Forwarded from Nestor (Iraq)
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Mar 24 07:24:58 MST 2003
1) In Argentina, soccer matches are a good place for common people to
air their opinions.
The River Plate team fans deployed an enormous banner during a recent
match. "Aguante Saddam", it reads, which can be fairly translated as
"Keep up and resist, Saddam!".
This is a usual soccer phrase: when your team is weak and confronts a
strong formation, then you have to "keep up and resist", which has
become an usual attitude in Argentina since 1976, where a "culture of
´aguante´ -resistence- has been taking shape as a trait of national
So that I add my own "Aguante, Saddam! ". BTW: River Plate is one of the
most important teams here, their luxurious way of playing being an
example of the best soccer traditions in Argentina
2) the current situation in Irak reminds me (and strongly) of the
situation in Argentina during the Anglo-French invasion of 1848, where
Juan Manuel de Rosas, governor of Buenos Aires in charge of foreign
relations headed national resistence against a piratic fleet attempting
to break Argentinean control on the waterway and thus to open the Paraná
river to international navigation in a way neither the US would accept
for the Mississipi nor the British for the Thames.
A few years before that, Rosas had sent criminal expeditions to the
rebellious Inland country. But in 1848, everybody (save for a gang of
sepoys who were on the decks of the foreign fleet) stood by him. The
invaders met such an unexpected and brave resistance that although they
succeeded in curbing the resistence at Obligado and Tonelero battles,
the whole adventure proved of little avail.
Latin American Independence hero General San Martín, who lived in exile
in France and would pass away in 1850, was so much aroused by the feat
that he put aside the political differences between him and Rosas, and
bestowed his Independence sabre to the Governor of Buenos Aires with a
letter explaining him that this act of courage had demonstrated the
world that "Argentineans cannot be swallowed down like ´empanadas´" -a
River Plate small meat pie).
The anniversary of the Obligado battle, November 20, is known in
Argentina as the "Sovereignty day".
During the late 1960s, an Argentinean poet wrote a "triunfo" (an old
warrior song from the days of the wars of Independence) to Obligado,
where a stanza reads:
"Que los parió a los gringos,
juna gran siete,
navegar tantos mares,
venirse al cuete,
venirse al cuete!"
What a heck these gringos,
sons of a gun,
so many seas they sailed,
they came for nothing,
they came for nothing")
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