Argentina’s bizarre Falkland Islands claims

The Falkland Islands are an archipelago covering some 4700 square miles, with about 2841 inhabitants, a plurality of whom are British citizens, 500 kilometers from a sparsely inhabited stretch of southern Argentina.

There is no evidence that the Falklands were inhabited prior to European discovery.

When various European groups discovered the islands, they were uninhabited. 

Various European governments competed for the islands, with Britain eventually winning. 

Argentina has no heritage with the Falkland Islands.  

There is no evidence that the ancestors of the Argentinians were even aware that the Falklands existed, let alone had a claim to them. 

The islands were already claimed by the British and the Spanish when an Argentine merchant was forced by a storm to land on the islands, which he then purported to claim for   the emerging state of Buenos Aires, although he had no authority to do so.

There were various attempts to inhabit the islands, which were attempted with British permission, effectively recognizing Britain’s claim. 

No permanent colony was established.  

The Argentines to be instead of using the colony for legitimate purposes, used it to commit acts of piracy, resulting in their eradication by the United States, which did not purport to claim the islands:

Argentina then attempted to set up a penal colony, apparently without British permission this time, on November 15, 1832, and raised their own flag.

On January 3, 1833, the British arrived and demanded that the Argentinian flag be taken down and replaced with the British one.  Two days later, the Argentines gave in. 

So Argentina’s entire cultural claim to the Falklands stems from non-indigenous Argentinians arriving in a military expedition to a place they knew was claimed by Britain, which claim their country had previously acknowledged, and put an Argentine flag up for 51 days, give or take.  They then acknowledged Britain’s prior claim and left. 

Argentina’s next frivolous claim to “sovereignty” was in 1964, when an Argentine touched down in an airplane on a race track, handed a random person a letter claiming sovereignty of Argentina over the islands, and flew off again. 

In 1966, terrorists hijacked a jet and forced a landing at the Falklands, and were later treated by the Argentines as heros, a common theme- apart from the brief military outpost, nearly all of the Argentine enterprise associated with the Falklands prior to the Falklands invasion was piracy, bandits and terrorists. 

Really the closest thing to a sovereignty claim that Argentina has is a claim by proximity.

But the Falklands are well outside of even the 200 mile economic zone. 

If you go by proximity (or any traditional measure), England has a better claim to France and vice versa than Argentina has to the Falklands.  

When the British considered discussing sovereignty issues with Argentina, it was the Falklands inhabitants that rose up to it. 

That isn’t surprising given the lack of any connection between Argentina and the Falklands.  Why would a bunch of Europeans want to be run by one of the most corrupt countries on earth instead of Britain? 

But Britain followed a regrettable and disreputable practice of encouraging Argentina’s overtures, maybe hoping that the dispute would go away, when that just signaled weakness and invited aggression. 

In 1975, Argentina took the amazing position that Britain’s establishment of a colony in the Falklands was an act of piracy. 

Later, there was the Falklands war.  

Britain erred on that occasion by failing to use nuclear force.  In my view a far stronger statement was required than simply taking back the islands and the weak response invited future idiocy from Argentina and from others.  Argentina should have been required to surrender unconditionally and it handled as with Germany and Japan after the second world war. 

Now Argentina is becoming aggressive again and they have apparently duped 6 Nobel Peace Prize winners into backing their non-existent claims (either that or forged their signatures).

There may only be one Nobel Peace Prize winner per year but the bar isn’t very high.  The only criteria seem to be how many people you’ve annoyed and how powerful they are. 

David Cameron should not hold talks with Argentina.  Such a show of weakness in the face of preposterous demands invites aggression.  

He should instead state on the record that the Falklands will be defended with nuclear force.

It’s like Albania claiming Monaco.  It’s idiocy.  

If any country is entitled to demand any land within 500 kilometers of it’s present borders I fail to see how that would make the world safer or more just. 

Britain’s planned referendum may clear matters up but then logic hasn’t been a factor with this discussion so far. 

The manner in which Argentina is being coddled with it’s preposterous claims is dangerous for other reasons. 

Argentina received broad support for seizing the territory of another nation that it had no clam to, not even an illegitimate one.  It was a bare demand clothed in the demonstrably false premise that it is part of Argentina’s heritage. 

Since the letter from the 6 Nobel Prize winners in March 2012, note what has happened to the level of China’s similar preposterous claims.  

China’s aggression with similar BS claims has dramatically increased since Argentina’s BS was taken seriously. 

With Argentina, the real issue of course is fishing and other natural resource rights.


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