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Thread: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

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    Default Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands
    There are three perennial passions in Argentina: soccer, the tango and the country's claim to Britain's South Atlantic outpost, the Falkland Islands. Even the build-up to Argentina's World Cup game against Germany last Friday failed to entirely deflect attention from what in the last few months has become the hot political issue. In the latest of a series of provocative moves -- provocative, at least, when seen from the Falklands and Britain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- the Argentine parliament last Thursday established a commission to investigate how to win control of the islands Argentines refer to as the Malvinas.

    In Britain, the issue is regarded today mainly as historical. Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Rex Hunt, the Falklands governor when the Argentines invaded the islands in 1982, joined 293 others in London on June 13 to mark Liberation Day. Plans are being prepared at the UK's Ministry of Defense and other government departments for a march-past by veterans next year, the 25th anniversary of the war.

    But for Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, a Peronist with left-wing leanings, the issue is more than just historical. He has embarked on a renewed push for the islands and enlisted the support of other left-leaning leaders, from Cuban President Fidel Castro to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. For Kirchner it is personal as well as political. He was born in, and became mayor of, the southern Patagonian port of Rio Gallegos, a city that sits directly across from the Falklands and from where Argentine troops embarked for their failed invasion.

    "Kirchner views the Malvinas question with a Patagonian eye, a view hardened by the geographic proximity and the war," according to Rosendo Fraga, a Buenos Aires-based political analyst.

    "I don't think it was Kirchner's original intention but the sovereignty issue has provided a rallying point to gather left-leaning Latin American governments into an anti-colonial bloc," Fraga said.

    British government officials are privately dismissive, seeing the sudden renewed interest in the islands as little more than a piece of political cynicism, motivated by Kirchner's drive for re-election next year. One of the officials said yesterday that about 200 diplomats, journalists, ex-combatants and legislators took part in last Thursday's commission launch "but it contained few surprises, just the usual rhetoric from firebrands about the islands, depicting the UK as the Evil One."

    The British government, while far from alarmed, is expecting the rumbling to continue and become louder as the election draws closer.

    Kirchner's approach represents a marked change in the conciliatory, passive approach that Argentina has been more or less pursuing since the fall of the late dictator General Leopoldo Galtieri in the aftermath of the war.

    The strategy of trying to woo the islanders reached its height under the presidency of Kirchner's predecessor, Carlos Menem: Argentines still cringe over his decision to mail islanders, as a Christmas present, copies of Winnie the Pooh.

    Cooperation between Argentina, Britain and the Falklands has broken down in various areas: fishing agreements, oil exploration, joint scientific cruises and air links between the Falklands and Latin America.

    Kirchner succinctly summed up the new approach on April 2 when he spoke at the annual remembrance service for the dead of the 1982 war: "The Malvinas must be a national objective of all Argentines, and with dialogue, diplomacy and peace we must recover them for our homeland. But dialogue, diplomacy and peace do not mean we have to live with our head bowed."

    The new mood is reflected in the streets. The Argentine war cry Las Malvinas son Argentinas (the Falklands are Argentine) has resurfaced in graffiti and posters round Buenos Aires. The Malvinas are a matter of wounded pride, not over the calamitous end of the war, which is universally dismissed as the last lunatic act of a floundering dictatorship, but over the original British occupation of the islands in 1833.

    The president is not advocating another bout of war but has ordered his country's diplomats to pursue the policy more aggressively. Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana, met UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York on June 14 to ask him to intervene to persuade Britain to set out the government's position clearly in a long statement on June 14 to a special UN committee on independence from colonialism.

    Taiana claimed the Malvinas had been inhabited by Argentine settlers until they were replaced in 1833 by force with a population of British origin.

    He said Argentina had continuously sought an atmosphere favorable to the resumption of negotiations with Britain over sovereignty but had been rebuffed. Last year alone, he said, Argentina had submitted 15 notes of protest to the UK rejecting what it described as illegitimate acts in the Malvinas, including surveying for hydrocarbons and the granting of licenses for the exploration and exploitation of minerals.

    "These British unilateral acts also refer to the continued presence and recent upgrading of the British military base in the Malvinas islands, whose operating capacity extends beyond the area illegitimately occupied by the United Kingdom," Taiana said.

    He blamed Britain for the failure to establish direct scheduled air services between the island and the Argentine mainland, saying Buenos Aires was still awaiting a reply to an Argentine proposal suggested three years ago.

    The most recent point of contention is a British unilateral decision, in an apparent contravention of a joint agreement on conservation of fishing stocks, to extend fishing licenses from one year to 25, he said.

    Nicholas Winterton, the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on the Falklands, who attended the June 13 reception in London, is unimpressed by the new Argentine push.

    "Argentina got a bloody nose 25 years ago and similarly I would advise them not to try again," he said.

    Britain deploys 1,200 military personnel to protect the estimated 2,600 islanders, at a cost of ?110 million (US$203.4 million) a year. Is it worth it? Winterton said it was.

    He said that Argentina was historically wrong in claiming the Falklands, the islanders had a right to decide their own future, the islands were important strategically, standing at the gateway to Antarctica and Britain owed them a debt for their participation in both world wars.

