Here we go again.
I do sometimes wonder if the United States’ wanting to lord it over the rest of the world has more to do with an inherent inferiority complex than the simple display of power and influence; so many times we have seen them take a very large sledgehammer to a very small nut when a common sense kid glove approach would have otherwise sufficed.
The tactics they adopt aren’t even consistent, unless you look at them as you would a playground bully. They talk the talk like Americans always can, but only take action when they are absolutely certain that they can get what they need; this is why they have successfully puffed themselves up as the saviours of the world, while invading countries that have offered no real threat to anyone. Witness Afghanistan – an utter shithole of a country that has been utterly ruined by decades of invasion, Islamic extremist madness and civil war – and Iraq, which was conveniently marinated through harsh economic sanctions for over a decade. It was only when the Iraqi Army had been starved of all morale and their Soviet-era tanks had rusted firmly into place for lack of fuel that the Amis felt brave enough to march on Baghdad, and finally depose a much-hated bugbear who even at his most desperate was unable to fire even one of his many imaginary weapons of mass destruction.
Conversely, the voiceboxes across the pond – and their rather loud army of arselicking followers here – continue to talk at length about the likes of North Korea; the reality is that they would never consider an invasion, for anyone who knows about these things knows that Lil’ Kim Jong Il probably does have a very real arsenal of horror weapons – and would have have no hesitation in using them. As a result, all we have is bluster and bullshit rhetoric about the “axis of evil” or some other Hollywood soundbite to satisfy the trigger-happy Bible-basher belt who would otherwise be concerned with baking cookies for their local anti-Harry Potter convention or protesting about upholding their Gawd-given right to shoot small animals with high calibre rifles.
Yes, the US is a bully – it can invade countries and people that cannot fight back, but doesn’t go beyond the blah blah blah when dealing with those countries that are actually capable of giving it a bloody nose. I guess they have learned from their bitter experience in Vietnam, when a bunch of jungle-dwelling peasants gave them a brutal lesson in close quarter combat. I have never been a friend of the communists and I’d rather spoon out my own eyes before siding with them, but whenever I get this vision of some gun-totin’, bible-punchin’, sister-fuckin’ good ole boy walking straight into a VC booby trap before he can say “I’m gonna git me some Gooks”, I can’t help but chuckle.
All of this of course leads me to the latest diplomatic furore, that concerning the case of Scottish computer nerd Gary McKinnon, a rather sorry individual who has been elevated to public enemy #1 in the self-proclaimed Land of the Free.
Gary McKinnon is a man who is quite clearly a couple of nickels short of a buck – let’s not beat around the bush here – and is far from being some sort of dangerous criminal terrorist threat. If anything, his being able to hack (or rather, stumble straight into) expensive and supposedly top-secret military and NASA computers would suggest that the security levels applied by these agencies were not up to scratch. Rather than wasting everybody’s time in attempting to extradite a man who wouldn’t be able to defend himself in court – let alone survive in prison – the US should be sorting their own shop out and asking how they allowed themselves to be embarrassed in this fashion.
Therein lies the rub: this entire process and the position of the US authorities is not about pursuing a criminal or even defeating an imagined terrorist threat, but little more than an exercise in masking their own incompetence. Being embarrassed in such a fashion is something the collective American ego is incapable of stomaching; to be undone by one of their own is one thing, but to be shown up by a pasty-faced Britisher? And a feeble-minded pasty-faced Britisher at that? You can’t even begin to imagine it.
Of course, being British McKinnon is an easy target: the Americans owe us nothing, and as far as they are concerned this country is useful only if we supply on-field live targets for friendly fire or bases for them to launch their airborne forays into the Middle East. The so-called “special relationship” is a complete and utter myth, something that sits firmly in the media-constructed minds of those nincompoops who celebrate the fourth of joo-lie without actually knowing anything about it.
You just need to look the extradition agreements that exist between us to understand that all of this “special relationship” stuff is just horsecrap; you can bet your life that if the boot were on the other foot our so-called friends across the pond would be kicking up a massive stink, lacing it with a healthy helping of “how dare you, he’s American!”
Of course, our own government has – rather predictably – reacted in their own typically spineless fashion, though in all fairness one could have expected nothing less from the otherwise inconsequential Alan Johnson, who would appear to care more about genuine terrorists than a mentally inadequate bumbler who had the misfortune to caught up in a mess he cannot be expected to comprehend.
If there is a “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom, it can only be one where we are seen by the US as their “special friend” – where the word “special” takes on an entirely different meaning.