Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Gipper, The Iron Lady & Disaster Economics

The University of Chicago's Economics Department in the 1950s, under the tutelage and fortitude of Milton Friedman, presented a different view of economics, the antithesis of Keynesianism economics, where privatization, deregulation, and cuts to social spending - the free-market trinity - were presented as the "only" path to a stabilizied economy.
Naomi Klein, in her new book, The Shock Doctrine, describes this Neoliberal capitalism as one that thrives on catastrophe. Not only are fortunes made from the misfortunes of the masses, but the global dominance of free-market capitalism is built on the infliction of disasters on the world's less fortunate. The gap between rich and poor is magnified as the multinational conglomerates steal everything they can from the poor and then claim success with their economic policies. But they don't work. Of course, it is one huge snowjob that only the gullible and less informed believe. It certainly portrays one of humankinds worst traits - greed.
No government promoted this form of economics more than United States and Great Britain. Reagan supported it to such an extent that the Chicago School economics became known as Reagoneconomics. With excerpts from Naomi Klein's book, plus a few articles from the web, I will attempt to bring justice to her ideas and demonstrate why disaster capitalism is a disaster for anyone but the superrich and well connected political 'piranhas'. The reality of what is happening in the world today is well illustrated in The Shock Doctrine and should be read by anyone who wants to know.


For the lies and misinformation
Bullfeathers ...
Reaganomics Won the Day. . . and the legacy live on.
Stephen Moore
June 07, 2004,
http://www.nationalreview.com/moore/moore200406070926.asp
My old friend Arthur Laffer, once a chief economic advisor to Ronald Reagan, tells the story of Reagan's first Cabinet meeting as president. The new Cabinet members, ready for their marching orders, had assembled in the West Wing of the White House. Reagan, the seasoned actor, waited for silence in the Cabinet Room. He then stood and said, "Gentlemen and ladies, I hate inflation, I hate taxes, and I hate Communism. Do something about it." He proceeded to walk out of the room.
This was not a president who sweated the details. He had a few very big ideas and he pursued them with the relentless and steely resolve of a greyhound chasing a mechanical rabbit.
Reagan knew that freedom and free markets would put things right. Of course, his supply-side experiment was anything but warmly embraced by the intelligentsia in government, academia, and the media. One recurring lesson of history is that trailblazing intellectual and political leaders who dare to capsize the conventional wisdom of the day are typically dismissed as dangerous, delusional, and dimwitted. To say the earth is round when everyone knows it is flat is a daring enterprise. But that is just what Reagan did in the 1980s. He created a new economics, one based on how the world really works, and he overthrew the unworkable Keynesian ideas that were bankrupting the nation.
[bullfeathers up to your eyebrows]
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A Fresh Look At Reagonomics
Even In His Own Party, There Were Doubts About President's PlanJune 8, 2004
"What I call a voodoo economic policy,'' said George Bush in 1980.
In his first year in office, Reagan signed what he called "the largest tax cut in history."
"This represents $750 billion in tax cuts over the next five years," Reagan said at the time. But as the president was slashing taxes, he was pumping up defense spending by $100 billion to rattle the Soviets. Within years the deficit nearly tripled.
"He, in fact, tried to recoup it over the succeeding years with a series of tax increases which were necessary to bring the budget back at least into decent position." said Fred Bergsten, with the Institute of International Economics. But even his former budget director David Stockman later admitted that, "It leaves behind a profound fiscal policy failure and imbalance."
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1981 Strike Leaves Legacy for American Workersby Kathleen Schalch
August 3, 2006
Twenty-five years ago, on Aug. 3, 1981, more than 12,000 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization walked off the job, setting off a chain of events that would redefine labor relations in America.
In response to the walkout, President Ronald Reagan issued one of the defining statements of his presidency. He said the striking air-traffic controllers were in violation of the law; if they did not report to work within 48 hours, their jobs would be terminated.
Reagan carried out his threat.