    "This outweighs the cost," he said.

    Britain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs concurs.

    A spokesman said: "The UK will not negotiate on sovereignty unless and until the islanders wish it."

    And the Kelpers, as the islanders are often known, do not wish it. Robert Rowlands, who lives in the Falklands capital Port Stanley, said discussion of sovereignty will happen "only when the islanders are ready" and that would be "never."

    The islanders said they were unconcerned about the political moves in Argentina.

    "We've been hearing these sorts of noises since I was a child," said Sue Buckett, 49, whose family settled in the Falklands in 1833.

    They complain about bullying tactics by Argentina. Jan Cheek, a fishing company owner whose squid trawler was detained earlier this year after allegedly entering Argentine waters, said: "We'd be happy to have neighborly relations, but their claims get in the way of that."

    Argentine government officials dismiss the British government's claim that Kirchner is using the Malvinas to win re-election, insisting it has been on his agenda before and since the last election.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    As Reagan once said, "There you go again....."

    Aregentina...gack.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    U.K. and Argentina Spar Over Claim to Falkland Islands

    By Matthew Cowley



    BUENOS AIRES—Britain said it "firmly rejects" a new Argentine law that defines the Falkland Islands, over which the countries fought a war in 1982, as part of its territory.

    The British government delivered its protest to the Argentine chargé d'affairs in London, a Foreign Office minister, Chris Bryant, said in a statement to Parliament.

    The Falkland Islands, which are known as the Islas Malvinas in Argentina, are a source of tension in relations with the U.K., which won the brief war in 1982. Reports that there may be large oil reserves in waters around the islands are adding to the strains.

    The Argentine law, passed by Congress on Dec. 9, identifies a number of the South Atlantic islands claimed by the U.K., as well as part of the Antarctic shelf, as belonging to Argentina.

    The U.K. has "no doubt" about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and the Antarctic territory, Mr. Bryant said.

    Maritime-border disputes related to natural resources aren't uncommon, with countries such as the U.S., Canada and Russia arguing over territorial boundaries in the Arctic.

    The U.K. and Argentina have overlapping claims around the Falklands and have clashed over territorial rights at the United Nations. The U.K. wants to extend its rights to waters surrounding the Falkland Islands and also wants to lock in a vast tract of seabed off the coast of Antarctica.

    Argentina submitted its own claim at the U.N. for territory in the South Atlantic, and questioned "the illegitimate British occupation of the southern archipelagos."

    The issue long predates the administration of President Cristina Kirchner, who has consistently pushed Argentina's case for the Falklands at the U.N. in a bid to win support at home and abroad.

    Exploration for oil and gas is proceeding on both sides of the current maritime divide. On the British side, Rockhopper Exploration is looking for oil and gas in the North Falkland Basin. That lies northeast of Argentina's Cuenca Malvinas, which is being explored by a consortium led by Spanish oil firm Repsol YPF SA, and which includes a unit of the U.K.'s BP PLC as well as Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

    The Argentine government recently reiterated a warning that it would ban any companies operating in the Falkland's waters from working in Argentina.

    On both sides of the Atlantic, the issue garners cross-party support. On Friday, the U.K.'s Conservative Party threw its support behind the Labour government. A general election in the U.K. is due by June 3; any misstep on the Falklands from either party wouldn't be well received.

    The territories "are sovereign to the United Kingdom, and we condemn attempts by any foreign governments to assert otherwise," Shadow Foreign Minister David Lidington said in a statement.

    The Argentine law also gives a boost to the economy of Argentina's southernmost province. The regional government will henceforth receive royalties for existing oil and fishing operations. Absent this definition, those royalties have gone to the central government.

    —Laurence Norman in London contributed to this article.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Chavez tells the Queen: Get off Falkland Islands

    Peter Goodspeed, National Post
    Published: Tuesday, February 23, 2010


    Reuters Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

    For 74 days, the dispute that pitted Britain against Argentina over a remote South Atlantic archipelago dominated international headlines and bolstered the Iron Lady reputation of Margaret Thatcher.

    Nearly three decades later, the dispute over the Falkland Islands is heating up again -- this time over valuable oil reserves.

    Nations in Latin America are lining up behind Buenos Aires in its bid to regain Las Malvinas, as Argentina calls them. On Tuesday, Argentina won the unanimous support of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries for its cause. It also received a bellicose endorsement from Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President.

    "Look, England, how long are you going to be in Las Malvinas? Queen of England, I'm talking to you," he said.

    "The time for empires is over, haven't you noticed? Return the Malvinas to the Argentine people."

    The trigger in the latest dispute: on Monday a Scottish oil rig, the Ocean Guardian, began drilling an exploration well in the North Falkland Basin 100 kilometres north of the islands on Monday. The area is thought to contain 3.5 billion barrels of oil.

    After laying claim last year to a massive chunk of the continental shelf encompassing all the waters around the Falklands, Buenos Aires is planning to lodge a formal complaint with the United Nations.

    The last time Britain and Argentina clashed over the Falklands was in 1982, when a tyrannical military regime in Buenos Aires tried to distract Argentines from a failing economy and the persecution of dissidents by invading the islands.

