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, , 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.

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