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Ian Dunn
692020.  Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:15 pm Reply with quote

There is a rather interesting article on the BBC about how the Falklands War/Conflict began.

Constantino Davidoff, an Argentine scrap metal merchant, visited the British ambassador in Buenos Aires at the end of 1981 and "signed a deal worth $270,000 (180,000) with the Scottish owners of the derelict whaling station and then went back to the British ambassador to ask if there was anything else he might need to do."

In the end of March 1982, Davidoff and his team went to South Georgia, which is 900km (600 miles) east of the Falkland Islands. However, some people in London thought that the scrap metal merchants were actually an advance party of an invasion of South Georgia. They believed that that the "invasion force" had planted the Argentine flag and sung the national anthem.

As a result, the British Marines were despatched to the Falklands to find out what was going on. The scarp metal workers (39 of them) were detained. Argentina sent troops to rescue the workers and while they did so they invaded the Falklands.

According to Davidoff: "There were no military among my workers. And they didn't sing the national anthem or plant a flag. This was a business deal. I'd have been crazy to ruin it. All it needed was a phone call from the British embassy and I would have withdrawn my workers. I'd have cancelled the contract. A war could have been avoided."

Davidoff also believes that it was Britain who started the war by sending a military contingent to deal with a civilian matter.

Ion Zone
692077.  Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:52 pm Reply with quote

On English territory - they were still the ones who invaded, even though they have no claim at all!

Ian Dunn
692085.  Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:10 pm Reply with quote

Are you refering to the Falklands or South Georgia?

Ion Zone
692094.  Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:51 pm Reply with quote

Ah, whoops, is South Georgia not in the Falklands? I presumed it was.

Ian Dunn
692106.  Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:04 pm Reply with quote

Actually, you may have a point. It no longer is part of the Falklands, but up until 1985 it was part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies.

However, no Argentine military force went to South Georgia at first, it was the scrap metal dealers who had a contract with the British ambassador.

Ion Zone
692112.  Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:14 pm Reply with quote

It does sound like a huge cock-up, but we shouldn't forget that Argentina overacted as well.

Ian Dunn
692171.  Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:29 am Reply with quote

Well, everyone overacted.

What I wonder is, why instead of the Falklands being ruled by either Britain or Argentina, why don't we give the Falklands independence. It could be a possible solution to the problem.

692274.  Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:16 am Reply with quote

It would cause rather more problems than it would solve, though.

The Falklands don't particularly want independence, for a start, and who are we to tell them that they must have it? If Britain relinquished its responsibility for the defence of the Falklands, who would win when the Argentinean Army took on a handful of sheep farmers armed only with frying pans and shovels?

And what hope does a group of small and isolated islands with an unappealing climate and an economy based almost entirely on agriculture and fishing have of being a viable independent nation?

Newfoundland is something like ten times the size of the Falkland Islands, and has over one hundred times the population. It too is cold, wet, and windy, and it too has an economy which has a lot to do with fish. But when it had a go at being independent in the early twentieth century it went bust, and had to be bailed out from London before passing into Canada's control.

Newfoundland lasted 27 years as a self-governing dominion. I'd give the Falkland Islands 27 minutes.

692355.  Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:32 pm Reply with quote

Ah, yes suze, but does Newfoundland have oil?

692414.  Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:45 pm Reply with quote


So does the rest of Canada. Indeed, it has been tentatively claimed that Canada has more oil than Saudi Arabia, although for reasons both economic and technological a lot of it cannot as yet be exploited.

692421.  Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:59 pm Reply with quote

I think we should add an addendum to Godwin's Law in that whenever people start discussing the merits of modern conflicts the question "but do they have oil?" will inevitably come up.

Ion Zone
692428.  Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:13 pm Reply with quote

The Falkland Islands would be full of Argentinian Troops before the handover was even finished.

692479.  Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:24 pm Reply with quote

What should not be forgotten is the message that the Thatcher Government gave to Argentina by proposing not to replace the previous South Atlantic patrol ship to the current HMS Endurance. It was argued at the time that Argentina would take this as a sign that Britain was withdrawing from the area.

693156.  Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:58 pm Reply with quote

I caught a bit of a radio programme which had the same theme.

Ignoring the over-reaction of both the Brits (sending 600 marines on the basis of reports that "the argentine flag had been raised (so what?) and the "argentine national anthem had been sung" (so what - and how the fuck did they hear it?)"

and the argentines sending a "rescue force" which decided to invade the Falklands as a side show

and the brits sending a task force

this is all coming to a head because the scrap metal dealer is claiming compensation for his losses. The case has been buried in the tortuously slow Argentine courts for decades but they've finally decided it's a matter for the British courts.

Without a doubt the scrap metal dealer has been badly used - and deserves compensation from the British Government - and from Thatcher personally. He may deserve compensation from the argentines too - but since I'm not from that area of the world that's not my concern.

some people in London thought that the scrap metal merchants were actually an advance party of an invasion of South Georgia.

No they didn't. If there is even one person who thought that that can be produced I'd be surprised. Less of the "some people" - name names of those who thought that. They may have been misguided (no fault there) - but less of the "anonymous sources claim" please. In the absence of the production of these people then it can safely be assumed that there are none - and that the entire thing was staged by Thatcher and her cronies. If there is one person who can be produced - then perhaps that person can explain why they didn't consult the British rep in Buenos Aires?

Thatcher wanted a war - and created one. I don't see why the British public should pay for her folly - let's take it out of Dennis's pension - and if not his, then let's take it out of Carol and Mark's stipend. Can't pay? Don't live. Simples.

Ian Dunn
693173.  Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:58 am Reply with quote

Of course, in two years time the 30 year rule will occur and we should find out a lot more about the war.


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