Argentina Warns UK Against Militarising The South Atlantic

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ARGENTINA is to raise the UK militarisation of the Malvinas Islands (Falklands) at the United Nations.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner made the announcement at a meeting of MPs, senior officials, and veterans of the 1982 war, on the approach of its 30th anniversary, on April 2nd, when Argentina sought to retake the islands seized from it in 1833.

Last month, the UK said it was sending a destroyer. HMS Dauntless, to the region, to join the nuclear submarine that it has already sent to bolster the british garrison.

The Duke of Cambridge has already been sent to serve in the Malvinas, to give the British middle class an excuse to go on a patriotic binge.

However this time round UK imperialism will be taking on the whole of South America, and will find that the US is not so keen to supply and resupply it with rockets and shells as it did in 1982.

At that time Thatcher had to handbag her friend Reagan in order to garner the necessary assistance from the US in the face of a hostile US military.

This time round, with Britain a much weaker force, US aid can definitely not be counted on.

There is also no support in South America at all. In December, Mercosur, the South American trading bloc, closed its ports to ships flying the Falkland Islands flag. Even Chile, which in 1982, under the butcher Pinochet was a vital British ally, is today on record as stating that the Malvinas are the sovereign territory of the Argentine.

The Argentine president has asked UK Prime Minister David Cameron ‘to give peace a chance’. His response was a statement from the Foreign Office stating that ‘The people of the Falkland Islands are British out of choice. They are free to determine their own future and there will be no negotiations with Argentina over sovereignty unless the islanders wish it.’

The Argentinian president has made it crystal clear that ‘It is an anachronism that in the 21st century that there are still colonies. There are only 16 cases in the whole world, 10 of them are English.’

In fact with British imperialism much weakened, what is in it for Cameron to flirt with the idea of a new military adventure in the Malvinas?

The answer is the very dodgy situation that there is at home, with his government facing huge opposition to his plan to destroy the Welfare State.

In 1982, there were three million unemployed and Thatcher was known as the ‘milk snatcher’ and deeply unpopular.

The war with the Argentine was a way of rallying the middle class behind the armed forces and the state, so that when the troops returned they carried one big banner condemning the RMT railworkers for taking strike action. The banner read ‘Stop the rail strike or we’ll mount an air strike’.

The WRP warned workers at the time that it would be a mistake that they would pay a very heavy price for if they capitulated to the patriotic mood that was being whipped up.

The WRP line was that the UK ruling class, if victorious would come back from the war to make war on the miners and other workers. We were proven to be right as the war against the trade unions from 1985-87 showed.

We urged workers to be for the victory of the Argentine. since this would weaken their main enemy the British ruling class and prepare the way for its overthrow.

There is a lesson from this for today.

Today a weakened UK imperialism is looking for a diversion from the crisis at home that will give it the opportunity to weaken and then take on the working class.

A military adventure in the Falklands is not out of the question.

This is why workers must grasp their real class interest. It is that UK imperialism is further weakened by being forced to hand back the Malvinas, thus preparing the way for it to be overthrown at home by the socialist revolution.