Posted on | December 21, 2011 | 17 Comments
And damn the Argies!
A South American trading bloc has agreed to close its ports to ships flying the Falkland Islands flag.
Mercosur, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, came to the decision at a summit in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo.
But Uruguayan President Jose Mujica said British-flagged civilian ships that may supply the islands would still be allowed to use its ports.
The [British] Foreign Office said there was “no justification” for the action.
The Falklands flag is flown by 25 boats, mostly fishing vessels operated in joint ventures with Spanish companies.
The Mercosur decision is the latest in a series by Latin American regional bodies designed to show solidarity with Argentina which has long claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, which it calls Las Malvinas.
Britain has held them since the 1830s and says their future is not negotiable. The two countries fought a brief but bloody war over the islands in 1982.
That’s reported by the BBC. Biased BBC is struck by the fact that the national network chose, in a caption on its Web site, to highlight this: “Argentina has long claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, which lie 400 miles from its coast.” Never mind the British claim, eh?
As for the BBC’s description of a “bloody war” in 1982, the death toll in the Falklands War of both sides combined was less than 1,000. By comparison, during World War II, the British lost more than 1,000 troops killed on D-Day alone — a single day. During the three-month Battle of Britain, when the island kingdom stood alone against the vengeance of the Luftwaffe, the RAF lost nearly 2,700 men.
The BBC exaggeration of the trifling Falklands affair into a “bloody war” is of a piece with their horror of empire expressed by the implication that Argentina has a legitimate claim to the islands “400 miles from its coast.”
FACT: Cuba is just 90 miles from Key West, Florida.
My son-in-law is Argentine. Fine people, the Argentines, and I cheer their soccer team in the World Cup, but I also enjoy mocking their silliness about “Las Malvinas.” No Thanksgiving dinner at our house would be complete without my annual toast to Margaret Thatcher and a rousing chorus of “Rule, Britannia.”
When Britain first, at heaven’s command,
Arose from out the azure main . . .
This was the charter, the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
Britannia rule the wave!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves!
UPDATE: It is an amazing fact of history how England, an island nation the size of Alabama, has spread its influence across the globe. The population of the United Kingdom today is 62 million. Add together the United States (300 million), Canada (34 million), Australia (22 million) and New Zealand (4 million), and the rest of the English-speaking world is at least six times larger than the nation that “arose from out the azure main.”