Hands off the Falklands: No to Argentine imperialism

How amusing that a country whose population is more than 90 percent the descendants of European colonists should invoke anti-imperialism over the Falklands

You tell em Maggie, you tell em Dave
The Commentator
On 3 January 2013 08:53

Hands off the Falklands. The message to Argentina is as simple as that, and it needs to be repeated loudly and clearly today as Argentina's increasingly demented president, Cristina Kirchner, launches an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to give the Falklands "back".

The letter is published in the Guardian -- at least she knows where it will get a sympathetic hearing -- and is full of the usual tendentious, ahistorical rubbish about Britain having expelled Argentinians from the islands in 1833. 

The fact is that European countries -- Britain, Portugal and Spain -- discovered the Falklands centuries before Argentina even existed. The only Argentines to be asked to leave in 1833 were a tiny number of people constituting a putative penal colony which had existed for less than three months, and could itself be described as an invasion force.

Apart from the more recent, failed Argentinian invasion of three decades ago, the Falklands have been in British hands for 180 years now, which by most reasonable people's estimation would be enough to put the matter to rest, especially since well over 95 percent of the islands' population are adamant they want to have nothing to do with Argentinian claims to sovereignty.

But Kirchner is not accessible to reason. She is a shallow populist attempting to rouse her people in a non-existent cause.

Britain should now adopt a much tougher stance against this reckless and potentially dangerous sabre rattling.

If Argentina wants to play the imperial-colonial card, then fine. But let us also not shy away from playing it back at Argentina. Kirchner herself is of Spanish and German descent. Like 90 percent or more of her country's population she can trace her origins back to countries that are at least as distant from Argentina as Britain is from the Falklands.

If nine tenths of Argentina's population clears off back to Europe, we will be ready to hear a discussion about colonialism. Until that day comes, two words will suffice to express our feelings: bah humbug.

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