    That triggered a 74-day war in which a British armada and army repulsed the Argentineans in a conflict that witnessed some of the fiercest naval battles since the Second World War.

    By the time Argentina surrendered, 255 Britons and 655 Argentineans had died.

    No one expects military action this time, but passions are inflamed and old war wounds exposed.

    The conflict is also uniting a deeply divided Argentina and could possibly restore the reputation of another threatened British prime minister.

    Argentina has always claimed sovereignty over the Falklands, which lie about 480 kilometres off its southern coast. But Britain has occupied the islands since 1833.

    When the military junta invaded in 1982, it hoped the adventure would unite the nation and present Britain with a fait accompli.

    Indeed, on the night of the invasion, then-British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband had to search frantically for an atlas just to find where the Falkland Islands were.

    Still, Mrs. Thatcher had no intention of caving in.

    The ensuing war transformed her from a deeply unpopular prime minister into a national hero.

    When the war started, she had just clashed with Britain's mine unions and stared down hunger strikers who starved to death in Northern Ireland. Her job approval rating was only 25% and Britain had more than three million unemployed.

    Now, as the latest Falklands crisis heats up, Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, has a job approval rating of just 28% and Britain's slumping economy has 2.5 million unemployed.

    Not surprisingly, Mr. Brown has pledged his government will make "all the preparations that are necessary to make sure the Falkland islanders are properly protected."

    In Argentina, President Cristina Kirchner is also desperate to deflect attention from an economy beset by soaring inflation, high unemployment, surging debt and capital flight. Gross domestic product grew by only 0.5% last year.

    The Falklands remains a convenient rallying cry and Ms. Kirchner has repeatedly adopted a more confrontational approach, charging Britain with "arrogance" for refusing to discuss the matter.

    Last Tuesday, she vowed to press Argentina's sovereignty claim by reducing co-operation with Britain and signed a decree demanding all ships sailing to the Falklands first receive an Argentine government permit.

    In December, Argentina's parliament adopted a law linking the disputed islands to the southern province of Tierra del Fuego. In 2007, Argentina tore up an agreement on joint exploration of the waters between the Falklands and the mainland.

    When drilling began on Monday, Argentinean hackers attacked the homepage of the Penguin News, a Falklands' weekly newspaper, leaving a picture of the Argentine flag and a recording of the patriotic song March of the Malvinas on the website.

    A website for the Falklands tourist board was also attacked.

    But that's about as aggressive as Argentine nationalists will get. Since the last war, 1,000 British troops are permanently based on the islands.

    The Falklands are also defended by a permanent patrol vessel, a visiting destroyer, submarine patrols, an infantry brigade, four Tornado fighters, extensive radar and a Rappier missile battery.

    When the islands were invaded in 1982, the only British military presence was a detachment of 70 Royal Marines.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    No one expects military action this time, but passions are inflamed and old war wounds exposed.
    No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

    I see a war brewing there and have seen it for some time. Someone needs to kick some ass down in that neck of the woods and I'd think it wouldn't be US.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Here's what I see happening...

    Some ship will be detained without paying the Argentinian bribe, it will come to a head, the UK will cave and that will be the end of their involvement. They will unwind their affairs over a 5 year period and then the islands will go straight down the toilet.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    I think you might be right about part of that, actually. The Brits dont want to give up the islands but, there is a general disquietude about "fighting" a "war" with anyone these days.

    Everyone wants to do the Rodney King thing, and "just get along".

    So they are willing to go to great lengths and accept the fact they have to pay bribes and ransoms.

    The British and other countries did this in the old days on the High Seas.

    Now they still do it.

    Except for private citizens.

    That old British couple are STILL being held hostage and the damned Muslims that kidnapped them have even reduced the ransom from 7.2 million USD to 2 million USD.

    And the locals are trying to get them freed (local people in the region are crying out for their release!) and the Brits are doing absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    They have written those folks off at this point and nothing else is going to happen.

    And people tell me "You shouldn't carry guns!"
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    With friends like these: Hillary Clinton wades into the Falklands row... and backs the Argentinians

    By Ian Drury
    Last updated at 1:22 AM on 03rd March 2010


    Hillary Clinton made a last-minute change to her travel plans last night to meet with Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez and pledge U.S. support in solving the Falkland Islands dispute.

    The Secretary of State's move will come as a slap in the face for London over the row.

    Mrs Clinton said: 'It is our position that this is a matter to be resolved between the United Kingdom and Argentina. If we can be of any help in facilitating such an effort, we stand ready to do so.'

    Gordon Brown has already made it clear there will be no negogiations over the islands.

    Argentina has objected to a British company's oil exploration off the Falklands, known in Spanish as Las Malvinas, but Britain has rejected the complaint.


    Enlarge

    Meeting: Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez, left, shakes hands with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a press conference at the government house in Buenos Aires

    Clinton's offer of help came on the first full day of a Latin America tour that will take her to quake-hit Chile and regional heavyweight Brazil along with Costa Rica and Guatemala.

    Clinton said she did not see the United States in a mediating role, but rather as simply encouraging dialogue.

    'We're not interested in and have no real role in determining what they decide between the two of them,' she added.

    'But we want them talking and we want them trying to resolve the outstanding issues between them.

