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The Falklands - A New Crisis?


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In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 20:27:28 BDT
gille liath says:
I don't know - reasonable as those points are, it's tantamount to saying that anyone who asks is entitled to get - something, at least. Adjudication effectively presupposes compromise. Argentina have about as good a claim to the Falklands as they do to the British Isles. If they asked for that, what would we do? Go to adjudication and let them have Wales? (Actually, maybe not such a bad idea...)

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 22:50:00 BDT
Pendragon says:
"it's tantamount to saying that anyone who asks is entitled to get".

Not at all. In many circumstances, both domestic and international, there is an agreed process by which to obtain a just determination of disputed rights, where both sides have the opportunity to have their say and to have an independent body determine their respective rights. The WTO is such a place. Unilateral economic sanctions and coercion is mere imposition of will by brute force, it has nothing to do with "asking", everything to do with "getting", without asking.

"Adjudication effectively presupposes compromise".

Actually the complete opposite is the case. Adjudication is only necessary, indeed it is only possible, where there has been no compromise.

"Argentina have about as good a claim to the Falklands as they do to the British Isles".

So no maintainable claim at all, then.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 07:38:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2012 07:41:44 BDT
Molly Brown says:
I think the school was fairly conservative, well very really, but our History teacher was either correct in her evaluation of Cromwell, or she was a Marxist. It's all been revised now, and he is a complete Nazi fascist now. See To Kill a King [DVD] [2003], old Charlie was the real hero it seems? Rubbish film, and Tim Roth as Cromwell hardly appears in the film, only turns up every now and then in a foul mood and as the total bad guy.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 09:35:32 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2012 10:39:55 BDT
gille liath says:
Well, the compromise obviously comes after adjudication, not before! But if both parties agree to adjudication, it usually implicitly understood that both will get at least something of what they want. In this case it would be inconceivable that Argentina would go home empty-handed - without, for example, some concessions on oil exploration.

I don't think they do have a maintainable claim, in justice; but sentiment in Latin America, and to an extent even in the US, is obviously on their side. I don't think we can rely on a just judgement by international authorities.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 10:51:58 BDT
In the case against Argentina, the EU is defending the rights of private property, specifically of a giant multinational corporation, against the internationally-recognised rights of countries to nationalise property.
In the matter of the Falklands, Pendragon writes, "It also follows, does it not, that Argentina is not entitled to bring economic coercion to bear upon the Falkland Islanders, seeking to impose Argentina's own interpretation of rights in total disregard of the rights of the Falkland Islanders?"
He is assuming the point at issue, an elementary fallacy in logic, known as petitio principii. The fallacy of petitio principii, or "begging the question", is committed "when a proposition which requires proof is assumed without proof".

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 11:16:24 BDT
Pendragon says:
:)

Your original comment was:

"The EU is promoting its own interests and cares nothing for Argentina's rights.
As usual, the EU is pushing a reactionary foreign policy ..."

Sounds to me like you are there "assuming the point at issue, an elementary fallacy in logic, known as petitio principii".

My point might suffer from this if it required the assumption that Argentina is in the wrong in its claim to the FI. But this is not the case. My point is that given there are disputed rights, by what entitlement does Argentina seek resolution through economic coercion? No pp there.

Incidentally, there is no "internationally-recognised rights of countries to nationalise property" if it is not nationalisation but expropriation.

In any event, your point on nationalisation is misconceived as it is based on incorrect facts. The EU action in the WTO has nothing to do with nationalisation or expropriation. It is a complaint brought "to challenge Argentina's protectionist import regime". There will in due course be an adjuducation of rights.

It is Repsol that has started the (separate) legal action at ICSID seeking compensation for the expropriation of YPF by Argentina. Again, there will in due course be an adjuducation of rights.

How can Argentina's blockade of the FI be consistent with your idea that "resolution can only come from adjudication of the rights of the parties involved"?

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 11:21:09 BDT
Pendragon says:
gille

I don't think so. If there is a binding adjudication of disputed rights, that excludes compromise of that same dispute. You can only have one or the other, not both. The problem with an adjudication, as opposed to a negotiated compromise, is that it is precisely not "implicitly understood that both will get at least something of what they want". Under an adjudication, the FI are either Argentine territory or they are British territory - there is no middle solution possible.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 12:12:41 BDT
TomC says:
Hello Molly,

Nice to see that your achievements have been recognised with your elevation to the peerage :)

I find any reading of history which attempts to place Cromwell as a socialist as bizarre, to say the least. Cromwell was a country gentleman, and so were his lieutenants, and the revolution he led was primarily motivated by a section of the prosperous middle class - ie the bourgeoisie.

