Thatcher’s determination

March 23rd, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Jill Lawless at NZ Herald reports:

felt betrayed by close ally President Ronald Reagan over the Falkland Islands, according to newly released papers that reveal how isolated Britain’s Prime Minister was in her determination to repel the Argentine invasion by force.

When Argentina seized the British territory off the South American coast in April 1982, Thatcher’s Government presented a united front in public.

But private papers released yesterday by the Thatcher archive at Cambridge University show that the British leader’s closest advisers urged her to negotiate over the islands’ future rather than go to war.

And the Reagan Administration backed a peace plan that called for Britain to drop its insistence on self-determination for the islanders – a stance that led Thatcher to say Anglo-American friendship had brought her “into conflict with fundamental democratic principles”.

I think it is simple. If any other person had been Prime Minister, the Argentinian invasion of the would have been successful, and they would still be in possession of the islands today.

It reminds me of that great quote along the lines that if you think one person can’t make a difference, the history of the world is quite the opposite.

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35 Responses to “Thatcher’s determination”

  1. KiwiGreg (3,211 comments) says:

    Cometh the hour, cometh the (wo)man.

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  2. Fentex (899 comments) says:

    Another person, yes. And the point that a person responsible for a decision often makes a difference stands.

    But not ‘any other person’.

    Margaret Thatcher was not the only person, let only the only Brit, who would take such a strong position against invasion.

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  3. Paulus (2,540 comments) says:

    Typical US ratting – goes back to Suez even.

    If it does not in the best interest of the US then its wrong.

    Everybody is wrong except the US.

    Sad as there are some very nice ordinary people there.

    They are always right – look at the present President – simply another jerk trying to run the world in the best interest of the US.

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  4. iMP (2,304 comments) says:

    The Falklands was a side show but reiterated Britain’s rights and not to mess with her sovereignty. Also about mana. But the british may be more pressed shortly in Cyprus in the buffer zone, than in the Falklands.

    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/european-meltdown-cyprus/

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  5. tvb (4,229 comments) says:

    This is a small sideshow. Britain does not have the military capacity to retake the Falklands now. The Argies should just grab them back and get the help of the Pope. What could Britain do? Complain to the UN. by the way Chile should make a grab for the Chathams at the same time.

    [DPF: Actually the UK would decimate Argentina, if there was another war. Their technology today is even more advanced]

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  6. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    tvb – you might be surprised. I wouldn’t go to war with Britain if I was Argentina.

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  7. Michael (898 comments) says:

    British soldiers have just been mucking around in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last decade – I wouldn’t dare take them on if all my troops have been doing is working out if its worthwhile overthrowing the Government.

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  8. kowtow (7,859 comments) says:

    Nothing new in any of this.

    Get Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins The Battle for the Falklands.

    That dumb bitch Argie dago President is a piece of shit who is using the Falklands as a distraction from the fact that she is just that,a piece of shit.

    And Cameron is a prick for pretending to stand up to a dago Bishop.Real tough guy…….he can’t stand up to the corrupt EU never mind a priest!

    Cameron is a double prick for his cuts to the UK military and then grandstanding on this,Syria ,Libya etal.How dare he put other peoples’ sons in harms way without the proper gear or back up.
    Worse than Galtieri.

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  9. UglyTruth (4,550 comments) says:

    Property is one of the chief concerns of the reptilian brain. Another is dominance, which explains why Thatcher associated with so many paedophiles.

    http://www.eruptingmind.com/beating-the-reptilian-brain/

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  10. Warren Murray (288 comments) says:

    The US response then and since was not only a betrayal of their British ally, it is a betrayal of democratic principles by ignoring the wishes of the residents. US foreign policy has no morals and its interests are not being well served by dropping another turd in the Britain’s lap. With the exception of Vietnam, Britain has blindly and recklessly followed US and kowtowed to US interests.

    One wonders why?

    Perhaps the UK should occasionally remind US of the value of its friendship by not being so quick to support US follies.

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  11. peterwn (3,192 comments) says:

    The Argies had another problem – the Falklands Governor at the time went feral after being with the locals for a while. He made it crystal clear to the Foreign Office and Maggie that the locals did not want a bar of the Argies. This would have helped Maggie in her resolve. The left in UK still despise her for this and many other things.

