This was the statement.
U.S. Position on the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands
Taken QuestionOffice of the SpokespersonWashington, DCJanuary 20, 2012
QUESTION: Does the U.S. take a position on the recent posturing between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falklands?
ANSWER: This is a bilateral issue that needs to be worked out directly between the governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom. We encourage both parties to resolve their differences through dialogue in normal diplomatic channels.
We recognize de facto United Kingdom administration of the islands but take no position regarding sovereignty.
I was impressed that both the U.K. and the Argentine appellations were used , and I thought the final sentence stated a very clear position given that both countries are allies of ours. We do not have a dog in this fight (or should I say “show?”).
Today I came upon this commentary on Commentary:
Robert C. O’Brien, a former American representative to the UN, argues today in The Diplomat that the Obama administration has again turned its back on the United Kingdom in its dispute with Argentina over the Falklands. This is a rather easy call–British sovereignty there is lawful and the clear choice of Falklands residents. But Argentina is stirring up trouble there once again, and O’Brien suggests Obama’s behavior is indefensible and will have consequences:
What got Seth Mandel all fired up was this lengthy diatribe by Robert C. O’Brien in The Diplomat.
With the world’s attention focused on Bashar al-Assad’s violent suppression of the Syrian civilian uprising, and with the increasing likelihood of a strike by Israel to thwart Iran’s relentless drive to obtain nuclear weapons, perhaps the most underreported international story is the increasingly heated dispute between Britain and Argentina in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is an unfolding issue that could say much about the way the U.S. handles its alliances, including those in the Asia-Pacific region.
Both Mandel, and O’Brien cite O’Brien as a former representative to the U.N., neither specifies which administration he represented. I might have guessed.
Robert C. O’Brien is an American attorney who was nominated by President George W. Bush on November 10, 2005 and confirmed by the US Senate as the US Alternate Representative to the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which met in New York
Clearly I was not following our foreign policy at the time with anything like the devotion I have accorded it since a certain brilliant, hard-working charmer took over as our top diplomat.
What advantage would be gained by U.S. interference in this disagreement is no clearer today than it was in 1982. Of course the British subjects who are residents going back 175 years want to remain under what we term de facto U.K. administration in much the same way that the Protestants in Northern Ireland want to remain part of the Commonwealth.
Naturally, the Argentines feel that their Malvinas are an occupied territory colonized by the British. Is there some other way of explaining how these islands came to be under British rule?
All who visit these pages know that I am not one to defend President Obama easily, and I certainly see the fingerprints of his Secretary of State, whom I admire (to put it very mildly), all over our policy on the issue.
While Mandel and O’Brien rant over our unwillingness to intrude, I happen to like our clear, concise position as stated in the January 19 press briefing. We have no reasons to stick our nose where it does not belong.
You know me well enough by now to be certain that I will not be ending a post like this – especially since I am defending President Obama (!) without something from the awesome Hillary Rodham Clinton – a picture, a quote – something! Here is a video of her remarks on the matter during her visit to the Casa Rosada on March 2, 2010 as they were published here.