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.
Bryan Preston weighed in, and thinks Obama’s stance could have negative consequences.
Of more importance, though, is Obama’s decision to wade into a sensitive issue between two of our allies in this way. The Falklands war was 30 years ago this month. The Argentine government has been ratcheting up anti-British rhetoric, demanding that the UK hand “Las Malvinas” over, and threatening to invade again. In his summit speech Obama claimed that the US is neutral, which was our official stance during the 1982 war and is now, but attempting to use the name “Malvinas,” and then bungling that, can be taken to suggest that he isn’t so neutral and would side with Argentina against the British.
The Telegraph calls this an “uncharacteristic” error, but this isn’t the first time Barack Obama has betrayed his geographical ignorance and political boneheadedness. (Read More)
Good grief. What will he do next?
Update: The First Street Journal linked and weighed in:
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 has 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. (Read More)
Update: Linked by The Camp of the Saints – thanks!