Pic: Wikimedia Commons


Eighty years ago  aboard the U. S. S. Augusta on Placentia Bay, Newfoundland,  Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt signed a document called the Atlantic Charter.  Recently, in the historically Celtic region of Cornwall, England, President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson re-enacted  that event signing a new Charter reflecting the challenges of the 21st century. 

The Charter is not  a treaty but  a  set of principles and foreign policy objectives the two nations publicly affirmed.  As the Nazi threat loomed over Europe the 1941  Charter was publicly heralded as a unique act of solidarity.  President Roosevelt was reluctant to embrace the partnership of an imperial colonial empire with an industrial scale record of human rights abuses.  But the rise  of fascism prompted this marriage of convenience and  the British quickly labeled  it  as a “special relationship.”  

 Churchill knew that two of the proposed Charter principles were inferences to  Britain’s imperial  partition of Ireland despite the  1918 32 County democratic vote for independence.  He signed  the Charter anyway  confident Britain’s media influence would soon make the world forget the greatest democratic heist of the 20th century.     The Atlantic Charter of 2021 is more explicit but  Britain’s record in N. I.  does not bode well for any change in their tactics.  The dismissal of a GFA promised unity referendum and grants of amnesty for all soldiers and secret agents involved in killings in NI suggests that for Britain the Charter was a publicity stunt.    

Not only is  Britain undermining the US backed GFA and obstructing the NI Protocol but it  is encouraging  its N. I. loyalist  partners to make threats if both are not modified or removed.       Dan Holder of the Committee on the Administration of Justice  noted that  the entire Irish  peace process  is predicated on the future of law enforcement accountability. But the choreography of cover-up, managed by the Ministry of Defense, continues  unabated.  It   has spanned decades of lawlessness, the  corruption of justice and the purposeful  smearing of the families of victims.   This includes the latest revelation of government lies about the British Army killing of 10 innocent civilians in Ballymurphy in 1971 with similar cases  being challenged in the McGurk’s Bar, Springhill, Loughlinisland,   Dublin/Monaghan bombings with dozens more to follow. Professor Kim Wagner of Queen Mary University London observed that, notwithstanding the Atlantic Charter, the US or the EU, “… the Ministry of Defense’s position  is to never apologize or accept responsibility for these killings claiming  that “myth of exceptionalism.” Respected Assistant U. S. Secretary of  Defense John Kirby has stated:  “We have to be courageous enough as friends to speak candidly about the rule of law and about civil and human rights with friends and adversaries.” The US is speaking but  Is Britain listening? 

Prudence dictates that President  Biden seek a review of US-UK partnerships in areas of extradition, deportation and MLAT requests, joint military training, Department of  State Human Rights reports,  a possible EU-US  review of British  obstructing  the Good Friday Agreement and, of course, trade.   

But the Conservatives’  hypocrisy and  hostility to  the truth, the   Good Friday Agreement and the NI Protocol runs deep and has taken an ugly turn.   Cameron Hilditch, part of  the National Review brain trust,   wrote recently in the TELEGRAPH characterizing President  Biden as follows:   “incapable of mustering up sophisticated or nuanced thought,” “a simpleton,” “a useful powerful idiot”,  whose ”thoughtlessness is one of his most persistent and pernicious traits.”  This  arrogance is shared by many Brexiteers and may well unite  the political divide in America to conclude  that post-Brexit Britain is not ready for prime-time or   worthy of American trust or partnership.   

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