Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issue.

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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:53 pm UTC

Ah. Ah yes that explains your response. Lol.

I guess we can agree then. As soon as we have cleared up this "Do the Falklands fall under article 5" question. I'm still not sure.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:05 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:As soon as we have cleared up this "Do the Falklands fall under article 5" question. I'm still not sure.


Article 5 of the Washington Treaty:

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.


That seems like a pretty resounding "no" in regards to entanglement over the Falklands.

(Also backing up a stage: NATO wasn't dragged into Vietnam because of both the not-Europe-nor-North-America thing but also (more importantly?) because the US wasn't attacked in a manner that could even remotely be construed as requiring self defense.)
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby wam » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:11 pm UTC

(Also backing up a stage: NATO wasn't dragged into Vietnam because of both the not-Europe-nor-North-America thing but also (more importantly?) because the US wasn't attacked in a manner that could even remotely be construed as requiring self defense.)



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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:48 am UTC

Azrael wrote:
Diadem wrote:As soon as we have cleared up this "Do the Falklands fall under article 5" question. I'm still not sure.


Article 5 of the Washington Treaty

That seems like a pretty resounding "no" in regards to entanglement over the Falklands.

Yeah I found the same text.

But then what about Hawaii. And even more strange, what about Turkey? Did Turkey join the NATO without getting the main benefit of protection in return? Also, it's probably just me, but that strikes me as a very weird way of phrasing a treaty. Perhaps they wanted to exclude Soviet strikes against nuclear subs or things like that from the protection clause. Not quite sure why they would want to do that though. Even then that would be better phrased as "when any of its member states is attacked within its own territory" or something like that.

I know it's offtopic. But I'm kinda curious about those questions.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:03 am UTC

Ah found it! The text you quoted Azrael is an old text.

If the Republic of Turkey becomes a Party to the North Atlantic Treaty, Article 6 of the Treaty shall, as from the date of the deposit by the Government of the Republic of Turkey of its instruments of accession with the Government of the United States of America, be modified to read as follows:
For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:
1. on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France, on the territory of Turkey or on the islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer;
2. on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in whicH occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.

So Turkey is included, as are several island in the North Atlantic. The Falklands are not. But neither is Hawaii.

So that clears up some questions, but I'm still surprised they would exclude so many parts of several member countries. The US, UK, NL, France, all have territories that aren't included. Probably several other members as well.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:19 am UTC

Wasn't that the entire point America has always liked to believe it stands against colonialism and didn't want to be drawn into colonial wars.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

I think the USA has way too many colonies itself to classify as "a country against colonialism". Only Britain and France have more.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby ThunderOfCondemnation » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:14 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:I think the USA has way too many colonies itself to classify as "a country against colonialism". Only Britain and France have more.


The ability of some Americans (read: Republicans) to engage in that kind of doublethink astounds me...
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:07 pm UTC

As delightful as that observation may be, the premise that brought us to it is incorrect.

The US tried to act as a mediator in 1982, attempting to forge a tri-party governance for the islands. When the negotiations were rejected by Argentina, the US imposed sanctions and provided material support to the UK.

So, without an actual policy-making source confirming anything similar to:
Wasn't that the entire point America has always liked to believe it stands against colonialism and didn't want to be drawn into colonial wars.


The involvement as a mediator and then material supporter thoroughly undermines that concept.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:27 pm UTC


The involvement as a mediator and then material supporter thoroughly undermines that concept.




Signing a treaty that would give it an obligation to join a war and choosing to provide aid are very different things though.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:58 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:
Azrael wrote:
sigsfried wrote:Wasn't that the entire point America has always liked to believe it stands against colonialism and didn't want to be drawn into colonial wars.
The involvement as a mediator and then material supporter thoroughly undermines that concept.
Signing a treaty that would give it an obligation to join a war and choosing to provide aid are very different things though.

What territories are covered by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has little to do with an inherent stance regarding colonialism, and an awful lot to do with geography. Especially when you see language like "North of the Tropic of Cancer". Don't forget the historical context: this was an action to counter the rise of the USSR (and later the whole of the Warsaw Pact) and to protect the European nations from that geographically relevant threat in Europe.

