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The Falklands
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jeff544Offline
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PostPosted: 17-02-2010 08:23    Post subject: The Falklands Reply with quote

I guess were were kind of waiting for this. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8518982.stm
In the late 1980's I happened to be in the offices of a large oil company, and I saw loads of maps of the Falklands. In my naivety (sp?) then, I wondered why they were so interested in Pengiuns & Sheep. The answer was "why do you really think our forces travelled thousands of miles to "liberate" them".

I never forgot that.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 17-02-2010 09:08    Post subject: Re: The Falklands Reply with quote

jeff544 wrote:
In the late 1980's I happened to be in the offices of a large oil company, and I saw loads of maps of the Falklands. In my naivety (sp?) then, I wondered why they were so interested in Pengiuns & Sheep. The answer was "why do you really think our forces travelled thousands of miles to "liberate" them".

Oil may have been in the back of some people's minds, but it can'have been a high priority at the time - why wait 28 years before starting even exploratory drilling?

I think the basic reason was that an English-speaking British colony had been invaded by a dictatorial Spanish-speaking regime. The Falklanders didn't like it, and it offended the sense of fair play of Britain and her supporters.

IIRC, all the political parties here supported the sending of the Task Force, although one or two mavericks may have argued against it. It would have been political suicide to oppose it, given the mood of the country at the time.

And not many Brits thought Argentina (led by a dictator or not) had a valid claim to the Falklands anyway, which have been British since 1833. (The early history of the islands with regard to European settlement is quite complex, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkland_Islands#History )
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 17-02-2010 10:21    Post subject: Re: The Falklands Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
...

Oil may have been in the back of some people's minds, but it can'have been a high priority at the time - why wait 28 years before starting even exploratory drilling?

...

I. The Oil price had to rise to a point where the South Atlantic became profitable.

II. At the time, the Antarctic had special protection, a moratorium. But, that doesn't last forever.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/antarctica.html
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Quake42Offline
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PostPosted: 17-02-2010 10:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think the basic reason was that an English-speaking British colony had been invaded by a dictatorial Spanish-speaking regime.


Yeah. It was a bit of a no-brainer really. It's unfortunate that the war led to a Thatcher victory in the 1983 election, but the actions of the Argentinian government left the UK with no other option but to eject them with military force.
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wembley9Offline
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PostPosted: 18-02-2010 14:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quake42 wrote:
Quote:
I think the basic reason was that an English-speaking British colony had been invaded by a dictatorial Spanish-speaking regime.


Yeah. It was a bit of a no-brainer really. It's unfortunate that the war led to a Thatcher victory in the 1983 election, but the actions of the Argentinian government left the UK with no other option but to eject them with military force.


THe government had plenty of other options - but none of them would have quite the popularity-boosting benefits of a 'victory'.
Whether you view the sinking of the Belgrano as a deliberate act to ensure that the conflict continued is another matter, but the simple fact is that politicians on both sides wanted war for very similar purposes. Unfortunately they weren't the ones dying as a result.

The situation was rather different in Hong Kong in 1997 when we were happy to hand over a large number of British citizens to a totalitarian regime.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 18-02-2010 14:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

wembley9 wrote:
The situation was rather different in Hong Kong in 1997 when we were happy to hand over a large number of British citizens to a totalitarian regime.

That was quite different. There were long-standing treaties in place, and everyone knew years in advance when the hand-over would be, and could choose to stay or make other arrangements.

The only military invasion involved was the original British one in 1841!
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wembley9Offline
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PostPosted: 18-02-2010 20:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
wembley9 wrote:
The situation was rather different in Hong Kong in 1997 when we were happy to hand over a large number of British citizens to a totalitarian regime.

That was quite different. There were long-standing treaties in place, and everyone knew years in advance when the hand-over would be, and could choose to stay or make other arrangements.


