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.
Margaret Thatcher earned her “Iron Lady” sobriquet fighting the Communist-dominated unions in Britain, but her successful effort to liberate the Falklands gave her a smashing election victory over her Labour opposition in the elections that followed the lopsided victory in that war. Thatcher’s supporters said she put the GREAT back in Great Britain.
By calling for “talks,” Tin Woman Hillary Clinton is threatening to open up the issue of the Falklands once again. There is nothing to talk about. The Falkland Islanders want no part of Argentina, period. They don’t want Argentina’s military buffoonery or its worse-than-Greece economics. They especially don’t want Argentina’s crazy quilt politics.
Why put all that the Iron Lady won—at the cost of hundreds of British lives—as risk? If we won’t “meddle” in Iran, why meddle here? Why try to undo what our closest ally has achieved?
Britain today is in grave economic straits. The British government has had to give up their only aircraft carrier. It is a real question whether Britain today could mount a successful effort to rescue the Falkland Islanders should the Argentines be tempted once again to grab what they call their “Malvinas” islands. And Argentina’s perennial political and economic instability make a foreign adventure a constant temptation.
Hillary Clinton is vying with Cyrus Vance for the title of worst Secretary of State in U.S. history. He quit Jimmy Carter’s cabinet in 1980, not because Carter’s attempt to rescue our 52 hostages in Iran failed, but because it might have succeeded.
By raising the subject of “talks” about the Falklands, Mrs. Clinton is threatening a renewed war. We know Bill Clinton has lamented he did not have a war to assure his presidential greatness. Is Hillary hoping to be called upon to negotiate the Falklands matter so she, too, can cop a Nobel Prize? If she wins one for this, let’s make it tin.