66 (Unflattering) Things About Ronald Reagan
by David Corn
The Nation, Posted June 6, 2004
.Editor's Note: This list of "66 Things to Think about When Flying in to Reagan National Airport" appeared in the Nation on March 2, 1998 after the renaming of Washington National Airport after Ronald Reagan. As Corn says, "the piece remains relevant today -- particularly as a cheat sheet for those who dare to point out the Reagan presidency was not all that glorious and was more nightmare in America than morning in America."
The firing of the air traffic controllers, winnable nuclear war, recallable nuclear missiles, trees that cause pollution, Elliott Abrams lying to Congress, ketchup as a vegetable, colluding with Guatemalan thugs, pardons for F.B.I. lawbreakers, voodoo economics, budget deficits, toasts to Ferdinand Marcos, public housing cutbacks, redbaiting the nuclear freeze movement, James Watt.
Getting cozy with Argentine fascist generals, tax credits for segregated schools, disinformation campaigns, "homeless by choice," Manuel Noriega, falling wages, the HUD scandal, air raids on Libya, "constructive engagement" with apartheid South Africa, United States Information Agency blacklists of liberal speakers, attacks on OSHA and workplace safety, the invasion of Grenada, assassination manuals, Nancy's astrologer.
Drug tests, lie detector tests, Fawn Hall, female appointees (8 percent), mining harbors, the S&L scandal, 239 dead U.S. troops in Beirut, Al Haig "in control," silence on AIDS, food-stamp reductions, Debategate, White House shredding, Jonas Savimbi, tax cuts for the rich, "mistakes were made."
Michael Deaver's conviction for influence peddling, Lyn Nofziger's conviction for influence peddling, Caspar Weinberger's five-count indictment, Ed Meese ("You don't have many suspects who are innocent of a crime"), Donald Regan (women don't "understand throw-weights"), education cuts, massacres in El Salvador.
"The bombing begins in five minutes," $640 Pentagon toilet seats, African-American judicial appointees (1.9 percent), Reader's Digest, C.I.A.-sponsored car-bombing in Lebanon (more than eighty civilians killed), 200 officials accused of wrongdoing, William Casey, Iran/contra. "Facts are stupid things," three-by-five cards, the MX missile, Bitburg, S.D.I., Robert Bork, naps, Teflon. http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/18874
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Margaret Thatcher had this to say about her supposed great friend Ronnie: "Poor dear, there's nothing between his ears."
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The Four Pillars of Reaganomicsby Arthur Laffer January 16, 2007 http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/wm1311.cfm
The four pillars of Reaganomics are the grand territories of macroeconomics. You've got money, critical. You've got fiscal policy in taxes and governing spending, critical. You've got regulatory policy or what we call income policies in macroeconomics. And the fourth one, you have trade policy. These were the pillars of Reaganomics, these were the dreams that our president had.
Reagan: We're going to have to make our friends stinking rich with supply-side economics.
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The Myths of ReaganomicsBy Murray N. Rothbard
Posted on 6/9/2004
I come to bury Reaganomics, not to praise it. How well has Reaganomics achieved its own goals? Perhaps the best way of discovering those goals is to recall the heady days of Ronald Reagan's first campaign for the presidency, especially before his triumph at the Republican National Convention in 1980. In general terms, Reagan pledged to return, or advance, to a free market and to "get government off our backs."
Specifically, Reagan called for a massive cut in government spending, an even more drastic cut in taxation (particularly the income tax), a balanced budget by 1984 (that wild-spender, Jimmy Carter you see, had raised the budget deficit to $74 billion a year, and this had to be eliminated), and a return to the gold standard, where money is supplied by the market rather than by government. In addition to a call for free markets domestically, Reagan affirmed his deep commitment to free­dom of international trade. Not only did the upper echelons of the administration sport Adam Smith ties, in honor of that moderate free-trader, but Reagan himself affirmed the depth of the influence upon him of the mid-19th century laissez-faire economist, Frederic Bastiat, whose devastating and satiric attacks on protectionism have been anthologized in economics readings ever since.
