Falklands : US/Falklands Policy: Situation Normal
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 11.06.2011 (Article Archived on 25.06.2011)
Judson Berger’s article for FOX News entitled “Obama Administration Backs Argentina over U.K. on Falkland Dispute,” published on 10 June 2011 didn’t move too many Falkland Islanders to anger when it was published.
US/FALKLANDS’ POLICY: SITUATION NORMAL
An Editorial by J. Brock (FINN)
Judson Berger’s article for FOX News entitled “Obama Administration Backs Argentina over U.K. on Falkland Dispute,” published on 10 June 2011 didn’t move too many Falkland Islanders to anger when it was published. But it was passed to the rubbish bin along with all the other speculative articles written over the past 29 years about the ‘Falklands’ thorn’ in the side of the United States’ special relationship with the United Kingdom.
For a third of a century the response from America and England has been the same, no matter who tried to fuel discord in the special relationship; and this time is no different. It is US policy to be neutral, siding neither with Argentina, Britain or the Falklands on the matter of sovereignty over the archipelago; and since 1985, at least, the US has backed negotiations to resolve the issue. Britain has no doubts about its sovereignty over the Falklands and champions the Islanders’ right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter.
This stand-off suits the United States and the United Kingdom, both of which have more pressing problems of State. Given this normal situation, the Obama Administration has not taken sides as this article asserts but carries on the policies begun in the Reagan Administration and carried on through Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. Administrations, just as Britain carries on supporting the Falklands.
Nameless is the ‘one British conservative analyst’ who called the routine consensus about the Falklands by the OAS, "hugely insulting to Britain." But it mentions by name the US based “Heritage Foundation as well as the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, and their representative analyst Nile Gardiner, who also blogged for the UK Telegraph. He wrongly asserts that Britain has taken a beating. I would say the scenario is a good way to shelve the matter ad infinitum.
Neutrality is a given no matter who writes the rubbish. The one message most media outlets refuse to hear is that the ‘special relationship’ is solid and has withstood two Gulf wars, Afghanistan, Bosnia and a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; let alone the Falklands.
The article goes on to say that “Britain has resisted international calls for the two nations to negotiate the issue -- which makes the U.S. position all the more peculiar.” But there is nothing peculiar in neutrality when it comes to minor squabbles. From both points of view such interference would appear to be meddling in the minor internal affairs of another sovereign state. Neither the US or Britain are to be micromanaged – especially by each other.
Quoting Mr Gardner, the article continues "This is a bizarre foreign policy." But whose foreign policy is really bizarre? I would classify a foreign entity that breaks international agreements a little strange. Neither Britain or America have banned charter flights over their airspace, refused to share scientific data on fisheries, un-invite each other when conferences of mutual interest are in progress, ban shipping between each other, or refuse co-operation over joint oil reserves. Neither Britain nor the United States persuade their neighbours to refuse entry into ports and otherwise restrain trade. On another democracy - are you kidding?
The article concludes “In an OAS press release, Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman said: "Unfortunately, Britain still declines to resume bilateral dialogue, in violation not only of repeated resolutions of the United Nations and this Organization." Timerman called for a "peaceful settlement to the dispute."
But how does one negotiate an agreement with an entity that is sooooo good at breaking them?
Members of the Legislative Assembly respond to the Organization of American States statement - regret but no surprise, and nothing new."
“The people of the Falkland Islands have a right to self-determination, enshrined in international law. We fully support the UK government’s current resolute position, which confirms that the issue of sovereignty is non-negotiable. We seek nothing more than neighbourly relations with Argentina and regret that this issue should once again be raised on the regional stage. The OAS maintains a longstanding declaration on the Falkland Islands but we note that the wording in this year’s declaration is the same as in previous years - it has not changed, and nor has anything else”.
Office of the Legislative Assembly