Many of the men who supported the revolution, who were drawn to movements such as the Levellers and the Diggers, were dispossessed commoners who had hopes that it would bring them an improvement in their fortunes, and they were the true socialists. Several groups of them used the opportunity which the wars provided to grab land and establish communities; they were dealt with in very short order.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 13:25:02 BDT
UN General Assembly Resolution 1803 of 1962 stated, "Nationalization, expropriation or requisitioning shall be based on grounds or reasons of public utility, security or the national interest which are recognized as overriding purely individual or private interests, both domestic and foreign. In such cases the owner shall be paid appropriate compensation, in accordance with the rules in force in the State taking such measures in the exercise of its sovereignty and in accordance with international law."
So Pendragon is quite wrong to assert, without any evidence or reasoning, that "Incidentally, there is no 'internationally-recognised rights of countries to nationalise property' if it is not nationalisation but expropriation."
And Pendragon's statement that "The EU action in the WTO has nothing to do with nationalisation or expropriation. It is a complaint brought "to challenge Argentina's protectionist import regime", proves my point, that "the EU is promoting its own interests and cares nothing for Argentina's rights. As usual, the EU is pushing a reactionary foreign policy ..."
The EU is clearly trying to interfere in Argentina's internal affairs; the EU is trying to tell Argentina how to run its economy. No country or organisation has that right.

Posted on 19 Jun 2012 13:36:33 BDT
"shall be based on grounds or reasons of public utility, security or the national interest which are recognized as overriding purely individual or private interests, both domestic and foreign. In such cases the owner shall be paid appropriate compensation, in accordance with the rules in force in the State taking such measures in the exercise of its sovereignty and in accordance with international law"

So what are the grounds for Argentina taking YPF and, if these reasons are 'justifiable', why haven't they paid any compensation to the owner ?

Posted on 19 Jun 2012 14:20:18 BDT
Argentina's grounds for taking over the company are that the parent company under-invested and under-produced in Argentina.
President Kirchner has accused Repsol YPF of not investing enough in Argentina to reverse years of declining oil and gas production that turned the South American nation into a net energy importer for the first time in almost two decades.
The YPF expropriation bill also declared of "national public interest" nearly all aspects of the oil and gas industry, giving the state broad discretionary power over companies.
So the grounds would seem to be public utility and the national interest.
Most Argentines support the move to renationalize YPF, which was privatised in the 1990s after 70 years under full state control. Many blame the privatisations and other free-market reforms of that decade for provoking Argentina's 2001/02 financial meltdown.

As for compensation, Argentina's National Appraisal Court will determine what compensation, if any, Repsol YPF will receive in a process that could take years to play out.

This is in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution 1803 of 1962 stipulation that "In such cases the owner shall be paid appropriate compensation, in accordance with the rules in force in the State taking such measures in the exercise of its sovereignty and in accordance with international law."

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 15:15:16 BDT
Spin says:
Charlieost; You are bored with Irish versions of history? Are you bored with Indian history, South African History, Central African history, Us history? Everyone is wrong except those supporting "Empire". The Irish have always been used and destroyed by thier so-called "neighbours".; even now Eire is suffering the results of conforming to foreign authority. Eireann go Bragh. No bloody choice..

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 19:26:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2012 22:08:14 BDT
gille liath says:
We shall see, I guess.

If you don't mind my asking, why do you have such a particular interest in this issue?

PS Just seen an interview with the Argentine foreign minister (?) at the G20. When asked about the Falklands, he prefers to talk about the British attack on Argentina (which was not officially sanctioned) 150 years ago. I think that says it all. In the Americas, it's being assumed that Britain simply must be in the wrong, because of its colonial past - and regardless of the reality of this particular dispute.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2012 10:30:29 BDT
gille liath says:
Not always. Every dog has its day, and the Irish - like every other people under the sun - put it about when they had the strength and the opportunity. Just ask the Picts; oh no, you can't, because they've been ethnically cleansed.

