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Old 27th November 2019, 02:29 PM   #121
GlennB
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Well, I'm bound to say that it's been a fascinating 5-page discussion about the history of The Falklands and the meanings of indigenous and colonise
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Old 27th November 2019, 02:38 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
It seems things have changed - although it seems that historically they could get UK citizenship if they wanted it, they now have it as automatic right.

It's all bollocks. Some rocks in the middle of the south atlantic aren't British. A rock off the Spanish coast isn't British. Some rocks in the middle of the Indian Ocean aren't British.

Let's face it, if Brazil or China sailed a boat up to one of the uninhabited Scottish islands you wouldn't be OK with them establishing a colony there just because nobody else is living there and I doubt you would be saying 50 years later it's now Brazil or China because people have lived there for 50 years speaking Portuguese/Chinese.

I don't actually care about whether these places are "British" or not, in that way. I care about the people who live there. However they got there, they're there now, and they can't defend themselves from a much larger invader. As it happens, historically it is Britain which still has the responsibility for their defence. I'm OK with that.

If some other country managed to establish a colony of their people on, say, St Kilda, and they made a go of it and had a thriving community after four generations, if in some utterly unimaginable world it actually happened, I'd let them keep it. Why not? It's not as if we were able to maintain a population there.
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Old 29th November 2019, 04:43 PM   #123
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Now Agatha has kindly sorted out these posts and made a nice tidy new thread, I suppose it will just die the death!


ETA: I just found out this afternoon that the then husband of the friend I was lunching with worked on the Falklands in 1983, involved with building or rebuilding infrastructure after the war. He liked it so much he tried to persuade her to go and live there long term, but she was concerned for their daughter's education and wouldn't have it.
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Old 29th November 2019, 05:06 PM   #124
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I've kind of lost track of what I've posted here and where, but I would tend to agree with Rolfe here. It's a bit disingenouous, I think, to compare the settlement of the Falklands to that of a Scottish Isle today. The Falklands were settled long ago when they were an important way station on the voyage around Cape Horn - an area that was, at one point, of considerable importance to Europeans as well as South Americans. It may well be colonial arrogance that this occurred, but it did, and it did so a long time ago. Whether they should have arrived when they did, the English did, and that's who is there now.

You could make a similar argument against most nations in the New World, including Argentina - or perhaps better, since there were no indigenous people on the Falklands.

I can sympathize with the Argentine point of view, but invasion is a pretty poor way of going about it, and planting 30 thousand land mines a good bit worse. Even if, as seems to be the case, the mines had little effect on the economic and social life on the island, it betrays a willingness to degrade and destroy the very thing supposedly sought.
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Old 29th November 2019, 06:09 PM   #125
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To be honest, St Kilda is uninhabited because we couldn't sustain a population on it. The people who were there petitioned to be resettled on the mainland in the 1930s and it's been a nature reserve ever since.

I think it's extremely unlikely that anyone from another country could just rock up and set up house there. Even if they could crack the geographical challenges, I think we'd notice, and maybe politely ask them what the hell they thought they were doing.

Of course we'd kick them off if they showed signs of staying and claiming the territory, because for one thing we did actually have a permanent population there for a long time and for another the islands are a lot closer to Scotland than the Falklands are to Argentina. Also in people's minds would be mineral rights but I suspect international law wouldn't give St Kilda much, because it would be classed as an island enclave inside Scottish territorial waters and I think they get 50 miles around and that's that. And most importantly, we'd sort it out long before four generations had lived there and made the place their home.

However, the Argentinians never had a permanent population on the Falklands, and the islands were never a settled and accepted part of Argentina. The Falklands are several hundred miles from Argentina and don't even count as an island enclave in Argentina's territorial waters. And the people did manage to live there essentially undisturbed and unchallenged for four generations.

Nobody rocked up and appropriated somewhere that had been an accepted legal part of Argentina. The islands weren't an accepted part of any other country. Whether these people were put there to gain control of shipping lanes in the 19th century is history. They're there now, it's their home, and they don't want to be Argentinian.

If oil is discovered in the vicinity of the Falklands and Britain tries to rock up and claim the oil, that will be a completely different story. But that's not where we are. Where we are is that the first settlers on these islands, the native population (I don't care if you call them indigenous or not) require military assistance to preserve their property from theft and annexation, and the country which has responsibility for doing that is Britain.

If Britain tries to appropriate the Falklands' oil the way it appropriated Scotland's oil, I won't be on the side of Britain, you can be sure.
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Old 29th November 2019, 06:43 PM   #126
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The thing is, when the Falklands war happened I didn't really know the history. There was an awful lot of jingoistic garbage being talked and people were aggressively waving union jacks and acting like raving colonialists about it. I felt really uncomfortable about the whole thing because I fundamentally hate colonialism. Only that one colleague of mine, right at the start, put his finger on it. The islanders deserve to be defended because it's their property and their way of life that's being threatened. I don't think I heard that from anyone else, it was just kick out the Argies and "Gotcha!"

