Where is Ronald Reagan when we need him?

In 1982, Argentina sent its military to invade the Falkland Islands, a group of islands under British sovereignty some 300 miles off the Argentinian coast. The Falkland Islanders speak English, regard themselves as British subjects, and had absolutely no desire to become part of Argentina. Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher, with the support of President Ronald Reagan, mustered the Royal Navy and Marines, and deployed them to the South Atlantic, and recovered the Falklands for the United Kingdom.

Now, it seems, that President Barack Hussein Obama, not being nearly as interested in freedom as was President Reagan, is about to betray our staunchest ally. From Karen, The Lonely Conservative:

Obama Displays Ignorance While Giving a Slap to the British

April 16, 2012 | By

Last year the Obama administration decided to take sides in the disagreement between Great Britain and the people of the Falklands against the socialists in Argentina and Venezuela. Naturally, he sided with the socialists, which was a slap in the face to our British allies. He gave the Brits a verbal slap over the weekend, only this time he sounded like a complete ignoramus.

President Obama erred during a speech at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, when attempting to call the disputed archipelago by its Spanish name.

Instead of saying Malvinas, however, Mr Obama referred to the islands as the Maldives, a group of 26 atolls off that lie off the South coast of India.

The Maldives were a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965 and the site of a UK airbase for nearly 20 years.

Cristina Kirchner, the Argentine president, has renewed her country’s sovereignty claim to the Falklands in the build-up to the 30th anniversary of the Argentine invasion of the islands, which triggered the Falklands War, on April 2. (Read More)

Someone give this guy a geography lesson. I guess this sort of thing is to be expected from a guy who is known for being lazy.

More at the link.

It might be different if the inhabitants of the Falklands actually wanted to become part of Argentina, were ethnically Latin, and spoke Spanish. But they are primarily of British descent, they speak English, and want to stay as part of the United Kingdom; they are full British subjects. There is no justification for the Argentinian claim — other than they want it — and the islands have been British since 1833.

The problem with President Obama is that his loose words could encourage the Argentinians, and lead to another war. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher probably didn’t need President Reagan’s support to decide to relieve the Falklands following the Argentinian invasion, but it certainly didn’t hurt. Were the Argentines (as Mrs Thatcher referred to them) to invade again, it isn’t difficult to see President Obama urging “restraint,” something which would just allow Argentina to reinforce its forces should such an invasion be successful. The United Kingdom is militarily weaker now than it was in 1982. The Royal Navy does not have a single fixed-wing aircraft carrier remaining in service, though the HMS Queen Elizabeth (R-08) and HMS Prince of Wales (R-09) are under construction, scheduled to enter service in 2016 and 2018 respectively. The UK maintains about 1,500 Royal Marines and some fighter aircraft on the Falklands, up from the mere 60 Royal Marines who guarded the islands in 1982.

The Argentinians know that the UK’s ability to project force is significantly reduced over the last thirty years; they also know that the UK has pre-positioned assets on the Falklands to stop an invasion, but Argentina could, with some effort, overwhelm the defending garrison. President Reagan did not provide any military assets to help the British in 1982, but at least he was on their side; if the Argentinians believe that President Obama is not on the side of the British in any military conflict over the Falklands, they may well see this as an opportunity to act. It would be somewhat ironic if the words of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner wound up encouraging war.

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Obama Displays Ignorance While Giving a Slap to the British | The Lonely Conservative

  2. So, Barry O has no law license, having “voluntarily” surrendered it. And he was never really a law professor. And he seems to have published virtually nothing on law … or at least nothing he can safely put his name to.

    But what does that matter to the throbbing hearts and tingling legs of the church-ladies of the left? As long as he promises them a cut of your earnings they’ll continue to swoon.

  3. “The problem with President Obama is that his loose words could encourage the Argentinians, and lead to another war.”

    On the contrary, the position of the Obama Administration is to encourage negotiations between the Falkland Islanders and the Argentinians in order to avert another war, a war which the UK is ill-equipped to fight anyway, as you correctly point out Mr Editor.

    A reading of the history of the Falklands indicates that there have been various and complex claims over time during the colonial period, which at this point in time would favor the inhabitants who side with the British, which is fine and good. The complications arise over fishing and oil exploration rights, which are the main reasons for negotiations between the Brits/Falkland Islanders and the Argentinians.

    I find your cites, The Lonely Conservative, Brit Nile Gardiner, and Ed Morrissey, to be wingnuts who hold President Obama in contempt no matter what positions he takes, just like you, Mr Editor.

    It is true that President Obama made a misstatement on the name of the Falklands, calling them the Maldives, but this is hardly worth all the clamor by the wingnuts.

    The bottom line is that diplomacy needs to be commenced to avert the possibility of another war by resolving the dispute at hand. I understand that it is difficult for Righties to think in these terms. President Obama and Secretary Clinton are taking the right tack, in my view.

  4. Just what “diplomacy” is needed? Negotiations imply that there is some sort of sovereignty issue under dispute; there is not.

    The President’s “misstatement” would never have happened if he hadn’t been trying to call them the Malvinas, which is the name the Argentinians use to make their sovereignty claim; no American President should ever refer to them as anything other than the Falklands.

  5. SINP writes

    On the contrary, the position of the Obama Administration is to encourage negotiations between the Falkland Islanders and the Argentinians in order to avert another war, a war which the UK is ill-equipped to fight anyway, as you correctly point out Mr Editor.

    At least Obama could have used the term the UN uses — the Falkland Islands(Malvinas). Yeesh.

    And just who is it who rattling for war, SINP? It sure ain’t the Brits. Argentina is doing now just what it did back in ’82 — stirring up nationalist sentiment to hopefully get the public to look the other way from economic decay, scandal and corruption. Hell, the Argentine prez just nationalized the largest Spanish oil company in her country. Her actions are an awful lot those of the military junta that ruled her country in the early 80s.

  6. “Just what “diplomacy” is needed? Negotiations imply that there is some sort of sovereignty issue under dispute; there is not.”

    Over oil and fishing rights, as I mentioned, Mr Editor.

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