That's not to minimise what the Irish have suffered at British hands; it's just to say that it's pointless going through history, apportioning blame left and right.

But btw, to hold up Ireland's current problems as an example of foreign oppression is completely ludicrous. They've had a nice ride on the EU gravy train; now they're back home with a hangover, that's all.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2012 23:20:40 BDT
ric_mac says:
Margaret,

< I have read another article which disclosed that actually they have been deploying nuclear subs; which in itself must be very disturbing for all concerned >

And

< I know nothing of an Argentine siege of the FIs other than what I read [...] So as far as I see, there is a lot of conjecture but no actual action, as yet? >

I could easily be wrong but I don't think all nuclear (powered) submarines carry nuclear weapons, but even the vessels that do are not necessarily deployed with a view to launching them at the first available (or any) opportunity. I believe the Argentineans have themselves been indulging in military exercises nearby in fairly recent times, though they might well argue that it is only a response to British military activity (and where else would they hold them?). Re the siege: the Falkland Islanders maintain that the Argentines have been harassing their fishing boats and they have certainly denied port entry to ships whose itinerary or destination includes or is the Falkland Is. The Chilean flights are under openly stated threat, though at the moment the Chileans themselves have not submitted to Argentinean pressure to stop them. It remains to be seen whether Argentina will ultimately deny use of their airspace for such flights.

< Again I'll try and explain, that I DO believe that the FIs should be able to `self determine' who they are governed by; but even if they were to choose Argentina, they would most probably still consider themselves to be British >

Fair enough, but there is a significant difference between being a British subject under the authority of the home government and being a British expat in another national jurisdiction.

< I actually believe that both `explanations' are correct. I know that our Government `tells us' that their primary concern is the Falkland Islanders when in point of fact I believe that it is -- a/ Everything to do with the Oil or Gas and that b/ They chose to act at the time they did to draw attention from our economic crisis >

I don't gainsay that, but the 30th anniversary of the conflict/war fell when it fell -- possibly somewhat handily. But there was bound to be fairly intense (if brief) media attention because of that anniversary and because the Argentinean government also cashed in on the PR opportunity themselves. It would have been 1) weird and 2) very badly received at home if the UK government had paid minimal attention to it, don't you think?

< I am appalled at the waste of money on [the Olympic Games™] and worry that we will be left with a white elephant like Greece [...]>

... Or like most other -- if not all -- Olympic™ host countries. It's just an exercise in national w****-waving and never brings the real-world benefits that are promised. It's an even worse idea when the country's in the middle of a recession (if it's not on the leading edge of something far worse).

< [...] although that said, the resources we built for the Student Games, which I volunteered for as a Tourist Information Guide, are still well used. So maybe we should just wait and see? >

Perhaps, but I'm not holding my breath! How long did it take Sheffield to pay off the massive debt of those Student Games? South Yorkshire rate-/council tax-payers were in hock and furious for a very long time and it didn't do the Labour party too much good in subsequent elections I seem to remember. Still, at least the Lyceum theatre got a refurb out of it, that was good.

< Aah I knew it, where `near' Sheffield?... I live in Bradfield >

I lived approximately in the same direction -- but not so far -- out of town, in High Green. It still had a small community feel to it when I was a nipper but It's a dreadful place now: it's just the shabby northernmost fringe of Sheffield. Some of that is due to unsympathetic development and social decline and some because of spiteful gerrymandering by Sheffield when the local vote started drifting towards the Liberals.

< How on earth did you adapt to life down there? >

Acclimatisation: I progressively worked my way south over the years.

Good luck to your grandson, Margaret (he'll need it playing for Wednesday... Doh! I promised myself I wouldn't say that!!). But seriously: all best wishes to the lad.

