Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Falklands War 1982

The BBC's John Simpson 'compiled a report on the Falklands war which appeared to suggest that UK foreign policy had invited the invasion. Downing Street made calls; three days later he was taken off the air.' - Simpson of Kabul Special reports Guardian Unlimited

Well before the invasion of the Falklands, Margaret Thatcher had sent Nicholas Ridley to Argentina to negotiate a joint sovereignty deal.

The Argentinian generals seem to have decided that Thatcher had no strong interest in holding on to the Falklands. They were tempted to invade.

Why did Britain's spies and diplomats, apparently, not warn the Thatcher government that the Falklands were about to be invaded?

Why did Thatcher sink the Belgrano, thus ending the possibility of a negotiated peace settlement?

"In retrospect, the Falklands war looks more like the shoddy little adventure to save Thatcher's government than it seemed to be at the time."

Margaret Thatcher won the 1983 election.

Some History

In 1776 Spain transferred the administration of the Falklands to Argentina.

The Falklands were grabbed by Britain from Argentina in January 1833.

Richard Gott, in The Guardian, 2 April 2007, wrote about what happened in 1883 ( Guardian Unlimited Comment is free Argentina's claim on the ...) :

"Captain John Onslow of HMS Clio had instructions 'to exercise the rights of sovereignty' over the islands, and he ordered the Argentinian commander to haul down his flag and withdraw his forces.

"Settlers from Argentina were replaced by those from Britain and elsewhere, notably Gibraltar...

Richard Gott writes:

"An item in the Public Record Office refers to a Foreign Office document of 1940 entitled 'Offer made by His Majesty's government to reunify the Falkland Islands with Argentina and to agree to a lease-back'...

"The record suggests that successive UK governments have considered the British claim to the islands to be weak, and some have favoured negotiations."


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