    'We recognise that there are contentious matters that have to be resolved and we hope that they will do so.'

    At a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said she would welcome mediation from the United States as a country friendly to both states.

    Enlarge

    Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner gestures next to Hillary Clinton during a meeting at the Casa Rosada
    She said all that her country was asking was for talks. 'I don't think that's too much,' Fernandez said.

    Clinton repeated that the United States just wanted to get the two countries talking: 'We want very much to encourage both countries to sit down. We cannot make either one do so.'

    America's lack of support for Britain has been blamed on the UK's decision to release sensitive U.S. intelligence on a terror suspect.

    Barack Obama was accused of being 'feeble' by failing to back London in the stand-off with Argentina over the disputed islands, despite the 'special relationship'.

    Argentina, which has claimed the South Atlantic islands since Britain established its rule in the 19th century, invaded them in 1982.

    After a two-month war, it was forced to withdraw, but still claims the archipelago and says oil exploration by Britain's Desire Petroleum is a breach of sovereignty.

    Argentina formally objected to the drilling and said it would require all ships from the Falklands to obtain permits to dock in Argentina.

    The 'Rio Group' of Latin American leaders, meeting last month in Mexico, issued a statement supporting Argentina's demands to halt drilling around the Falklands, and Fernandez has said Latin American nations back Argentina in the dispute.

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said the matter should be revisited by the United Nations.

    A spokesman for Gordon Brown said last week he did not expect any direct contact between Brown and Fernandez on the issue and that Britain had given no thought to any military response.


    Enlarge

    Mrs Clinton said that America would help to resolve the dispute between Britain and Argentina, even though Gordon Brown said there was nothing to negotiate

    The Falklands are not an onshore oil producer and have no proven onshore reserves, but oil companies are betting that offshore fields hold billions of recoverable barrels of oil.

    Desire Petroleum said it broke ground at a well on its offshore 'Liz' prospect, which could contain up to 400 million barrels, although the exploration may recover nothing.

    The United States attempted to be neutral in the 1982 military clash, with then-Secretary of State Alexander Haig embarking on shuttle diplomacy that sought a negotiated settlement.

    Argentina's ill-fated Falklands campaign is widely seen as a mistake by the discredited military dictatorship ruling at the time. But Argentina's government has said it will continue to seek sovereignty over the islands.

    Elsewhere, defence spending on protecting the Falkland Islands has plunged by 50 per cent in just six years, it was claimed last night.
    New figures published by the Government show the budget for stationing the Armed Forces 8,000 miles away from Britain has plummeted from £143million in 2005-06 to £69million in 2010-11.

    Last night MPs warned that the apparent slump in defence spending on the Falklands had encouraged Argentina to raise the pressure over its right to the islands.

    Enlarge

    Angry: Former soldiers demonstrate against oil exploration off the disputed Falkland Islands

    The Ministry of Defence said the fall was because of changes to 'accounting policy' - omitting costs such as military equipment, servicemen's pay, repairs and communications from the budget.

    Defence spending peaked in 1982, the year of the Falklands War, when Argentina invaded the islands before a UK taskforce seized back control. The conflict claimed the lives of 255 British service personnel and 649 Argentinian troops.

    By 1989-90, the territory's defence budget had slumped to £60million, but by 2000-01 it had more than doubled to £143million - which happened to be the same amount spent in 2005-06.

    But the following year, it fell to £65million and has risen by just £4million for the financial year starting next month.

    The UK has 1,000-plus troops garrisoned on the islands, plus four RAF bombers on standby at the international-standard airport. Four warships are also currently on patrol in the area.

    Andrew Rosindell, the Tory MP and secretary of the all-Party Falkland Islands group at Westminster, said: 'It is dangerous for the Government to give any kind of indication that Britain is not ensuring adequate defences of the islands.

    'To seemingly cut defence spending while Argentina is sabre-rattling sends out a very bad message.'

    Liberal Democrat MP Bob Russell called for increased defence spending on the Falklands 'to make sure that we are fully prepared, especially as we have a smaller Royal Navy'.

    But Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell said: 'There is some variation between years caused by what categories of expenditure were included.

    'For example, in recent years figures do not include military equipment, military personnel pay, service children's education facilities, estate works and maintenance, IT and communication, maritime visits or air charter.'

    In Buenos Aires, officials were painting President Kirchner's meeting with Mrs Clinton as a diplomatic coup in the row with Britain over the Falklands.

    Last week, the Argentine government tabled a UN resolution condemning Britain for allowing oil exploration off the Falklands.

    President Kirchner issued a decree last month forcing ships sailing to the Falklands from Argentina to seek a permit after learning that a rig was to start drilling.

    She has also secured backing from 32 South American nations supporting its claim that Britain has occupied the islands illegally since 1833.

    Meanwhile another UK firm Falkland Oil and Gas has said it is preparing to invest up to £61.7million to drill in the Falkland. It has exploration rights for the ocean south and east of the islands.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    COOL!


    I want to get a bigger boat and crew and be a Privateer now!!! I can capture the Anglish and take their stuff and make them pay ransom!>

    God. What the hell has happened to our country?

