It has been some time since I chatted with Baroness Margaret Thatcher, our speaker at PRI’s gala dinner in San Francisco more than a decade ago, though it seems like just the other day. Lady Thatcher, now well into her emeritus years, is doubtless shaking her head over recent events in the south Atlantic, where mischief is afoot, abetted by Hillary Clinton. Like many others, Hillary is evidently oblivious to history. A brief review will be helpful.
Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1979, and inherited a nation in decline. In 1982, while she had her hands full on the domestic front, a military dictatorship held sway in Argentina. This dictatorship called itself the National Reorganization Process, and under it, thousands of people suddenly disappeared. The military junta was headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri, who was not elected, and not known for expertise on the foreign front.
General Galtieri mounted an invasion of the Falkland Islands, British territory claimed by Argentina. Residents of the Falkland Islands were British citizens and did not want to be ruled by Argentina in any way, least of all by a military dictatorship. Many observers wondered how Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would respond, but they didn’t have long to wait. She was not going to let a dictatorship have its way and promptly sent in her fleet. As one newspaper headline put it, “Stand Back, Buenos Aires.” The United States, under Ronald Reagan, supported her action.
General Galtieri found out the hard way that the “Iron Lady” meant business. British forces quickly liberated the Falklands, which made the residents happy and brought benefits to Argentina as well. The military dictatorship promptly collapsed and democracy was restored. In effect, current Argentine president Cristina Kirchner owes her position to the decisive action Margaret Thatcher took, but she’s certainly not acting like it.
A British company plans to drill for oil in the Falklands, and that has the left-wing Kirchner up in arms. She decreed that any ship traveling to the islands must get permission from Argentina. One doubts she would have acted this way with Margaret Thatcher in power. Gordon Brown’s Labour Party regime evidently projects weakness.
Enter U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who should be well versed in history, and well aware of those the United States can count on in a crisis. Unfortunately, she proceeded to ignore the special relationship between Britain and the United States, and came down on Kirchner’s side. The American Secretary of State even used “Las Malvinas,” the Argentine name for the islands.
To sum up, a left-wing woman is trying to grab what a conservative woman liberated, and another left-wing woman, who should know better, is trying to help her. The British subjects on the Falklands have good reason to worry. We should not lose sight of the larger issue here.
Few women in history can match Margaret Thatcher in terms of accomplishment, which she achieved against great odds, and in the face of hostile opposition. These victories, even against a loathsome military dictatorship, never gained her favor with the feminist movement. The reason is clear. The feminist movement is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the political left, the women’s auxiliary of socialism, as we have often noted. This movement can’t recognize a winner and prefers to venerate those of lesser accomplishments, while of course clinging to Big Brother.
The Falklands episode also explodes the latest offensive of militant feminism, the notion that if we simply had more women in positions of power, all would be well. The inept Cristina Kirchner is evidence that such is not the case. She may fancy herself as some sort of Evita character, but as the musical said, don’t cry for me Argentina, and stand back Buenos Aires.
For her part, the American Secretary of State should be telling Kirchner to stop meddling where she has no business. Instead Hillary Clinton prefers to ignore history and degrade one of Margaret Thatcher’s greatest accomplishments. The Secretary of State thus proves that her bad ideas extend beyond the government monopoly health care she tried to impose on the American people during the Clinton Era.