“The frail skiff of present-day British policy is not inspiring any hope in British people, especially since the ‘symbolic voyage’ is taking place amidst the approaching economic crisis which is also tossing the American ship of state on its menacing waves.”
This was Mikhail Afonin’s conclusion in Izvestiya, 31 August 1949. The article titled “In a Frail Skiff – to Washington” commented on the media hype associated with the crossing of the Atlantic in a 25-foot-boat by two Englishmen – Bevin and Cripps – for the Washington Conference of 7 September 1949. The Acheson-Bevin talks in Washington discussed issues ranging from the British revenge in Damascus to granting of recognition to Communist China. More importantly Acheson convinced Britain to guide European unity and prevent Germany from slipping into Soviet orbit.
In 1949 the British economy was in dire straits. Grosvenor Square, the headquarters of the so-called ‘Special Mission for Marshall Plan was occupied by American monopolies and stars and stripes waved atop most houses. From “this ‘Little Washington’ as the Yanks jibed maliciously, 1200 experienced American officials” and about 12000 troops controlled Britain and a considerable part of her empire.
The current issue is why did America permit its poodle to rock the post-war foundations with the Brexit referendum? It is hard to believe that Cameroon did not seek Uncle Sam’s nod before ordering the referendum. It is equally foolhardy to assume that a divided Britain and fragmented EU is not in American interest.
Keeping Germany within the American fold continues to be Washington’s objective. The only change is that Britain role in the strategy has changed. The Yanks no longer find the Brits enterprising enough to serve their interests in the EU. Taking a leaf out of the British rule book – divide and rule – America too is leaving behind a divided Britain. What could not be achieved by the Scottish “yes or no” has been achieved through the Brexit “leave or remain” vote. First, the Americans extracted “Great” from Britain by dismantling their empire in Asia and the Middle East. And now the Americans are gleefully seeing it shrink to “Little England”. This does not necessarily make Britain a pariah in the US scheme of things. The Royal Navy may well be deputed to Asia to manage the “US pivot”. After all, it is Asia from where the British amassed their wealth and perhaps this is where the Englishman will revive his fortunes.
Coming back to the German-American conundrum, one wonders as to who is driving the alliance? Is America making Germany its new poodle or are the Germans inching closer to replacing the Jewish Lobby as drivers of USA. According to Philip Oltermann, “German Americans make up the largest ethnic group in the US, if you divide Hispanics into Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans etc. In the 2013 American Community Survey, 46 million Americans claimed German ancestry: more than the number who traced their roots to Ireland (33 million) or England (25 million).”
The Germans are trying their best to endear themselves to the Americans. Germany has decided to completely give up on nuclear energy and is likely to close down all nuclear plants by 2022.
The German government has handed over its information systems and IT security entirely to an American private military company, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). CSC is like the IT department for the entire U.S. intelligence infrastructure.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s desire to court Americans at all costs, also explains the current chill in German behaviour towards Russia. The German denials on the rape of the German -Russian girl in Berlin; attacks on President Putin’s cyber-security policy and their attitude on the Ukrainian issue all point in the direction that Germans want to be in American good books.
What one is witnessing is an intense power struggle within the transatlantic world. The Germans are making bold moves to woo America. Britain is the first to fall, the Jewish lobby in America is likely to be the next to go!
Atul Bhardwaj is a former Indian Navy officer.