It’s hard to nail down why I care. The proximity of the Falkland Islands to Antarctica plays a part (it tops my list of dream destinations). Then there’s the obvious, namely that they’re islands. I’ve always liked islands. One of the reasons I like this province is its island ‘feel’, narrowly connected to the rest of the continent. And then you throw on top of that its Britishness. I’m no monarchist – on the contrary, I’m a republican (not a ‘R’epublican) – but rural and small town Britain is completely charming, and you can’t get more rural or small town than the Falklands.
Long story a little shorter, Argentina can go to hell: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/12/falkland-islanders-vote-99-8-in-favour-of-remaining-a-british-colony/
OK, that’s a little strong. What I should say is Kirchner, that country’s tin pot president, can go to hell. Claims that the Falklands are an immoral vestige of colonialism is just bunk. The islands have been Britain’s for almost two centuries. The population overwhelmingly wants to maintain ties with Britain and not become subjects of Argentina (one has to wonder how many Argentinians would choose British citizenship over their own!). What happened prior to British occupation of the islands is in dispute, but Argentina’s lack of integrity in the current dispute doesn’t lend much credibility to their claims the islands were originally ‘theirs’.
What does ‘theirs’ even mean, anyway? Sorry, but when it comes to sovereign territory, possession really is nine-tenths of the law. Ugly things have been done by people all over the planet. Of course some form of reparation should be made in clear and egregious cases, where repercussions of injustice continue to have an impact, even if a century or centuries have passed. I’m not aware of any record of atrocities committed by the British on the Falklands, however. If they took the land from Argentina in the early years of the 19th century – which I’m not at all convinced they did – tough. Hundreds have already died over this issue in the first Falklands’ war; hopefully hundreds more won’t die just to maintain the status quo. (An interesting chart comparing military conditions then and now: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17157373 )
Of course, bellicose petty tyrants occupy more than just the south of South America. The King of Hell, aka Kim Jong-un, continues to threaten all and everyone with nuclear annihilation. If Argentina is a toothache, North Korea is a root canal without anesthetic. You really couldn’t create a more intractable problem. The ‘hermit kingdom’ as pundits like to call it – I think my use of the word Hell is more apt – sits right beside China, one of America’s biggest trading partners who, darn it all, also happens to be the largest potential strategic threat to Western interests. On Jong-un’s southern border is South Korea, an economic powerhouse that unfortunately has its very large, bustling capital within striking distance of thousands of North Korean artillery pieces. Any attempt to use force against North Korea, up to and including a nuclear strike on Pyonyang, would result in tens of thousands of artillery shells – armed with who knows what – raining down on one of the most populated cities in the world. In other words, there’s no “surgical strike” option with North Korea. Military confrontation with that country would be total war the likes of which haven’t been seen since, well, the last Korean War.
Iran is another damned if you do, damned if you don’t case. What to make of a nation nominally ruled by the likes of Ahmadinejad? The only thing worse than evil and silly is evil and silly armed with nukes. Iran is threatening…wait for it…a lawsuit against the makers of Argo: http://arts.nationalpost.com/2013/03/12/iran-consindering-lawsuit-over-argos-unrealistic-portrayal-of-the-country/
Oh, and Iran’s president is also in trouble for a photo of him hugging a grief-stricken od lady, so his counter-intelligence geniuses have doctored the photo to make it look like he’s hugging a grief-stricken old man: http://arts.nationalpost.com/2013/03/12/iran-consindering-lawsuit-over-argos-unrealistic-portrayal-of-the-country/
Finally, lest we start feeling too superior, Canada has these people: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/12/language-wars-quebec-unions-share-horror-stories-of-civil-servants-who-used-bilingualism-to-help-citizens/
Clearly, idiocy is a common human condition.
For a bit of good and interesting Mars news, check this out: http://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/mars-could-once-supported-life-know-030350124.html