    Hillary got a slap in the face herself yesterday I heard. Something about another country supporting Iran now. LOL. The United States is NOW dirt in the eyes of everyone else.

    All these asshole liberals who've been screaming how "America is hated" have gotten their wish for real now.

    Before we were respected. Now, thanks to Obama's administration and the morons kissing everyone's asses in the world, NOW we're not respected AND Hated.

    Good for the Obama administration.

    We can "fix health care" when we get the House back. We can nullify every piece of shit legislation that those idiots put in place.

    We can't fix, not easily, Respect that has been Lost.

    Congratulations Hillary Clinton, Obama, Biden... and the rest of you lame-brained, ass-kissing Liberals.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    American Neutrality On The Falklands Is A Symptom Of US Foreign Policy Drift
    February 26th, 2010

    The Bush administration got a lot of things wrong – but at least they usually had some idea of who America’s adversaries were and who America’s friends were. For example, Bush’s policy of maintaining the special relationship with Britain was a simple recognition of the close bonds of alliance, friendship and interests that the British and Americans have had since World War I.

    In contrast, Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are apparently clueless about some of the most basic aspects of foreign policy: supporting one’s friends and fencing in one’s adversaries. The declaration of neutrality on the issue of the sovereignty of the Falklands issued by the US State Department is clear proof of the uselessness of the Obama administration.

    In the grand scheme of things it makes little sense for America to give moral support to the Kirchner government in Argentina. Kirchner is no friend of the US and Kirchner’s government is in deep domestic trouble for its gross mismanagement of the economy and its attempts to suppress the press criticism of the regime at home. One has to wonder what benefit America gets out of hurting Britain on this issue. Perhaps Obama thinks that the more Leftist Latin American regimes will somehow approve of the US. If that is the case, he is truly mistaken, as most Latin American nations dislike the Argentineans, and have little sympathy for the mess Argentina got into over the Falklands.

    But this mess is just typical of the drift in US foreign policy – if one can say that it even HAS a coherent foreign policy these days. As I said, at the core of the problem is a simple inability to recognise and support our friends over adversaries. In his first year in office Obama made numerous apologies for America’s past to the Third World, he effusively greeted the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, he bowed low to the Saudi ruler, and called for a “reset” of relations with Russia – all the while implying that America was at fault for all these problems. At the same time he rudely undermined the security of America’s Eastern European allies by cancelling the ballistic missile defence with no notice and no prior discussion, he failed to push for a free trade agreement with Colombia – America’s strongest ally in South America – and he supported Chavez’s allies when they tried (luckily unsuccessfully) to unseat a democratic and pro-US government in Honduras.

    A big part of the problem is a Secretary of State who is a lightweight as far as foreign policy is concerned. Obama brought Hillary Clinton into the cabinet for domestic policy considerations. He needed to put Mrs Clinton – and her husband – under tight control. As a powerful senator from New York, she would probably have taken over as the de facto leader of the Democratic Party and been able to challenge Obama’s “Chicago Gang” for control of the party.

    Despite the acclaim that America’s mainstream media has heaped on Hillary Clinton over the years, her foreign policy background and experience before becoming Secretary of State was to accompany her husband on foreign trips and preside over “first wives” dinners for the spouses of visiting heads of state. One learns a lot about protocol and ceremonies – but this is no preparation for the real work of making policy. Clinton has no experience or education in foreign policy. She speaks no foreign languages and has never lived abroad. She lacks the intellectual temperament to be a foreign policy leader. Like Obama, she has long surrounded herself with sycophants.

    On assuming office, Obama’s vision of foreign policy was simple: he would repudiate past American policies and the whole world would melt before the president’s charm. The administration somehow thought that we really didn’t have enemies with agendas completely hostile to our own – there were just countries that had become offended by US actions and they would happily cooperate with America as soon as the evil Republicans were gone. Well, it hasn’t worked – and there was no Plan B.

    With a president overwhelmed by domestic problems, Hillary Clinton has failed to step in and set a foreign policy vision. Simply put, she does not have the brains or the experience to develop a coherent foreign policy vision for America. This is how we get policy mistakes on issues such as the sovereignty of the Falklands.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Argentina Blocks Supply Ship To Falklands
    Argentina has escalated its dispute with Britain over oil and gas exploration in the South Atlantic, blocking a ship from leaving with equipment it said would have been used to support drilling around the Falkland Islands.

    12 Feb 2010


    Jorge Taiana, the foreign minister, met to press the issue with the governor of Tierra del Fuego province, which, on every schoolchild's map in the country, includes the islands the Argentines call Las Malvinas.

    "Great Britain is violating Argentine sovereignty," Gov. Fabiana Rios declared after the meeting.

    The Foreign Ministry said that port officials prevented the vessel from leaving because of evidence that the cargo of Argentine-made seamless tubes would be used for drilling activity "illegitimately promoted" by Britain.

    The ministry said the boat had visited Port Stanley, the islands' capital, in January without permission. By law, any company involved in the oil business must obtain government permission before engaging in activity in Argentina's continental shelf - including the disputed islands.

    Techint, the world's biggest producer of seamless steel tubing for the oil industry, denied that the tubes were destined for the Falklands. It said they were headed to destinations in the Mediterranean and companies that have no operations in the disputed area.