So, again, can you provide some foreign policy statement relevant to the treaty that justifies your initial quoted stance regarding colonialism?
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:37 pm UTC

Well the question is: Why was the NATO treaty written in that way. It seems strange to sign a treat for mutual defence, and then only apply that a limited part of each other's territory. Remember that the NATO countries have to a large degree integrated their militaries. The US may be able to operate fully independently, but most European nations are far less able to do this.

Imagine Venezuela were to attack the Dutch Antilles. The Dutch military would respond, but the rest of NATO would not be bound by the treaty to help. They might still choose to, of course, and probably would. But imagine for a second that they wouldn't. This means that the initial Dutch military response will probably be highly uncoordinated, because the command structure is confused while army divisions have to be moved from NATO control to Dutch control. So precious time and resources will be lost in the vital early days of a war, because of NATO.

This is an obvious and glaring problem that can't have possibly escaped the notice of the NATO founders. So they must have had a very good overriding reason to write the treaty the way they wrote it.

And I wonder what that reason it.

Anti-colonialist sentiments could be one reason. But I doubt it. Like I said, America has too many colonies itself, most below the tropic of Cancer, or not in the North Atlantic. A desire to not be drawn into a global nuclear war over minor islands? Perhaps. Perhaps they only specifically wanted to defend each other against the Russians, not during minor squabbles over minor islands. For now that sounds to me like the most plausible explanation. Though on the other hand I doubt the US considers Hawaii to be minor, and I'm quite sure they would have started a global nuclear war over the Russians attacking it.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:48 pm UTC

I would look at the way NATO handled the French issues in French Algeria, to strongly argue that NATO had no intention of protecting colonial possessions, notably much of it lies North of the tropics.

Like I said, America has too many colonies itself


Maybe in today's terms, but at the moment NATO came into existence the British and French empires were huge. Meanwhile America had a few small colonies. For Britain and France to choose to sign a defence treaty that did not apply to the majority of their possessions suggests substantial diplomatic pressure from some quarter.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby lutzj » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:30 am UTC

There's also the fact that most colonies (especially the few that are left in the 21st century) simply aren't very strategically important.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby laundryman » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:07 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
sigsfried wrote:(the most recent example being David Cameron accusing Argentina of colonialism http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16617666)..



From the standpoint of me looking at a map, they should clearly belong to Argentina. But people override territory. If the people want British Rule, so be it.

If people were displaced, so be it (though I'm not quite so sure if I support a historical claim so much as I would a claim by a living displaced person).


If you look at modern maps, it does seem that the Islands, even though they are 300km outside of the Argentine maritime zone, are on the Patagonian shelf. But look at HISTORICAL MAPS and you will find that British Falkland Islands were there before Argentina conquered Patagonia. So if one was to use the prior rule argument, Patagonia is on the same shelf as the Falkland Islands, so it should be British. Equally absurd.

It just undermines the nonsense of the 'proximity' argument.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby laundryman » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:19 am UTC

This is why there can be no resolution to the Falklands Issue (And i have no qualms about using the name Falklands, and not using the name Malvinas at all. The Islands were called Falklands 100 years before the Argentines started using then name Malvinas, which is in fact from the French - Maluines. but i digress)

As we also know, Argentina insists that the UK 'negotiate' over the Islands, and in fact are quite vociferous about it. But why? Surely if they have such a valid claim over the islands they should just take the issue to the UN International Court of Justice? Well maybe because they haven't done so should get the alarm bells ringing that they may not have the cast iron claim that they say they do. Actually they know they have no claim, so won't go there. They were invited twice by the British in '50s and declined both invitations. There is one very good reason for that and its MAPS. Argentina had another territorial disagreement with Chile over an island off the south coast of Patagonia. They used the proximity argument and showed the ICJ the maps of the region. Only when a prior map was shown, which clearly showed that the Argentines did not at that time consider the islands to be theirs did the ICJ ruled that the claim was groundless. So the Argentines simply ignored it. Likewise, the Falkland Islands have only recently been included on Argentine maps as being part of its territory, historically Argentine maps show the Islands as being British. Same rule applies, they would lose at the ICJ.