I was so uncomfortable about the whole thing that I wouldn't even go to the ship-board lectures about the Falklands that were laid on in the days before we were due to land there. I didn't want to hear the jingoism and the colonialism and so on. I wish I'd gone now, I might have caught on sooner without having to work it out for myself.

Bear in mind we'd just come from Argentina. A couple of weeks earlier we'd been near Foz Iguassu and had visited the Argentinian side of the Iguassu Falls. We'd been treated to the Argentinian idea of lunch which literally involves more sirloin steak than anyone could possibly eat. Then after that, about a week before we got to the Falklands, we'd spent two days in Buenos Aires. (Then again after we left the Falklands we spent a day in Ushuaia, right on the extreme south of Argentina.) Really liked Argentina, but it's another world.

Then we pitched up at Port Stanley. Small town, OK let's be brutally honest here, large village. Apart from the corrugated iron roofs (can't get slate) it looked a lot like, say, Cornwall. Everyone spoke English, although as I said I'd have taken them for New Zealanders. Nobody looked Spanish. The place was as British as Guernsey. We did the nature-trail tourist stuff, Land Rovers across the rough grazing, penguins, afternoon tea and a gift shop. Apart from the penguins we could have been in Cornwall. Except when I dug into my ordinary home-use purse and wallet they didn't sneer at the Scottish banknotes. The gift shop was actually selling Highland Stoneware I had literally seen being fired in Lochinver on my summer holiday in Sutherland in 2018.

And I remembered my holiday on Guernsey and what had happened there in 1940. I saw several museums on Guernsey showing life under the German occupation. I saw the museum in Port Stanley too. That was the closest I could come to this. An island population of overwhelmingly British origin being over-run by a foreign invading force and their way of life destroyed.

My discomfort about colonialism evaporated in the face of the reality of the actual people who had faced losing their property and their homes and their way of life. The actual motivation for defending them and taking back the islands stopped mattering. Sometimes people do the right thing for the wrong reasons and even if the reasons were wrong (and that's not certain), defending them was the right thing to do.

So Jeremy bloody Corbyn needs to go to Port Stanley and talk to the people and listen to their tourist guides (who are just the farmers, basically) talking about their way of life and their economy and their scrimping and saving to afford another few miles of metalled road to the airport, or a breast cancer screening machine, or the cost of flying a seriously ill patient to Santiago. And then tell them to their faces that if he gets elected (something they have no vote on), he'll just casually throw them to the Argentinians under the weasel words of "shared sovereignty" (hah), and for what? Left-wing brownie points?

The man doesn't think through what he's saying and this is just one more example of it and while a Tory election win doesn't bear thinking about at least this is one needless atrocity that won't happen. Yet.
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Old 30th November 2019, 03:14 PM   #127
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Without huge support from the UK the Falklands wouldn't be viable. It was originally an important 'coaling' station' for the navy and then a whaling base. Now it is about oil.
I fought for them. I think we should let it go like all the other remnants of empire
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Old 30th November 2019, 03:22 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Without huge support from the UK the Falklands wouldn't be viable. It was originally an important 'coaling' station' for the navy and then a whaling base. Now it is about oil.
I fought for them. I think we should let it go like all the other remnants of empire
Let it go to where, exactly? We let India go, to the Indians. Canada went to the Canadians. Etc.

I really don't understand your 'let it go' remark. Argentina has a far far weaker claim to those islands than does the UK. Argentina didn't even exist as a country when Brits settled in the Falklands.
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Old 30th November 2019, 03:51 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Without huge support from the UK the Falklands wouldn't be viable. It was originally an important 'coaling' station' for the navy and then a whaling base. Now it is about oil.
I fought for them. I think we should let it go like all the other remnants of empire
You keep saying you fought for them while in the navy. Were you were on the Belgrano or another argentine vessel?
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Old 30th November 2019, 03:53 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
When you talk about the European colonisation of 'the new world' you are talking about a planned and deliberate program of rich military powers setting out a program of sending people off to find new territories to claim as their own and strip of any resources that they may encounter.
Wow, if you really believe that, then you have so little understanding of the History of a country like mine that it's truly mind-blowing.
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Old 30th November 2019, 03:54 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I think we should let it go like all the other remnants of empire
You realise that unlike the rest of the "remnants of empire," they don't want to be let go of, and they especially don't want to be handed over to Argentina.
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Old 30th November 2019, 05:31 PM   #132
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Given what they're doing at the moment they'd be fine as an independent island nation, like Cape Verde for example. Actually I think they'd do better than Cape Verde. But they can't defend themselve from Argentina's larcenous ambitions, so they vote to stay a British Protectorate and hope for the best.

