Epic Nation

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Brits know who their friends are

A poll taken this week shows that British citizens overwhelmingly believe they should have closer ties with the US than with the French. Chirac and Blair will be meeting today to discuss Franco-British relations, which makes this poll all the more comforting:


  • Do you think that perhaps the Britons voted that they should have closer ties with the United States, as opposed to France, more because of the U.S.'s "wealth and power" than because of the moral principle involved in the U.S. taking action against terrorism?

    For instance, let's imagine a hypothetical France that is the richest, most powerful country in the world, but has the same foreign policy that the real France has. And let's say that the United States has switched economic positions with France in the sense that the U.S. has become sort of a second-rate, second-tier economic power, but that it pursues terrorists just as aggressively as the real U.S. does.

    Wouldn't it be possible, then, that the Britons would favor getting closer to France over the U.S.?

    Of course, I would hope that the Britons chose America in this poll, less because America is the world's financial superpower than because the U.S. is morally right in its fight against international terrorism.

    I do understand that there are many different reasons why individual Britons would have in voting the way they did; perhaps some agree that the War on Terrrorism is ethically right while others just favor closer relations with the U.S. because the U.S. has been the most profitable trading partner since the twentieth century.

    And I also understand that there may be flaws in the hypothetical scenario that I posed. One may point out that the U.S. being richer than France is probably a consequence of the U.S. having overall more economic freedom and that all of the policies of every country are interrelated.

    But Kevin, what do you think was the main reason why Britons voted that way? Does any article say? I'll find it reassuring if the Britons who participated in that poll said that they overall approve of George W. Bush's policies, including the more controversial ones. If they just want close ties to the U.S. because there is financial gain involved, it's not as reassuring.

    What do you think, Kevin?

    By Blogger Stuart K. Hayashi, at 5:30 AM  

  • Short answer: The Brits hate the French, and it is for that reason that even an anti-American Englishman would have to take a deep breath and admit he prefered the U.S. over France.

    By Blogger Kevin P., at 5:45 AM  

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