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Argentina's Angle

rsz_clintonfalkland030410.jpg

Today's Washington Post asks, what can Argentina gain from another Falklands dispute?

YOU KNOW that an Argentine leader must be in political trouble if the subject of the Falkland Islands has come up again. In this case the beleaguered president is Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whose populist administration in Buenos Aires has lost the support of most of the country. Hosting Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Buenos Aires on Monday, Ms. Fernández de Kirchner requested that the United States mediate Argentina's dispute with Britain over the islands, which lie about 400 miles off Argentina's southern coast but have been governed from London since 1833.
So far so good; However, the WaPo editorial board makes a factual mistake in saying:
Ms. Clinton responded by urging the two sides to talk, while wisely sidestepping the mediation suggestion.
There was nothing wise, and there was no sidestepping. As I mentioned yesterday, Hillary played right into Cristina's hands by agreeing to the Argentinian president's position that Britain negotiate against the will of Falkland's citizens, and subject itself to the whim of UN resolutions and the Marxist-controlled decolonization committees.

The WaPo points out that:

Such studied neutrality is in keeping with traditional U.S. policy on the Falklands -- though it's worth remembering that mistaken interpretation of signals from Washington helped produce Argentina's disastrous 1982 invasion.
Hillary's "studied neutrality" may be opening that can of worms again in the region.

Hillary also arrived just in time to back the losing team: Yesterday the Kirchners officially lost the congressional majority they had had in Congress for the past seven years, when the opposition parties formed a coalition:

In this case, it's hard to see why the Obama administration should throw any lifelines to Ms. Fernández de Kirchner, who hasn't shrunk from playing to anti-American sentiment around the region.
The Obama administration's blunder on this issue has damaged the U.S.-Britain relationship by essentially selling them down the river:
Unfortunately there is no sign that the White House and the State Department understand that their reckless stance on the Falklands is significantly damaging the relationship with Great Britain. I hope they wake up before it’s too late, and realize that America has no truer friend than the British people, and that siding with Britain’s enemies is a spectacular miscalculation that is fundamentally against the U.S. national interest.
Don't hold your breath waiting that they do.

Fausta Wertz blogs at Fausta's blog.

(AP Photo)