbidding terrorist killing civilians should be a non negotiable moral value.

      The world should stand firm against the ideologies using terrorist tactic against civilians.

      Giving in to terrorists – leads to more terror

      Stand firm against terror- on the short time the price will be high however on the long run it will pay off.

      Will the western countries have the leadership willing to undertake a long run firm politic decision and pay less attention to the next election results?

    16. Jim Waldie Scotland says:

      I 'am afraid that the American people has been give severe untruths about Al Meaghrie the man hiself was wanting to stay in Prison until the Appeal was heard but his Doctors were unable to give assurance that he would live that long so it was put to the British Government that he should be released and Mr Cameron knew this and had liar wirtten all over his face when he blamed Scotland in front of the president and the American people for it I 'am Scottish and what PM he is doing is handing Independance to Scotland on a plate which will be great for the people of Scotland.

      Al Meaghrie will be proved innocent but to please the American Government like all other untruths it will be swept under the carpet.

      Truely can anyone believe what ther governments tell them I don't and never have they are all lairs everyone of them. We in Great Britian has never been told the truth since Sir Winston Churchill (God rest him ) a Spiritual Man full of Wisdom.

      I would like to ask all Americans to exam their own conseiences look into their hearts before they believe whats the papers, radio, television and what their governments tell them examing both side of the story its time we make up our own minds about things.

      God Bless Americans and the Scottish I hope in the end we caome out of all of this unscathed.

      Yours Aye.

      Jim

      Mr Meaghrie was an innocent man and it would have been proved at his appeal

    17. Patti, Colorado says:

      Someone please explain that last sentence to me.

      I am so grateful for Heritage Foundation.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    18. Drew Page, IL says:

      To Warren Lyckman, Hillsboro, TX — What are you trying to say? Are you unhappy that the Republicans just don't rollover without arguement and give the Democrats everything they want? The Republicans in the House and Senate are outnumbered by a wide margin, leaveing Obama and the Democrats free to ram anything they want down the country's throat.

      Obama and his crew don't solve problems; they create and perpetuate them.

    19. Scott Greene, Califo says:

      I agree with Ron Turner's comment that he would like to know what the politician's position is on repealing the current and ambiguous tax code and replacing it with a “Fair Tax”, as the current income tax system does not work very well.

      It is paper intensive, complicated and mind numbing.

      If the income tax system actually worked then you would not be constantly hearing about the tax gap.

      Politicians who want to keep adding on to the current unworkable income tax system need to be questioned why

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