To those who say Britain should just hand the islands over to Argentina (why?), what do you propose to tell the people? What do you propose to do with the people?
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Old 30th November 2019, 05:38 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
You keep saying you fought for them while in the navy. Were you were on the Belgrano or another argentine vessel?
Was I ****, I was on an RN Frigate, we pulled dying sailors off ships and beaches. The whole **** show was not worth one of them.
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Old 30th November 2019, 05:45 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
You realise that unlike the rest of the "remnants of empire," they don't want to be let go of, and they especially don't want to be handed over to Argentina.
**** them all, send them home
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Old 30th November 2019, 06:03 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
**** them all, send them home
They already are home.
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Old 30th November 2019, 06:16 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Was I ****, I was on an RN Frigate, we pulled dying sailors off ships and beaches. The whole **** show was not worth one of them.
Do you really believe that it honours the memory of the men that died to keep the Islanders free of Argentinian rule to now just hand them over?

And as another person asked already and you failed to answer...

Isn't the entire point of joining the military to be willing, if needed, to sacrifice your life to protect the civilian population under your protection from aggressors and invaders?

Do you really believe that the Falkland Islanders, who are under British Protection from an aggressive and hostile nation, should not be afforded the same rights to protection than any other people under British protection? Do you think that they have less right to protection than the French and Belguims did in WW1 and 2? Or the Kuwaitis in 1991? Or the Kosovians in 1999? The Afghanis in 2003?

Do you honestly think that those that signed up to stand in the way of an invader and went there knowing that to stand up and protect those civilians might cost them their lives, and it did, would be saying what you are today if they could? That protecting those civilians from armed invasion wasn't worth it. That the Islands and its people should be given over to those invaders, making the sacrifice of their lives worthless.
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Old 30th November 2019, 07:05 PM   #137
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Well said.
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Old 30th November 2019, 07:08 PM   #138
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Just one place, possibly the only one in the world, where the British-origin immigrants didn't actually appropriate a native population's land, enslave them, drive them out and exterminate them, and that's the place Corbyn just wants to hand over to their enemies.

And anyone who wants South Georgia can have it, for me.
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Old 1st December 2019, 12:06 AM   #139
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I beg to differ on South Georgia. There are almost no people there, because it is a protected wildlife refuge, and the government of the Falklands is doing a good job of preserving it. They have successfully eradicated both the rats and the reindeer, and it is a unique place in the world. Maybe the Argentines could do as good a job of running it, but whatever is done with it should not be casual.
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Old 1st December 2019, 02:36 AM   #140
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OK. Perhaps I was too hasty there. I was just thinking that it's a very long way from the Falklands and it doesn't have a permanent community and if it's only being hung on to for strategic reasons the same arguments don't really apply as to the Falklands themselves.
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Old 1st December 2019, 04:58 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
But what if they were Emperor penguins?
Whatever did happen to it? Perhaps it toppled face first down into the snow.
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Old 1st December 2019, 08:13 AM   #142
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The history of Bouvet Island may be of interest in this discussion. First discovered by a Frenchman by the name of (you guessed it) Bouvet. He didn't set foot on it, though, because bloody hard to find a place to land. Some years later a spanish dude came along, but also couldn't find a place to land. Next a British gentleman arrives, finds a landing spot and consequently plants the flag and solemnly declares it to now be British. This doesn't prevent a group of Norwegian explorers from doing the same thing a few years later. Diplomatic row between Britain and Norway follows. Brits saying they found it first, so theirs. Norwegians countering that the British guy didn't get the location right and also claimed to have found two other islands nearby, which totally doesn't exist at all! Brits sulk a bit but give up their claim. And so Bouvet Island is to this day a Norwegian dependency!
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Old 1st December 2019, 08:15 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Do you really believe that it honours the memory of the men that died to keep the Islanders free of Argentinian rule to now just hand them over?

And as another person asked already and you failed to answer...

Isn't the entire point of joining the military to be willing, if needed, to sacrifice your life to protect the civilian population under your protection from aggressors and invaders?

Do you really believe that the Falkland Islanders, who are under British Protection from an aggressive and hostile nation, should not be afforded the same rights to protection than any other people under British protection? Do you think that they have less right to protection than the French and Belguims did in WW1 and 2? Or the Kuwaitis in 1991? Or the Kosovians in 1999? The Afghanis in 2003?

Do you honestly think that those that signed up to stand in the way of an invader and went there knowing that to stand up and protect those civilians might cost them their lives, and it did, would be saying what you are today if they could? That protecting those civilians from armed invasion wasn't worth it. That the Islands and its people should be given over to those invaders, making the sacrifice of their lives worthless.
I don't know any of those I served with who thought it was worth it.
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Old 1st December 2019, 08:24 AM   #144
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The history is more tangled than I realized.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasse..._Islands_(1833)


My friends who were there with para thought they were doing their duty.
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Old 1st December 2019, 08:27 AM   #145
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Maybe they do and so was I but wasn't worth the cost.
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Old 1st December 2019, 08:34 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
....

