Good friends have arguments, and when it comes to international allies, the U.S. and the U.K. are the best friends you can find. We even fought two major wars against each other, but still go to battle arm in arm as partners to defend common values, while jokingly argue about how to pronounce “tomato.”
The strength of the U.S.-U.K. alliance is unshakeable, even though the liberalization and Islamization of Great Britain are dragging that nation into pretty dangerous territory. Maybe Brexit will put a stop to that, if they ever achieve an actual Brexit.
But U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch has unleashed some scary and troublesome indicators of things to come, with his leaked memos claiming that Trump is inept, his administration is inept, and that the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement only to “spite Obama.” The trouble isn’t in the leak; the trouble is Parliament’s reaction to it.
One can almost feel sorry for Darroch, because surely he has the right to carry out his diplomatic duties to the PM and Parliament, to hold and express his viewpoints. The pity is warranted because his statements are so blatantly wrong and opinionated, based not on Trump’s ability to rule and his government’s ability to govern, but instead, on a personal dislike for the U.S. President, obviously formed long before Trump even took the oath. And it reflected May’s opinion as well:
When Joe Kennedy served as U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. and expressed willingness to pursue peace with Hitler, FDR basically said, “Hey, moron! Come home. You’re fired.”
Trump being Trump, he immediately replied to Darroch’s attack on his abilities by screaming, “I know you are but what am I!?” (And while some may abhor it, I love this level of political discourse because it’s so simple and honest. You go after me, I go after you. Isn’t this what strength and leadership are all about?)
Many Conservative Members of Parliament and Brexit cheerleaders immediately demanded Darroch’s resignation, because after all, how could he possibly be an effective ambassador to the U.S. now!? Prime Minister May expressed her support for him, but since she’s being forced out by her own party anyway, you can take that for what it’s worth. And new contenders for the PM seat Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt both defended the media’s right to publish the leak, at the same time Scotland Yard is tracking down the leaker in anticipation of criminal charges! (I sense a slight disconnect here and abandonment of logic.)
So within a few days, Darroch resigned, many of his supporters blaming this injustice against him on Trump’s attack Tweet (it was just a Tweet, not a declaration of war and Trump didn’t designate Darroch persona non grata), many blaming Hunt’s and Johnson’s lukewarm support, and all ignoring the fact that May could have refused his resignation in the first place. But he’s still there for now, and gone as soon as they find a replacement, but the “they” isn’t going to include May. (Sure, she can propose someone, but since she won’t be around for much longer, I doubt her new U.S. Ambassador will be around much longer either.)
It’s definitely a matter of national pride, and the Brits have a right to it. However, it’s an incredible embarrassment, and while the outrage should be against such negative sentiments towards a long-time and trusted partner and friend…not to mention a vital trade partner in their post-Brexit world…the outrage is mostly against the leak, against Darroch’s “forced” resignation, and against Trump.
…who didn’t start this damn mess.
Progressive liberals in the states love this entire drama because of its Anti-Trumpism, and that’s to be expected. What’s not to be expected is how deeply this has reached the streets of London, and seats of Parliament. It might be America first under Trump, but that doesn’t mean the U.K. last, and for most Americans, the news hasn’t caused much of a ripple, and we’re sensitive to Britain’s tense political landscape with Brexit and all.
We know we’ll get over this spat and move forward, even into the second Trump term, which is something the liberals don’t want at all.