Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 3, Supplement 1, pp 43–62 | Cite as

“Damned High Wire,” on the Special Relationship that Unites Bush and Blair in Iraq

  • Lloyd C. Gardner


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    I would like to thank Walter LaFeber, Thomas McCormick, Marilyn Young and Warren Kimball for their comments on an early draft of this article.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The speech can be found at
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
    James Naughtie, The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency (New York: Public Affairs Press. 2004), pp. 80–1.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Associated Press, November 12, 2004,
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    On this point, see Anne Norton, Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Robin Cook, The Point of Departure (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003), p. 213.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    The speech can be found at
  10. 10.
    Benson Bobrick, Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution (New York: Penguin Books, 1998), pp. 200–01.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    A classic example of the inherent tension in the American belief, and assertions of the uniqueness of the American Revolution as Providential destiny, came in 1966 at hearings on the Vietnam War. Challenged by Senator Frank Church that Vietnam was a genuine revolution — however different from American experience — Secretary of State Dean Rusk recoiled at the idea. ‘There is a fundamental difference between the kind of revolution which the Communists call their wars of national liberation and the kind of revolution which is congenial to our own experience, and fits into the aspirations of ordinary men and women right around the world.” Quoted in William Appleman Williams, Thomas McCormick, Lloyd Gardner and Walter LaFeber, America in Vietnam: A Documentary History (New York: Doubleday, 1985), p. 258. As they say, that is quite a mouthful. Rusk suggests that the American experience is the only experience with revolution that fits into the aspirations of ordinary men and women “right around the world.” 12Google Scholar
  12. 11a.
    Edmund Wilson, Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1962), pp. 105–6.Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    Ibid., 104.Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    Thomas M. Freiling, George W. Bush On God and Country (Alliance Press: Washington., D.C, 2004), p. 10; Norton, Leo Strauss, pp. 134–5.Google Scholar
  15. 14.
    See, Anders Stephanson, “Law and Messianic Counterwar from FDR to George W. Bush,” p. 13.Google Scholar
  16. l5s.
    Diary, April 12, 1945, in Beatrice Bishop Berle and Travis Beal Jacobs, Navigating the Rapids, 1918–1971: From the Papers of Adolf A. Berle (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973), pp. 526–7. (Italics added.)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    New York Times, April 18, 1945, p. 1.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Minute by J. Donnelly, September 5, 1945, FO 371 44557.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Joseph M. Jones, The Fifteen Weeks (New York: 1964), pp. 6–7.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    William Roger Louis, The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945–1951 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1984), p. 98. Louis writes, however, that “it certainly was not the British intention to evacuate the Middle East, and still less to calculate an American takeover. The British hoped rather to adjust relations with the Arab states, as with colonies and countries throughout the world, so that British influence would be strengthened, not liquidated.”Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sir J. Balfour to Neville Butler, May 29, 1947, PRO, FO 371 (AN 1976/17/45). Thanks to Walter LaFeber for providing me with his notes on this document. (Emphasis added.)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dulles, draft, “The ‘Big Three’ Alliance,” July 11, 1954, The Papers of John Foster Dulles, Subject File, Box 8, Mudd Library, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    “Memorandum of Conference with the President,” October 30, 1956, Dulles Papers.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dillon, “Memorandum for the Record,” December 12, 1956, ibid., Memos of Conversations, Box 1.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    For a survey of the American efforts, see, Douglas Little, “Mission Impossible: The CIA and the Cult of Covert Action in the Middle East,” Diplomatic History, 28:5 (November, 2004): 663–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Joseph Wilson, who was in the American Embassy at the time of the first Gulf War, notes that Glaspie’s comments could not be taken in any way to be a green light, but that a Congressional delegation, and then a letter from President Bush appeared to Iraqi leaders to be highly conciliatory, too much so in light of the critical situation. See, The Politics of Truth (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004), pp. 94–103.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Bush, Public Papers, 1990, I, pp. 130–31.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    To begin with, see, Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years (New York: Harper Collins, 1993), pp. 823–4Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    and continue with James A. Baker III, The Politics of Diplomacy (New York: G.P. Putnams, 1995), pp.279–80, and then look at Parmet, George Bush: The Life of a Lonestar Yankee (New York: Scribner, 1997), pp. 453–4.Google Scholar
  30. 29.
    Bush, Public Papers, 1992–93, I, 565.Google Scholar
  31. 30.
    On the connection see, James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies (New York: Doubleday, 2004), pp. 261–3Google Scholar
  32. 31.
    Ibid., 278–9.Google Scholar
  33. 32.
    “Where Did He Go Wrong?,” an interview with Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Atlantic Unbound, May 6, 2004. The original Desert Fox was Africa Korps commander in WWII, General Erwin Rommel.Google Scholar
  34. 33.
    Peter Singer, The President of Good and Evil (New York: Dutton, 2004), p. 135.Google Scholar
  35. 34.
    Russ Baker, “Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to his Former Ghost Writer,” GNN.TV, October 28, 2004, Scholar
  36. 35.
    Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: The Free Press, 2004), p. 32.Google Scholar
  37. 36.
    Bamford, Pretext for War, pp. 298–308.Google Scholar
  38. 37.
    Cook, Point of Departure, p. 213; Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack (New York: Simon & Schuster: 2004), pp. 176–78.Google Scholar
  39. 38.
    London Observer, April 11, 2004.Google Scholar
  40. 39s.
    CNN Transcript of Interview Broadcast, November 20, 2003.Google Scholar
  41. 40.
    Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O’Neill (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004), pp. 188–91.Google Scholar
  42. 41.
    The Independent, November 16 2004. Andrew Grice, ‘Blair calls on UN To ease invasion of ‘bad’ countries’.Google Scholar
  43. 42.
    NY Times, June 29, 2004. p. A 11. 43 John O. Edwards,, November 21, 2003.
  44. 43.
    Speech to the Federalist Society, November 12, 2004, Associated Press Report, November 13, 2004.Google Scholar
  45. 44.
    New York Times, November 4, 2004.Google Scholar
  46. 45.
    Ibid., 220–3.Google Scholar
  47. 46.
    New York Times, July 4, 2004, 3. Laurie Goodstein, ‘Politicians Talk More About Religion, and People Expect Them To’.48 San Antonio American Statesman, June 5, 2004.Google Scholar
  48. 46a.
    Ken Herman, ‘God is Everywhere at GOP Convention,’ 49 November 14, 2004.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Board of the Journal of Transatlantic Studies 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lloyd C. Gardner
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations