He promised you Change, didn’t he?

Washington refused to endorse British claims to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands yesterday as the diplomatic row over oil drilling in the South Atlantic intensified in London, Buenos Aires and at the UN.

Despite Britain’s close alliance with the US, the Obama Administration is determined not to be drawn into the issue. It has also declined to back Britain’s claim that oil exploration near the islands is sanctioned by international law, saying that the dispute is strictly a bilateral issue…

Senior US officials insisted that Washington’s position on the Falklands was one of longstanding neutrality. This is in stark contrast to the public backing and vital intelligence offered by President Reagan to Margaret Thatcher once she had made the decision to recover the islands by force in 1982.

“We are aware not only of the current situation but also of the history, but our position remains one of neutrality,” a State Department spokesman told The Times. “The US recognises de facto UK administration of the islands but takes no position on the sovereignty claims of either party.”

Three theories as to why. (1) It’s revenge for the Brits’ intel leak about how Binyam Mohamed was interrogated. The White House actually threatened to cut off cooperation with Britain on intelligence matters over that last year, and a British think tank tells the Daily Mail it suspects that the resentment is still lingering. Says one Tory MP, “The U.S. position on the Falklands certainly seems to be a warning shot which says to Britain: ‘Don’t mess us around too much or we could make life problematic.'” (2) It’s part of The One’s strategy of “improving our image in the world” by making nice with Latin America’s leftist power brokers. That was the point of punishing Honduras after it deposed its would-be dictator Chavista president, wasn’t it? To prove our “anti-colonialist” bona fides? It sure has earned us a lot of goodwill so far, especially among Hondurans. (3) For whatever bizarre reason, Obama simply enjoys tweaking the Brits. From returning that bust of Churchill to embarrassing Gordon Brown during his first visit to the White House to having a State Department official tell the Daily Telegraph, “There’s nothing special about Britain,” crapping on the “special relationship” is just sort of his thing.

And don’t think it’s gone unnoticed:

So when British soldiers are dying in Helmand in support of his foreign policy, President Obama ‘takes no position’ over Britain’s right to territory which not only is ours without question, but had to be retaken at a cost of 254 British lives.

This deeply regrettable response leaves us with the question; what is the purpose of a special relationship that seems to involve British sacrifice on one side and American indifference on the other?

Your exit question: Considering that this dispute ultimately boils down to oil rights, can anyone explain why America would rather have those oceanic oil fields controlled by South America instead of a politically stable, reliably friendly (until recently) ally like Britain?