Thursday, 18 February 2010

That old chestnut

Today, my curiosity was piqued by this article from the Independent;
The British military and the Foreign Office are stepping up surveillance of Argentinian naval action following the threat from Buenos Aires to blockade the Falkland Islands.

The imminent arrival of a British company’s oil rig in the area is an immediate source of friction between the two countries, which has reignited 28 years after the war with the discovery of rich petroleum and gas reserves around the islands. 

The Argentinian government has declared that it was taking control of all shipping between its coastline and the disputed islands it calls Islas Malvinas and the adjoining South Georgia, a claim promptly rejected by the UK. 
According to Frederico Thomsen, a political analyst in Buenos Aires, "for centuries the Falklands were about some sheep, penguins and fish – and even so, we had a war. Should someone find ‘black gold’, things will get uncomfortable and nationalists will be stirred."

Call me cynical, but my own thoughts on the matter more resemble those on offer from the Daily Mash;
Dr Julian Cook, of the Institute for Studies, insisted the political conditions in 2010 were completely different from 1982, adding: "Last time round we had a deeply unpopular government presiding over a failing economy and absolutely desperate for a quick, easy war to turn its fortunes around.

"Oh right, I see what you mean."
The difference, this time round, is that Thatcher didn't also have an illegal, protracted, and deeply unpopular war to distract from. Is Gordon Brown hoping not just to turn around his electoral fortunes but also to revive the passion for aggressive militarism that dies a little more every time another young soldier does?