I’m not one for jingoistic displays of patriotism, for me it is never a case of ‘my country right or wrong’, but I’m starting to get a little peeved with the constant bitching coming out of Buenos Aires.
I’ve no problem with the Argentineans, indeed I rather like them. The question of the Falklands aside, they strike me as being a thoroughly civilised people, Anglophile in the main and the sort of folk we could and should be doing business with.
What is surprising me about Kirchner’s constant carping is that she started her second term just before Christmas. Had she used the question of ‘Las Malvinas’ as a re-election tool I could understand it, I don’t get why she’s going on about it now.
We can talk about the historical administration of the islands, but it is just that – history. I think the UK has a better historic claim, but it doesn’t matter. Geographical proximity is obviously in Argentina’s favour, but that too is irrelevant, are we to hand the Channel Islands to France? Then there’s the question of oil, without doubt there are significant deposits in the area, we’ve known this for some time. However given the rocketing price of oil, the instability in the middle east and so forth, the fact that the waters off the Falklands don’t look like the Brent or Norwegian oil fields suggests that getting the stuff out is going to be very tricky, and that too really is an irrelevance.
The important thing is this; the inhabitants of the islands are British, are happy to be British and wish to continue to be British. That is the beginning middle and end of it.
Argentina has acted in a very aggressive manner in recent weeks, getting multi-lateral agreements from other South American countries to bar ships flying the Falklands flag from mooring at docks. Argentina has in effect been leaving passive aggressive notes pinned to the notice board, and just to be on the safe side, we’ve sent a ship down there to bolster the 1500 or so troops and four typhoons based on the islands. It is better to be safe than sorry, the poor old islanders have been caught out like that before. Who knows what we’ve got circling around under the water as well.
A British warship berthing in Port Stanley is no more controversial than a British warship berthing in Plymouth or an American aircraft carrier dropping anchor in Pearl Harbour. As for the Duke of Cambridge, unless he’s some sort of Duke Nukem character, which I doubt, Argentina has nothing to worry about.
“We can not interpret in any other way the deployment of an ultra-modern destroyer accompanying the heir to the throne, who we would prefer to see in civilian attire,” Mrs Kirchner said.
Yes, I’m sure the islanders would have preferred it if all those Argentine soldiers who landed on the beaches had been in civilian attire, holding cameras rather than rifles, but there you go. It is none of your concern what the heir presumptive to the British throne wears.
“The question of the Malvinas has stopped being just an Argentinean cause. It has become a Latin American cause. It is a global cause,” Mrs Kirchner said.
No, it hasn’t. It is a few windswept rocky islands populated with a handful of people, some penguins and a flock of sheep. It is our sovereign territory, if we decide to send the whole Gurkha regiment and the Hereford gun club down there, then that’s our business. And here’s the kicker, the only reason we’d do that, the only reason Dauntless is there, is because we have a genuine concern that someone is going to attack us. We have a duty to protect the islanders, who as stated before are British, and wish to remain so. Or are you suggesting they be moved on, that the islands be cleansed, perhaps? Oooooh, nasty.
“I have instructed our foreign secretary to submit before the UN security council and the UN assembly this militarisation, which is a serious risk to to international security”.
Yeah, good luck with that. I can see the security council throwing it out, if for no other reason than we’re a permanent member and we’ll veto it.
The thing is, I find myself wondering what would happen if Argentina did mount another assault on the islands.
Last time NATO did bugger all, I always thought that an attack on one member was an attack on all. It would be unfortunate if NATO were to do the same again. As far as I’m aware, the Falklands war was the only time that a NATO member has been attacked by another sovereign power, if it were to happen a second time and NATO were to react in a similar fashion again, I think we’d be justified in asking some pretty pointed questions about how NATO operates. Certainly if I were in Downing Street and Argentina invaded, I’d be straight on the phone to the White House calling in a few favours from Obama (or whoever may be in situ at the time), if real, tangible assistance was not forthcoming, well. It isn’t as if we don’t have the resources to defend the islands, it is that most of them are deployed in areas at America’s request, they would be withdrawn, immediately. I’d also be making noises about the repatriation of American forces based in the UK. We can’t go running every time they call and then accept a brush off when we’re invaded. Do not forget, we’re now talking about Iran being next on the list, for crying out loud.
What of the EU? The sainted Lisbon Treaty makes it quite clear that the EU recognises the Falklands are part of the UK. I’d certainly expect assistance from that quarter, but somehow I can’t see Spain and France being so keen. I bet the demands would come if Morocco invaded Ceuta or Melilla or if Madagascar went wading into Mayotte. I suspect that they’d be coming down on the side of Argentina (if not openly) in the case of an invasion.
I really hope an invasion doesn’t come, but if it did, (and it would be successfully repelled, the typhoons alone would create havoc amongst the obsolete Argentine air force stock) it would give us a very clear demonstration of how Anglophobic Obama is and the real fabric of the EU and their views towards us.