    The British Foreign Office declined to comment.

    Last week Argentina formally objected to the start of oil and gas exploration in the islands, which the government considers to be Argentine despite losing a war over them with Britain.

    Argentina took the South Atlantic islands by force in April 1982, and 649 of its soldiers and 258 British soldiers were killed before Argentina surrendered two months later.

    The latest battles are mostly waged by diplomats - both countries have filed claims with international organisations over rights to the seabed surrounding the islands.

    Meanwhile, British companies are moving ahead with exploration.

    Desire Petroleum Plc has licensed six areas around the islands where it says 3.5 billion barrels of oil and 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas can be recovered from relatively shallow deposits. The company is bringing in the Ocean Guardian, a $35 million offshore oil rig, that it expects to begin drilling in earnest by month's end.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Oh oh.....

    Depending on the cut of their rubber pants tomorrow, the Brits might actually do something about this!
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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Well. Looks like push is coming to shove.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    US Refuses To Endorse British Sovereignty In Falklands Oil Dispute
    February 25, 2010

    Washington refused to endorse British claims to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands yesterday as the diplomatic row over oil drilling in the South Atlantic intensified in London, Buenos Aires and at the UN.

    Despite Britain’s close alliance with the US, the Obama Administration is determined not to be drawn into the issue. It has also declined to back Britain’s claim that oil exploration near the islands is sanctioned by international law, saying that the dispute is strictly a bilateral issue.

    Argentina appealed to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, last night to intervene in the dispute, a move Britain adamantly opposes.

    “The Secretary-General knows about the issue. He is not happy to learn that the situation is worsening,” Jorge Taiana, the Argentine Foreign Minister, said after meeting Mr Ban in New York.

    “We have asked the Secretary-General, within the framework of his good offices, to stress to Britain the need to abstain from further unilateral acts.”

    A top UN aide acknowledged, however, that Mr Ban would not be able to mediate because of Britain’s opposition.

    Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Britain’s Ambassador to the UN, said: “As British ministers have made clear, the UK has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands . . . We are also clear that the Falkland Islands Government is entitled to develop a hydrocarbons industry within its waters, and we support this legitimate business in Falklands’ territory.”

    Senior US officials insisted that Washington’s position on the Falklands was one of longstanding neutrality. This is in stark contrast to the public backing and vital intelligence offered by President Reagan to Margaret Thatcher once she had made the decision to recover the islands by force in 1982.

    “We are aware not only of the current situation but also of the history, but our position remains one of neutrality,” a State Department spokesman told The Times. “The US recognises de facto UK administration of the islands but takes no position on the sovereignty claims of either party.”

    Kevin Casas-Zamora, a Brookings Institution analyst and former vice-president of Costa Rica, said that President Reagan’s support for Britain in 1982 “irked a lot of people in Latin America”.

    The Obama Administration “is trying to split the difference as much as it can because it knows that coming round to the British position would again create a lot of ill will in the region”, he said.

    British officials in Washington said that they were comfortable with the US response to the dispute, but indicated that any American support for mediated negotiations would not be well received. It was “up to the islanders whether they want mediation or not”, one official said.

    Britain has boosted the islands’ defences since the conflict, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the First Sea Lord, said last night. “We have built a massive runway. We have emplaced forces on the ground, we have sophisticated early warning systems. It is a different package. To compare the way we dealt with the issues in 1982 with today is nonsense,” he said.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    So... the Brits are keeping a stiff upper lip, the Argentinians are screaming they want their land "back" (after several hundred years by the way)... and the Americans are refusing to acknowledge the situation is grave... or that the Brits even own the land.

    Wonder what Russia and China thinks, because, we all know they are very important in this? Or Hugo Chavez....?
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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    And now China has an interest in the Falklands area…

    Cnooc’s Fu Turns to Oil Ventures Abroad After Unocal
    March 16 (Bloomberg) -- Cnooc Ltd.’s failure to buy Unocal Corp. for $18.5 billion in 2005 taught Chairman Fu Chengyu a lesson: use overseas ventures rather than takeovers to gain the global oil resources China needs.

    The Chinese company’s March 14 agreement to buy 50 percent of Argentina’s Bridas Corp. for $3.1 billion, its biggest purchase, caps $6.6 billion of acquisitions on three continents in the past four years. Cnooc hasn’t sought a majority stake in any overseas deal since opposition by U.S. lawmakers derailed its bid for Unocal.

    “Cnooc realized that joint ventures or taking stakes is the best way to secure resources,” said Wang Aochao, head of China energy research at UOB-Kay Hian Ltd. in Hong Kong. “Fu is the driving force behind the company’s policies and it’s fairly clear he would have been behind this change.”

    More deals may follow Bridas. Fu said Cnooc is looking at other opportunities globally and making good progress. Chinese companies spent a record $32 billion last year to buy oil fields, coal and metal mines in Africa, Asia and Australia, raising concerns they are beginning to dominate the world’s resources.

    “There is a wariness about Chinese investments overseas, particularly in western countries,” said Eoghan Leahy, an analyst at London-based investment adviser Fat Prophets U.K. Ltd. “China is relatively new to the global marketplace.”

