Philip Terzian is very worried about the U.S. position on the Falklands:
All of which suggests that the American position on the Falklands should be obvious. Except that it isn’t. When asked last week if the State Department had any comment on the referendum, or took into account the stated wishes of the people who live on the Falkland Islands, spokesman Victoria Nuland repeated the department’s position that there are “competing claims” to the Falklands, about which the United States of America has no opinion.
Of course, the U.S. position is obvious, and has remained unchanged for more than twenty-five years: the U.S. takes no position on sovereignty, but accepts the status quo of British administration. The U.S. gains nothing by changing its position to an overtly pro-British one, and inserting the U.S. into the issue on Britain’s side certainly wouldn’t make the Argentinian government pay less attention to it. One of the phony reasons offered for why the U.S. should do this is to uphold the principle of self-determination, which I assume must be some sort of joke. American support for self-determination has always been selective, so it’s not as if the U.S. is compelled to become involved in this case for the sake of consistency. More to the point, the American hawks that are so intent on getting the U.S. to take sides in the Falklands have absolutely no interest in the principle when it is espoused by any people that happens to be on what they see as the wrong side of a U.S. ally or client.
That brings us to the related argument that the U.S. should side with Britain out of allied solidarity. This is a purely emotional argument. The British government understands and accepts the current U.S. position, so American hawks are asking that the U.S. do more than the British government expects or demands. The U.S.-U.K. relationship won’t be harmed because of this, since it is a relatively very minor issue. American solidarity isn’t needed in this case. Taking sides over the Falklands wouldn’t help anyone, and it would create needless headaches for the U.S. in our dealings with quite a few Latin American governments.