Editor's Note: This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison.
When Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is not berating Canadians in Ottawa for not pushing abortions in Africa, when she’s not celebrating gay pride in Rome with Lady Gaga, when she’s not counting Jews in Jerusalem, nagging Israelis about building homes for their people in their own capital, what does she do with herself?
One thing she does is try to overturn one of the greatest victories for democracy and the rule of law since World War II. Mrs. Clinton has barged into still-festering dispute over the Falkland Islands. In 1982, the Argentine military junta invaded the Falklands and immediately set about placing the peaceful islanders under their own dictatorship.
Argentina was able to invade the Falklands in 1982 because those long-held British possessions are just a few hundred miles from the coast of South America. The British government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher instantly rallied and quickly dispatched a war fleet on a six-week journey to the South Atlantic. One of Mrs. Thatcher’s junior ministers asked if, with the departure of the fleet, this would not be a good time for another offer of peace talks to the Argentine dictators. Mrs. Thatcher’s reaction was said to be “thermonuclear.” That young man has not been heard from since.
Behind the scenes, the British were aided by Ronald Reagan’s Defense Department. Satellite data and military intelligence reports were shared fully with our British counterparts in Whitehall.
How could the United States, the Great Republic, line up so firmly with the United Kingdom in defense of a distant colonial outpost? What about the Monroe Doctrine? What about anti-imperialism?
President Reagan recognized with no prompting that the core value was democracy and a government “by consent of the governed.” The few thousand Falklanders were British down to their boots. This quiet outpost of liberty and order had been self-governing for nearly two centuries.
Argentina, by contrast, has fallen under one after another thuggish regime, military juntas alternating with neo-fascist Peronista governments elected by the famous descamisados—shirtless ones. Think “Occupy Buenos Aires.”
The Obama administration wants to be a “transformative” one in the way that Reagan’s was, but in the opposite direction. Instead of asserting American Exceptionalism, instead of boldly standing for freedom and self-rule, this administration has cozied up to dictators around the world. Only Gaddafi managed to avoid its embrace. But Libya’s jihadists are still hopeful of U.S. aid as they seek to set up yet another Islamist state.