The gold standard was the easiest pledge to dispose of. President Reagan appointed an allegedly impartial gold com­mission to study the problem—a commission overwhelm­ingly packed with lifelong opponents of gold. The commis­sion presented its predictable report, and gold was quickly in­terred.
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Legacy of Reaganomics: Former president had lasting impact on world’s economic future
by Sue Kirchhoff, Sandra Block and Barbara Hagenbaugh USA Today, Posted: 6/12/2004 http://www.rgj.com/news/stories/html/2004/06/12/73003.php?sp1=rgj&sp2=umbrella&sp3=umbrella&sp5=RGJ.com&sp6=news&sp7=umbrella
Reaganomics lives on.
Former President Ronald Reagan’s dramatic economic policies are influencing U.S. and world growth — and government action — more than 20 years after he pushed his radical plan to slash taxes, increase defense spending and cut social programs through a divided Democratic Congress.
Reagan steered the country toward free markets and away from government controls. Despite a still-raging battle about the wisdom, and success, of his agenda, many current economic debates, both here and abroad, play on themes sounded in the Reagan era.
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Margaret Thatcher: Champion of free minds and markets - she helped topple the welfare state and make the world safer for capitalists By Paul Johnson, Monday, April 13, 1998 http://www.time.com/time/time100/leaders/profile/thatcher.html
She was the catalyst who set in motion a series of interconnected events that gave a revolutionary twist to the century's last two decades and helped mankind end the millennium on a note of hope and confidence. The triumph of capitalism, the almost universal acceptance of the market as indispensable to prosperity, the collapse of Soviet imperialism, the downsizing of the state on nearly every continent and in almost every country in the world — Margaret Thatcher played a part in all those transformations, and it is not easy to see how any would have occurred without her.
Born in 1925, Margaret Hilda Roberts was an enormously industrious girl. The daughter of a Grantham shopkeeper, she studied on scholarship, worked her way to Oxford and took two degrees, in chemistry and law. Her fascination with politics led her into Parliament at age 34, when she argued her way into one of the best Tory seats in the country, Finchley in north London. Her quick mind (and faster mouth) led her up through the Tory ranks, and by age 44 she got settled into the "statutory woman's" place in the Cabinet as Education Minister, and that looked like the summit of her career. But Thatcher was, and is, notoriously lucky. Her case is awesome testimony to the importance of sheer chance in history. In 1975 she challenged Edward Heath for the Tory leadership simply because the candidate of the party's right wing abandoned the contest at the last minute. Thatcher stepped into the breach. When she went into Heath's office to tell him her decision, he did not even bother to look up. "You'll lose," he said. "Good day to you."
But as Victor Hugo put it, nothing is so powerful as "an idea whose time has come." And by the mid-'70s enough Tories were fed up with Heath and "the Ratchet Effect" — the way in which each statist advance was accepted by the Conservatives and then became a platform for a further statist advance.
She chose her issues carefully — and, it emerged, luckily. The legal duels she took on early in her tenure as Prime Minister sounded the themes that made her an enduring leader: open markets, vigorous debate and loyal alliances. Among her first fights: a struggle against Britain's out-of-control trade unions, which had destroyed three governments in succession. Thatcher turned the nation's anti-union feeling into a handsome parliamentary majority and a mandate to restrict union privileges by a series of laws that effectively ended Britain's trade-union problem once and for all. "Who governs Britain?" she famously asked as unions struggled for power. By 1980, everyone knew the answer: Thatcher governs.
Once the union citadel had been stormed, Thatcher quickly discovered that every area of the economy was open to judicious reform. Even as the rest of Europe toyed with socialism and state ownership, she set about privatizing the nationalized industries, which had been hitherto sacrosanct, no matter how inefficient. It worked. British Airways, an embarrassingly slovenly national carrier that very seldom showed a profit, was privatized and transformed into one of the world's best and most profitable airlines. British Steel, which lost more than a billion pounds in its final years as a state concern, became the largest steel company in Europe.
