A FRESH transatlantic row has blown up after the US said it will not recognise next month’s Falklands referendum.
But then maybe Obama and his mates think that voting in the Falklands referendum will be organised in Chicago style with people voting early – and often – and the dead arising from their graves to cast their ghostly ballot.
Time, perhaps, to swiftboat the new US Secretary of State John Kerry. This could never have been done to St Hillary, as much the idol of the media/political elite as Obama but now she has briefly returned to Mount Olympus, Mr Kerry, a rather seedy and timeworn suit, needs to be the target of some home truths IF (and it’s a massive IF) Cameron and co have the cojones to do it……
That notorious latin windbag and fiery drama queen Cristina Kirchner, President of Argentina, is back in the headlines with yet another “demanding the return of the Falklands” tantrum in a feeble attempt to distract the rest of the world from her administration’s rather dodgy accounting.
The British government’s response has been succinctly robust (even US website Hot Air is impressed) and if any Foreign Office mandarins, after quiet chats with the US State Department have been smoothing out the wrinkles of UN supervised “joint sovereignty” agreements, just to please Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and all the other “usual suspects” in Washington, not a whiff of it has seeped into the UK media.
Good job, too. British blood was spilt driving the Argentinian invasion force off the islands in 1982 and there would be deep public disquiet for any backroom deal that would mean their sacrifice was in vain.
Recently published papers show that the invasion took Margaret Thatcher and her ministers completely by surprise. Initially there was a degree of confusion about what should be done.
‘There was great concern about what could be done about it. Our forces in the area were very scant confined to a small troop of marines and the HMS Endurance.
‘If there was going to be an invasion there was little we could do to stop it. People were sitting round wondering what on Earth one could do about it. Sir Henry Leach came in and listened to what people were saying – then he said he could have a task force on the water by Monday. That transformed the situation
Margaret Thatcher was always impressed by people who offered solutions rather than dwelling on problems.
“She was undoubtedly seeking positive factual data on which to make her own mind up. Could we do it, against all the risks we’d discussed? I said, yes we could and, in my judgment, we should – which was not my business. That was a political matter.
“She was on to that in a flash. ‘Why do you say that?’ I said if we don’t, or if we do it half-heartedly and are not completely successful, we should be living in a different country which counts for very much less [in the world].” It was the turning point, not only of the meeting but of the entire Falklands crisis. As Nott admitted in the same programme, Leach’s intervention “helped our self-confidence in a very difficult situation”, even if it had been typical “Nelsonian gung-ho”.
From that moment she resolved that force would be met with force and her determination never faltered. As The Heritage Foundation suggests Britain’s reaction astonished the world.
Once Argentina invaded, Britain had to respond. What was remarkable was that it responded with force. No one—certainly not the Argentines—believed that Thatcher’s Britain would fight back or that it could do so effectively. They were proven wrong on both counts
What also shocked the world was the fact that Thatcher had public opinion behind her. Media pundits were convinced that casualties and body bags would weaken resolve – that a post WW2 generation would be dismissive of military action…..far from it. It showed once again the value of decisive political action and the power of political will.
Sorry, President Kirchner – you need to perform your tango on someone else’s dance floor…
Thirty years the Argentinian warship “Belgrano” was attacked and sunk with the loss of 323 lives
The Belgrano – a cruiser – was torpedoed by the British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror on 2 May 1982.
President Cristina Fernandez used the occasion to reiterate Argentina’s claim to the Falklands. A retired Admiral played the moment by tuning up the emotion meter
“On days like these, we remember that there is a mission that is not over. There are 323 voices calling to us that there is an open wound. Every day they they remind us that the Malvinas are, were and will be Argentine.”
Great stuff – it almost gives the impression that the islands were thronged with hardy Argentinian farmers until 1982 when they were driven out by those land hungry British imperialists under the orders of the Thatcher junta back in London.
Pure nonsense, of course.
The Belgrano and it’s sister vessels were part and parcel of an act of naked aggression undertaken by the Argentinian government of the time. It’s military forces had attacked and occupied the Falklands in the expectation that the British government would make a lot of noise, summon ambassadors, write letters and eventually get involved in “negotiations” that would end up as a kind of shared sovereignty…and that’s how it would have developed under any Prime Minister of the last fifty years – with one exception.
Unfortunately for Argentina the one exception was the woman who happened to be in 10 Downing Street at the time. Margaret Thatcher retaliated to an act of military force with an even greater force – with much tut tutting from the BBC and The Guardian but with the overwhelming support of the British people.
Naturally the BBC uses weasel words to give President Fernandez moral support – after all she is a left wing politician pursuing a socialist agenda so, by definition, she must be right
The General Belgrano was sunk on the orders of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who said it had posed a danger to British ships. However, the warship was outside the 200-mile maritime exclusion zone Britain had declared around the Falklands and was said to be sailing away from the islands when she was hit. Critics said the action was excessive and scuppered any chance of a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
“Was said to be sailing away” is a classic ploy often used by the BBC and the media in general to give a measure of spurious authority to a purely speculative statement. So listen to the words of Vice Admiral Sir Tim McClement who was second in command of HMS Conqueror at the time.
No, Argentina, the deaths of those 323 sailors rests fairly and squarely on the Argentinian government of the time and those officers who were so keen to encourage the junta to invade the Falklands as a distraction from domestic problems……which, of course, is why President Fernandez is making such a fuss about the Falklands now….
Today is the 30th anniversary of the outbreak of the Falklands War in 1982 when Argentine forces invaded and occupied the isolated South Atlantic islands. There is no doubt that Margaret Thatcher and her government were asleep at the wheel at the time ignoring the ratcheting up of rhetoric from the military junta over previous months.
When we heard about the invasion there was anger mixed with humiliation as we saw the pictures of UK marines lying on the ground in surrender. Nevertheless most of us believed that after decades of following the advice of our diplomatic mandarins and the sermonising of the BBC the Thatcher government would wring it’s hands, write an angry note and then accept the offer of a UN special conference that would eventually come up with some wheeze like “shared sovereignty”
But we had reckoned without Margaret Thatcher. It was her willpower that drove the organisation of the task force that travelled thousands of miles and drove the invaders into total capitulation. With hindsight, of course, it all appears to have been a foregone conclusion. But, like D Day in 1944 it was a tremendous gamble with only one possible throw of the dice. Failure would have been the final nail in the coffin of British power and self respect, a vindication of the BBC/Guardian siren song of eternal appeasement and, naturally, the end of Thatcher’s political career.
Nothing illustrated the sudden transformation of will than the sinking of the Belgrano. The Argentines realised that they had sown the wind and had now reaped the whirlwind. They faced a foe that would go to all lengths to break them.
Today, of course, another government in Argentina is seeking to use the Falklands as a useful drum to beat to distract attention from domestic problems. But no self respecting UK government could dare offer any negotiation for a land streaked with the blood and bones of those British servicemen who died in 1982.
Ask the widow of Colonel H Jones who died leading his paratroopers in an assault upon machine gun emplacements at Goose Green.
Ask Simon Weston, the Welsh Guardsman who was horribly burned in an Argentine air attack.
1982 uncovered a Britain that had been hidden away for many years. It’s back under cover, of course, but, much to the chagrin of the left and their friends at the BBC, it’s still there….
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