The most interminable and seemingly intractable international island dispute is over the Falkland Islands in the remote South Atlantic. The islands have been under de facto British control continuously since 1833, even before Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom.
Thirty-one years ago next month, Argentina invaded the Falklands—which Argentines call the Malvinas—claiming, as they have for 180 years, that the islands are theirs. Great Britain repelled them in ten weeks, but not before the loss of more than 900 lives, much treasure, and good will. Argentina has pledged not to invade again, in large part because Great Britain has fortified defenses in the islands since the war and the Argentine military is more restrained.
The Falklands: Small Islands, Big Questions by William Ratliff
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Photo credit: The office of the President of Ecuador)
But while shooting is currently out, that doesn’t mean diplomacy is in. Just mention the Falklands anytime in the presence of Argentine and British politicians and they usually shout past each other in monotonous scripted sound bites. What is needed, but seldom found, particularly in Argentina, are cool heads to replace political grandstanding of the sort demonstrated by Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner when she recently visited Rome to lobby the new (Argentine) Pope Francis to support Argentina in the Falklands dispute.
A nice piece from the Hoover Institution, though I don’t think there is any real chance for Britain and the Islanders to reach out to Argentina while Kirchner is still in charge.
Frankly, that’s one of the things that greatly annoys me. Argentina by all rights should be a fabulously wealthy nation, but they consistently drag themselves back to mediocrity at best by choosing the divisive politics of class warfare. Want to see what decades of Obama style government get you? Look at Argentina.