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  12. tvb (4,229 comments) says:

    The UK does not have the navy they had at the time of the war. I doubt they could get anything down to that lonely isolated group of Islands. Where are they going to launch hostilities from? Operationally the Falkland presents very challenging problems because of their sheer isolation.

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  13. Reid (16,062 comments) says:

    Thatcher went to war because she knew of the offshore minerals that lay under her territorial waters and have only recently been the subject of media discussion. This was also why Argentina invaded in the first place.

    This is how political decisions are made, as usual the media never pick up on it despite this being their job to do and leave the pollies to sell complete bullshit to the public about the real reasons for the war.

    In this sense it is precisely the same as the Iraq war which was never about the WMD and which both UK and the US knew but they cooked up some intel and made some slideshow pressos and lo, the public once again swallowed the lie, with the slobbering 4th Estate “Watchdog” being the one given the job of selling the adventure to the slobbering public. And as usual, the lies come out, years later.

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  14. Johnboy (15,390 comments) says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if Obama is the modern-day Reagan to Netanyahu’s Thatcher. :)

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  15. kowtow (7,859 comments) says:

    And on cue more cuts to the UK military.

    Never mind slagging off the Yanks when ones own govt betrays the armed forces and those they are sworn to defend.

    Treachery is not too strong a word for this.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9949546/Armed-Forces-and-police-to-face-further-spending-cuts-Danny-Alexander-warns.html

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  16. Warren Murray (288 comments) says:

    Johnboy, off topic but also complete bs, even on his worst day Obama would never treat Israel as badly as the US routinely crap on the British.

    Reid, you’re also talking crap. if it really was about the oil, which it isn’t, Argentina would be negotiating to share it as UK and Norway have done in the North Sea. It could be involved as a base for support services, nope you are wrong, it was domestic politics by the generals to seek favour by stirring up nationalistic sentiment at home. If Thatcher had limited her response to a weak protest at the UN, she would have been. Dog tucker at the next election, it might have even brought down her government ahead of the due date for the election.

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  17. Johnboy (15,390 comments) says:

    Quite right WM. I was merely flying a kite.

    Everybody knows there are more Jews in the US than Poms. :)

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  18. Reid (16,062 comments) says:

    Reid, you’re also talking crap. if it really was about the oil, which it isn’t, Argentina would be negotiating to share it as UK and Norway have done in the North Sea.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/03/world/falklands-argentina-background

    Yes it is.

    It is today, and it was in the 1980′s, as well.

    The fact the media either didn’t know about it or didn’t tell people about it back in the 1980′s, doesn’t mean it wasn’t about that Warren and if you think it does, then you should educate yourself in geopolitics and in particular, on how wars begin, because they rarely begin due to the stated reasons given at the time of the conflict.

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  19. UglyTruth (4,550 comments) says:

    if it really was about the oil, which it isn’t, Argentina would be negotiating to share it as UK and Norway have done in the North Sea

    At the time Argentina was controlled by the military, and they typically resolve conflict through force rather than by diplomacy.

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  20. Johnboy (15,390 comments) says:

    It’s a shall we we say not a “star-studded” history of major campaigns fought and won UT! :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Argentina

    More a process of putting weaker foes up against the proverbial wall so to speak! :)

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  21. Johnboy (15,390 comments) says:

    The “Conquest of the Desert” was undoubtably one of Argentina’s finest hours as was the contribution of the “General Belgrano” to their submarine fleet! :)

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  22. JMS (313 comments) says:

    …as the US routinely crap on the British.

    I don’t think many Brits would share your view there.
    Unlike the French, the British do know how to show some gratitude.

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  23. Johnboy (15,390 comments) says:

    But can they cook a souffle JMS?

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  24. Warren Murray (288 comments) says:

    Thanks Reid but there is nothing in the link to show the oil reserves were known or a factor that led Argentina to invade in 1982 or were taken into consideration by the British when they decided to fight back. Even now, it seems marginally viable to extract it

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  25. Johnboy (15,390 comments) says:

    Quite right again WM. In 1982 no one would have been bloody interested in off-shore oil in such a God forsaken spot as the Falklands. Times and barrel prices have changed all that a tad.

