Archie Bland: We've nothing to fear from Kirchner's condemnation

FreeView from the editors at i

Share

I find it uncomfortable to take a strong line on the Falklands. I always get anxious if I feel like I'm being especially patriotic, except about football. And in this instance, I also worry that I might be just seizing on the opportunity to disagree with Sean Penn, which is always hard enough to resist that it can distort your perspective.

Even disregarding Sean Penn and one's interest in flag-waving, though, it's easy to dispute the Argentinean stance. The slightly childish debate over which side is the more colonial is a rare instance in which Britain's history is of negligible significance, considering no Argentinian ever lived in the Falklands; and, in the end, it is hard for the non-nationalist to take anyone's opinion on the matter seriously if it doesn't chime with that of the people who live there. It has to be up to them, in the end.

Since that position is so straightforward, and since it would win the support of those along the vast majority of the British political continuum, the 30th anniversary of the conflict this week has unfortunately also provided cover for some daft scaremongering. It's not surprising, perhaps, but there were some pretty silly things written in the tabloids in the aftermath of Argentinean president Cristina Kirchner's description of the situation as an "absurd injustice".

"Contemptible sabre-rattling", The Sun called it; the Mail added that "there are many who doubt our ability to liberate the Falklands if the worst should happen".

What these accounts (and others) fail to factor in is that, for all her bombast, Kirchner was careful to avoid talking about the Falklands in terms of a military conflict.

Assertive though she might be – and cynically exploitative of a nationalist cause to deflect attention from her domestic problems – she also talked about the war as the junta's sorry responsibility, rather than the Argentinean people's.

"Wars only bring pain," she said. "They only bring loss, they only bring hate."

Any remaining fears that we may face an invasion that we would be militarily incapable of responding to should be soothed by the fact that these days, the island's defences are such that the opportunism of 1982 could not be repeated.

Even the ambassadors of those Latin American countries that have lent Kirchner their support were conspicuously absent from Monday's commemorations. Sabre-rattling it might have been, unconvincing the Argentinian position certainly is. But we should all rest easy in the knowledge that the chances that Kirchner will actually draw her sword are slim indeed.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

English Teacher (Bristol and South Gloucestershire)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: English teachers for day to day cover,...

Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 6 Teacher RequiredThis teaching...

SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's Stortford / Stansted

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
In this handout provided by NASA from the the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, weather system Arthur travels up the east coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean near Florida in space. The robotic arm of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System or Canadarm2 is seen at upper right. According to reports, Arthur has begun moving steadily northward at around 5 kt. and the tropical storm is expected to strike the North Carolina Outer Banks  

Thanks to government investment, commercial space travel is becoming a reality

Richard Branson
With a record turnout forecast, Thursday's poll will be unlike any election Scotland, or anywhere else in the UK, has experienced  

Scottish independence: There's been as much hatred as hope. But this is democracy at its best

Andreas Whittam Smith
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week