Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestor at SPAMsisurb.filo.uba.ar
Fri Oct 1 16:09:09 MDT 1999
> This is especially the case in the Third World, because
> few Third World countries have the means to take on a
> First World country. Argentina, for instance, is one of
> the most developed Third World countries, which gave me
> some hope they might give the Brits a bloody nose in 1983,
> but, of course, the Brits had little trouble in winning in
> the South Atlantic.
The battles took place in 1982. In 1983, we had the
backlash already at full speed with the imposition of
colonial "democracy". And though by those days Argentina
could still be defined as one of the most developed Third
World countries, I would think it twice before extending
this credential to the country of these days. Any excursion
along our major cities will show enormous, void structures
of what once were factories. This is one of the most
striking features of our urban landscape now. We _were_ one
of the most advanced countries in the Third World. I doubt
it that we still are.
The great Argentinian writer Leopoldo Marechal wrote once
that our country was like a snake, which had to change the
skin or the skin would asphyxiate the animal. We did not
change our skin on time. Here we are, gasping still but
But back to the 1982 days. From a strictly technical point
of view, our troops _could_ have given the Brits a bloody
The soldiers, to begin with, were very motivated.
The officers, as a rule, did behave gallantly (there were
more officers dead, proportionally, than soldiers; and I do
not know if even in absolute numbers this was also true).
We had been offered extensive support (even military
support) from other Latin American countries. There were
Peruvian pilots on Peruvian planes ready to enter in
combat, for example.
Another example. The military creativity of our men was
really amazing. On the one hand, they duped the Brits in
making them believe the Islands were thoroughly covered by
radars (in fact, petrol tanks halved, with a broomstick
inside, connected to a pulsating radiofrequence emisor); on
the other hand, without sophisticated materials they could
-by geodetic triangulation from aboard the planes- spot a
British carrier and strike at it with missiles. And so on.
The advance of the fleet was observed from crews aboard old
Boeing civilian planes all the way South from Ascension.
Civilian vessels (of the now defunct national shipping
company) succesfully captured the transmissions of the
British fleet for days before they were discovered. Small
vessels like the trawler Tolhuin made the "trip" across the
sea from Tierra del Fuego to the Islands many times. A
joint commando of Navy officers and former Montoneros
almost gave them a blasting show in Gibraltar!
The British commanders have repeatedly recognized, even
shortly after the war, that it was "no picnic".
Some additional data: my friend Oscar Martinez
was working on laser guided rifles as far back as 1980;
Oscar is an outstanding expert in physics, half Jewish and
Leftist --but he worked at the Scientific Labs of the Armed
Forces (an interesting comment for anyone who wants to rise
above primitivism in the understanding of a semicolonial
country)!. Argentinians were developing nuclear
technologies and by those years we had already begun to
produce heavy water and "uranio enriquecido" (enriched
uranium, is it good English?); we were also on the brink of
developing plutonium. Our missilistic industry was
developing the Condor missile, a weapon so perfect that the
ONLY essential task of Ambassador Todman (the Ambassador of
the US during the first years of Menem) was to destroy the
missile and its plans.
Why did we lose then? Precisely because we are a Third
World country. This is not measured by the technical level
attained. We were defeated, in fact, because our
rulers were _mentally subservient_ to the Empires. They
could not seriously wage a war against the Lords. These
rulers, either military or civilian, are mentally
colonized. Material advancement is not the only
measurement rod, not even the essential one. Gramsci is
more necessary in the Third World than anywhere else. Of
course, there are basic material interests behind the
behaviour of the ruling classes, but these interests,
backed by the active intervention of foreign states, are
best buttressed by mentally colonizing the elites in the
country. This is the political meaning of national
liberation, to set the minds free from foreign occupation.
Our high command was mentally occupied, thus they could not
fight seriously. And then, we could not beat the Brits.
But don't worry, Phil, you will see new rehearsals of this
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