THIS MUST BE MORE OF THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” STUFF WE WERE PROMISED: Barack Obama makes Falklands gaffe by calling Malvinas the Maldives. “President Obama erred during a speech at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, when attempting to call the disputed archipelago by its Spanish name. Instead of saying Malvinas, however, Mr Obama referred to the islands as the Maldives, a group of 26 atolls off that lie off the South coast of India.”
It would have been an error to call them the Malvinas anyway, since the Argentines might have interpreted that as support, but this is just sad.
UPDATE: Reader DRJ emails:
It is sad. I think this also tells us Obama supports the Argentines, or at least doesn’t support the British. Otherwise he would have called it the Falkland Islands — as the British call it — or the Falklands Islands (Malvinas) — as the UN calls it: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/gacol3225.doc.htm.
It also tells us Obama doesn’t do his homework well enough to even get place names correct. The sad part to me is this happened on a trip when he knew or should have known this would come up, and he probably planned on talking about it.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes:
If we had a press corps that wasn’t a collection of puerile sycophants this would be called a story. It would lead at the very least to an immediate follow up with the President, his spokesman, or the Secretary of State or her spokesman: Does the US government now recognize the Argentine claim to the Falklands (Malvinas) as superior to the UK’s claim?
Or, has it reached the point that they now apply the Biden Standard to Obama?