By the mid-1980s, privatization was a new term in world government, and by the end of the decade more than 50 countries, on almost every continent, had set in motion privatization programs, floating loss-making public companies on the stock markets and in most cases transforming them into successful private-enterprise firms. Even left-oriented countries, which scorned the notion of privatization, began to reduce their public sector on the sly. Governments sent administrative and legal teams to Britain to study how it was done. It was perhaps Britain's biggest contribution to practical economics in the world since J.M. Keynes invented "Keynesianism," or even Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations.
But Thatcher became a world figure for more than just her politics. She combined a flamboyant willpower with evident femininity. It attracted universal attention, especially after she led Britain to a spectacular military victory over Argentina in 1982. She understood that politicians had to give military people clear orders about ends, then leave them to get on with the means. Still, she could not bear to lose men, ships or planes. "That's why we have extra ships and planes," the admirals had to tell her, "to make good the losses." Fidelity, like courage, loyalty and perseverance, were cardinal virtues to her, which she possessed in the highest degree. People from all over the world began to look at her methods and achievements closely, and to seek to imitate them.
One of her earliest admirers was Ronald Reagan, who achieved power 18 months after she did. He too began to reverse the Ratchet Effect in the U.S. by effective deregulation, tax cutting and opening up wider market opportunities for free enterprise. Reagan liked to listen to Thatcher's various lectures on the virtues of the market or the minimal state. "I'll remember that, Margaret," he said. She listened carefully to his jokes, tried to get the point and laughed in the right places.
They turned their mutual affection into a potent foreign policy partnership. With Reagan and Thatcher in power, the application of judicious pressure on the Soviet state to encourage it to reform or abolish itself, or to implode, became an admissible policy. Thatcher warmly encouraged Reagan to rearm and thereby bring Russia to the negotiating table. She shared his view that Moscow ruled an "evil empire," and the sooner it was dismantled the better. Together with Reagan she pushed Mikhail Gorbachev to pursue his perestroika policy to its limits and so fatally to undermine the self-confidence of the Soviet elite.
Historians will argue hotly about the precise role played by the various actors who brought about the end of Soviet communism. But it is already clear that Thatcher has an important place in this huge event.
It was the beginning of a new historical epoch. All the forces that had made the 20th century such a violent disappointment to idealists--totalitarianism, the gigantic state, the crushing of individual choice and initiative--were publicly and spectacularly defeated. Ascendant instead were the values that Thatcher had supported in the face of sometimes spectacular opposition: free markets and free minds. The world enters the 21st century and the 3rd millennium a wiser place, owing in no small part to the daughter of a small shopkeeper, who proved that nothing is more effective than willpower allied to a few clear, simple and workable ideas.
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The Miners' Strike 1984-85 By Fiona O'Loughlin http://www.socialistparty.net/pub/pages/viewspring2004/6.htm
The miners were the most militant section of the working class and the most hated by the ruling class. The Tories had a plan to massive reduce public spending and to decimate Britain's traditional manufacturing industry. Thatcher understood that if the miners could be defeated then the rest of the trade union movement in Britain would be easier to deal with. A plan drawn up by Thatcherite Nicholas Ridley was implemented. The Ridley Plan advocated the stockpiling of coal to sustain supplies throughout a long strike; a shift away from coal to oil in a number of power stations; the beefing up of the powers of the police to deal with strikers and changes in the law to weaken the power of the unions particularly in relation to secondary picketing. On 1 March 1984, NCB announced the closure of Cortonwood Colliery and 20 other pits. This was the opening shot of an all out attack on the miners, their families and their communities.
