Thursday, June 28, 2012
I am not fond of Ronald Regan, but I think he actually had one fleeting, vital, noble moment. In April 1982, Argentina decided to get into a pissing match with the UK. As we all know, it is generally a bad idea to get into a pissing match with someone who has a larger penis and larger friends with even larger equipment; however the Revolution is always More Important. So a piece of dirt becomes casus belli [that means 'let's you and me fight']. Argentina called the U.K. out for being Imperialist Pig Dogs and still sitting on a little rock that peeks its turtle-head over the Atlantic just far enough for a few hundred people to live there and decides "THIS LAND IS FOR THE PEOPLE" [but not for the people there now?]. One side has nukes and might be able to get an aircraft carrier there in a week or so and the other side is a bunch of bandana wearing commies. This presents a problem for the U.S. – on one side we are committed to protecting our “sister republics, south of our border” as much as we would our own family [Monroe’s Doctrine and a quote from Kennedy: “this hemisphere intendeds to remain the master of its own house”], and on the other, our “special relationship” with the U.K. – not to mention our relationship with the rest of the world: the Cold War and North/South [hemisphere divide], NATO, and a metric shit-ton of other treaties and alliances. The U.K. follows the usual gentle caresses involved in this “special relationship” and asks for the USS Iwo Jima [big boat that blows shit up and can carry the U.K.’s Harrier VTOL (vertical take-off and landing planes) to back them up, since they don’t exactly have global projection power enough for this pissing match. This point is important, remember it. The French are working all sides of the fence (as they should) and are selling arms to Argentina, providing logistical support to the Argentineans, and information to all sides (can you say quad-agent and hungry little dog?) Regan’s appointed pit bull, Alex Haig said (or was told to say) give the U.K. just about anything. The literature I’ve seen says that the U.K. asked for the USS Iwo Jima by name (all nations with a navy know every other nations ships by name – go look up Jane’s already) and wanted a fall back at least, if not a comrade-in-arms. I’m sure that’s the official story. The U.K. probably asked to have the Iwo Jima shadow their attack force. Regan said something along the lines of: we’ll send her if you lose a carrier and you can’t handle your own shit’. He walked a delicate line here. War is still a loss for everyone in the general vicinity, but at least we didn’t get too much monkey poo thrown at us.