    Cnooc’s expansion will “benefit local governments, local economies, local companies and also our partners,” Fu, 58, said in an interview in Beijing, hours before the Bridas deal was announced Sunday. He declined to comment on specific projects.

    Aggressive Targets

    The company will need more acquisitions to achieve its goal of boosting oil and gas production 28 percent this year to as much as 290 million barrels of oil equivalent, analysts said.

    “Cnooc’s targets are very aggressive,” Wang of UOB- KayHian said. “The company is aware of the limitations of domestic reserves and knows it will have to secure a global production base. The percentage of output produced outside China is increasing and that will continue as demand increases.”

    Overseas production will account for a sixth of Cnooc’s output this year, with the bulk coming from domestic fields, President Yang Hua said yesterday.

    “Cooperation with Bridas would be an important step in our plan to go global,” Yang told reporters on a conference call. “The deal will add long-term value for shareholders.”

    Cnooc has gained 78 percent in Hong Kong trading in a year, outpacing the 63 percent rise in the main Hang Seng Index. The stock rose 0.2 percent to HK$12.84 at 11:10 a.m. local time.

    Latin America

    The stake in Argentina’s second-biggest oil producer marks Cnooc’s entry in Latin America and tops the $2.7 billion it paid in 2006 for a share in a Nigerian oilfield. In the last four years the company also bought stakes in Angola and Indonesia. Beijing-based Cnooc and parent China National Offshore Oil Corp. are bidding for assets in Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda.

    The offer values Bridas’s proven reserves around $10 a barrel, about half of what BP Plc paid Devon Energy Corp. last week for assets in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Azerbaijan, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Neil Beveridge.

    Cnooc estimates the Bridas investment will add 318 million barrels of reserves, an increase of about 12 percent, and also boost its average daily production by 46,000 barrels. Devon’s assets may add 40,000 barrels a day for BP starting next year, based on current production, with “huge potential” for exploration, BP spokesman David Nicholas said March 11.

    ‘Relatively Good Deal’

    “Cnooc’s got a relatively good deal here, but you have to look at the profit margin they’ll make on each barrel of oil,” Beveridge said. “The assets Cnooc is buying are relatively mature, which will lower the price. But I estimate the fields could be in production for about 18 years, which isn’t bad.”

    Bridas, controlled by Argentine businessman Carlos Bulgheroni, owns a 40 percent stake in Pan American Energy LLC, the country’s largest crude oil exporter, and BP Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, owns the rest. Bridas also has oil and gas assets in Chile and Bolivia, according to Cnooc.

    About 94 percent of Pan American’s total crude production comes from Argentina’s San Jorge basin, straddling the remote Patagonian provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz. The basin is home to Cerro Dragon, Argentina’s most productive field. Pan American produces about 17 percent of the nation’s crude and about 15 percent of its gas, according to the company’s Web site.

    China relied on imports for more than half its crude oil needs last year, with monthly shipments reaching a record 20.9 million metric tons in December. Oil demand in the world’s second-largest energy consumer may rise 6.2 percent in 2010, the International Energy Agency said March 12.

    Cnooc had total proven reserves of about 2.52 billion barrels of oil equivalent at the end of 2008, and average daily production was 530,728 barrels of oil equivalent, according to the company’s Web site. The U.S. is the biggest energy consumer.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Hillary Clinton Chose Prickly Argentina Over Pliable Britain
    March 3, 2010

    Shocking, isn’t it? Our US friends charge around bloodily and along we charge with them. But a bit of sabre-rattling from Argentina and Hillary’s down there, breaking bread, slurping malbec and generally palling around like a traitor to the British colonial cause.

    Everything about colonies gives the Americans the hives — since they gave up the Philippines, that is. So the Falklands must give them a double case, pitting righteous anti-colonialism against equally righteous self-determination.

    From an American point of view there’s no good horse to back here so you choose to stay out of it. Alas, an unfortunate piece of scheduling means that you’ll be touring Latin America amid a renewed dispute over the islands’ sovereignty.

    Argentina is already angry with you for not planning a visit. And it is a growing power in a neighbourhood where Chávezification has left you grasping for all the friends you can get. It is, to boot, a rising economic force and can be petty when there’s domestic mileage to be gained.

    Britain, by contrast, is a predictable and malleable ally — Scottish misadventures in jurisprudence and European trade rules aside. Where Washington is concerned, in the main the Brits do what they are told and listen when told off. David Miliband battled through the British courts to stop American torture tales emerging — even after they had been heard in US courts. Tony Blair said that British troops in Iraq were the “blood price” for Britain’s relationship with the US. So whom would you chose to aggravate? The supine ally or the prickly not-quite-sure?

    Washington’s position on the Falklands has not shifted but the body language has. Mrs Clinton’s last-minute dash to Buenos Aires and her remarks there reflect both the new geopolitics and the Obama Administration’s view of the world, one that refuses automatically to place old allies above newly important ones — especially if they can be relied upon not to grumble.