A virtual civil war raged in the mining communities as the police laid siege to towns and villages. The military style deployment of the police, stationed in army barracks, was on a scale never seen in Britain. Over 20,000 extra police were shipped in many of them from the London Metropolitan Police. No expense was spared. In the 12 months of the strike the government spent £6 billion to defeat the miners. The police were fully equipped with riot gear, horses, dogs, helicopters and even spotter aircraft. It was openly spoken of how the tactics adopted by the police were learned from the experience of the RUC in Northern Ireland over the previous 15 years. The brutality of the police on the picket lines flashed across TV screens and resulted in anger and rage amongst the working class. The scenes of men in jeans and t-shirts been beaten by police in full riot gear, some on horseback were greeted by disbelief amongst a majority of workers. The baton charging of picket lines were a daily occurrence. The battle of Orgreave just outside Sheffield made international news headlines. Thousands of riot police waged a full-scale battle against defenceless picketers, baring the "teeth of the British State" for the entire world to see. Thousands were injured including some bystanders. Arthur Scargill was arrested along with many others. These events left a mark on the consciousness of working class people far beyond those on the frontline in the mining communities. The image of the "Bobby", the friendly community police officer was destroyed by the role they played in the dispute. The British police were seen for what they are a political weapon to be used against the working class. Engels definition of the capitalist state as armed bodies of men in defence of private property was graphically illustrated on the picket lines and in the mining towns and villages in the miners' dispute.
In the end a combination of the treachery of the union leaders and Kinnock, the brutality of the police and the courts, forced the miners back to work. They marched backed, in full song, led by brass bands, their banners held high, filled with pride after 12 months of an heroic struggle.
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Margaret Thatcher:
There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.
You don't tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.
No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well.
I wasn't lucky. I deserved it.
I'm extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end.
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The Shock Doctrine: Saved By A War (Chapter Six) by Naomi Klein
When Friedrich Hayek, patron saint of the Chicago School, returned from a visit to Chile in 1981, he was so impressed by Augusto Pinochet and the Chicago Boys that he sat down and wrote a letter to his friend Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of Britain. He urged her to use the South American country as a model for transforming Britain's Keynesian economy. Thatcher and Pinochet would later become firm friends, with Thatcher famously visiting the aged general under house arrest in England as he faced charges of genocide, torture and terrorism.
Thatcher still looked poised to lose her job after just one term. In 1979, she had run on the slogan "Labour isn't working," but by 1982, the number of unemployed had doubled under her watch, as had the inflation rate ... With a general election looming, Thatcherism was about to come to an early and inglorious close, well before the Tories had achieved their most ambitious goals of mass privatization and breaking the blue-collar unions ... [However] on April 2, 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a relic of British colonial rule.
The legendary Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges scathingly described the land dispute as "a fight between two bald men over a comb." ... The Labour MP Tony Benn said, "It looks more and more as if what is at stake is Mrs. Thatcher's reputation, not the Falkland Islands at all."
Thatcher brushed aside the United nations much as Bush and Blair did in the run-up to the war in Iraq, uninterested in sanctions or negotiations ... Thatcher was fighting for her political future - and she succeeded spectacularly ... Thatcher's personal approval rating more than doubled over the course of the battle, from 25 at the start to 59 percent at the end, paving the way for a decisive victory in the following year's election.
Between 1984 and 1988, the government privatized, among others, British Telecom, British Gas, British Airways, British Airport Authority and British Steel, while it sold it's shares in British Petroleum ... This was the real Operation Corporate, one with historical implications. Thatcher's successful harnessing of the Falkland War was the first definitive evidence that the Chicago School economic program did not need military dictatorships and torture chambers in order to advance. She had proved that with a large enough political crisis to rally around, a limited version of shock therapy could be imposed in a democracy.
Still, Thatcher had needed an enemy to unite the country, a set of extraordinary circumstances that justified her use of emergency measures and repression - a crisis that made her look tough and decisive rather than cruel and regressive. The war had served her purpose perfectly ...
It was in 1982 that Milton Friedman wrote the highly influential passage that best summarizes the shock doctrine: "Only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable."
The kind of crisis Friedman had in mind was not military but economic ... if an economic crisis hits and is severe enough - a currency meltdown, a market crash, a major recession - it blows everything else out of the water, and leaders are liberated to do whatever is necessary (or said to be necessary) in the name of responding to a national emergency. Crisis are, in a way, democracy-free zones - gaps in politics as usual when the need for consent and consenus do not seem to apply.
