Ohio hates the United Kingdom


That’s just one of the many responses the left-leaning English newspaper The Guardian got when they started “Operation Clark County” as a humor piece in which they got addresses of undecided voters living in Ohio to write to.

Some great responses to the operation in linked story.


I can only imagine the reaction if they knew the correct poll numbers. What would it be, 12?

The United Kingdom accepts the fact that Ohio is going through a bad time right now, and doesn’t take any offence.

Ohio’s cooking still sucks, however.

And the British have any right to criticise cooking?

I used to visit the UK every year. I love the history and culture of your country. But after I heard about your campaign to influence our elections, I’ve decided that neither myself, nor my family will ever visit again. I’m offended by your campaign and because of it, I’m remembering more of the negative aspects I’ve seen in the UK than the positive ones. Though I still love the castles!

He’s never going to visit the country again, because of a light hearted action taken by a newspaper whose readership numbers only 0.5% of the population? That’s a bit drastic isn’t it?

According to another Guardian article, 8 out of 10 major countries recently polled preferred Kerry over Bush, with only Israel and Russia in favour. In Britain only 22% of people support Bush. They also point out that despite Bush the great majority of the people in these countries had favourable opinions of Americans in general, it’s just that they can’t stand Bush.

Interesting that they picked Clark county, a county which, I believe, leads the nation in per capita “cars abandoned on the side of the road”.
So I can’t help but laugh at this comment:

Dear British friends,
I think you have an interesting idea to encourage international grassroots efforts, but I sincerely doubt most Springfielders are going to be influenced by letters from a country they probably can’t even point to on a map. I wish you luck with your campaign, but I warn you that you’re not likely to accomplish much.
Dayton, Ohio

Another rube too dumb to get the joke:

As an American who is afraid of the terrible ramifications if Bush is elected, I commend your efforts to try to get Britons involved. Although many Americans would be critical of British people “meddling” with our politics and elections, all the world will share in the disaster if Bush is re-elected. Many of us are very concerned. I teach young adults, most of whom have been very uninvolved in voting and politics. Many of them are going to vote. We need all the help we can get.


Ummm…I don’t know what they taught in your history schools, but up here, we were told you guys lost the War of 1812. You know, how the Americans tried to annex Canada, but a hopelessly outnumbered British force, with help from Canadian militias and several native tribes beat your asses back several times, then marched to Washington and burned the White House down in retaliation? How is it that this guy thinks you won that war?

'Cause Stripes told us we were 10 and 1.

It’s pretty simple. Examine the aftermath of the war. The side that ended up stuck with Canada is the loser. Very clear cut wa y to determine the winner of a war.

Ha Ha, I kid I kid!

If I remember my history classes correctly, the war of 1812 was necessary to establish to the European nations that the fledgling U.S. would not be pushed around. I believe our casus belli was British naval ships impressing American sailors from merchant ships that were stopped at sea and boarded against their will. As I recall, the HMS Leapard even tried that trick on the U.S. frigate Chesapeake and opened fire when the Chesapeake refused to be boarded.


I think we chalk it up as a “W” because the treaty that ended it finally forced formal recognition from Britain of American independance.

We can cook just fine, thank you :)

If I remember my history classes correctly, the war of 1812 was necessary to establish to the European nations that the fledgling U.S. would not be pushed around.

Hell of a way to prove that, by starting a war of agression against your Northern neighbours.

I think we chalk it up as a “W” because the treaty that ended it finally forced formal recognition from Britain of American independance.

Even though the stated goal of the American forces was the annexation of British North America (now Canada), a goal which wasn’t achieved?

The official reason for the war was the British practice of impressment of American sailors. This was a big concern for the New England states. The other states (such as Kentucky) didn’t give a hoot about impressment and saw this as an opportunity to expand by taking the British colonies in Upper and Lower Canada. The imperssment just provided the convenient excuse.

In our defense, at the time, we hardly recognized you as “neighbors” … we’re still a bit wary of even popping our eyes over the highboard fence to dispense pleasantries and Wilsonian advice about how you relate to your wife and kids.

But we’re trying.

After doing some research, I stumbled onto this pretty decent page: http://www.wordiq.com/definition/War_of_1812

Many Canadians consider the War of 1812 to have been an American defeat. From their point of view, the American invasions of 1813 and 1814 were repulsed. Further supporting this point of view is that the British occupied some American territory at the end of the war; however, the Americans did not occupy any British territory.

It is important to notice that the motives of the U.S. in this war were to gain Canada and to stop impressment.

If that’s the case, then the US went 1 for 2 in their goals. I could see how you might possibly spin that and call the war a draw, but I can’t possibly fathom how anyone could say that the Americans won outright.

Dear lord, I grew up in Springfield, OH (Clark County), a fact I still resentfully bring up with my mother from time to time. Words cannot express what an absolute shit-hole that town truly is. It is one of the most economically depressed and ‘sick’ environments I’ve ever experienced.

