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  • Obama Disappoints on the Falkland Islands

    President Obama holds a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House with Prime Minister David Cameron, Wednesday, March 14, 2012 . Photo By Andrew Parsons/ i-Images

    This week in 1982, Argentine forces were probably preparing their equipment and checking plans ahead of their invasion of the Falkland Islands, to happen a couple of weeks later. Thirty years on, even after heaping cringe-worthy amounts of lavish praise on the Obama Administration during his recent visit, British Prime Minister David Cameron is still no closer to receiving explicit American support for British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. This is a shameful disregard of the Special Relationship.

    The Special Relationship is not about basketball games, barbeques, state dinners, or as one U.K. paper curiously described, “bromance.” The Special Relationship, as described by Winston Churchill in his famous Iron Curtain Speech, is first and foremost built on military cooperation, defense and security issues, and hardheaded geopolitical concerns of the U.S. and the U.K.

    The fact that President Obama could not bring himself, or his State Department for that matter, to publicly support and acknowledge Britain’s control over the Falkland Islands is, at best, embarrassing for Cameron and at worst, dangerous for the Special Relationship. Especially when the subject of the Falkland Islands is so important to the U.K.

    However, Cameron is at fault as well. He should have ensured that the issue of the Falklands was raised publicly so there would be no doubt in the minds of the British, the Argentines, and the Falklanders about where America stands on the issue.

    Surprisingly, at the very end of an article on David Cameron’s visit, The New York Times reports:

    “On Wednesday, Mr. Obama offered Mr. Cameron some comfort. The United States, he said, would stop prodding Britain and Argentina to talk to each other, but stick to its historic position of neutrality.”

    There are two problems here.

    First, there is no direct quote from President Obama, the White House, or the State Department. There is no source for these unattributed comments. This is important, because if what The New York Times reported is actually true, then this would mean a reversal of the Obama Administration’s policy on backing U.N. mediation over the status of the Islands.

    Secondly, even if the Times report was true, “neutrality” is still not good enough. America should fully back Britain in its claim on the Falkland Islands. The British people should not accept America’s neutrality on the issue but should demand America’s support.

    The strongest argument the United Kingdom has for its claim on the Falkland Islands is the inhabitants’ right to self-determination—a principle on which America was founded and in which most Americans believe.

    The 3,000 residents of the Falklands overwhelmingly want to be British and not Argentine. Linguistically, culturally, and historically, nobody can deny that they are British. The right to self-determination is guaranteed by the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights—and Argentina is a signatory to both.

    Once again, President Obama has shown how little he cares about the Special Relationship. No number of flights on Air Force One, state dinners stuffed with wealthy political donors, or basketball games in swing states can change this fact.

    As previous analysis from The Heritage Foundation has pointed out:

    “The Special Relationship is vital to the interests of both the United States and Great Britain, and its preservation is of paramount importance to the defense of freedom and liberty across the world. It is time for Washington to recognize and support British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and stand by America’s closest ally, not least at a time when nearly 10,000 British troops are standing shoulder to shoulder with their U.S. allies on the battlefields of Afghanistan.”

    An unattributed overture of American neutrality in The New York Times hardly amounts to the policy statement Britain deserves. The Obama Administration needs to make it crystal clear that it backs the United Kingdom over Argentina regarding the status of the Falklands. The sooner it does this, the better.


    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Obama Disappoints on the Falkland Islands

    1. Stirling says:

      This president has Anti-Imperialist ties, which would explain his stand on such issue as the Faulklands.
      Faulklands in anti-imprerialist terms is an "opressed nation" under Great Britan.

      Marxism, Leninism and anti-imperialism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-imperialism

      "We must bear in mind that imperialism is a world system, the last stage of capitalism — and it must be defeated in a world confrontation. The strategic end of this struggle should be the destruction of imperialism. Our share, the responsibility of the exploited and underdeveloped of the world is to eliminate the foundations of imperialism: our oppressed nations, from where they extract capitals, raw materials, technicians and cheap labor, and to which they export new capitals — instruments of domination — arms and all kinds of articles; thus submerging us in an absolute dependance." — Che Guevara, Message to the Tricontinental, 1967

      It's curious that the same rhetoric (from Che, which the liberal media loves) is finding it's way back into todays agendas.. (aka Ocuppy wall street, etc)

    2. Rufus says:

      Oddly enough the Falkland Islands had their first official visit from a senior US official since the consulate there closed in 1908 in late February. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc) went on a week long fact-finding trip. I'm not sure whether I can include links in the the comments, but if you were to search on Sensenbrenner Falklands then you'd get a number of stories, including some op-ed pieces that he has written about the politics of the islands.

    3. Ken says:

      The Falklands belong to Argentina.

      • DNACowboy says:

        Okayyyy, so that means that the US will now hand Hawaii to the natives and Alaska back to Russia right?
        Oh wait the people living there feel they are Americans and want to remain American…total hypocrisy.

    4. @PFKaP says:

      Yes, the Falklands. Not Iran, Israel, China, Africa, Russia,… the Falklands. LOL.

    5. Dama says:

      those believed to be English, so who move to England, easy.those believed to be English, so who move to England, easy.
      Those who were born in Latin American territory, son natively Latinos! say what they say.

    6. Gregg Weber says:

      All Argentina has to do is to get 3001 argentinians to move to the Falkland Islands and then vote to be part of Argentina. What the current Falkland Islanders have to do is restrict admittance to those that would support and defend their Constitution or form of government. If someone wants to go somewhere and live under some other form then they can go somewhere else and not ruin what we hold. That is the concept.
      I'm sure that some would disagree with that.

      • DNACowboy says:

        That's exactly the procedure they follow Greg. Everyone else is welcomed (population has gone up 50% in ten years) but no Argentinians allowed :-)

    7. Mark says:

      The islands belong to Argentina.

    8. George says:

      The Falkland islands will be a British Territory, there is no point disputing it. Look what happened last time; an unnecessary waste of life. America is in no place to be stating that land belongs to those geographically nearby to it. President Obama has disrespected the special US-UK relationship and especially being so close to an election this is a bad move as this gives Mitt Romney evidence to claim Obama is further isolating America from it's few genuine allies.

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