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Margaret Thatcher Threatened to Use Nukes During Falkland Islands WarNewsmax, November 21, 2005
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/november2005/211105usenukes.htm
French President Francois Mitterrand made a stunning claim to his psychoanalyst during Britain’s Falkland Islands war with Argentina in the early 1980s:
Margaret Thatcher threatened to use nuclear weapons unless Mitterrand gave the British the "deactivate" codes used by anti-ship missiles that France had sold to Argentina!
That never-before-revealed scenario is disclosed in the new book "Rendez-vous: The Psychoanalysis of Francois Mitterrand,” written by Ali Magoudi, who was the French president’s psychoanalyst from 1982 to 1993.
On May 4, 1982, two French-made jets in the Argentine air force attacked the British destroyer Sheffield as it steamed toward the Falkland Islands.A French-made Exocet missile struck the ship, killing 20 crewmembers and injuring 24. The destroyer was scuttled and British naval officials feared that the Exocet was so effective that it jeopardized the entire operation to dislodge Argentine occupiers from the Falklands.
Shortly after that, according to Magoudi’s unsubstantiated disclosures, Mitterrand told him during one of their sessions: "What an impossible woman, that Thatcher. With her four nuclear submarines on mission in the southern Atlantic, she threatens to launch the atomic weapon against Argentina – unless I supply her with the secret codes that render deaf and blind the missiles we have sold to the Argentinians.” Mitterrand then complained to Magoudi: "To provoke a nuclear war for small islands inhabited by three sheep who are as hairy as they are frozen! Fortunately I yielded. Otherwise, I assure you, the metallic index finger of the lady would press the button.” " Was Thatcher bluffing Mitterrand?” the Times asks. "Or was he exaggerating her ruthlessness?”
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http://www.operationcorporate.com/
In 1982, Britain and Argentina had been in dispute over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands for 149 years. Although the population of the islands wished to remain British, Argentina by virtue of their geographical proximity, and on the basis of inherited claims from the Spanish colonial era. The dispute came to a head when Argentine civilians landed on uninhabited nearby South Georgia (also claimed by Argentina) and raised the Argentine flag. Argentina's ruling military junta, led by defacto President, Leopoldo Galtieri, interpreted the lack of a strong immediate British reaction, together with planned British naval cut-backs, as a loss of interest in, and willingness to, defend the islands. In early April, Argentina invaded the Falklands, overwhelming the tiny British garrison. Outraged and humiliated, Britain quickly assembled a naval task force (consisting of almost the entire Royal Navy), with the objective of recovering the islands. Operation Corporate was the name given to the British military operation to retake the Falkland Islands.
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The Falklands Deception
The Falkland Islands have been in British hands since 1833. The barren wind swept Island was home to some 1,813 inhabitants in 1980 as stated by the census for that year. The Islands are situated some 300 miles from Argentina who have always disputed British ownership, not surprisingly, seems as the islands are some 8000 miles from the UK. The ownership of the Islands has been a story of constant disputes between the English, Spanish, and Argentine Governments.
The Falklands War was 'arranged' between the Governments of Argentina and England. Arranging wars is common practice when a Country is in difficulty; patriotism is stirred up by the politicians and whipped up by the media. At the time, Argentina was going through an economic crisis which was devastating. There was also massive social unrest against the Military Junta which had murdered thousands of Argentines for political opposition to the unelected Junta.. Many of these people simply 'disappeared'. Hundreds of those who 'disappeared' were tortured and threw out of aircraft into shark infested waters. Death squads struck with impunity and terrorised working class union members and anyone opposed to the corruption which infested the Countries higher ranks. Throughout 1981, Argentina saw inflation climb to over 600%, GDP went down to 11.4%, and manufacturing output was down to 22.9%, and real wages by 19.2%. The Unions were gaining more support for a general strike every day. The solution was to install patriotism in the people by invading a disputed Island. It worked, Argentineans forgot about the crisis, they forgot, for a few short weeks about the murder of their own people by their own military, they waved the Argentinean flag and played into the hands of the Government.
