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A Special Relationship ... with Truth?

The Spokesman 108

Edited by Ken Coates

‘… If one studied official American military doctrine, one could be excused for failing to find any relationships, anywhere, but those of subordination. ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ is still the official credo of the American military-industrial complex, and there, it might be thought, is an end of it. But Britain is perhaps unique among the dominated in seeking actually to celebrate its subordination. That is why it was so refreshing to hear Clare Short testifying before the Chilcot Inquiry.

When Sir John asked her if she had any comments to make on the re-evaluation of her experiences, which she had described with some candour, she said that she thought that her old Department of International Development had not been adequately involved; that the machinery of Government ‘has broken down quite badly’; and that the role of the Attorney General must be adjudged unsafe following his various pronouncements on the legality of the war. But then she added a fourth comment, braver than all the others, which broke new ground for the Inquiry. The fourth problem, she said: “is about the special relationship. We really need a serious debate in our country about what we mean by it, whether it is unconditional poodle-like adoration and do whatever America says, or whether we have bottom lines and we sometimes agree and we sometimes don’t and we use our influence responsibly, and I think we have ended up humiliating ourselves and being a less good friend to America than we could have been if we had stood up for an independent policy.

But that’s a bigger question, because you should see, when America asks for something, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor all get terribly excited and love America asking us to do something, and we really need to rethink that.

Those are my lessons.” …’

Excerpted from Ken Coates' Editorial

Editorial: Special Relationship? - Ken Coates

Lord Goldsmith and Iraq – The Rt. Hon. Sir Edmund Thomas QC

Parade of the Old New – Bertolt Brecht

Another Agenda – Bob Marshall-Andrews MP

Demockracy – Bob Dixon

Britain Can’t Handle the Truth – Scott Ritter

Writing PrincipiaBertrand Russell

Kurt Is up in Heaven Now – Kurt Vonnegut

Farewell Michael Foot

Judgment – The Rt Hon the Lord Judge, The Rt Hon the Lord Neuberger

Spooks Sold down the River - Clive Stafford Smith

The Chilcot Enquiry – Alexis Lykiard

Carnage in Gaza – Nurit Peled Elhanan

Dossier – Russell Tribunal on Palestine

Reviews: Christopher Gifford, Henry McCubbin, Bill Hagerty, Tony Simpson, Nathaniel Mehr,
Ken Coates, John Daniels, J.E. Mortimer, Frank Barat,
Graham Hallett, Abi Rhodes

The Spokesman 108 is available to


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