Imagine an armed American soldier wandering off from the US Airforce base at Fairford in Gloucestershire. He drives into nearby Cirencester and shoots dead 16 civilians including 9 children. He also wounds several others. He then returns to his base and tells his colleagues what he has done.
What would happen next?
If the appalling incident in Afghanistan is any guide, he would be detained and flown out of the country very quickly. This happened despite the Afghan Parliament stating that the offender should be tried in Afghanistan. This demeans the Afghan people as being of less worth than a US soldier and denies them justice.
So what would happen here? Despite all the bullshit about ‘Special Relationships’ and the current love-in taking place between Dave ‘n Barrack, it is highly likely that the US would follow the same course of action and remove the offender from the UK.
At the height of the Cold War the US had more troops on UK soil than we had. Rather like an Embassy, the land holding a US base is regarded as US territory. Once the offender returned to base he would be regarded as being back on US soil.
Those of you who think this unlikely should consider our craven cringeworthy treatment of the Chagos Islanders who lived on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. They were booted off what is still British territory, to make way for a vast US Airbase. The location helped the US strategic aims.
It is to the Labour Party’s eternal shame that it was they who struck the deal back in the 1960’s. It was also NewLabour who compounded the cringe by maintaining the deal in their last term with the egregious Jack Straw circumventing Parliamentary process to keep the issue hidden. The equally appalling David Miliband supported the wheeze of creating a marine reserve around the base which would keep the islanders away for ever. “Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed, as the FCO’s Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islands’ former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling” Wikileaks
As the PR spin rolls out from Washington, consider the one-sided nature of the ‘special relationship.’ Hundreds and hundreds of our troops have died supporting the Bush regime’s illegal Iraq War. Hundreds more have died in Afghanistan - another fiasco. The extradition treaty is a one-way street. It is much easier to get a British citizen to the States than vice-versa. US secret services monitor business conversations to help US corporations. Wikileaks exposed the way Washington regards the whole world as its fiefdom.
And what do we get in return?
Our PM’s get to hang out with the big boys every now and then and strut their stuff on the world stage.
Wouldn’t it be great if the next time the US come knocking asking for support in yet another military adventure e.g. Iran, we told them to piss off?