[Marxism] British Government Refuses To Discuss Sovereignty of Malvinas

J.M.P.Cloke at lboro.ac.uk J.M.P.Cloke at lboro.ac.uk
Mon Mar 30 02:31:03 MDT 2009

Alas, the facts and the complexity of human involvement 
allow of no such simple answer; I thought (and think) that 
the Falklands War was an immense waste of lives and 
resources and I regret the loss of each and every life on 
both sides. The historical 'facts on the ground' 
(copyright: George Bush) are that two imperialist powers, 
the UK and Argentina, used the Falklands for diverse 
purposes; the Argentinian military junta because it had 
made a king-size mess of the Argentinian economy and had 
committed mass murder on a substantial portion of its own 
population in some kind of mythical war against the 
montaneros, and needed something to divert the attention 
of the population away from its increasing immiseration.

Margaret Thatcher convinced the military establishment of 
the UK to assemble the task force, having misread the 
initial signs that Argentina was determined to take the 
Falklands and then callously deciding to use the war and 
everything that happened in it, including the sinking of 
the Belgrano, as a means to electoral victory at a time 
when she too had made a king size fuck-up of the UK 
economy in what was definitely a class war against the 
steel workers, miners, car factory workers, etc.

The victims of both of these two sets of ruthless 
imperialists were (in no particular order of importance) 
a) the Falklanders themselves, whom history and chance put 
in the way of a meaningless post-imperial struggle; b) the 
poor bloody Argentinian conscripts who were treated like 
slaves by their officers and whose lives were thrown away 
in a desperate effort to prop up a military junta busy 
butchering the families of those same conscripts back in 
Argentina, and c) the British soldiers who died there, 
even though the ones I know who fought there volunteered 
and did everything in their power to get sent on the task 

"All those who know what imperialism means were with 
Argentina." Really? I can just imagine those estimated 
5,000 poor desparecido bastards who passed through the 
Navy Mechanics School in Buenos Aires thinking to 
themselves "Well, I've just had electrodes attached to me 
and I've been tortured until I passed out and I'm going to 
be dropped from a military helicopter into the Rio Plata, 
but thank God the military junta has restored our national 
honour and taken back the Malvinas!"  

It may be ignorance that makes you choose to put such 
complex issues into your childishly simplistic mental 
structures, or it may be just viciousness, but here's the 
truth: 1)there was no right side or wrong side in this war 
and there ain't no class struggle analysis that will make 
it so; 2) agitating for the defeat of one side or the 
other from a *Marxist* point of view is just rubbish - it 
ignores the internal dynamics of class struggle within 
both countries which is far more important than the one 
between the countries and, what's most important, allows 
the parameters of debate to be set by a nationalist 
rhetoric created by the imperialists themselves!

So no, in answer to your grade-school question and the 
breath-taking lack of analytical capacity its initial 
premises imply, I didn't agitate for the defeat of the UK 
armed forces - if I agitated for anything it would be that 
as many of them came home alive as was possible; I did and 
do support the right of any community of people 
(Falklanders or Palestinians or disappeared trades 
unionists in Argentina) to self-determination and the 
right to a peaceful existence. There are more things in 
remnant post-immperial struggles, nestor, than are dreamt 
of in your class analysis...   
Jon Cloke

More information about the Marxism mailing list