Britain forced Galtieri into invading Falklands...says his family.

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    Which I don't believe for a split second. Sure, the war came at an opportune time for Thatcher, but to say it was engineered, particularly exaggerating the scrap metal workers arriving at South Georgia, is stretching the truth somewhat.…o-invading-Falklands.html

    If you can't get past the paywall, here's the transcript:

    Britain forced Galtieri into invading Falklands (from 2007)

    Britain forced Argentina to invade the Falkland Islands, the members of General Leopoldo Galtieri's family said yesterday in their first interview since the 1982 conflict.

    The widow and children of Argentina's former military ruler claimed that the war was engineered by Britain to avoid negotiations that could have led to the loss of sovereignty over the islands.

    Speaking to The Daily Telegraph in the Buenos Aires apartment where Galtieri lived with his wife Lucia until his death in 2003, his son Carlos said: "I am convinced the English wanted the conflict to happen. They had realised they were going to have to negotiate (under the aegis of the United Nations). So what did they do? They made Argentina look like an aggressor."

    A UN resolution was passed in 1965 asserting that the Falklands constituted a colony and calling on Britain and Argentina to negotiate. But the 1982 conflict extinguished all hopes of negotiations.

    After weeks of growing tension, Argentina sent a force to occupy Port Stanley on April 2, 1982 and, in the weeks that followed, Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister, sent a task force to win back the islands. By the time Argentina surrendered on June 14, 255 Britons and 655 Argentinians had died. But the family insists that the widely accepted version of events - in which Galtieri figures as a wicked, drunken dictator who started a war to distract an increasingly discontented nation - is wrong.

    "History is written by the winners. But the losers know the truth," said Mrs Galtieri, sitting alongside her son.

    Vilified after the war, which led to the collapse of the military junta in 1983, Galtieri refused, until his death, to speak publicly except to say he had "no regrets".

    After a "period of respect" for his father, his son explained, the family had decided to speak now, only on the subject of the Falklands, weeks away from the April 2 anniversary of the beginning of the conflict.

    "I think that after 25 years it is time to start talking about this again, to seek a solution," said Carlos.

    "Now is the moment to take action to see if it is possible to resolve the last example of traditional colonialism that exists in Latin America."

    Using coffee table ornaments and a pot of plastic tulips to demonstrate movements by both countries around the islands, the family claimed that Britain deliberately overreacted to the arrival of a group of Argentinian scrap workers on South Georgia in March 1982, creating a diplomatic stand-off and a military build-up that left Galtieri with "no option" but to invade.

    If Galtieri had accepted the British demand that the workers have their passports stamped to remain on the islands, he would effectively have been dropping Argentina's 150-year-old claim to sovereignty over the islands the Argentinians known as Las Malvinas, they said.

    "He rang me in the morning to tell me they had recovered the Malvinas," remembered Mrs Galtieri, smoking nervously as she spoke.

    "I thought, 'My husband is a patriot. The last in Argentina'."

    The general, the family said, was an honourable military man who felt a duty to defend the Argentinian belief that "Las Malvinas son Argentinas" (The Malvinas islands are Argentine).

    "He had no regrets. He had a clear conscience," said Carlos.

    The family laughed at the idea that Galtieri had used the conflict to stay in power amid growing public protests. Galtieri would have preferred to have focused on plans to return the country to a democratically elected government within two years, they said.

    "He never wanted to be president," the whole family shouted, one voice rising over another.

    "He was not a politician. He was a military man. But he accepted the job because he felt it was his responsibility."

    Few Argentinians sympathise with the Galtieri family or share their views.

    Like many other military leaders, until his death Galtieri risked abuse or egg throwing if he ventured out of his home.

    Once democracy was restored in 1983, Argentina's military leaders were pursued for human rights abuses during the seven-year-long dirty war. Galtieri served five years of an 11-year sentence for "mismanagement" of the Falklands conflict before being pardoned by then president Carlos Menem. When he died, he was under house arrest for alleged involvement in the abduction of babies born to detained dissidents.

  • The only thing that I can say without making a mess again, is that the war of Falklands/Malvinas was the last one where the Geneva Convention was really respected. good for UK and Argentina.

    Other thing is that the argentinean move to seize the Islands was carefully prepared by Admiral Busser, with the clear intention that killing any foe was prohibited. And this was perhaps the only invasion in the world that had neither provoked casualties in the population nor in the soldiers which defended it.

    Perhaps few people know about this. At least, we show a certain, uncommon kind of civility.