    And from Washington, British principles of “self-determination” must look decidedly odd. A few years before the 1982 Falklands conflict, we turfed the Chagos population off Diego Garcia and handed it to the US military so that it could build an airbase. When a British court ruled the inhabitants’ expulsion illegal in 2000, within hours the Government had denied their return, citing the outstanding treaty with Washington, and last year invoked the royal prerogative to crush the original order. The island remains on lease to the US until 2036.

    Once again, whom would you pick?

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Falklands Oil Could Raise UK-Argentina Tensions
    December 4, 2010

    TENSION between the UK and Argentina could be about to rise again after a British exploration company discovered oil near the Falkland Islands this week.

    Desire Petroleum on Thursday said it had found oil at its Rachel North well, sending its shares leaping 51 per cent.

    Yesterday, leaked documents on the WikiLeaks website showed executives at US giant ExxonMobil thought reserves around the islands were insufficient to be profitable.

    Further tests will assess the significance of Desire’s discovery but rival Rockhopper has already made a potentially commercial find. You can bet Buenos Aires will start eyeing up the Falklands again if the finds turn out to be black gold but in the meantime investors are in for a bumpy ride.

    The margin between success and failure in oil is fine but sometimes industry tiddlers can make money where the giants cannot. After all, Cairn Energy became a FTSE 100 company after buying oil fields in India considered cast-offs by Royal Dutch Shell.

    RIO Tinto yesterday unveiled a pact with China to strengthen its ties with its biggest customer (see our market report opposite).

    It has forged a joint venture with Chinalco to explore mineral resources in the country.

    The Chinese need to secure overseas supplies, while boosting domestic output so that their reliance on imports is reduced.

    For Rio, this is a small step towards making big strides in China from which foreign miners have largely been shut out.

    Educational technology provider Promethean World came to the stock market as a potential star but has fallen to the bottom of the class.

    Although the long-term prospects for electronics in the classroom are exciting, it has been hit by a squeeze on education budgets, particularly in the US.

    A profits warning yesterday sent the shares slumping 33 per cent to 52p, down from its March flotation of 200p. The end of term report is: very disappointing, must do better.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Argentina Launches Naval Campaign To Isolate Falkland Islands
    Argentina has launched a naval campaign to isolate the Falkland Islands that has seen it detain Spanish fishing vessels on suspicion of breaking the country’s “blockade” of the seas around the British territories.

    December 5, 2011

    Argentine patrol vessels have boarded 12 Spanish boats, operating under fishing licences issued by the Falkland Islands, for operating “illegally” in disputed waters in recent weeks.

    Argentine patrol commanders carrying out interceptions near the South American coast told Spanish captains they were in violation of Argentina’s “legal” blockade of sea channels to the Falklands.

    The warning has been backed up in a letter to Aetinape, the Spanish fishing vessels association from the Argentine embassy in Madrid warning boats in the area that “Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and adjoining maritime spaces are an integral part of the Argentine territory.”

    The confrontation strategy targetting foreign boats marks an escalation of tensions in seas that Duke of Cambridge, a Flight Lieutenant with the RAF, is set to patrol during a tour of duty last year.

    The Duke is to be deployed to the Falklands next February as part of a routine training duties. Commanders would face the dilemma of despatching the Royal to take part in an operations to monitor or contain the Argentine challenge.

    President Cristina Kirchner has adopted a steadily more beligerent stance towards Britain’s South Atlantic possessions.

    A newly formed gathering of South American nations meeting in Venezeula backed Argentina’s sovereignty demands at the weekend.

    Argentina’s claim over the Falklands was backed by a newly formed block of South American and Caribbean countries, CELAC, on Saturday with unanimous approval. Mrs Kirchner used the last UN General Assembly meeting to put Argentina’s claims of sovereignty over the Falklands on a par with Palestinian claims to statehood.

    But it is the Falklands economic lifeline that has been most affected by Argentinian manoeurving.

    It announced permits were required by all ships using Argentine waters en route to the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, all of which are UK controlled.

    Argentina declared vessels were “operating illegally” in the South Atlantic if they did not request permission to enter Argentine waters. The authorities declared their willingness “to put an end to all those illegal fishing activities”.

    The vessels, from Galicia, were boarded as they were making their way across the huge Rio de la Plata estuary, which separates Argentina and Uruguay, before off-loading their catches in Montevideo, Uruguay.

    Mrs Kirchner, 58, has also threatened to suspend a vital Falklands air link — the only one off the islands — which was established in a 1999 deal between the UK and Argentina unless Britain entered into talks leading to sovereignty negotiations.

    A Foreign Office spokesman said Britain had lodged an official complaint about the Argentine action. “We are aware that Argentina has recently challenged vessels transiting between the Falklands and the port of Montevideo,” the spokesman said. “The UK has protested to Argentina. We consider that it is not compliant with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    Mike Summers, a member of the Falkland Islands legislative assembly, said Argentina was trying to cut the Islands off from the South American mainland. “The Falkland Islands Government has no doubt about its right to issue licenses to foreign companies to fish in its waters,” he said. “There have been other difficulties in recent months with Falklands flagged vessels seeking to use South American ports; Argentina seeks to prevail on its neighbours to implement its foreign policy for it, by denying access to their ports for vessels doing business in the Falklands.”

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Hmm
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