Regards.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2012 16:47:38 BDT
Pipkin says:
Hi Ric Mac.
''I could easily be wrong but I don't think all nuclear (powered) submarines carry nuclear weapons, but even the vessels that do are not necessarily deployed with a view to launching them at the first available (or any) opportunity.''
I totally agree; that just because they carry the weapons doesn't mean they will use them.... they are supposed to be deterrants, but wow what an expensive deterrant.
''Military generals writing in The Times today argue the lifetime cost of the Trident programme will come to more than £80 billion, and it is worth noting that the government's White Paper costings have been broadly criticised by the National Audit Office, and consequently the MoD are thought to be currently revising these estimates in light of National Audit Office concerns.
Greenpeace's disarmament campaigner, Louise Edge, told Left Foot Forward that they did not include a percentage of the costs of upgrading AWE Aldermaston (estimated at £7.5bn between 2005 and 2015 according to government figures) because it was not possible to find data clearly separating investment to maintain current weapons and investment to build new weapons. In fact, with this cost included, the total sum could reach more than Clegg's £100 billion figure.
......We have a freind who served on one of the first Nuclear subs in the early 70's but I can't recall the name of it? He used to write to me every week, and I recall him saying that these subs were armed then and it 'scared him wittless.' You'd think by now that they would have found a better deterrent, because everybody knows that noone in their right mind is going to use them. But then again....

Out of interest I have just looked up the cost and repayments for the Student Games, and am absolutely Gob Smacked
14 July 2011
Sheffield's World Student Games £658m debt 'disaster'
The official opening of the games took place at the Don Valley Stadium on 14 July 1991 The World Student Games which took place in Sheffield 20 years ago ran up an overall debt of £658m.
Sheffield Council, which funded the 1991 games, has revealed it will continue to repay ''£25m a year until the debt is paid off in 2024'' despite having to make savings of £80m this year.
Lib Dem group leader Shaffaq Mohammed branded the games a financial disaster.
Bryan Lodge, deputy leader of the Labour-controlled council, said the games venues are an asset.
As part of the project for the World Student Games, the council built large sporting facilities in Sheffield to host events, including Don Valley Stadium, Ponds Forge, Sheffield Arena and Hillsborough Leisure Centre.
Following a request by the BBC, the council released figures stating that the cost of building the facilities totalled £147m and a further £21.4m was spent on staging the games.
It said £297m has been repaid, however the final amount will not be fully repaid until April 2024.
'Spread the load'
The leader of Sheffield Council during the games in 1991 was Clive Betts, now Labour MP for Sheffield South East, told the BBC he blames past administrations at the council for "remortgaging the debt", said the total debt was "total nonsense".
The chief executive at the council, John Mothersole said the debt had been "RE-PROFILED FOUR TIMES" which has lead to the outstanding debt increasing as part of the council's bid to "spread the financial load."
Mr Mohammed said he was not "against developing sporting facilities" but was disappointed at the finance package and feels Labour should apologise.
Mr Lodge (Labour) said: "It's the nature of local government finance that debts are extended are re-profiled, also known as re-financing.
"It was a decision taken at the time to regenerate the lower Don Valley and was right at the time."
A building which was commissioned for the World Student Games includes Waltheof Sports Hall, which was DEMOLISHED in 2006.
The council said it spent £1.25m on the build but claims it was in need of substantial investment after 15 years of heavy useage.
I can't say I am happy with these figures, and had no idea at all they were so vast becasue they certainly don't appear on my Council Tax account.... and I can assure you, I will be raising this issue!!!!
The Lyceum was an excellent venue 'before' IMO, and I have many good memories. Pop concerts, ballet and pantomimes? Sadly we now use the Crucible for most of our entertainment, or the City Hall. Can't bare the Arena.. like watching ants on a stage. My last visit was to see my hero Eric Clapton, and two bl***y women beside us decided to talk all the way through, so I left.... then realised that seats at the front were not taken, so I snook in there and watched the remainder of the show. Still a lousy venue though.
I have to agree about the 'unsympathetic development of Shire Green' which used to be a lovely rural village. I think the old part is still great; I have friends who live in the cottages at the top of Wortley Road. One bad apple, I'm afraid does tend to rot the barrel. Although 'Banksy' has now done well for himself to say that he was the scourge of High Green, Barnsley and the MI.... or should that be skirge :)
Hopefully, when my laddie is old enough to play for 'Wednesday' they will once again have a decent Manager, like Jack Charlton, who did wonders for the player's moral. I knew him and his wife Pat; and used to do her hair (not his :-) when I was Hairdressing xxxxxxxxx years ago.
I have no particular affinity to either of our teams, and cannot understand why people get so hot and bothered about the colour of a shirt, and some grass, because that's all it is IMO. I have known Wednesday players who went to play for United and suddenly overnght, according to my freind's Husband who is Unitedite, he became a terrific player??????
To get back to the Falklands... I know it's controvertial; but why can't they sit down and make some sort of compromise? Instead of sabre rattling and threats? And, cynically, it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that our Government decided to use the anniversary to create an incident and get attention back on the FI's instead of our economy, to enable them to garner support for us being in place to get our hands on the gas/oil?.... I keep repeating myself, don't I? Sorry..
All the best M

