Skip to comments.No Allies -- But Plenty of Enemies
Posted on 03/04/2010 5:56:32 AM PST by Servant of the Cross
Almost 30 years after losing a war over the Falkland Islands, Argentina is once again warning Britain that it still wants back what it calls the Malvinas.
Argentina is now angry over a British company's oil exploration off the windswept islands in what it considers its own South Atlantic backyard.
Although nominally democratic, the unpopular Kirchner government in Buenos Aires has claimed that the sparsely settled islands are a symbolic matter of Spanish-speaking pride throughout Latin America -- and is theirs because the islands once belonged to Spain in the 19th century.
In response to all this, the Obama administration announced that it would remain neutral. Aside from the fact that the Falkland Islanders wish to remain British, and our prior support for the Thatcher British government during the 1982 war, there are lots of reasons why our neutrality here is a bad idea.
Britain is a longstanding NATO member. It has bled side-by-side America in two world wars, Korea and two conflicts in Iraq, as well as presently in Afghanistan. And the United Kingdom still shares close linguistic, cultural and historical affinities with the United States.
We do not support all the British do; nor do they always support us. But our centuries-old friendship should earn Britain special support in its disputes, even in the relatively unimportant Falklands mess. If Britain is not considered an ally, then America no longer has real allies.
And perhaps that is the point, after all. The Obama administration does not wish to see the world so divided between allies and the rest.
The president rather abruptly cancelled missile defense with the allied Czech Republic and Poland in order to woo the antagonistic Russians.
Dictatorial Syria and the anti-Western Palestinians gain as much American outreach as does pro-American and democratic Israel.
Obama seems more eager to mollify Venezuela's Hugo Chavez than to strengthen our alliance with a democratic and pro-American Uribe government in neighboring Colombia.
The list goes on. Meanwhile, Obama has symbolically tried to downsize the profile of the U.S. by downplaying the idea of an "exceptional" America, bowing to foreign leaders, and apologizing for supposed past American sins.
All that raises the question of what exactly are advantages these days of being a friend of the U.S., when neutrals and enemies garner as much of our sympathies?
We have seen such naive attitudes before in the West.
After the horrific carnage of the First World War, utopians wrongly swore that rival European alliances had alone caused the war, and so created the League of Nations. Enlightened world citizens would do better legislating peace than prior nationalist politicians who crudely had once sought security through balancing power and forging alliances. Hitler and the far more lethal Second World War followed instead.
After 1945, a much wiser United States talked grandly about the new United Nations, but, in reality, its own alliances kept much of Europe and Asia free from an aggressive Soviet Union.
Today there are many Falkland-like hot spots throughout the world. Yet the United States, not the International Court at The Hague, keeps North Korea from attacking our ally South Korea. The power of America, not the international community, persuades China not to squeeze our friend Taiwan. Europe is safe because of an American-led NATO -- not due to any concern from the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
In other words, America and its alliances keep friends safe. And the world is more peaceful and prosperous than at any time in history because dozens of nations count on our support and share our values.
So until human nature changes, there are always going to be some nations that are more aggressive than others, seeking to take what they can by force. Groups of like-minded others will resist them both for principle and their own self-protection. And the majority of "neutral" countries will keep quiet, waiting to see who proves the stronger -- and then opportunistically joining the eventual winner.
An idealistic America may now decide that it does not want or need special allies like Britain. But that diffidence will eventually mean we have more enemies than ever -- as the watching world makes the necessary adjustments and joins those who unabashedly promise them support and protection.
Mutually Assured Destruction and strong presidential leadership who KNEW damn well what the west faced across the iron curtain were also key to keeping the Soviet Union in check.
Saying we were neutral is not what pissed them off. Announcing that the UK needed to negotiate did, there is nothing to negotiate.
I’d say The Falkland Islands are “settled science.”
What a difference a period of 28 years make. Back in 1982, Reagan, without hesitation, backed our great ally, the British. The poseur who currently occupies the White House is not a believer in American strength, but the mistaken concept of social justice on an international scale. His stance vis-a-vis the Falklands issue evidences that.
There is “consensus” on the Islands that they stay British
Let me put this in perspective....britain has colonies all over the world, yet does not have a navy capable of defending them...so, they go to nato ( nato is in reality the United States ) to get nato to defend the colonies it cannot....sorry, but I have to disagree with the whole premise...if you have colonies that need defending, then you better have armed forces capable of doing just that...projection of power is one thing, but doing another country’s dirty work is another.....
Were there any US ships or other NATO country ships involved in the Falkland War?
Okay, if you don't want to do it 'for the Brits' ... (ignoring centuries of our partnership for defending freedom in the world; their problems with their navy are due to current liberal weenie sensitivities (gone wobbly, not unlike our current administration) with the ruling government but what if another "Thatcher" arises again?) .... how about for the free people of the island?
No........britain had it’s own aircraft carrier, which it no longer does....britain had a force that could be used for projection, which it no longer does....
Somewhat more concisely: Obama consistently opposes America’s best interests.
We do have a Navy capable of defending them. Just for instance: we have SSNs capable of targeting any unit in the Argentinian fleet just by listening to their prop noise.
But when we - as a first resort mind you - try to build diplomatic consensus about the settled sovereignty of the Falklands: the idea being to head off a war rather than nuke Argentina down to the bedrock - your Muslim-in-Chief instantly washes his hands of the matter.
That tit in the White House just made war more likely.
The Brits don’t really need a surface fleet to steam ten thousand miles for a toe to toe with the Argentines.
One whiff of a UK submarine and the Argie navy will become a non-factor.
I agree with you about the a$$hole in the white house...that idiot has done more damage to the relations this country has with it’s allies than even carter did...but, if you have worldwide colonies, you need a world class deep water navy....britain used to have just that, but no longer...perhaps a change of leadership is needed over there as much as it is needed over here...
Argentines have paratroopers ?
I’m not neutral, but the british people and gov. haven’t always acted towards our best interest as of recent; and they are a bunch of hedonistic appologist for all things Un American.
Who traded with North Vietnam during the entire conflict there.
I support Britain re the Falklands too. But diplomatic relations are usually not so smooth at all.
This is about the U.S. being the leader and voice for freedom in the world. Again, there is a consensus of the people of the Falkland Islands that they wish to remain British. The U.S. should support that with strong words, not weenie swiss french vichy "neutrality".
Unless Argentina has improved the quality of its Army in the last 28 years, things will turn out the same way. I became friends with an Argentinian man who was a Lieutenant in one of the units sent to the Malvinas in 1982. Almost all of his soldiers were conscripts, ethnically natives, and poorly educated. Many of them did not speak Spanish very well.
He told the story, that in Basic training, several of his soldiers had never even used a toilet before. Training was a serious challenge and most of his men were from the warm jungles in the north and not used to the sub-freezing temperatures in the Malvinas during winter. He didn’t want to surrender his men at Port Stanley, but had no choice. They refused to fight.
I can see a mutual sedge, but a Brit garrison surrounded in dung, that's very smelly.
A combination of poor typing skills and spell check are out to get me, I’m sure of it.
Lets see, in one week we drop-kicked two vital allies onto the poop pile. But, hey, you Brits and Turks are in great company.
I wonder if those air traffic control kids are available to run our country.
Now that's an idea about the air traffic control kids running the country. Clearly more mature, eh?