Justin Webb, who writes often on American affairs for The Times of London
, describes Americans as believing that Britain has given up on its international responsibilities.
He portrays Americans as believing "the British are too horribly debauched to be of any use in the West's titanic struggle" with Russian President Vladimir Putin over his moves in the Ukraine. Americans "think we have given up," writes Webb in his Tuesday column.
"I went to America thinking it was like Britain only bigger," wrote the columnist, who lived in the United States for eight years. "I came away realizing that culturally, it is unique."
Webb latest column was in response to a recent New York Times
op-ed by Ben Judah, author of a book on Putin, who wrote: "It boils down to this: Britain is ready to betray the United States to protect the City of London's hold on dirty Russian money."
Webb writes that while the piece contains "errors," it is "a perfectly valid commentary on the way that the UK is seen from America."
He says Americans are frustrated that Britain has given up on defining "a mission" for itself and that they see "British worldliness" as an excuse to be craven.
Webb concludes that the British know and seem not to be bothered that they are in decline.
"Our windows rattle. So what? To Americans this is intensely frustrating. This cultural chasm lies at the heart of the New York Times broadside."
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