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2012 22:37:47 BDT
ric_mac says:
Margaret,

< I totally agree; that just because [nuclear submarines] carry [nuclear] weapons doesn't mean they will use them [... What] an expensive deterrent >

I don't doubt the sabre-rattling intention in ordering military vessels to the South Atlantic, even beyond the reasonable presence for protective purposes, but I don't personally attach much significance to the fact that *nuclear* subs were amongst any vessels sent. I think the fact that they were *submarines* is the more pertinent point, and their potential to stealthily sink other shipping if required.

As far as the need for -- and cost of -- a nuclear deterrent are concerned, I honestly don't know if we should have them or not (they're certainly pricey -- which adversely affects the ability to maintain other defensive capabilities -- and the effects of their use are beyond sane consideration). The cold-war Soviet enemy might be gone and much of Eastern Europe delivered to reasonable stability and democratic government, but other former Soviet states are violently unstable and Putin's Russia can be described as a intolerant autocracy. Iran's (apparent) desire to develop nuclear weapons is worrying -- especially since they more than anyone else (appear to) have connections to seriously unfriendly terrorism -- and North Korea hardly looks like a model of pacific level-headedness. If the UK eschews the maintenance of such a deterrent it will not make any of the aforementioned loons and tyrants give up theirs. That's a different thread, though.

< "Sheffield Council, which funded the 1991 games, has revealed it will continue to repay `£25m a year until the debt is paid off in 2024' despite having to make savings of £80m this year" >

I didn't realise that the meter was *still* running!

< "The leader of Sheffield Council during the games in 1991 was Clive Betts, now Labour MP for Sheffield South East" >

I have a number of friends who used to work in the `egg box'. None of them had anything positive to say about Clive Betts (or Blunkett while he was there, either). This is called understatement. Still, after the Student Games debacle Clive and Dave have successfully moved onto other interests: isn't that called `seagull' management?

< The Lyceum was an excellent venue `before' IMO >

Pre-refurb I only went to the Lyceum twice (pantomimes, around 1965, aged 7). I like the `new' Lyceum, but I know the Crucible better.

< [We] now use the Crucible for most of our entertainment, or the City Hall >

The Sheffield City Hall is still one of the best concert venues I have ever been to. I remember when tickets had to be bought at Wilson Peck at the top of Fargate.

< My last visit [to the Arena] was to see my hero Eric Clapton >

I've never liked that kind of venue for a concert. The first large venue I attended was Bingley Hall -- a giant tin cowshed in the middle of nowhere, as I remember. That was to see Clapton, too. I was outraged at the inflated ticket price: £5 (it was 1978 and concerts at Sheffield City Hall for well-known names cost about £3.00)! I'm much less interested in Clapton these days and haven't bought an album nor heard him play live for many years.

< I have to agree about the `unsympathetic development of Shire Green' which used to be a lovely rural village >

*High* Green surely?

< Although `Banksy' has now done well for himself to say that he was the scourge of High Green, Barnsley and the MI [...] >

Hm... graffiti as art. I don't think so.

< Hopefully, when my laddie is old enough to play for `Wednesday' they will once again have a decent Manager, like Jack Charlton >

I hope so, Margaret.

< To get back to the Falklands... I know it's controversial; but why can't they sit down and make some sort of compromise? Instead of sabre rattling and threats? >

Compromise is better than conflict but I don't know a solution that would please all parties. Much as I support the right of Falkland Islanders to remain British subjects under British rule it's difficult to see the current UK policy being sustainable forever and the Argentines aren't just going to shrug and go away. Is some kind of sharing agreement possible over surrounding resources, while leaving the Islanders to their own devices? Would the Brits, Argentineans or Falklanders go for that? Not willingly, I think, if they each believe that they are entitled to -- and can take -- the whole pot.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 12:27:44 BDT
gille liath says:
"If the UK eschews the maintenance of such a deterrent it will not make any of the aforementioned loons and tyrants give up theirs."

