Tuesday, April 02, 2024

The Falklands War Remembered: Repost

This is a repost from SOYMB of 2April, 2007 

The Falklands War Remembered

Twenty five years ago today Argentina and the United Kingdom went to war over control of the Falkland Islands/Los Islas Malvinas. That war along with others during the last century and start of this one resulted in the meaningless mass murder of millions. What we said at the time - not to mention 1914, 1939, etc., etc - is worth recalling as it shows the validity of the Socialist Party's consistent opposition to all wars and that none justify 'the shedding of a single drop of working-class blood'.


In the face of the imminent threat of war over the potential wealth of the Falkland Islands the Socialist Party of Great Britain affirms:

1. That despite the wave of jingoistic hysteria in the press and its endorsement by Labour and Tory politicians alike, no working class interests in Britain, Argentina or the Falklands themselves can be served by war.
2. That neither the military junta in Buenos Aires nor the elected representatives of British capitalism, least of all the business interests of the Coalite-Charringtons, can justify the shedding of a single drop of working class blood.
3. That the new-found outrage at the undemocratic and oppressive nature of the Argentine regime rings false coming from a government which was arming that regime until the eve of hostilities.
4. That the crucial role of Argentine capitalism in profitably making up the notorious shortfall of agricultural production within the Russian Empire goes far to explain the support given to the junta by the local "Communist Party" and the muted criticism of it by the same circles who so vociferously denounce the similar dictatorship in Chile and its parallel suppression of trade unionism and free speech.

We therefore reiterate that having no quarrel with the working class of any country, we extend to our fellow-workers of all lands the expression of goodwill and socialist fraternity and pledge ourselves to work for the overthrow of capitalism in all its guises and the establishment of socialism throughout the world, the only way to end war.

The statement above appeared in the May 1982 Socialist Standard, which had the provocative image of a "No. 10 Falklands Thatcher's Navy Cut" and "Warning: Jingoism Can Seriously Damage Your Health".

The Socialist Party holds that nations compete over mineral resources, trade routes and areas of domination. The potential wealth referred to by the Executive Committee includes today what is estimated at up to sixty billion barrels of crude.
Such competition manifests itself as diplomatic disputes (for current examples see 'Who owns the North Pole?') to wholesale death and destruction, as in strategically important, oil rich Iraq.

The concluding paragraph to 'Doing the bulldog thing' is just as valid today as when in was written in 1982:

"So British and Argentinian service men went across across the ocean to do battle with each other in their masters' cause. It was another doleful example of ignorant workers being easily duped by the empty jingoism of desperate politicians. Animals do it better; at least they don't take themselves willingly to the slaughterhouse."

Post Falklands War fact: More British soldiers have committed suicide since returning from then Falklands than were killed in the conflict.

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