So, now to get onto why us nasty Brits wont discuss the Falklands, and why we keep on saying there's nothing to discuss. The Argentinians recently enshrined 'ownership' of the Falkland Islands into their Constitution, along with South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. It states that the Island's are an absolute, fundamental part of Argentina.

Firstly how can the British enter into any meaningful 'discussions' over the islands when it would be illegal under the Argentine constitution for the Argentines to agree on anything other than 'complete sovereignty' over them, and not be able to budge from that position? What kind of starting position would that be to any discussion and where could it lead?

Secondly, self determination, how can the Argentine Constitution account for the Islanders right to determine their own future? By putting absolute ownership in their constitution they have, in effect, removed the islanders rights to determine their own future in the event that Sovereignty was transferred. Completely abhorrent to the aims enshrined in the UN Charters.

Thirdly and most importantly the British cannot discuss the future of the Falklands without the authority of those who have the right to determine their own future under the UN Charter; the islanders themselves.

Unfortunately the Argentines refuse to recognise or sit around the table with the Falkland Island representatives, they consider the flag illegal and won't even let shipping into their ports. So where does that leave us?

Well, it leaves us in the current position, the Argentines spout rhetoric, overfish to damage the Islands economy (and so doing damage their own ecology), harass shipping and try to impose illegal blockades. Then they blame the British for wanting to defend the islands by posting a naval presence there.

This is what confuses me so much about the position of Mr Obama's administration over this issue. The US has always been such a staunch supporter of civil rights and of democracy in particular (Look at US History and the various Doctrines the US has on the subject). US diplomats are FAR from stupid and they must understand the constitutional position of Argentina and the effect on any discussions. This is why the UK was so upset when Hillary Clinton and subsequent spokespeople have repeated the desire for discussion over the islands.

It's not even the fact that the British are the US's staunchest ally. It should make no difference. If the British were wrong over this then we would expect anyone, regardless of whether they were an ally or not, to come out and say so. But the International legal position on the Islands is 100% clear (as long as you don't speak to the Argentines... or Chavez).

I would hope that it didn't have anything to do with Mr Obama's dislike of the UK in general, a personal dislike like this should not form part of the policies of the greatest nation on the planet should it, what would that say for credibility?? No I can't believe that.

Now the US policy on the region has always been one of neutrality. It was even in the 1820s when the USS Lexington sailed down there when the Argentines were playing up. So maybe thats it.

The problem is, there are 3000 people on the island now, some of whom are descendants of the original settlers put there by Luis Vernet and they almost to a man (or woman) want to remain British. Regardless of histories or neutrality's why doesn't the US recognise that 3000 people living on an island have the right to determine their own future, as they DID with Puerto Rico?

Well actually maybe they do, but have decided to sit on the fence because of the politics of the Americas. Maybe. Still confusing though.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Zamfir » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:06 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Anti-colonialist sentiments could be one reason. But I doubt it. Like I said, America has too many colonies itself, most below the tropic of Cancer, or not in the North Atlantic. A desire to not be drawn into a global nuclear war over minor islands? Perhaps. Perhaps they only specifically wanted to defend each other against the Russians, not during minor squabbles over minor islands. For now that sounds to me like the most plausible explanation. Though on the other hand I doubt the US considers Hawaii to be minor, and I'm quite sure they would have started a global nuclear war over the Russians attacking it.

Hawaii and Alaska are included in the treaty. They were not considered as overseas colonies of the US, but as part of the US itself. That's why Algeria was also included: it was governed as part of France, and France argued that if Hawaii was in the treaty, then Algeria should be included as well.

For the rest, the idea was more that countries should fight their own colonial wars and that NATO should not be dragged in them. That's partially because of American anti-colonialism, but also because European countries didn't want to fight for each other's colonies. The members of NATO were not exactly at good terms with each other in the late 1940s.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:Maybe in today's terms, but at the moment NATO came into existence the British and French empires were huge. Meanwhile America had a few small colonies. For Britain and France to choose to sign a defence treaty that did not apply to the majority of their possessions suggests substantial diplomatic pressure from some quarter.