I'm not sure about that last bit - I didn't think Hong Kong citizens were permitted to move to the UK, and as of 1962 were stuck there.

(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_abode_in_Hong_Kong)

The principle - handing people over to a totalitarian regime - was the same. And the legality was open to question: the agreement was made with the original Chinese government (arguably the one which then moved to Taiwan), not the revolutionary one which overthrew it half a century later.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 18-02-2010 22:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you're saying that Britain leaving Hong Hong, at the end of the 99 year lease of the New Territories (which comprised the bulk of Hong Kong), would have been just the same as leaving the Falklanders to the mercies of the invading Argentinian dictatorship?

Can't see it, myself, especially as most residents of Hong Kong were ethnic Chinese anyway.

Or if you argue that these Chinese were better off under British rule, then surely the same would have applied to the Falklanders?


Let's bring the whole world under British rule! Twisted Evil

Sadly, the days of Pax Britannica are long gone... Sad
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CavynautOffline
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PostPosted: 19-02-2010 01:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I remember, the Thatcher government had previously announced that the British naval presence in the South Atlantic (one ship, I think), was going to be scaled back, and I'm sure that some restrictions were about to be placed on the rights of the Falkland Islanders to settle in the UK. Whatever the details were, this was interpreted by Galtieri as a diminishing British interest in the place.

He was about as popular in Argentina as Thatcher was in Britain (ie, not very), and, as leaders understand that a short war is a good way of improving their popularity, he decided to invade. Thatcher saw the opportunity to improve her own prospects of re-election and grasped it with both hands.

Frankly, being in my early twenties at the time, I was disgusted by the jingoism on show in this country. The maddest thing was that many of those driving cars around with "I'm British, and so are the Falklands" stickers in their car windows thought that the Falklands were somewhere of the coast of Scotland.
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feen5Offline
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PostPosted: 19-02-2010 11:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sadly, the days of Pax Britannica are long gone...



I hope you have your tongue firmly in your cheek when you say that? If not i don't think i need to remind you of the consequences of the Pax Britannica.

If your a little unsure ask people from the countries that Britain occupied and surpressed. You should not have any trouble finding someone from Ireland, India, or large parts of Africa that Britain occupied that would not share your fond regard for Pax Britannica.
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 19-02-2010 16:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cavynaut wrote:
Frankly, being in my early twenties at the time, I was disgusted by the jingoism on show in this country. The maddest thing was that many of those driving cars around with "I'm British, and so are the Falklands" stickers in their car windows thought that the Falklands were somewhere of the coast of Scotland.


"Kill an Argy, win a Metro" as Private Eye famously had it.
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misterwibbleOffline
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PostPosted: 19-02-2010 20:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dearie me feen, what sort of gratitude is that after all we did to, I mean for the Irish?
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 20-02-2010 03:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

feen5 wrote:
You should not have any trouble finding someone from Ireland, India, or large parts of Africa that Britain occupied...


You've started by listing a benefit reaped from the Empire yourself!
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 20-02-2010 08:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alternative History:
how might things have been if Britain did not fight to reclaim the Falklands? With the British Lion exposed as a mangy, toothless old beast, would we have then more easily have avoided involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq? Would we have been sucked even deeper into the EU and the Euro?

Discuss! Cool
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 20-02-2010 09:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
Alternative History:
how might things have been if Britain did not fight to reclaim the Falklands? With the British Lion exposed as a mangy, toothless old beast, would we have then more easily have avoided involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq? Would we have been sucked even deeper into the EU and the Euro?

Discuss! Cool

Or: What if Thatcher and her Government had taken quicker notice of Argentina's moves towards the Falklands, immediately sent in the fleet and had not sent out ambiguous signals on the official British position, until it was too late and the Argentinians had already invaded?

So many questions so many alternative possibilities. So many young men dead.

Some actual background history:
'The Official History of the Falklands Campaign: The origins of the Falklands war' by Lawrence Freedman
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