Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Falklands War

June 14th 1982 was also the day that Argentina surrendered to the British in the brief, but deadly Falklands War.

It was a war that should not have been. 967 people died because of missinterpretation and bureaucracy.

Here's how the war began.

There was a 39 year old scrap dealer by the name of Constantine Davidoff, an Argentinean, who wishes today he could take back an innocent action.

Davidoff heard about three abandoned whaling stations on the Georgia islands. It was a chance to make some salvage money with scrap parts. In December of 81, Davidoff, and seven crewmen got permission from the British to inspect the stations. In March he started salvage operations. His men, either as a joke or excitement or pride or what have you raised a blue and white Argentine flag over the salvage operations.

The flag was spotted by a group of British researchers camped about 5 miles away. They got on their radio and called London.

Word spread among the British and in the Falklands.  800 miles to the west a group of patriotic islanders broke into the Argentinean National Airlines office in Port Stanley and put up the British flag and wrote on the wall '"Tit for tat."

The British Government protested that the Davidoff crew landed illegally. They didn't land illegally and had permission, but distance and time and inter-department bureaucracy didn't get permits to the right people at the right time.

Argentina said the Davidoff Salvage crew had a right to be there. Britain responded by sending in an Ice Patrol Boat. Argentina then sent a navy ship to protect the crew from forcible removal. More meetings were held between the British and Argentina. Words became angry. Ownership rights were stated and demanded and days later the Argentineans invaded and the Falkland’s war began. 

You know the rest.

The lesson here is simple. Your actions may not cause a war between countries, but will they could cause conflict between family, neighbors, ever strangers. Be responsible for what you do and say for the loss of personal and spiritual peace by anger and insult, and by misunderstanding. It is very a lasting pain.

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