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  26. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    UK would decimate Argentina

    I would rather hope that they would annihilate them.

    The only thing going for Argentina is that the UK is currently run by a Ted Heath type (David “Wet” Cameron).

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  27. UglyTruth (4,550 comments) says:

    Johnboy,
    Operation Condor was aligned with the US anti-communist agenda, which would explain why the US had no interest in backing Thatcher’s response to the occupation of the Falkland Islands.

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  28. Johnboy (15,390 comments) says:

    However when the crunch came and Reagan realised that he had met his match in Thatcher he made US resources available to her UT. Killing commies is fine but in the end you need allies other than a few cut-throat be-medalled folk with big hats in a South American backwater! :)

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  29. David Farrar (1,868 comments) says:

    TVB is misinformed about the UK Military.

    They have 79 commissioned ships including an aircraft carrier, a helicopter carrier, 11 submarines, six destroyers and 13 frigates.

    The Argentinian navy in theory is 45 ships, but only 15 are operational, and they spend on average 11 days each at sea.

    A clash would be total massacre. Their four biggest ships are basically frigates.

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  30. lofty (1,304 comments) says:

    TVB is not misinformed DPF , just misguided, that’s all.

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  31. Nostradamus (3,077 comments) says:

    UglyTruth (406) Says:

    March 23rd, 2013 at 2:40 pm
    Property is one of the chief concerns of the reptilian brain. Another is dominance, which explains why Thatcher associated with so many paedophiles.

    Wow – talk about unhinged!

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  32. ChardonnayGuy (1,169 comments) says:

    Unfortunately, what happened after 1990 wasn’t exactly her finest decade. Poor old John Major.

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  33. UglyTruth (4,550 comments) says:

    Wow – talk about unhinged!

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

    Thatcher’s paedophiles:

    Jimmy Savile, spent New Years Eve with her a number of times.
    Sir Peter Morrison, one of her closest aides.
    Alan Clark, whom she paid tribute to after he died.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/11/271640/uk-sex-abusers-surrounded-thatcher-era/

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  34. Fentex (899 comments) says:

    TVB is misinformed about the UK Military.

    They have 79 commissioned ships including an aircraft carrier, a helicopter carrier, 11 submarines, six destroyers and 13 frigates.

    The Argentinian navy in theory is 45 ships, but only 15 are operational, and they spend on average 11 days each at sea.

    All irrelevant. The important point is the airbase at Port Stanley. The UK gave up it’s Harriers making it impossible for them to provide air cover for a fleet that might be sent, as they did before, to recover a lost possession.

    So they established RAF Mount Pleasant to provide air cover by Eurofighters in place for the Falklands with the intention of curtailing an invasion in the first place.

    If the Argentinians pressed an attack, managed to reduce RAF Mount Pleasant and occupy the Falklands again the UK could not retake it by the same means they did before. They have no ability to protect their ships from air attack which would be the deciding factor.

    The UK does not have an aircraft carrier. They have the Illustrious which operates as an assault vessel with helicopters.

    As they have retired the Harrier the UK can no longer press container ships into service, nor utilise the Illustrious, as aircraft carriers.

    They are building two new carriers, one they hope to sell to the French, the other they have designed to require STOL aircraft like the Harrier but which expect to fly the F35 which doesn’t seem likely to be useful (I maintain will never be useful) for STOL operations until the next decade.

    If RAF Mount Pleasant, troops in place and probable submarine interdiction do not manage to keep Argentina at bay (which the ought be able to) the UK would be able to retake the Falklands.

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  35. Fentex (899 comments) says:

    Slight typos at the end there… I meant;

    If RAF Mount Pleasant, the troops in place and probable submarine interdiction, do not manage to keep Argentina at bay (which they ought be able to) the UK would not be able to retake the Falklands.

    And I figure I ought add; alone.

    One U.S carrier group would help nicely if the U.K managed to convince the U.S friendship swings both ways.

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