The Other Obama Colombia Summit Debacle (w/ Argentina)

April 18, 2012, 5:41 pm


Does U.S. President Obama have a foreign policy or should we call it a “dangerous farcical policy.” Is he even control of the White House? By now, most people have heard the story of how, “11 Secret Service agents” and “as many as 10 U.S. military personnel,” hired prostitutes, drank alcohol, and possibly used illicit drugs — all in “security preparation” for the president to attend the Summit of the Americas in Colombia. Besides the security debacle, Obama’s diplomatic effort, “wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.” But there’s a subtle clincher to Obama’s ridiculous Colombia trip which belies his true incompetency, a clincher probably overshadowed by the security scandal, namely his seeming overtures to Argentina and its leader, who is threatening war, stealing billions, and deriding one the U.S.’s closest allies:

President Obama erred during a speech at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, when attempting to call the disputed archipelago by its Spanish name. [Argentina claims the Falkland Islands which are in fact sovereign UK territory. - Ed. note.]

Instead of saying Malvinas, however, Mr Obama referred to the islands as the Maldives, a group of 26 atolls off that lie off the South coast of India.

The Maldives were a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965 and the site of a UK airbase for nearly 20 years.

Cristina Kirchner, the Argentine president, has renewed her country’s sovereignty claim to the Falklands in the build-up to the 30th anniversary of the Argentine invasion of the islands, which triggered the Falklands War, on April 2. …

Obama was certainly trying to sound “enlightened” or “international” — attempting but not even coming close — by using the Spanish name for the Falklands, but all he did was demonstrate his ignorance, insult one of the U.S.’s closest allies (the UK), and possibly gain favor with a cheap, populist “leader” of a failed state, Argentina.

Imagine if British Prime Minister Cameron went to an international conference, referred to California as the “Viceroyalty of New Spain,” and implied the state really belongs to Mexico? I doubt this would go over well with the majority of Americans. There’s a big, politically-charged difference, at least to seasoned diplomats, between using the names “Malvinas” or “Falklands.” Why would Obama try to use the “Spanish name” (Malvinas) for the Falklands? To pander to the “leader” of Argentina, especially given what she’s been up to recently?

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“Argentinean president Cristina Fernandez Kirchner has reasserted her nation’s claim to the Falkland Islands,” which means she’s considering another wag-the-dog war to “retake” the Falklands from the UK, thirty years after her “country” failed in its first bloody attempt at stealing the same British territory. The Brits first discovered the Falklands in 1690:

…The majority of the population of the Falkland Islands are British by birth or descent. …

… The Falklands have been continuously, peacefully and effectively inhabited and administered by Britain since 1833. …

Now, Kirchner is in the process of outright stealing a publicly-traded company. She’s going to nationalize, “Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales [YPF], in which Repsol, a Spanish energy group, has a majority shareholding.” A national leader planning to steal sovereign territory and actively stealing another country’s money — is Obama trying to get on her good side with the attempted “Malvinas” word (gaffe)? We’re not talking about chump-change when it comes to YPF:

… Repsol was considering legal action against Buenos Aires, seeking $US10bn ($9.6bn) in compensation for its 57 per cent stake in YPF. It estimates the entire business is worth $US18bn and that it owns an extra $US13bn worth of oil and gas assets after a discovery in Argentina. …

The U.S. president is well-known for trying to suck up to America’s enemies, like Turkey, Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Remember that during another recent summit, Obama, not knowing his microphone was still on, tried to make off-the-record (secret?) policy with the leader of Russia, a country not exactly on the best terms with the U.S. During that meeting in Seoul, Obama whispered to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney responded to Obama’s gaffe, stating, “President Obama signalled that he’s going to cave to Russia on missile defence, but the American people have a right to know where else he plans to be ‘flexible’ in a second term.” Did Obama give the Russian Empire the green light to increase its harassment of its neighbors, or give a wink-and-a-nod to Emperor Vladimir Putin’s blatant disregard for democracy?

I agree with Romney (at least on this one). Just what damage would Obama’s foreign policy cause in a second term?

Related: Corruption, Foreign Policy, Latin America, Obama

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