No, it doesn't. The treaty did not begin as a 'mutual defense against all comers' sort of thing. It had a specific aim (USSR) and the threat that was posed against a specific place (Europe). Couple that with the relative strategic inferiority of the colonies and the rational desire from all sides not to start another world war over one of those colonies, and you don't need to defer to the US browbeating them with a stance that you can't rationally demonstrate existed.

In the historical context, you cannot argue that the US has a strong anti-colonial stance. Roosevelt and Taft absolutely destroyed that notion 40 years prior with their policies towards Panama, the Philippines and his administration's hand in effectively turning Korea over to the Japanese. You're talking about the period where the US had turned away from isolationism, bolstered by the major 1905 foreign policy shift that drastically expanded the Monroe doctrine in order to justify US intervention any where internationally whenever a case could be made that it benefited the country*. 'This is entire hemisphere is ours, keep the fuck out' had become 'We'll do what we want in your hemisphere too'. Despite being policies against the existing Empires, those are certainly not anti-imperial policies.

* Don't forget that this pronouncement was made by a man who was, like pretty much everyone else at the time, incredibly racist. 'Westernizing' and 'helping' were synonymous.

The treaty in question itself was one of the first moves in a new era that saw the US undertake even larger still colonial-style intervention all over the world. Sure, both the US and the USSR professed sentiments against European colonialism, but again those were mostly anti-other-major-powers. History pretty thoroughly destroys any notion that either country was actually opposed to the practice -- especially when maintaining or assuming those colonial ties (Vietnam, anyone?) was seen as a way to benefit their side in the Cold War.

EDIT: You know who was probably the most 'anti-colonial' in the NATO negotiations? England. Over the next two decades, they divested of colonial populations nearing 700 million people. That sort of effort doesn't just pop into the political sphere overnight, and WWII had just thoroughly demonstrated that England needed to refocus on domestic defense. Hell, conventional wisdom holds that many of those colonies were held onto longer than desired in order to aid the very American-centric effort to counter communism.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:33 pm UTC

I suspect this is merely a distraction and I've been in trouble for that before so I will keep any reply brief.

The UK, and please don't call it England unless you really mean England, certainly did not want to keep its colonies after WW2. That said neither was a rapid reduction to being a second rate power particularly desired. Was the Suez canal really not strategically useful, or was control of the Med simply irrelevant to a fight over Europe against the USSR?

Also if the treaty was meant only to protect against the USSR in Europe why not include Algeria but include Hawaii?

If you really don't believe that America claimed to have an anti colonial position then look at its response to Suez. Choosing pretty much the only time ever to defy Israel, and preventing allies from having a crucial strategic control. I do not suggest that America lives up to those ideals, but that certainly doesn't mean American politicians weren't keen to see them applied.

Also look at the attitudes many Americans had towards the IRA (who got substantial funding from Americans) and compare with most attitudes towards the idea of secession.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:12 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:... at the moment NATO came into existence the British and French empires were huge ... For Britain and France to choose to sign a defence treaty that did not apply to the majority of their possessions suggests substantial diplomatic pressure from some quarter.

sigsfried wrote:The UK ... certainly did not want to keep its colonies after WW2.

Thank you. See, there's no need to go looking for external boogeymen. That substantial diplomatic pressure is better explained as internal.

Also if the treaty was meant only to protect against the USSR in Europe why not include Algeria but include Hawaii?
Hawaii was considered by the US navy to be the preeminent naval holding in the world at the time (arguably, it's Bahrain now -- thanks to the UK for leaving in '71). And the immediately preceding war had given them a bit of a black eye about it, so they were touchy. Meanwhile, Algiers was ... just Algiers. Again, no side wanted to protect the other side's colonies, because they didn't really matter strategically. You really think the UK wanted to sign a mutual defense treaty over Algiers when they realized they couldn't support their own colonies? And had to have their arm twisted by the US?