In a coup on March 24, 1976, a military junta seized power in Argentina and went on a campaign to wipe out left-wing terrorism with terror far worse than the one they were combating. This Junta was armed and supported by the West. Between 1976 and 1983 - under military rule - thousands of people, most of them dissidents and innocent civilians unconnected with terrorism, were arrested and then vanished without a trace. The oppression of the Argentine people continued under a succession of dictators from General Jorge Videla to General Roberto Viola and then General Leopoldo Galtieri for a short while. Before he started the Falklands War Galtieri was subject to growing opposition from the people. The actual dictatorship of General Galtieri lasted only eighteen months but he was a key player in the slaughter and oppression of his own people for years previous. Kidnapping and murdering union activists was something America under Reagan or the UK under Thatcher was not going to complain about. It is ironic that Galtieri asked Ronald Reagan for help in the dispute preceding the war; Reagan had previously praised him as a "magnificent general" for clamping down on leftists. The 'leftists' clamped down on were the same people who 'disappeared' during Galtieri's reign as an unelected Military Dictator. All of the former military leaders were imprisoned for human rights abuses three years after the fall of the dictatorship. In 1990, President Carlos Menem, in an act of utter hypocrisy, pardoned these vicious killers.
Whilst the Argentineans, under the leadership of Dictator General Galtieri were being whipped up into a patriotic fervor, the UK Government under the leadership of Maggie Thatcher seized at the chance to whip up the same patriotic fervor here. It wasn't going to be easy, as the average Brit thought the Falklands were maybe close to Scotland or just off the Isle of Man. The media helped by reminding us the Islands were indeed 'British' and the people who lived there, the Falkland Islanders, were British too. The media took up the cause, and the Argentineans were portrayed as blood thirsty opportunists who would destroy the British way of life on the Islands. Despite the Islanders having to rely on Argentina for post, education, supplies, medical treatment and almost everything else, we were fooled by some old Empire myth into accepting that we could actually lay claim to Islands 8000 miles away. Thatcher, like Galtieri was going through a massive loss of domestic support and elections were looming. Thatcher knew the patriotic cheer leading would lead to death , but politicians are more than willing to sacrifice others so that they can hold onto power.
In Thatcher's autobiography you can clearly see her arrogance on the matter when she states the following "The significance of the Falklands war was enormous, both for Britain's self confidence, and for our standing in the World". How sick can Maggie get? Do we really think that slaughtering young conscripts is good for the Countries 'self confidence.' Thatcher was nicknamed the 'Iron Lady'; she was a cold blooded opportunist who saw her political survival being given a massive boost once she played along to Galtieri's game-plan.
One of the standing orders to Argentine* [corrected, previously stated British] Troops back then was as follows…."A soldier will be condemned to prison for three to five years if, in combat with a foreign enemy, he surrenders without having exhausted his supply of ammunition or without having lost two thirds of the men under his command."
There are plenty of timelines on the internet which detail the day by day account of the war, but this article is more looking at the reasons why the war took place and to tackle the myths which still persist today. The truth is, this war need never have happened and the only reason it did so was to further the interests of the politicians. Old military stock was coming up to its 'best before' date, you can imagine some concerned Politician telling their Arms dealing scumbag friends and perhaps Family that there were thousands of bombs 'going to waste'. Thatcher's son Denis went on to make his fortune by dealing in arms. Is this a co-incidence?, would Mummy have mentioned the potential for even the most thickest of persons to be able, with the right contacts, to make simply phone 'a' to tell them 'b' has 20,000 anti personal mines going cheap. These people are scum, Thatcher starts a War and her son goes on to profit by selling arms. Thatcher even gives a free advert to Casper Weinberger, the Arms manufacturers, in her autobiography where she praises the sidewinder missile.
The war was to see the deaths of over 1000 mainly young men. The Argentines had 746 soldiers killed and the British had 255 soldiers killed. Over 2000 others were wounded, some horrifically. The war eventually ended on June the 14th 2003. General Mendez of Argentina put his signature to the terms of surrender. But for those men who were party to the senseless slaughter, the war will always live on.
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video
[under construction]
Operation Corporate