Why Doesn't The United Kingdom Own Argentina?

British victory….in 1982

Argentina continues giving the United Kingdom trouble over the Falkland Islands. This is troubling but I understand why Argentina does it: the U.K. seems militarily weak as demonstrated by its performance in Libya and by other reports of its deterioration. And when a state that is unencumbered by political correctness and principles, such as Argentina, sees an opportunity to take advantage of another nation, it is going to do so. Furthermore, even if the U.K. has the capabilities to fight back, history tells us that it will only minimally do so. In fact, the only reason Argentina exists today is that the U.K. didn’t do what it should have done in 1982 when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. Thomas Sowell hinted at this when he wrote, “Another war created by pacifism”:

Back in the 19th century, invading a British possession would bring certain retaliation, not just a military recapture of the islands by the British. In 1882, such an attack could mean British troops landing in Argentina itself, perhaps demolishing Buenos Aires and hanging those who had launched the aggression.

Regrettably, a combination of self-hatred and cowling to internationalism has brought the U.K. to its knees. Even worse, the same self-hatred and submission to internationalism infects the U.S. as well. Hence, ten years after Islamic thugs attacked the U.S. we still haven’t beaten them. Actually, we aren’t even comfortable with the term “victory” any longer.

So why does the West hate itself and bow to world opinion? Shelby Steele provides the answer in his 2006 essay, “White Guilt and the American Way of War”:

The collapse of white supremacy–and the resulting white guilt–introduced a new mechanism of power into the world: stigmatization with the evil of the Western past. And this stigmatization is powerful because it affects the terms of legitimacy for Western nations and for their actions in the world. In Iraq, America is fighting as much for the legitimacy of its war effort as for victory in war. In fact, legitimacy may be the more important goal. If a military victory makes us look like an imperialist nation bent on occupying and raping the resources of a poor brown nation, then victory would mean less because it would have no legitimacy. Europe would scorn. Conversely, if America suffered a military loss in Iraq but in so doing dispelled the imperialist stigma, the loss would be seen as a necessary sacrifice made to restore our nation’s legitimacy. Europe’s halls of internationalism would suddenly open to us.

Steele is exactly right. In fact, a 2007 Fox News poll found that nineteen percent of Democrats thought the world would be better if the U.S. lost the war in Iraq.

But there is a heavy price to pay for self-hatred. And the civilians of the U.K. and U.S.–the people ultimately responsible for the policy of voluntary defeat–have yet to see the full consequences of their actions. The West paid a price in the 20th century for allowing the enemy Axis powers to flourish. So too is the U.K. paying a price for not conquering Argentina . . . and so too will the U.S. pay a price for not conquering its enemies.

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