Thursday, 14 June 2012

Blip: Why Argentina doesn't deserve its onion rings.


It always concerns me when a government, that is, a governing body in total control of the official opinions and actions of an entire nation, acts with the reasoning capability or cognitive ignorance of a six-year-old child and yet this happens more often than you’d think. I suppose the obvious example of the American government under Obama springs to mind; Obama regularly ‘Urges’ countries to do the right thing and explains categorically, in hidden and vague terms, how Europe should fix the economy; this all comes from the steady position that America has gained because of its solid and unaffected economy, I presume. That would be fine, if a little arrogant, if it were true but the truth, however, is that America’s economy is suffering just as much as the rest of ours and they aren’t in any position of authority or standing to be giving out economic advice in such a manner.

This isn’t another blog post aimed squarely at America; probably every government has made laughable mistakes; although each of these decisions often has rather serious effects, they are laughable nonetheless for their lack of logic and knowledge of consequence.

The idiotic and childish stance that I’m focusing on this time is that of Argentina’s warmongering position towards the Falkland Islands. After a long history of switching hands between a number of groups of settlers from different parts of the world, the Falklands were settled on permanently by British settlers in 1833 and have remained there, due to family ties, ever since. 

In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falklands and tried to take the island for themselves, this prompted a reaction for Margaret Thatcher to take military action and protect the islanders; this was successful and peace resumed. 

Since then, Argentina has nursed its damaged pride and stewed over it until recently when they have renewed their claim for the control of the island. This argument rose originally due to one simple fact: The Falkland Islands lay around 300 miles off the coast of South America. 

Perhaps on the face of it, the more impressionable amongst you may find reason in this argument in that the islands should belong to Argentina because they are so close to them. Some say it would be like Argentina taking control of Ireland, only a few miles of the coast of England. Again, on the face of it, this seems sensible but a closer look shows the immaturity of this position.

First off, the argument can be simplified into “Finders keepers”, which traditionally doesn’t hold too much sway with international courts or claims for governance. To expand:

-A family is sat around the dinner table with their food in front of each of them on colour-coded plates.

-Each member also has a smaller plate of onion rings, also colour-coded.

-Person A moves their small plate slightly to fit their drink on the table.

-Person B eats Person A’s onion rings and claims “They were close to me so they were mine”

I would imagine that most people’s reaction to this would be to tell Person B not to be so childish and give Person A their onion rings, the make things fair again. This is much like Argentina’s claim for the Falklands.

The key element here is that Britain doesn’t have a competing claim for the control of the Falklands; Britain’s claim is for the Falklands to maintain the self-determination of the islanders and to leave the control in their hands; the people of the Falklands, by a very large majority, want to remain a self-governing British overseas territory and surely every country has the right to decide how they are governed (this isn’t just my opinion, it is an international law expressed by the term ‘self-determination’).  

This has continued to the point where the islanders have had to organise a referendum to prove to the international communities involved that they don’t want Argentinian rule; they want to remain as they are and not be under threat of war. Yet, Argentina still holds a trade embargo, damaging the people of the Falklands out of a selfish and childish claim based entirely from a position of ignorance: ignorance of the law and of standard fairness that is obvious to the rest of us.

It would seem Argentina is determined to show their immaturity as a nation and ruin their reputation across the world and, so far, they are doing a pretty good job of it.

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