March 16, 2012
The Biggest Threat to Britain's National Security Is Barack ObamaBy Adam Shaw
As British Prime Minister David Cameron hangs out with President Obama this week, he should remember that he is watching basketball and chewing on hot dogs with the man who represents the biggest threat to Britain's national security.
One of the toughest things my fellow Britons and I commonly struggle with is adapting ourselves to the real state of our nation. Despite brief re-emergences of international power during the Thatcher years, and the latter half of the Blair years, Britain's role in the international field has been on the decline for many years, and we find ourselves a significant but isolated island nation.
More notably, these increases in strength have always coincided with a close relationship with the United States of America. For instance, Margaret Thatcher became a powerful force in the downfall of the Soviet Union not only because of her own force, but also because of her close bond with President Ronald Reagan [i].
Additionally, Tony Blair's close ties first with President Clinton and later with President Bush pushed Britain back onto the world stage. This peaked during the War on Terror, where the United Kingdom was instrumental in the fight against Islamic fundamentalism.
Today, however, the Thatcher-Reagan years, and even the Blair-Bush years, seem a far distance away. Blair was undemocratically replaced with the hard-left Gordon Brown -- no fan of the United States -- while a majority of Americans voted in Barack Obama -- arguably the most anti-British president in the history of the United States.
Often the examples of Obama's snubs of the U.K. have consisted of symbolic gestures. He famously returned the bust of Winston Churchill that the British government had handed to George W. Bush in the wake of 9/11; a short time later, he gave gifts of a set of DVDs (that don't work on U.K. DVD players) to Prime Minister Brown, and an iPod with a selection of his speeches taped on them to the queen.
Although one might snort in derision at the crassness and arrogance of a president who believes that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II would like nothing more than to cuddle up with her iPod and listen to Barry's dulcet speeches on hope and change, other insults have had real-life consequences.
In the last few years, this administration has engaged in a multifaceted attack upon her friend by promising to put the "boot on the throat" of BP, mocking Britain as "nothing special," and betraying us to Russia over the nuclear treaty known as "New START."
Yet, to understand the sort of threat that an anti-British president presents, the most worrying example is that of the Falkland Islands.
The Falkland Islands (or the Malvinas, as the Argentinians call them) have been a sovereign piece of British territory constantly since 1833, and Britain has a claim on the islands that goes back to the 17th century. Poll after poll has found that Falkland Islanders overwhelmingly view themselves as British and wish to remain under the sovereignty of Her Majesty. Argentina disagrees and has sought to take the Islands back by force, most notably in 1982, where the Argentinians were defeated in spite of the howls of the antiwar left, who sought to make Mrs. Thatcher seem like the aggressor in spite of the facts.
Fast-forward thirty years, and the coalition of left-wing luvvies such as Sean Penn, who branded Britain as "colonialist, archaic and ludicrous," and the aggressive harridan Christine Kircher -- who appears to believe that a brisk act of aggression may turn her dipping poll numbers -- want to reopen old wounds.
Luckily for Britain, Argentina is not a stupid nation, and it is unlikely to attack Britain again while Britain has the American support from behind the scenes that helped turn the tide against the Argentinian junta in the early '80s. It is for this reason that ever since the Argentine dogs were sent off with their tails between their legs in '82, they have done little other than growl in irritation at the victors.
Yet their noses have picked up the anti-British scent in the air from the White House, and the tails are wagging.
The statements on the matter from the administration -- most notably from Secretary of State Clinton -- have moved from a stance that supports Britain to one that not just is neutral, but concedes that Argentina may have a point. Clinton's repeated calls for negotiation and discussion on an issue where there should be none is akin to the British foreign secretary saying that perhaps it is time that the U.S. and Canada sit down and discusses co-ownership of Alaska. "There is no discussion -- it belongs to us!" would be America's response to such calls, and this is exactly Britain's response to the calls for faux diplomacy from Mrs. Clinton.
Not only is this a slap in the face to America's biggest and most faithful ally (so much for the nuanced foreign policy Obama proposed!), but it also tells Argentina that the diplomatic support, and the resources from America that were so key in the Falklands War, may not be forthcoming this time around -- and that if push came to shove, America would even go so far as to betray Britain on this matter, as it already has to an extent.
All this makes an invasion of sovereign British territory, and a consequent escalation of conflict into an out-and-out war between Great Britain and Argentina, a very real possibility.
This threat from the Obama administration is not limited to Argentina. Parliament (rightly) stuck its neck on the line for America in the War on Terror, and consequently made itself a target for terrorists and rogue states. One of the factors that may dissuade a rogue nation from targeting the U.K. is its close relationship with the U.S. Any hostile force would know that an attack on Britain would be met with immediate aggression by America as well as by the U.K. Under Obama, is this still the case? This is surely the question many enemies of the West are pondering as they plan their next attacks on freedom.
Both Britain and the USA gain from the Anglo-American relationship, and both sides are being significantly hurt by Obama's anti-British ideology. Yet as a remote island, shunned by the European Union for rejecting its socialist way, Britain needs a close American alliance in order to keep its territories safe and its people free. David Cameron should be thinking about how the president is damaging that goal when they sit down for the next photo op.
[i] J Sullivan, The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World. Regnery: 2006.