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I am greatly concerned about any intervention in a foreign dispute by the Obama Administration.  But the Falkland dispute is special because the answers seem so clear for me and I was confident that we would stand with the Falkland islanders’ wish to remain British would be honored by the US.  Now I read this in a recent Guardian article:

A US State Dpartment spokesman said on Friday: “We recognise de facto United Kingdom administration of the islands but take no position regarding sovereignty.”

We take no position?  NO POSITION?  The islanders wishes have no bearing?  This is not the only time the Obama Administration took a pretend neutral position.  Consider this resolution of the Organization of American States:

It has not yet been possible to resume the negotiations between the two countries with a view to solving the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas in the framework of resolutions 2065 (XX), 3160 (XXVIII), 31/49, 37/9, 38/12, 39/6, 40/21, 41/40, 42/19 and 43/25 of the United Nations General Assembly, the decisions adopted by the same body on the same question in the Special Committee on Decolonization, and the reiterated resolutions and declarations adopted at this General Assembly; and

HAVING HEARD the presentation by the head of delegation of the Argentine Republic,

WELCOMES the reaffirmation of the will of the Argentine Government to continue exploring all possible avenues towards a peaceful settlement of the dispute and its constructive approach towards the inhabitants of the Malvinas Islands.

REAFFIRMS the need for the Governments of the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to resume, as soon as possible, negotiations on the sovereignty dispute, in order to find a peaceful solution to this protracted controversy.

DECIDES to continue to examine the Question of the Malvinas Islands at its subsequent sessions until a definitive settlement has been reached thereon.

Found as a quote in this article from the Guardian.

First, the US should demand that the islands be called their recognized name:  The Falkland Islands.  The Malvinas is the Argentine name for the islands.  This resolution in effect takes sides right there.  And why continue to talk?  The Argentines refuse to consider anything but their control over the islands; the islanders and the UK believe otherwise.  Any middle ground?  (I suppose there could be some sort of condominium similar to the old New Hebrides, co-owned by the UK and France, but can Argentina be trusted to keep its word?)

So, this is a useless resolution.  Why is Argentina interested in this area?  It is a national issue that seems paramount.  I once many years ago had the privilege of escorting a young Argentine exchange student to the local courts and I asked him about the Falklands.  Wrong question!  He was passionate that the islands were stolen from Argentina by the UK. But that does not make Argentina right.

But here’s another big reason for the issue to arise again:  Oil!

And there is a legitimate fear of war – it happened30 years ago this year – Argentina invaded the Falklands, and South Georgia and Sandwich Islands in April 1982 and at some cost of life, the UK had to take it back over.

During the war, Britain suffered 258 killed and 777 wounded. In addition, 2 destroyers, 2 frigates, and 2 auxiliary vessels were sunk. For Argentina, the Falklands War cost 649 killed, 1,068 wounded, and 11,313 captured. In addition, the Argentine Navy lost a submarine, a light cruiser, and 75 fixed-wing aircraft.

But it appears that the US is taking the wrong side in this dispute and risking another war.  Mercosur (the trading bloc with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) refuses to honor ships flying the Falkland Islands flag.  Venezuela has threatened actual hostilities.  Hence, the only answer to ensure the peace is to say what former PM Margaret Thatcher (my hero) said here:

As Margaret Thatcher famously reminded the world, in an address to the House of Commons after the Argentine invasion in April 1982, the Falklands are, and always will remain British:

The people of the Falkland Islands, like the people of the United Kingdom, are an island race. Their way of life is British; their allegiance is to the Crown. They are few in number, but they have the right to live in peace, to choose their own way of life and to determine their own allegiance. It is the wish of the British people and the duty of Her Majesty’s Government to do everything that we can to uphold that right. That will be our hope and our Endeavour and, I believe, the resolve of every Member of the House.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich ought to use this against the President.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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