If you really don't believe that America claimed to have an anti colonial position then look at its response to Suez. Choosing pretty much the only time ever to defy Israel, and preventing allies from having a crucial strategic control. I do not suggest that America lives up to those ideals, but that certainly doesn't mean American politicians weren't keen to see them applied.
Claimed? Yes, I already said that the US and USSR both claimed, especially when it justified sticking it to the existing empires as a form of power-play dominance. However, both of the countries then embarked on a 40-odd year game of real-world Risk across the entire globe. At some point you're going to have to balance that very textbook-like over simplification with how the country had been acting for the 80 year span bracketing the NATO treaty, or else you're just listening to propaganda.

Do you really think that one example at Suez has a meaningful impact against that trend? Plus, the US involvement wasn't bucking the trend because it wasn't anti-colonial; the US was actively working to strike a deal with Nasser to protect their own interest at Suez, and the war risked screwing everything up. The continued presence of the French or British would have drastically destabilized the area, even more than the 1952 coup their presence had already inspired. Working with the (by that time) sovereign, home-rule government wasn't anti-colonial, it was putting US interests first. A convenient way to push other players out of the way, and without the inherently destabilizing direct involvement. Notice that the Soviets also opposed the Suez action at the UN?

Also look at the attitudes many Americans had towards the IRA (who got substantial funding from Americans) and compare with most attitudes towards the idea of secession.
You mean the millions upon millions of Irish immigrants in the US. Yeah, surprise, surprise. They didn't leave their long standing feud at home.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Zamfir » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:01 pm UTC

. Meanwhile, Algiers was ... just Algiers. Again, no side wanted to protect the other side's colonies, because they didn't really matter strategically. You really think the UK wanted to sign a mutual defense treaty over Algiers when they realized they couldn't support their own colonies? And had to have their arm twisted by the US?


Not sure if they wanted, but they still did, since NATO explicitly included Algeria in the treaty.

Algeria was partially a settlers colony. A bit like Hawaii I guess, except they hadn't managed to marginalized the original population. In the 1950s, a quarter or so of the Algerian population were French settlers and their descendants, and Algeria had seats in the French parliament (native Algerians got less seats per person then the French, which of course was still more than inhabitants of more typical colonies).

So Algeria was a lot more 'personal' than most colonies. The civil war there was going to lead to de Gaulle's coup in just a few years, while European countries were otherwise losing entire empires with surprisingly little backlash at home.

In that respect, there might be a parallel with the Falklands. I guess Brits take them a lot more serious because the inhabitants are seen as Brits like them. Not as foreigners like, say, most of Hong Kong.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:16 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Not sure if they wanted, but they still did, since NATO explicitly included Algeria in the treaty.

Well then, I suppose I should have caught his mistake. It just makes his previous protestation:
sigsfried wrote:...if the treaty was meant only to protect against the USSR in Europe why not include Algeria but include Hawaii?
... somewhat moot
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:43 pm UTC

Not sure if they wanted, but they still did, since NATO explicitly included Algeria in the treaty.


Fair enough. When it came to it France was given little aid over Algeria, but that isn't the same as treaty obligations.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:33 am UTC

The French didn't get any help over Algeria's independence because FLN wasn't a foreign attacker, nor could France invoke NATO's help by claiming they needed aid in self defense. There's nothing in NATO that would even remotely suggest an obligation to take sides in a civil war.

Plus, de Gaulle's offered them a referendum. Twice. It just turned out resoundingly in favor of complete independence.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Deep_Thought » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:38 am UTC

And now the Argentinians are claiming that a visit by MPs to the Falklands counts as further "militarisation" of the region. They do realise that the average MP couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag, right? Especially now John Prescott has left the commons.

I know that these particular MPs are going to examine the military forces on the island, but the current stream of rhetoric coming out of Argentina just confuses the hell out of me. Some of it is beyond non-sensical.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:18 pm UTC

elasto wrote:As I say, if the Islanders want to join Argentina, Britain would not stand in their way - just as if, incidentally, Scotland wants to leave the UK, England won't stand in their way either. All this mention of respecting a right to self-determination isn't just talk - we accept it whether it suits us or not. Argentina needs to show the same respect for that right as we do.


elasto wrote:If 80% of those polled wanted to gain ties with Argentina then the UK would assist that happening just as if 51% of Scots vote to leave the UK in 2014 then England will assist that too.


