Fast forward to yesterday's headline in the Telegraph written by Toby Young:
Et tu, Barack? America betrays Britain in her hour of need
It was a headline I never expected to read: “US refuses to endorse British sovereignty in Falklands oil dispute.” Washington has declined to back Britain in its dispute with Argentina over drilling rights in the waters surrounding the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands. President Obama’s position is one of strict neutrality, refusing to take sides. According to the State Department:My response to Young is and this surprises you, why? What has Obama done since taking office (or before, for that matter) that gave you guys the idea that he gives any merit to the long standing friendship and alliance between our countries? Remember, Obama comes from the Zinn school of social justice (and revisionist history) where Great Britain, like the United States, represents imperialist oppressors. He feels no loyalty to Britain and little for his own.
We are aware not only of the current situation but also of the history, but our position remains one of neutrality. The US recognises de facto UK administration of the islands but takes no position on the sovereignty claims of either party. (emphasis added)
For this alliance to survive, both countries must recognise their obligations and, from time to time, that involves one of us setting aside more localised concerns for the sake of the cause. Tony Blair would have preferred it if President Bush had been prepared to wait for a second UN resolution before launching the invasion of Iraq, but he decided that Britain should follow America into battle nevertheless. He recognised that the preservation of the Atlantic alliance had to be prioritised above all else, both for our sake and the sake of the world.No, you don't abandon your friends. I would hope that Sec. Clinton would recognize this but then again, hers is but a ceremonial position of late. These are difficult times for the United States and by extension, for our traditional allies. I would note that many in Great Britain like their counterparts in Europe hailed the election of the Anointed One. Sadly, now that they've found that Obama is a lesser god it is too late to get the cowboy back.
In return, we naturally expect America to side with us when it comes to our own territorial disputes — and this element of quid pro quo was recognised by Ronald Reagan when he backed Margaret Thatcher in the Falklands War. It wasn’t in America’s regional interests to side with us, but Reagan knew the terms of the deal: It was your country, right or wrong. You don’t abandon your closest ally in her hour of need.
I imagine our next president on his "apology tours". But unlike Obama he won't be grovelling before Mid Eastern terrorists. Our next president will be apologizing for actual wrongs against Poland, the Czech Republic and yes, Great Britain.