Q (Jake Tapper): You might not be beating the drums of war, but you did very publicly say, we've got Israel's back. What does that mean?
THE PRESIDENT: What it means is, is that, historically, we have always cooperated with Israel with respect to the defense of Israel, just like we do with a whole range of other allies -- just like we do with Great Britain...
White House Press Conference, March 6, 2012
So when Obama is asked by Jake Tapper to explain what "having Israel's back" means, Obama backtracks to say that he meant nothing specific by the phrase, and that he has Israel's back the same way he has Great Britain's back.
Actually, that is an interesting choice of words, considering the title of a piece by Nile Gardiner just 2 months ago:
The Obama administration knifes Britain in the back again over the Falklands:
In yet another display of disdain for the Anglo-American Special Relationship, the Obama administration has weighed in on the mounting tensions between Great Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Just two days after Prime Minister David Cameron issued a robust statement in the House of Commons vowing to defend the sovereignty of the Falklands, the US State Department has undercut Britain yet again with a deeply unhelpful statement that plays into Argentina’s hands.If you ask Great Britain, they may very well tell you that Obama decidedly does not have their back--and based on the comparison that Obama himself suggested, the obvious question is whether Obama truly has Israel's back at all.
In response to a question on the Falklands at Thursday's State Department press briefing, a US government spokesman supported direct negotiations between Buenos Aires and London over the sovereignty of the Falklands, something that Argentina has been pressing for aggressively, and which Britain sees as completely unacceptable.
As far is London is concerned, the sovereignty of the Falklands was decisively settled in the 1982 war when British forces retook the Islands after Argentina’s brutal military junta invaded them. The Falklands’ 3,000 inhabitants are 90 per cent British (according to the 2006 census), and 0.1 percent Argentine, and have no desire to live under the boot of Buenos Aires. There is nothing whatsoever to be negotiated over regarding the future of the Falklands, a position the British government has reiterated on numerous occasions.
Apparently, when Obama says he has your back, you'd better start looking for the knife wounds.
Technorati Tag: Israel and Obama and Great Britain and Falklands.