Just to point something out that was mentioned a couple of times up-thread - this situation is quite different to Scottish independence. Scotland and England joined together in a union of the Crowns in 1603 and a union of parliaments in 1707 (hence United Kingdom). Scotland pulling out of the UK is akin to a country leaving the EU; they don't need permission. England can't stand in her way.
The Falklands were colonisied. They don't get automatically have the right to make the decision to leave on their own. The UK would have to allow them freedom if they decide to join Argentina or form their own state.

By the way, what benefits from being part of the UK do Falklanders get other than military protection? As far as I know, they pay taxes but don't get a vote, which seems fucked up.

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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:21 pm UTC

Edit: the Falklands are apparently economically self-sufficient.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Deep_Thought » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:16 pm UTC

Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:By the way, what benefits from being part of the UK do Falklanders get other than military protection? As far as I know, they pay taxes but don't get a vote, which seems fucked up.

They get British Citizenship, and hence a British passport. That actually counts for quite a bit. As to taxes, a quick Google search indicates that the Falkland Islands have their own tax office, with different rates to UK Income Tax and there's an agreement between the two countries to avoid double-taxing people. From this I infer that they only pay taxes locally, not to HMRC. They also get to vote for local representatives, so I'm not sure where you're getting your info?
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:50 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:They get British Citizenship, and hence a British passport. That actually counts for quite a bit. As to taxes, a quick Google search indicates that the Falkland Islands have their own tax office, with different rates to UK Income Tax and there's an agreement between the two countries to avoid double-taxing people. From this I infer that they only pay taxes locally, not to HMRC.


I had a quick look through this but since I have very limited knowledge of legalese and I'm at work I didn't get much out of it. From memory I thought they paid taxes to HMRC but you may well be right. But turning it round the other way; if they don't pay taxes, why do British tax payers pay for a military base there? What do we get out of it other than potential oil money?

Deep_Thought wrote:They also get to vote for local representatives, so I'm not sure where you're getting your info?


Obviously they can vote for local representatives, but they have no say in the general elections of the UK, a country they feel they are part of. If I am a British citizen living on British soil, I want a say in how Britain is run.

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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Deep_Thought » Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:08 pm UTC

Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:Obviously they can vote for local representatives, but they have no say in the general elections of the UK, a country they feel they are part of. If I am a British citizen living on British soil, I want a say in how Britain is run.

While in principle I agree with you, unfortunately our relationships with the British Overseas Territories are not that simple. They don't really count as "British Soil" anymore. Most of them have their own legal systems and traditions, albeit based on English Common Law, so decisions made in the British Parliament have little affect on them. They tend to have their own financial arrangements as well, hence the entire concept of "Offshore Banking", which is a topic I will happily rant about for years if an appropriate thread is ever made.

However, despite all this, running a modern state successfully if you only have the resources of a small island and a population of a few thousand is pretty damned difficult. It's very useful to have a bigger country to back you up and provide access to administrative and bureaucratic expertise, along with a supply of skilled labour that speaks the same language and quite fancies a few years on a quiet island somewhere. Then there's the military aspects as well, which we've pretty much covered in this thread.

As to what we (the UK) gets out of these arrangements; well, not a lot, at least directly. "National pride", on the part of the Government and establishment, certainly has a part to play. Most of them don't have significant resources. They are the legacy of our Empire, and in the aftermath of World War 2 were of enormous strategic value. Malta was used for decades as a major listening post to find out what the Soviets were up to. The British Indian Ocean Territory is leased to the US as one of the most important air bases in the world*.

In the specific case of the Falkland's, they and their neighbouring islands provide access to the Antarctic, which is pretty valuable scientifically. I don't know how easily we could maintain our claim down there without them (but I'm not an expert in international law). As has been pointed out above, the military garrison present on the islands is not that big in absolute terms, and the probability of Argentina actually launching an attack is low. I wouldn't be surprised if the MoD look on the costs of running the base along the lines of "If we're going to have forces we have to garrison them somewhere". Barring transport costs to and from the islands it wouldn't be much different to having them based at home (I guess?).