Impressment was just the excuse to invade Canada. The British had even rescinded the Orders in Council before the war had begun, and was of so little importance that it wasn’t even mentioned in the Treaty of Ghent that formerlly ended the war. The only way you can conceiveably view the war as a victory for America, is if you split the war into two arenas: the invasion of Canada and the defence of America. The invasion of Canada, which started the war, was a calamitous failure. The defence of America was, after initial embarrassments, an overwhelming success.

One of the funniest incidents in the war, was when the Americans were so convinced of their righteousness, that they believed the Canadians would actually want to annexed. When General Hull marched over the border, he issued a proclamation informing the lucky Canadians that he had come to “liberate” them from “tyranny and oppression”. The perplexed Canadians, living in relative luxury, and as free from tyranny and oppression as pretty much anyone in the world at the time, were not impressed. They were even less keen on the American soldiers trampling on their farmland, and causing a disturbance by fighting with the militia.

I think the War of 1812 can be more closely compared to Saddam’s invasion of Iran, than the glories of conflicts like World War 2. Like Saddam trying to take advantage of the Iranians time of weakness, America tried to take advantage of Britain being weakened by its wars with Napoleon. Like Saddam, America found that the locals weren’t as keen on being annexed as they’d thought, and that they fought back ferociously. In the end Saddam, like America, successfully defended Iraq from the indignant Iranians who tried to destroy him. I wonder if Saddam was egomaniac enough to claim he won the Iran-Iraq war?

The War of 1812 always causes the memorable line from Kevin Kline’s character in “A Fish Called Wanda” to spring to my mind:

“We didn’t lose Vietnam. It was a tie!”

The orders of council were rescinded before the war began, but in those days it took serious time for news to travel between continents. Everything I’ve read says that particular news hadn’t reached the U.S. until after the orders had been given to initiate hostilities.

If Impressment was such a non-issue, why was an embargo tried first as an attempt to stop t? If it was such a non-issue, why the hell did the HMS Leopard open fire on the Chesapeake? I consider that a casus belli all by itself, as it clearly showed that the British didn’t take American independance seriously.

Wars can have big gains in terms of international standing/respect even if they don’t gain a lot in terms of material prizes. If I recall my college history professor correctly, the biggest gain from the Spanish American war wasn’t influence over former Spanish colonies, but the international respect that came from matching ourselves up against a world power in a 1v1 conflict and winning. It made other nations seriously consider the U.S. a major power for the first time, and treat us accordingly in diplomacy and trade.

I know that word of the cessation of the act didn’t get to America in time to stop the war. I also know that it wouldn’t have mattered a bit if it had. I didn’t say it was a non-issue; I said it wasn’t all that important. Sure it must have been annoying, and it was completely illegal, but it wasn’t what the war was about. It was just a cover for what was really desired: Canada. I suspect if the simple reasons of wanting to annex Canada had been put forward as the justification for war, that it would never have made it past Congress. There was plenty of people in America, especially in the north-eastern states, who were opposed to an invasion. The New York Evening Post, for example, declared in the build up to the war that the “desire to annex Canada to the United States is as base an ambition as ever burned in the bosom of Alexander.”

Impressment was simply a justification given for the invasion, it doesn’t mean that the goal of the invasion was to rid America of impressment. If that had been the goal, the war would have been over the moment the American government learned that it had ended. Instead General Hull attempted to invade Canada not once, not twice, but three times. That, if nothing else, should make the true ambitions of the War of 1812 very clear. How can you claim victory in a war, if you fail in your primary goals?

The answer is: you can’t. Well, you can’t unless you pretend the initial part of the war, where you aimed to annex Canada, was a different war that didn’t really happen and therefore wasn’t lost. Then you can take the part of the war where you were successful, and put up an inspired defence against the British counter-attack, and claim victory on account of that. This really only works as a part of a mythology on the invincibility of the American military, and doesn’t really stand up under rational examination.

The aims of the two parties in the war are fairly clear:



*to annex Canada (failed)


*end impressment (succeeded before war began - irrelevant)



*defend Canada from invasion (succeeded)


*to punish America for invading Canada (partial success and partial humiliating failure)

America didn’t lose out too badly from the war, apart from having its pride dented by failing to invade Canada and having the White House burned down, and gained, perhaps considerably, from the change in attitude from the world powers at the time. Unfortunately that gain wasn’t part of the stated aims of the war, and can be no more be considered a cause to celebrate victory than Germany’s and Japan’s post-war economic miracles, which ironically came about as a result of them losing World War 2. If you plan to invade a country, like Saddam did Iran, and then fail, but succeed in fending off the subsequent retaliatory efforts of the offended party, that’s not a victory.

And anyone starts accusing me of being filthy, yellow toothed, limey, I’d like to point out that I have a great respect for what America achieved in the first, and true, War of Independence. If the British had won that war, the world would be a poorer place because of it, due to the influence that revolution had on the thinking of the western world. The War of 1812, however, was little other than greed, in my opinion, dressed up as a continuation of an earlier, just, war.