Pic: Wikimedia Commons
AMERICAN BREXIT COMMITTEE
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.