Plus the whole point of a *deterrent* is that you hope you won't have to use it. Perhaps, MEP, we should get value for it by trying it out?

Obviously not, but it's pretty hare-brained to imply that the fact we haven't used it proves it isn't effective.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 17:48:13 BDT
Pipkin says:
Hy Ric Mac,
'' I think the fact that they were *submarines* is the more pertinent point, and their potential to stealthily sink other shipping if required.''
Precisely!
As you say the pro's and con's of rogue or otherwise governments is for another thread, but never the less I will briefly touch on it here..
''The cold-war Soviet enemy might be gone and much of Eastern Europe delivered to reasonable stability and democratic government, but other former Soviet states are violently unstable and Putin's Russia 'can be described' as a intolerant autocracy.''
As you identify; ''we are told'' that former Soviet states are violently unstable and Putin's government is 'described' as an intolerant autocracy. But at the risk of opening a box of worms - I personally do not believe anything the media tells me...
Consider what we were told in OUR media, to that of international information.
''The Russian INVASION of Afghanistan?''
When Russian 'paratroopers' landed in Kabul, Christmas 1979 Afghanistan was already in the grip of a civil war. By the end of 1980 The Muhajadeen were at war with themselves, with the hard line Taliban fighters taking a stronger grip and imposing very strict Muslim rules on the Afghan Population..
The Prime Minister, Hazifullah Amin, tried to sweep aside Muslim tradition within the nation because he wanted a more ''Western'' slant to Afghanistan. This outraged the majority of those in Afghanistan as a strong tradition of Muslim belief was common in the country.
Thousands of Muslim leaders had been arrested and many more had fled the capital and gone to the mountains to escape Amin's police. Amin also lead a 'Communist based Government' - a belief that rejects religion and this was another reason for such obvious discontent with his government.
Thousands of Afghanistan Muslims joined the Mujahdeen - a guerilla force on a holy mission for Allah. They wanted the overthrow of the Amin government. The Mujahdeen declared a jihad - a holy war - on the supporters of Amin. This was also extended to the Russians who were now in Afghanistan trying to maintain the power of the Amin government. The Russians claimed that they had been 'invited' in by the Amin government and that they were 'not' invading the country. They claimed that their task was to support a LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT and that the Mujahdeen were no more than terrorists.
By 1982, the Mujahdeen 'rebels' controlled 75% of Afghanistan despite fighting the might of the world's ''second most powerful military power.'' Young conscript Russian soldiers were 'no match' against men ''fuelled by their religious belief.'' Though the Russian army had a reputation, the war in Afghanistan showed the world just 'how poor it was outside of military displays.' Army boots lasted no more than 10 days before falling to bits in the harsh environment of the Afghanistan mountains. Many Russian soldiers deserted to the Mujahdeen. Russian tanks were of little use in the mountain passes.
''America put a ban on the export of grain to Russia'' ended the SALT talks taking place then and ''boycotted the Olympic Games'' due to be held in Moscow in 1980. ''Other than that, America did nothing.'' Why ??? They knew that Russia had got itself into their own Vietnam and it also provided American Intelligence with an opportunity to acquire any new Russian military hardware that could be used in Afghanistan!!!!!
Mujhadeen fighters were given access to American surface-to-air missiles - ''though not through direct sales by America.''
Mikhail Gorbachev took Russia out of the Afghanistan fiasco when he realised what many Russian leaders had been too scared to admit in public - that 'Russia could not win the war' and the cost of maintaining such a vast force in Afghanistan was crippling Russia's already weak economy....
Unlike the USA who are so determined to have the Oil/Gas and Drugs at any cost....imo
''North Korea hardly looks like a model of pacific level-headedness.''
I agree that the North Korean ''worshipping their leader'' appeared to be very strange to me.
''If the UK eschews the maintenance of such a deterrent it will not make any of the aforementioned loons and tyrants give up theirs. That's a different thread, though.''
I'm presuming you are meaning Iran, in which case I would be really interested in sharing opinions with you, on the correct thread?
Forgive me; I meant HIGH Green. What was I thinking... absolutely no comparison? Did you know the Egg Box has gone?
imo Eric Clapton has improved with age, like good wine. I'm also a 'fan' of Van Morrison and Cold Play, although Husband leaves the room when CP are on :(
I knew David Blunket when he first started as a Councillor, his Brother lived on the same road as me, and was groundsman for Wednesday. I was always impressed by David, and felt he was a very honest and public spirited person. What happened? Power/Blair got to him?
I think it would be an excellent idea to come to a ''Sharing of surrounding resources agreement'' while leaving the Islanders to their own devices..... Surely better than more threats, imbargoes and killing? After all, it's only the gas and oil they are both interested in!!!
Regards
M

