February 18, 2010
I have just bought my copy of the Current Bun (Britain’s most widely read daily newspaper) and it seems we could once again be going to war with Argentina over territory that is 8,000 miles away.
Isn’t it about time we withdrew our 3,000 citizens from the Falkland Islands and look to make peace with Argentina? This is an issue that is never going to go away.
It is an occupation similar to Israel’s in the West Bank, except we have no security reasons to be occupying the Falklands.
In 1982 war raged for 74 days and we lost a staggering 255 soldiers, while Argentina lost 649.
We even sank an Argentinian warship, the General Belgrano, while it was not enagaged in battle. 323 Argentinians went down with it.
As Wilfred Owen, out greatest war poet, asks us in Futility: “Was it for this the clay grew tall?”
No, it wasn’t.
In contrast to the often repeated, but dubious, assertion that we went to war with Iraq over oil, this really is a conflict over oil. It is believed there could be billions of barrels of oil under the coastal waters surrounding the Falklands (there are zero oil reserves in the West Bank)
Four British based drilling teams are due to start work off the Falkland Islands next week, much to the chagrin of Argentina, and we have sent HMS York, a destroyer, to guard them in the wake of the increasing tensions between the two countries.
Argentina has decreed that boats travelling through its territorial waters need to obtain special permission before doing so, which could inhibit the drilling.
Argentina still claims the Falklands and surrounding waters as their own. Maybe they are wrong but there has never been a judicial court decision as to who owns what.
We keep hearing how Israel is apparently “in breach of international law” for being in the West Bank but are we not in breach of international law for being in the Falklands?
The islands have been conquered, abandoned and reconquered successively by France, Spain, Argentina and Britain.
From 1820 to 1833 Argentinians were living there until we threw them out. Now they want them back.
Surely, the only fair thing to do would be for the International Court of Justice to convene in the Hague to try the sovereignty issue once and for all.
It would be hassle, but not overly problematic, to remove 3,000 people and to rehouse them back here (Israel withdrew 7,000 from Gaza).
No British soldier deserves to lose his or her life over a tiny piece of territory so far away from us.
Yes, the loss of the oil reserves will hit our already battered economy but then our army won’t be diverted from where it is currently needed most; fighting Islamist terrorism.
And, finally, when all is said and done we might even then have some moral authority with which to preach to Israel about ending its own occupation of the West Bank.
Full piece is at: http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/stop-the-occupation-now/