But, looking at the other way, the UK establishment has a certain amount of responsibility for these places. They were mostly** settled by British citizens, and were under our protection/administration for a long time. Just upping and abandoning them would be a bit crap of us. If the inhabitants want shot of us, as with most of our bigger colonies, that's a different ball game, and when and if that happens we should work it out as peacefully as possible.

* Yes, I am aware of the displaced islanders.
** I am generalising here. Each of the islands has its own particular mix of backgrounds.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:27 pm UTC

Obviously they can vote for local representatives, but they have no say in the general elections of the UK, a country they feel they are part of. If I am a British citizen living on British soil, I want a say in how Britain is run.


But the Commons has almost no say over the Falklands, now I admit there is precedent (i.e. the way Scottish MPs can vote on English matters, such as education that they can't vote on for Scottish matters) but the West Lothian question is not a desirable situation (though I can't think of a better solution) but it seems reasonable that it shouldn't be expanded.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:42 pm UTC

Deep_Thought wrote:Then there's the military aspects as well, which we've pretty much covered in this thread.

Let's not forget that the Falklands have a much bigger, openly hostile neighbour that has already invaded once before and is actively threatening to do it again.

I'd say 'military protection' alone is a pretty damn convincing reason to stay in the UK.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:48 pm UTC

Argentina is not threatening invasion. They are simply demanding sovereignty over the islands as I understand it.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:11 pm UTC

Was the Falklands War not an invasion by Argentina then?
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Yakk » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:36 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Was the Falklands War not an invasion by Argentina then?

If it was an invasion, then it acknowledges that the Falkland islands are not clearly internal Argentinian territory. It was simply moving military from one part of Argentina to another!

So the people of the Falklands have nothing to fear from an Argentinian invasion. Sure, Argentina will show up with lots of guns and military personnel and take away what the locals think of as their land, and demand that the locals leave the United Kingdom -- but that isn't an invasion. They have nothing to worry about from an invasion. Oh no.

Internal policing matter treating them as citizens of Argentina who have treasonously supported foreign occupation of sacred Argentinian soil? Foreign occupiers who are themselves occupying sacred Argentinian soil that Argentina will forcefully eject? Maybe! But one thing is absolutely certain.

It won't be an invasion.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Game_boy » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:47 pm UTC

It will be an invasion. Even if Argentina's claim to the land is the strongest or the most morally right, it isn't their territory at the moment.

If Taiwan used force against mainland China or the other way around they'd both be invasions.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:52 pm UTC

But Argentina doesn't acknowledge that, nor does most of South America. That said I would characterise it as an invasion, but also consider the 1982 British task force to have undertaken an invasion.

For those who wish to argue that self determination is the entire argument then had Argentina when it gained the islands expelled, or worse executed, the islanders would Britain have had no right to retake them?
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Game_boy » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:57 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:But Argentina doesn't acknowledge that, nor does most of South America.


Wasn't trying to take a position with that statement, was going on what the history books should report.

Of course Argentina will say it wasn't an invasion, but I think Yakk was trying to argue it objectively wasn't an invasion?
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby IcedT » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:29 am UTC

Is it possible that the Obama administration is calling for "talks" precisely because Argentina's claim is so transparently weak and its power to enforce its claim is so negligible? In the sense that, when people see the US and the UK bearing down on a country in the southern hemisphere, they automatically assume the worst, but if Argentina is allowed to make its case then... well, their case sucks, and the US manages to not look like a bad guy.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:28 am UTC

Game_boy wrote:Of course Argentina will say it wasn't an invasion, but I think Yakk was trying to argue it objectively wasn't an invasion?

I think he was going more with sarcasm. As in, of course it will be an invasion but Argentina will claim something totally different. Just like plenty of countries have done throughout history.

sigsfried wrote:For those who wish to argue that self determination is the entire argument then had Argentina when it gained the islands expelled, or worse executed, the islanders would Britain have had no right to retake them?

Erm, seen as how expelling the islanders would constitute a violation of the right of self-determination, and executing them would be a war-crime, are you saying Argentina should be allowed to get away with such actions?
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