"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Great Britain has been America's staunchest ally for, what, a hundred and fifty years?   They have certainly been our staunchest ally in the War on Terrorism.   British soldiers have fought and died in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

So, does it matter that the President, in speaking at a summit in Colombia this week supposedly dealing with issues affecting South America, spoke of the "Maldives Islands"?   Well, yes, in two ways.

First, dummy, the Maldives Islands are in the Indian Ocean, on the other side of the world.   Here they are, Mr. President, in case you needed a map:

What he meant to say, of course, was the Malvinas Islands, which are off the coast of Argentina, and which, of course, were in dispute in the Falklands War in the early 1980s.    Here they are:

But, here's the rub... the Brits don't call the Malvinas by that name.   That's what the Argentines call it.   The Brits call them the "Falklands.   And they have a right to, because the islands are claimed by (and have long been occupied by) British citizens.

So when Obama called them the Maldives, it was a double gaffe.  First, because he got the name wrong.   (Can you imagine if Bush... oh, hell, aren't you tired of calling attention to the double standard?)  

And, second, because he needlessly insulted our best ally.

But, then, needlessly insulting allies (Great Britain, Israel, Poland, etc.) is apparently what this President does best.

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