Conflict & Justice

Britain, Argentina: more Falkland's anniversary saber rattling


Prince William puts his helicopter pilot game face on at maneuvers last year in Canada. The heir to the throne's deployment to the Falkland Islands has angered the Argentine government.



The 30th anniversary of the start of the Falkland war is just two and a bit months away. Most of the time this sort of anniversary sees old foes extending the hand of - if not friendship - at least respect and honor for the dead.

But not this time. As I blogged two weeks ago, the leaders of the two countries, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Argentine President Christina Kerchner were involved in some nasty rhetoric.

Now, the nastiness is escalating. Kerchner has arranged with neighbor Mercosur countries in South America to impose a ban on all Falklands flagged boats landing on the continent.

Yesterday Britain announced it was dispatching HMS Dauntless, a destroyer, to the region. An anonymous source from the Royal Navy bragged to The Daily Telegraph the ship had enough missiles to take out all of South America's aircraft, let alone Argentina's."

The Guardian runs a story today from Buenos Aires quoting an official statement complaining about Prince William being deployed to the Falklands - Las Malvinas, as Argentinean's call them - at the time of the anniversary. The heir to the throne is an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.

The statement says, "The Argentine people regret that the royal heir will arrive on national soil in the uniform of the conqueror and not with the wisdom of the statesman who works in the service of peace and dialog among nations."

"Peace and dialog among nations" is a good idea but doesn't exactly square with Argentina's latest threat: shutting its airspace to the weekly commercial flight from the Falkland's capital, Port Stanley to Chile. It's the only way off the islands by air.