Oil in the Falkland Islands: Argentina’s corrupt governments will never challenge the United Kingdom
As the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War nears, Western media show angry leaders and “mounting tensions between Britain and Argentina”. In fact, little stops the UK from reconfirming sovereignty in the oil-rich and strategically located islands.
So, when the UK dispatched its most potent destroyer, the 8,000-ton state-of-the-art HMS Dauntless, and a nuclear sub to the Falklands, it was most probably prepared for Argentine President Cristina Kirchner’s reaction.
Whilst over the past three decades the British have built up a powerful military nuclear base in the Falklands to serve UK-US strategic interests in the region, Argentina had US-brand Money Power “democracy” imposed upon it, as punishment for daring to recover the Falklands in 1982.
Thus, since 1983 when “democracy” kicked in, successive governments have gone from bad to worse, sinking Argentina deeper and deeper. Starting with president Raúl Alfonsín (who veered us straight into hyperinflationary collapse in 1989), followed by presidents Carlos Menem (who with his Trilateral Commission Foreign and later Finance Minister Domingo Cavallo dismantled Argentina’s economy and military); Fernando de la Rúa (who in 2001 blindly led Argentina to its worst financial and banking meltdown… and even brought Cavallo back!); Eduardo Duhalde; Néstor Kirchner and now his hand-picked successor-wife Cristina Kirchner.
The Kirchners actually sympathize so much with terrorist groups from the seventies (whose terror attacks led to the 1976 military coup), that today many of the latter hold key government posts.
These successive governments all had something in common: they upheld two key factors, fully aligned to Global Power Masters’ requirements and needs:
1) NEVER investigate the origin of Argentina’s huge Public Debt initiated under the illegal military-civilian regime that usurped power from 1976 to 1983. That debt should be repudiated as “Odious Debt” under international law; and in order to ensure that this never ever happens and that the Global Power Masters may wield full control over Argentina:
2) DISMANTLE ARGENTINA’S ARMED FORCES – This has been completely achieved, and today Argentina’s military credibility and dissuasion are all but nothing; not only vis-a-vis the UK (and US) against whom we went to war in 1982, but also compared to traditional UK-US allied neighbors like Brazil and Chile who maintain modern, professional and credible armed forces.
So, when president Kirchner went on nationwide radio and TV last Tuesday to announce what her government would do about Britain’s renewed colonial aggression, she said that:
1) Argentina would denounce the UK at the UN for being “colonialist” (…the Brits have only been doing this for about five centuries!);
2) The government will release the contents of the “Rattenbach Report” prepared by a long-dead general almost 30 years ago which states that the military junta under General Leopoldo Galtieri made every political, diplomatic, military and strategic blunder in the book (Ha! As though we didn’t know that!!), and
3) Argentina will never ever dare take military action against the UK in the Falklands-Malvinas (as though we could!)
All of this was music to London’s ears.
But why all the noise and why now? It is and has always been about four key British and American geopolitical objectives:
1) Maintaining geopolitical prowess in the South Atlantic;
2) Projecting US and UK power over Antarctica, where UK and US territorial claims overlap with Argentina’s (which has all but withdrawn from the White Continent) and Chile’s (not a problem as they are traditional geopolitical allies of Britain);
3) Projecting US and UK power over Argentina’s immensely rich and grossly under-populated Patagonia Region facing the Falklands/Malvinas; and last but not least…
Oil is always an issue with the “Western Democracies”, which their subservient global media downplay. Whether in Libya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Venezuela or the South Atlantic.
The truth is that recent estimates indicate that under the Continental Shelf of the Argentine Sea in the South Atlantic, where the Falklands jut out above the relatively shallow waters, there’s around 8.3 billion barrels of oil. That’s three times UK reserves, ranking 15th in global reserves.
Not surprisingly, billions of pounds and dollars are rushing in to exploit Falklands oil, so important at a time of growing turmoil in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. Oil giants like Hess, Noble and Murphy (US), Cairn Energy, Premier Oil (UK) and, notably, BP’s Deepwater Horizon partner Anadarko Oil from Houston are all in top gear.
Anadarko is interesting as its board includes General Kevin Chilton (former commander of US StratCom) and former Pentagon officer Preston M Geren III. Rockhopper UK Exploration, in turn, announced it has already struck reserves estimated around 700 million barrels off the Falklands.
Keen observers living on Argentina’s Patagonian coasts say that, when the wind blows in from the Falklands, you can almost hear the British laughing at Cristina Kirchner’s Tuesday announcement.
Basic geopolitical common sense indicates that maintaining a powerful military is absolutely vital for any self-respecting country. Not to attack anybody – as the US, UK, NATO and Israel constantly do – but rather as defence and dissuasion against those very countries. In Argentina’s case, England has a bad track record, having repeatedly tried to invade it over the past 300 years.
But, alas! Cristina Kirchner is only doing what all Argentine politicians do so well: that is to say, nothing. In fact, her “announcements” last Tuesday were applauded by her own party and almost everyone in the so-called “opposition”. Clearly, she’s not the sole culprit. Back in 1990, under president Carlos Menem Argentina signed what many here consider its “Treaty of Versailles” (alluding to the devastating treaty imposed on defeated Germany in 1919 by the US, UK and France).
Menem’s Foreign Minister Domingo Cavallo negotiated unconditional surrender with Britain, under a treaty that became Argentine Law No. 24.184, almost unanimously passed in Congress on 11th December 1990, opening our economy to unconditional deregulation, privatisation and indebtedness to global banks and dismantling our armed forces, notably in the critical southern part of the country. Similar treaties then followed with the US and EU.
The truth is that today Argentina is not a sovereign country. National independence means there is a willingness to be free, even at the cost of war. In fact, the last bastion of national sovereignty for any country is its armed forces.
Not so Argentina. We have no credible armed forces so, rather than being sovereign and independent, Argentina is merely “not yet invaded”.
Were London, Washington, Brasilia, Santiago, NATO or Tel Aviv to decide on military intervention against Argentina for whatever reason, there would be absolutely nothing Argentina could do about it.
The British know this very well. That’s why they’re laughing!
Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina www.asalbuchi.com.ar