If oil is discovered ....
The Falklands would be an ideal place to generate wind power. Oil is old energy and even the oil companies are moving into new energy production.
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Old 1st December 2019, 10:11 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The Falklands would be an ideal place to generate wind power. Oil is old energy and even the oil companies are moving into new energy production.
They're already doing it to a fair degree, and seem to be on the way to more. But aside from the fact that they're so remote they cannot provide power to anyplace but their own area, there is no power infrastructure beyond the scanty urban areas, so most of the power generated is on a small farm by farm scale.
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Old 1st December 2019, 04:20 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I beg to differ on South Georgia. There are almost no people there, because it is a protected wildlife refuge, and the government of the Falklands is doing a good job of preserving it. They have successfully eradicated both the rats and the reindeer, and it is a unique place in the world. Maybe the Argentines could do as good a job of running it, but whatever is done with it should not be casual.

I note from Wikipedia that South Georgia ceased to be a Falklands Islands protectorate in 1985 and is now administered as a separate territory.
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Old 1st December 2019, 05:08 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I note from Wikipedia that South Georgia ceased to be a Falklands Islands protectorate in 1985 and is now administered as a separate territory.
My error. The administrative office of the government is actually located in Stanley on the Falklands, but not part of theirs.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 07:41 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Maybe they do and so was I but wasn't worth the cost.
That's hardly the Falkland Islanders fault, though.

Apart from the obvious people to blame (Galtieri for example), if you must blame anyone blame Maggie. If she hadn't been so obsessed with cutting back the state (including the defence budget) she might have noticed what was going on in the South Atlantic and managed to defend the islands with no loss, as Callaghan did 5 years earlier.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 08:06 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The Falklands would be an ideal place to generate wind power. Oil is old energy and even the oil companies are moving into new energy production.
Oil is portable and transmittable in a way that wind is not. Any oily place is a good place to extract oil and send it where it's needed. Not every windy place is a good place to extract wind power, often because there's no practical way to send it where it's needed. For example: The Falkland Islands.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 08:42 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Oil is portable and transmittable in a way that wind is not. Any oily place is a good place to extract oil and send it where it's needed. Not every windy place is a good place to extract wind power, often because there's no practical way to send it where it's needed. For example: The Falkland Islands.
There are industries that are prepared to go where the energy is. Iceland's aluminium smelting industry, using cheap geothermal power, is a good example.

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Old 2nd December 2019, 11:45 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I don't know any of those I served with who thought it was worth it.

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Maybe they do and so was I but wasn't worth the cost.

Any military person who declares that saving a civilian population from a hostile foreign invasion "wasn't worth the cost" is in the wrong job. Because that is actually the job.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 11:51 AM   #154
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I can see not rolling tanks into Ukraine to protect them from a Russian invasion.

Not rolling tanks to protect your own citizens from foreign invasion is something else entirely. For once in my life, I'm thinking, "no thanks for your service".
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Old 2nd December 2019, 12:51 PM   #155
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Yes, indeed. I was especially thinking of the civilian population which is specifically under the protection of the military in question. As was the case with the Falkland Islanders. I am absolutely aghast that any British serviceman would feel these civilians weren't worth protecting. Who will it be next? The Channel Islands? Maybe they're not worth protecting either? Maybe nobody is worth the protection of the military who are actually trained and paid to do that job?
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Old 2nd December 2019, 02:20 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I can see not rolling tanks into Ukraine to protect them from a Russian invasion.

Not rolling tanks to protect your own citizens from foreign invasion is something else entirely. For once in my life, I'm thinking, "no thanks for your service".
Damn it, I hate it when I am forced to agree with you.

Captain_Swoop, look what you have done, you are making me agree with theprestige, how dare you sir, how dare you!
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Old 2nd December 2019, 02:48 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Maybe they do and so was I but wasn't worth the cost.

If only someone had written a poem

"Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die."
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Old 2nd December 2019, 03:44 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Do you really believe that it honours the memory of the men that died to keep the Islanders free of Argentinian rule to now just hand them over?
Do you honestly think that is any kind of argument?
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Old 2nd December 2019, 03:45 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Wow, if you really believe that, then you have so little understanding of the History of a country like mine that it's truly mind-blowing.
What exactly do you think the purpose of colonisation was? To teach the natives embroidery???
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Old 2nd December 2019, 05:09 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Any military person who declares that saving a civilian population from a hostile foreign invasion "wasn't worth the cost" is in the wrong job. Because that is actually the job.
QFT
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