Nothing succeeds like failure 1

It cannot be said that the mess Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made of foreign relations amounts to a failure, because it is highly possible that the mess is what Obama wanted her to achieve, in which case it’s a success.

Her latest betrayal of an old ally is in connection with the Falkland Islands, for the retention of which Prime Minister Thatcher fought and won a fierce war with Argentina.

Ken Blackwell writes this about it at Townhall:

During an official visit to Argentina, Mrs. Clinton referred to the Britain’s Falkland Islands as “Las Malvinas–the Argentine name for them. She said the U.S. was willing to mediate the conflicting claims of Argentina and Britain to the collection of rocky crags that have been British since 1833. The Falklands have been British a decade longer than Texas has been American. Argentina still claims these crags–and is even keener to have them back now that oil is rumored to be bubbling beneath the stormy seas of the South Atlantic.

Every one of 3,000 living souls on the Falklands is British–and defiantly so. …

Is the Obama administration determined to undo everything Ronald Reagan accomplished? In 1982, Argentina’s rogue government got into trouble because of its insane economic policies. The military junta then in charge in Buenos Aires in 1982 started yelling “Remember the Malvinas!” They hoped to distract their tormented people from their hardships at home by naked aggression abroad. The Argentine military invaded the sparsely populated Falkland Islands–there are almost 800 of them, most of them uninhabited.

The Argentine junta reckoned without the Iron Lady, Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. There was never a doubt that Mrs. Thatcher would respond to this brazen aggression with force.

She quickly assembled and sent to sea a Royal Navy battle fleet. She personally went to the fleet’s embarkation point to see off the young warriors. Not since World War II had Britain’s people been so united about anything. …

The Falklands War was short, sharp, and bloody. …

Thousands of young Argentine draftees, poorly trained, poorly supplied, and even more poorly led, were quickly rounded up on the islands. Britain lost 255 dead in this war while 649 Argentines were needlessly sacrificed to the Buenos Aires dictators’ vainglory. As a result of this humiliating defeat, Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri and his fellow thugs were soon sent packing.

Back then, the Reagan administration quietly but firmly backed Britain with critical intelligence and re-fueling stations. But now, we face another possible crisis over the Falklands. And all because of Hillary Clinton’s clumsy attempt at “even-handedness”–which is in fact ham-handedness.

Britain loyally supported us in Iraq. She is our strongest ally in Afghanistan. Tied down fighting at our side, Britain would be hard-pressed to eject the Argentines should the left-wing government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner decide once again to invade the homes of those staunchly British Falklanders.

The Argentines are crowing over the Clinton Coup. He’s never seen “such substantial support” from the U.S., says Argentina’s Ambassador in Washington Hector Timerman. Buenos Aires’ official mouthpiece, Ruperto Godoy called Mrs. Clintons’ comments “very significant, very important.”

Blackwell recalls some other notable failures/successes:

Hillary’s comments are indeed significant. She is buying trouble for us around the globe. From a failed “Re-Set” button with the Russians, to a dangerous appeasement of Iran and China, from bribing the PLO on the West Bank with $900 million to shutting down missile defense for Eastern European democracies, from siding with the dictator in Honduras, to opening the door to a second Falklands War, this administration’s foreign policy is in shambles. And we’re only 14 months into it.

Sharper than a serpent’s tooth 0

European leaders are feeling how sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless US president.

According to this Washington Times report, Europe is rapidly losing its enthusiasm for Obama.

To Europe’s dismay, Mr. Obama can’t find the time to attend this year’s annual U.S.-European Union Summit – something Mr. Bush always managed to do. Mr. Obama’s decision to skip the summit offended Europeans, who saw it as a deliberate snub of the European Union – their favorite project to centralize government and internationalize the governance of human affairs great and small. Given Mr. Obama’s embrace of such ideas domestically, Europeans were understandably puzzled that he would not rush to link arms with them in the summit.

Further souring relations was Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates’s blast at much of Europe for dithering on defense. At last month’s meeting of NATO officials, Mr. Gates said the “pacification of Europe” (meaning Europe’s turning away from war and defense spending as necessary policies to keep the peace) was making it difficult for the allies to “operate and fight together.”

“The demilitarization of Europe,” he argued, “where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it, has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st.”

Europe (with the exception of Britain) has contributed little to its own defense ever since the end of World War II. It has depended heavily on the US to “keep the peace”. (The funds that European states might have needed to spend on defending themselves have been lavished on welfare.) This is perhaps the first time strong objection to that state of affairs has come from an American administration:

Mr. Gates is absolutely right … The in-your-face nature of his words is striking. No Bush administration official … ever publicly criticized Europe’s lack of military spending and support for NATO so bluntly. … Now we have a secretary of defense arguing that European fecklessness threatens world peace.

Yet it’s surely ironic that Obama’s Secretary of Defense should be saying this, since Obama himself favors disarmament, has taken active steps to weaken America’s military superiority, and has expressed an ideological ambition to rid America of its nuclear arsenal.

European interests are plainly of little concern to Obama, and his foreign policies are increasingly rousing Europe’s irritation, most recently Britain’s, the staunch ally of America in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars:

It is one thing to start a quarrel with France or even the EU, but Mr. Obama has managed even to offend the British. Many commentators in the UK now accuse Mr. Obama of harboring anti-British sentiments. The State Department’s recent announcement that we would remain neutral in the Falklands Islands dispute between the UK and Argentina has only fueled that perception. …

In general, Europe’s unwarranted expectations of Obama have been disappointed, its adoration scorned, its proffered gifts of wisdom spurned:

With regard to the Obama presidency, illusions are shattering across Europe. There, as here, the left’s exaggerated hatred of Mr. Bush was matched only by their naive embrace of Mr. Obama. They now increasingly realize that although Mr. Obama may admire Europe’s domestic polices on health care and energy, he has little practical use for the European Union’s pretensions to world influence and leadership.

But he does seem willing to give them precisely what they’ve requested for years: A diminished U.S. role in the world. Mr. Obama is pulling back on the projection of American power. Leaving the Europeans to their own devices (and ignoring their summits) is merely part of that program.

Their confusion is understandable. They expected that waning American power would mean less criticism from Washington and more European influence over U.S. policy. It didn’t work out that way….

Europe may never get over its disdain for Mr. Bush. But they may someday come to realize that things were not as bad under Mr. Bush as they thought. At least he showed up to their meetings.