Isn’t it a pity that the Argentine President, Cristina Kirchner, has once again ratcheted up pressure on the Falkland Islanders in the forlorn hope that Britain will somehow cave in and meekly hand the population over to the clutches of her country?
She has now called the sending of a UK destroyer to the area on a routine patrol a ‘militarisation’ of the area.
So she is now calling on the United Nations to intervene to prevent a war against Argentina.
In a speech at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires to veterans of the Falkland’s war thirty years ago, Cristina Kirchner stood provocatively in front of a large map of the islands overlaid by the colours of the Argentine flag.
‘It’s a regional and global issue, because they are militarising the South Atlantic, one more time.’ She said. ‘Try as we may, we cannot interpret it in any other way. They are sending a destroyer – just the word itself. This huge and modern destroyer is accompanied by the heir to the throne. We would like to have seen him in civilian clothes, not in a military uniform.’ And she added ‘That’s why I’ve asked the foreign minister to make a formal representation to the UN security Council and the UN general Assembly that militarisation of the South Atlantic is a grave international security risk.
The UK government has maintained that the deployment of the most modern and capable air defence destroyer in the fleet, HMS Dauntless, to the area was just a routine rotational deployment. After all it did replace another frigate. And that sending Prince William to the island was also routine. It is a bit of a pity that when the Dauntless was deployed there was much crowing on the British side from politicians and senior servicemen alike that this would give the Argentines something to think about and that it could deal with anything thrown at it.
The UK stance is of course that as long as the islanders want to remain British they will stay British and come under British protection.
Simon Weston, the British Falklands veteran who was very badly injured during the 1982 conflict, called Mrs Kirchner ‘a troubled woman’ on the BBC and, referring to the ‘piracy’ against Falkland flagged vessels, told Sky News that it was she who was increasing the temperature and tension over the islands, not the British.
Some may see her posturing as a way of consolidating her domestic position, if that is the case then it shows a very crude understanding of foreign affairs.
Others believe that the discovery of oil in the Falkland’s region has re-ignited Argentine interest in the area.
But whatever the reason it does not detract from the truth that the islanders have been there for hundreds of years. And a look at the Wiki timeline of de facto control shows that the UK claim pre-dates that of the Argentine’s.
But most importantly, the islanders are overwhelmingly committed to remaining British.
Then of course there is the matter of the 255 British servicemen who lost their lives defending the liberty and choice of the islanders after the Argentine aggression against the Falklands in 1982.