It is telling that a relationship borne of shared history, mutual business interests, allied action in two World Wars and the shared burden of administering over the least popular war since Vietnam is being strained, not by the aforementioned Iraq War or political issues, but by money.
David Cameron is visiting Washington today and is expected to vigorously defend national champion BP against the scorn of US politicians, including President Obama. Though Americans would perhaps expect the same if the roles were exactly reversed, it is a move that is sure to rankle some, and is put into especially stark contrast next to some of the things that have failed to put this 'special' relationship under strain in the past.
Though the US/British alliance has become a less powerful one as England's fortunes have, over time, faded, it is no less important in a world of rising threats to US military and economic hegemony. If the losses of young lives and mutually declining global reputations are not factors enough to put strain on the pairing, here's hoping that the interests of a company clearly at fault for a tragedy are not the wedge that leads to a split. Not only would it be unfortunate for the two long-time friends, it would be an unfortunate and very obvious sign of priorities gone by the wayside.