There’s been a real increase in tensions between The UK and Argentina over The Falkland Islands recently. I’m no supporter of Britain’s colonial past, quite the reverse. I think the first Falkland Conflict could have been avoided with better diplomacy but once Argentina invaded there was only one course of action Britain could take. The recent rhetoric by the Argentinians, however, seems to be bordering on the unhinged.
As far as I understand it Argentina’s claim goes back to when the islands were considered a Spanish possession that should have come under Argentinian control after independence. This goes back to 1811. And yet Argentina continue to talk about Britain as a colonial aggressor, that Prince William will be wearing the “uniform of a conqueror” when he deploys there. There’s a reason Argentinians speak Spanish, because it is a country that grew out of horrifying colonialism. If we follow their logic then 99% of the population should go back to Europe and the 1% of natives who survived the brutal genocide should get their country back. It’s totally nuts. It’s a made up argument just to try to bully Britain into leaving. The Falklanders have a right to self-determination without consideration to some nonsense claim dating back to before Argentina existed as a country.
Update 14-2-12 Well Sean Penn’s intervention has changed everything. I’m being sarcastic but it is annoying. The rights of the Spanish colonialists to self-determination (leading to the creation of Argentina) is no different to that of the Falkland Islanders. Of course you could question the legitimacy of both from an anti-colonialist perspective but they are no different in principle. It’s not as if The Falkland Islands is on Argentina’s doorstep. The distance between the two territories is further than the distance from London to Paris. Which isn’t to say some diplomatic compromises can’t be made but ultimately the Argentinian position is about money and politics and not justice, so dialogue seems a little pointless.