The Obama administration’s decision to remain neutral in the dispute between Great Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands is a shameful decision that will go down very badly across the Atlantic. As The Times has just reported, Washington has point blank refused to support British sovereignty over the Falklands, and is adopting a strictly neutral approach.
In the words of a State Department spokesman:
We are aware not only of the current situation but also of the history, but our position remains one of neutrality. The US recognises de facto UK administration of the islands but takes no position on the sovereignty claims of either party.
The remarks had echoes of an earlier statement by a senior State Department protocol official who, when asked about the shoddy treatment of the British Prime Minister in March last year, responded:
There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.
Even by the relentlessly poor standards of the Obama administration, whose doctrine unfailingly appears to be “kiss your enemies and kick your allies”, this is a new low. The White House’s neutrality in a major dispute between America’s closest friend and the likes of Venezuelan tyrant Hugo Chavez, Argentina’s biggest backer, represents the appalling appeasement of an alliance of anti-Western Latin American regimes, stretching from Caracas to Havana – combined with a callous indifference towards the Anglo-American alliance.
Over the course of the last year, we’ve seen a staggering array of foreign policy follies by this administration, from the throwing under the bus of the Poles and the Czechs over missile defence to siding with Marxists in Honduras. But this latest pronouncement surely takes the biscuit as the most brazen betrayal so far of a US ally.
As the Obama government is amply aware, the tensions between London and Buenos Aires are escalating dramatically, with British military contingency planning already under way. In effect, Washington declared today that it would remain neutral in the event of another war in the South Atlantic, a stunning declaration to make.
Thousands of British soldiers are laying their lives on the line alongside their American allies on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Yet the president of the United States is either unwilling or too timid to offer a single word of support for the British people, who face a mounting confrontation with a corrupt, populist Argentine government that is threatening a blockade of British territory.
To put it bluntly, the Obama administration is killing the Special Relationship, and the prospects of a recovery look extremely bleak as long as Barack Obama remains in the White House.
I am in no doubt though that messages of support for Britain will begin to flow in the coming days from Senators and Congressmen who actually understand the importance of Anglo-American friendship and loyalty, and who recognize the tremendous value of the ancestral, linguistic, economic, cultural, military and intelligence ties that bind the two greatest nations in the world. And I am very sure that the vast majority of Americans will reject the spineless neutrality of the White House and State Department, and wholeheartedly support the British people in the event of another conflict.