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What Has Happened to Argentine Dignity?

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What a shame it is that Argentina is making rather a fool of itself with its continuing threats against the Falkland Islands.

The British and Argentinians have had a good history together at times. They have much in common and ought to be the best of friends. Polo, rugby, cricket, Harrods, and tea may not be everything but they are bonds tying civilised peoples.

But if they are not going to allow intelligence to guide them but instead rhetoric and become stupid from a desire to impose their imperial ambitions on another people and another country, then a few reminders are in order. The Argentinians are behaving like nineteenth century colonialists in claiming the Falkland Islands from an existing status quo; most state boundaries were settled long ago, including Argentina's; are they now to tear-up the borders of all South and Central American states, and demand new ones?

1) They have greater claim to their neighbouring country Uruguay, than they do to the Falklands. They have fought over Uruguay and previously parts of it have been part of Argentina. Is Argentina going to invade and claim Uruguay or others of its neighbours?

2) Argentine politicians must be pretty desperate for what? to continue to claim the Falklands. Any sensible Argentine statesman would have declared an end to any claims they have on the Falklands, and so have lifted the psychological burden their ongoing claim makes upon the country and people of Argentina, and with it the worry it must give their neighbours as to whether they will be the next to be invaded. Spiritually it has to be better for Argentina to drop such a spurious stance, and move on and develop, instead of holding their people in a backwater.

3) Argentina doesn't even have the remnants of a claim. hat Spain perhaps first found the Falklands and therefore Argentina as the biggest country in Spain's ex-South American territories should thus be the heir to them is flaky; for one thing Spain is not dead but very much still exists! If any country might conceivably have a claim to the Falklands, it would be Spain herself. Spain dropped any claim long ago.

4) Not even Spain claims the Islands, so Argentina certainly has no claim on them.

5) If proximity is the argument, then Argentina beware, as on that basis the USA should be claiming all of South America - and that I do not advocate.

6) Remember, most of the 'Argentinians' who are sabre rattling about the Falklands, were not even Argentinian themselves at the time they relate the claim back to.

7) Are we to now have the spectacle of Argentina championing the USA declaring Cuba to be its fifty-first state, to join New Mexico and California and other states that some Latin Americans seem to think should be part of them instead but which are firmly part of the USA?

8) Maybe the Argentine stance on the Falklands is to somehow salve their guilt that of course they are themselves the colonial oppressors of the indigenous Indian populations of the South Americas, who have no claim on the Falklands. If the immigrants to Argentina wish to continue to claim the Falklands, then the indigenous peoples of the Americas, have a stronger call to claim their lands back.

If the Argentine government continues to seek control of the Falklands instead of concentrating on making Argentina a great country, is it any wonder that Argentina flounders in and out of political and economic quagmires? If Argentina is not self-sufficient spiritually in itself then how is having the Falklands going to release it? And if they think the prospect of oil with solve Argentina's ailments, then history has many times proven that the black gold brings with it many problems.

It saddens me to see such a great people as the Argentines and their beautiful country to be degrading themselves pursuing a spurious claim against their neighbour. I would like to be able to champion what a great nation they are too but unfortunately there has not been a great statesman come forward from amongst the Argentines with the integrity to renounce all claims to the islands.

Imagine if there are the rumoured reserves of oil; whilst Argentina prolongs its own agony with a claim on the Falklands, then she will not benefit from it. The UN cannot possibly support such a claim as it would open the way to tearing up all boundaries around the world and to total chaos and world war. If Argentina drops its claim on the Falklands, then imagine the prosperity that that would bring to Argentinians: the jobs that would be created in Argentina that would result: Argentina is best placed to benefit from a Falklands oil industry; the ships which would need servicing, the chance of the oil being refined on its shores, the workers the country could supply. But how can any of this come the way of the Argentine people whilst there is any claim on the Islands? Argentine politicians are denying prosperity to their own people by declaring that Falkland flagged ships cannot enter her waters. Imagine the fracas if 'Falklands Oil' cannot do business there because of the insistence on the name 'Malvinas'. How can Argentines have jobs on the islands whilst their country still lays claim to the Falklands? It is ordinary Argentines and Argentinian business that will lose out and suffer if their government continues the charade of a claim, just as the Argentine fishing industry loses out now and has for the last thirty years because of stupid politicians ensconced in luxury in Buenos Aires.

It is about time Argentine politicians stood up and said that it is not in Argentina's interest to maintain a claim on the Falklands. It is about time that Argentine politicians stopped raising the hopes of the Argentinian people and conning them that there is a basis for a claim. Is there a politician with such integrity somewhere in Argentina?

The Argentine people should have the intelligence and dignity to drop all claims to the Falklands and so to benefit from improved relations and trade, or for ever be complaining about the state of their own country and what might have been.