Friday, February 15, 2013

Pawns, Pygmies and the Pope in Fake Falkland War

Looking at the events that unfolded in 1982 – the phrase ‘fascist and fool’ is a more apt description of the Argentinean “strongmen and caudillos” – General Leopoldo Galtieri, and Admiral Jorge Anaya – than the two North American diplomats. The popular narrative that locates and limits the Falkland war in the internal political dynamics of Buenos Aries tells us that Admiral Anaya was the main architect of Argentina’s Falkland fiasco. The story goes that the Admiral had conceived Falkland operation as a young captain, after reading about the relatively easy and successful Goa operations that India had achieved against the Portuguese colonizers in 1960. Incidentally, Anaya’s prolong stint as naval attaché in London had failed to douse his desires to defeat the British colonialism. In fact, the Admiral’s confidence flowed from the fact that he had Lynx helicopters and Type 42 warships with the £ 45 million that the British Foreign Secretary David Owen had grated them in 1979.

If American diplomats were pygmies, the Argentinean military men were pawns in the whole game. Fooled by their spiritual and military mentors in Vatican and Washington respectively, the gullible duo plunged their nation into a senseless war in Las Malvinas that Galtieri named as Op Rosario – in honour of the Virgin of Rosario.Besides, the pygmies and pawns – the war-drama enacted some 8000 miles from London – had the powerful pair of Thatcher-Reagan as the chief protagonist and Pope John Paul II as the character actor.