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Gordon Brown Backs The US In War On Terror

From the UK’s Telegraph:

Gordon Brown: We are at one in fighting terror

By Matthew Moore, Graeme Wilson and Toby Harnden

Relations between Britain and the United States will “strengthen” in coming years, Gordon Brown said today during his first joint press conference with US President George W. Bush.
George Bush arrives at Camp David for his first meeting with President George W Bush
Gordon Brown arrives at the presidential retreat Camp David for his first meeting with George Bush

The Prime Minister and the US leader vowed to worked together on a range of global issues including Iraq, Darfur, Iran, Afghanistan and world trade.

In his first face-to-face meeting with Mr Bush since succeeding Tony Blair as Prime Minister, Mr Brown said the US-UK partnership will be driven forward by shared values.

Speaking from the US presidential retreat Camp David, Mr Bush said that the two countries had an “obligation to work for freedom and justice around the world” and emphasised the need for success in Iraq.

“The consequences of failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States, and this Prime Minister understands that,” Mr Bush said.

The Prime Minister said there were “duties to discharge and responsibilities to keep” in support of the Iraqi government.

“Our aim, as is the aim of the US Government, is threefold: security for the Iraqi people, political reconciliation and that the Iraqis have a stake in the future,” Mr Brown said.

In an echo of language often used by Mr Bush, Mr Brown said decisions about troops would only be made “on the military advice of our commanders on the ground”.

Minutes later, in response to a question, Mr Bush said: “The decisions on the way forward in Iraq must be made with a military recommendation as an integral part of it.”

Mr Brown described Afghanistan as the “frontline against terrorism” and described Darfur as “the greatest humanitarian disaster” the world faces.

Earlier this morning Mr Brown made his most explicit reference to American foreign policy as Prime Minister when he said that “all methods of diplomacy, all means of intelligence, all tools of law and policing” were necessary to combat terrorism.

In an article for the Washington Post that will be picked apart for hints that he is planning an imminent withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, Mr Brown called for the allies to deploy the “arsenal of democracy”, as well as military might, against insurgents.

Recalling the cultural battles of the Cold War, he said the West needed to engage schools, universities, museums, institutes, churches, trade unions and sports clubs into nurturing alternatives to terrorist ideology.

“The way ahead is to support all communities in developing a strong identity resistant to violent extremists trying to recruit vulnerable young people,” he said.

“We must undercut the terrorists’ so-called ‘single narrative’ and defeat their ideas. At home and abroad we must back mainstream and moderate voices and reformers, emphasizing the shared values that exist across faiths and communities.”

Mr Brown’s focus on soft power and the cultural war against jihadism marks a change of emphasis from some of Tony Blair’s more bellicose statements.

But the new Prime Minister also used the article to reassert his belief in close ties between Britain and the US, saying the two countries were “united by the streams of history and the strengths of our ideals”.

“This partnership of purpose matters now more than ever,” he said.

Mr Brown flew into the US last night for his first meeting with President Bush amid reports that he could withdraw British troops from Iraq earlier than expected.

There is growing concern in Washington following a visit by Simon McDonald, Mr Brown’s chief foreign policy adviser, in which he reportedly asked what the implications would be if Britain pulled its troops out of southern Iraq.

Mr Brown’s first prime ministerial visit to the US will last less than 24 hours. His spokesman insisted that there was no significance in his failure to mention Iraq in his pre-Camp David statement.

En route to the meeting, Mr Brown was keen to stress the continuing close ties between Britain and the US.

“I have always been an Atlanticist and a great admirer of the American spirit of enterprise and national purpose and commitment to opportunity to all,” he said.

“And as Prime Minister I want to do more to strengthen even further our relationship with the US.

“Winston Churchill spoke of what he called the joint inheritance of our two countries,” he added.

Mr Brown said that meant “a joint inheritance not just of shared history but shared values founded on a shared destiny.”

The Prime Minister went on: “In this century it has fallen to America to take centre stage. America has shown by the resilience and bravery of its people from September 11 that while buildings can be destroyed, values are indestructible.

“And we should acknowledge the debt the world owes to the United States for its leadership in this fight against international terrorism.”

But US officials are keen to look beyond the Churchillian references to discover exactly how Mr Brown, a frequent visitor to the US but an unknown quantity at the White House, views what Churchill himself called the “special relationship”.

Later in the week Mr Brown will meet Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general and deliver a keynote speech on international relations.

Of course our domestic media reports have not been nearly so positive.

Here is a typical (and typically misleading headline and lede from the DNC’s Associated Press:

Brown cautious on troop question in Iraq

July 30, 2007, 11:24AM

By BEN FELLER Associated Press Writer

In another all too typical development, our one party media highlights the usual suspects in their story about Brown’s visit:

As President Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met at Camp David, Md., members of Code Pink take part in a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 30, 2007, calling for the U.S. and Britain to pull their troops out of Iraq.

But for once the AP bothered to actually identify these professional America-haters.

(Undoubtedly because of our comments about their previous omissions.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 30th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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