Friday, April 11, 2008

Argentina's Falklands Veterans.

Former KGB agent of influence Richard Gott is complaining about the refusal of the Falkland Islanders to allow the relatives of Argentinian soldiers who died there to visit the islands. It quickly emerges in the comments that this is not in fact true and it is the Argentinian government that has placed obstacles in the way for political reasons. That a corrupt traitor like Gott is lying is a bit like finding out about Knut the polar bear killing carp, kind of obvious and not really newsworthy. However there is a link in the comments to an article in Der Spiegel from last year about Argentina's soldiers in that conflict that is worth reading.

Argentina had a conscript army at the time, so they had little choice about participating in the invasion and being part of the junta's regime. The officers were a different matter of course, they were volunteers yet despite that when it came to the actual fighting most of them abandoned their troops and headed to Port Stanley to surrendered quietly after the battles had been fought. From the Spiegel piece:
"Our own officers were our greatest enemies," says 44-year-old Ernesto Alonso. They supplied themselves with whiskey from the pubs, but they weren’t prepared for war. "They disappeared when things got serious." Many of the officers had previously worked as torturers for the Argentianian [sic] dictatorship. "They used us recruits for their sadist phantasies [sic]," Alonso says.
If the Argentinian government is really interested in being able to honour their veterans then they could start by treating the living ones appropriately, but of course that isn't their motivation here, they are trying to whip nationalistic fervour to distract from the situation at home, just as they were 26 years ago.


JuliaM said...

Yeah, that's a great column. Best of all is the guy in the comments who opens his response to my comments with 'I don't do the crossword or read the Sun. I've been too busy with completing my PhD and completing my book.' This is obviously meant to be a devastating rebuttal...or something!

Much hilarity and baiting ensues.

Ah, CiF. So many complete dingbats, so little time...

Ross said...

I enjoyed that exchange, although I didn't realise that it was you who was mocking the PhD studying author.

JuliaM said...

It wasn't just me, it was kind of a free-for-all - I think a lot of commenters took exception to the incredible (even for CiF) arrogance of the statement.

But I do comment there as 'thylacosmilus' - 'JuliaM' wasn't available, and I was reading a book on prehistoric cats and their evolution at the time I registered..