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While in the United States the news from the Summit of the Americas involved a prostitute scandal, on the other side of the ocean it was about Obama’s continuing determination to undermine America’s allies. After Prime Minister Cameron’s last humiliating outing with Obama, all he had to show for it was a supposed assurance of neutrality, which the bumbling prime minister attempted to spin into support for the status quo and self-determination for the islanders. It was however no such thing.
When asked, at a joint conference with the President of Colombia, about the Falklands, Obama said curtly that he was remaining completely neutral. Last month while visiting Ground Zero, Prime Minister Cameron had pitifully tried to assure reporters that while Obama might not be for the legal rights of the islanders, he wasn’t actively against them. This may even be a victory of sorts as Hector Timerman, Argentina’s leftist Minister of Foreign Relations, had earlier suggested that the Obama administration had been the most favorable to Argentina’s claims to date.
Obama’s obnoxious behavior is all the more senseless because while there isn’t very much that the United States needs from Argentina, it needs to maintain a good level of cooperation with the UK. Last year the UK lost one soldier to every ten American soldiers in Afghanistan. This year it’s more like one to five. If Obama wants any kind of orderly retreat from Afghanistan, he needs the cooperation and help of a country where the war is even more unpopular than it is here. Then there’s the plan by both leaders to stabilize their political situation with a release of oil from their strategic reserves.
Argentina on the other hand is facing major economic problems and last month the administration was forced to suspend trade benefits due to money owed to two American companies. One of the companies, Blue Ridge Investments, is a subsidiary of Bank of America. Warren Buffett is a major investor in the latter. If Obama could take such an unprecedented step in defense of Warren Buffett’s financial interests, why not take a smaller one for an international ally?
As a further display of cynicism, the Obama administration took a position against a ruling by Judge Thomas Griesa obligating Argentina to make payments to Elliott Management Corporation. EMC is run by Paul Singer, who is a major Republican donor. Singer has already given a million to Romney’s SuperPAC and Fortune Magazine has described him as the Wall Street figure whose support is most crucial to the Romney campaign. It’s in Obama’s own interest to handicap Singer and reward Buffett, and that is exactly what the administration appears to have done.
Obama isn’t unwilling to alienate Argentina for his own culture of corruption, trashing international trade to see to it that his friends get paid and his enemies don’t. He just does not appear to care enough to make the most minimal gesture toward the United Kingdom and Prime Minister Cameron. Cameron, like Brown, has shamelessly humiliated himself before Obama, and taken home nothing for it.
A single word from Obama might make a repetition of the Falklands War less likely by an Argentine government sensing weakness. UK defense officials have already questioned the outcome of a second conflict on the thirtieth anniversary of the war. A statement that the United States will support its ally, whose men are dying for it in Afghanistan, would have gone a long way toward keeping the peace.
This has become an unfortunate pattern by an administration that makes so many bad decisions that it is often hard to tell whether it is being willfully destructive or mindlessly clueless. Obama’s intervention in the French election in support of Sarkozy was an arrogant misstep that Bush would never have made. Pandering to Russia yet again is a move that is almost as futile as trying to dictate to the Eurozone or negotiate with North Korea. And Obama has done all three.
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