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 18:01:21 BDT
Pipkin says:
I will reply just this once because I know from past experience that you like a good argument; rather than to exchange opinions, and I can't be bothered.
I did not say that a Nuclear Deterrent was not effective, I believe that they are POINTLESS......
IMO abolish ALL nuclear weapons!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 18:25:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jun 2012 18:26:33 BDT
well that aint gonna happen , so best we keep ours and best you get used to it, and find another tree to bark at.

Posted on 22 Jun 2012 22:01:45 BDT
Argentina is in no position to invade again. But if they do, I'm sure our forces will humiliate the Argies just like they did 30 years ago. Nothing to worry about

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 23:59:50 BDT
ric_mac says:
< But at the risk of opening a box of worms -- I personally do not believe anything the media tells me >

Remember that *all* sources of information you use constitute the `media'. There is no *pure* information (ie that does not accommodate the author's/compiler's own perspective -- and that is as true for non- or anti-establishment sources as it is for governments and global businesses etc). So, if what you're suggesting is that one should employ intelligent scepticism and investigate/evaluate opinions and analysis from a variety of viewpoints, I agree. But it can be as misguided to instantly assume falsity because of who a source is as it is to uncritically accept whatever one is told by a source. One can take scepticism to the point of madness, however. Our own consciousness is only the synthesis of the sensory data from our own organs and its potentially fallible interpretation through the function of our brains. In all instances we create our reality from our best interpretation of data supplied based on experience.

< I'm presuming you are meaning Iran, in which case I would be really interested in sharing opinions with you, on the correct thread? >

You mean when I say `loons'? Perhaps that's a rather unsympathetic term, but I think it's relatively safe to say that Kim, Putin and Ahmadinejad are not the most well-balanced, socialised and benevolent human beings in the global arena. That their opponents might not be ethical creatures, either, does not rehabilitate them. Besides which, Iran is a theocracy which is definitely not a sound basis for government -- and I say that as a theist.

As to pitching into a new thread, Margaret, I think I've earned the weekend off (except I have to attend to my PC due to the Blue Screen of Death -- I'm currently using an antique laptop).

< Forgive me; I meant HIGH Green >

That's okay: I was just teasin'. Lucky you, living at Bradfield.

< Did you know the Egg Box has gone? >

Yes. I like the new building and the Peace gardens, but the `egg box' couldn't have been that old, could it? There is now an absurd and monstrously ugly building behind the new town hall I notice.

< imo Eric Clapton has improved with age, like good wine. I'm also a `fan' of Van Morrison and Cold Play, although Husband leaves the room when CP are on >

I'm not going to criticise anyone else's favourites! I have seen Clapton and Morrison in concert and enjoyed both, but -- if you should be curious as to what's on my mp3 player right now -- it's Eduardo Niebla, Pierre Bensusan, Mehmet Ergin and Attab Haddad.

Falklands: I think I may have exhausted what I had to say about it all!

Cheers, Margaret.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2012 01:41:13 BDT
Excalibur says:
You can always trust a British Communist to betray his country. You're like a new Philby or Maclean.

I believe Britain should hang onto the Falklands. There's oil there and considering we're in a recession and have been recently taken over by Brazil as the sixth largest economy, it will surely come in handy.

Also I couldn't care less what the UN says: it doesn't have this country's interests at heart, only we ourselves can look out for our interests.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jun 2012 04:54:00 BDT
Excalibur...not betraying a country but a system that is designed to crush the working classes...patriotism and communism can live together...check out North Korea!
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Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  62
Total posts:  651
Initial post:  2 Feb 2012
Latest post:  23 Mar 2013

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