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"Desire the right"

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The Falkland Islands is a self-governing territory of the United Kingdom.

When the military dictatorship of Argentina invaded on this day in 1982, a local radio presenter repeatedly played 'Strangers in the Night' to warn Falklanders. They were determined to remain British.

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Three thousand people live in the Falkland Islands.
Image: Virtual Tourist

The British Government, led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, took the wishes of the island people so seriously it went to war to protect them from armed aggression.

Britain had been taken by surprise by the attack and scrambled to launch a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force, and retake the islands by amphibious assault if necessary.

While British ships streamed across the Atlantic, the Argentine government refused to withdraw as requested by the UN. It refused to respect the Islanders' right to self-determination.

After intrepid combat, the British prevailed. They did so with the help of the United States. President Reagan's administration made supplying essential military supplies its top priority. Caspar Weinberger, the US Secretary of Defense, later received a knighthood for his services. Happily, the Argentine defeat increased popular protests against the military junta, which fell.

Prime Minister Thatcher's resolute defence of the Falkland Islands against Argentine aggression won her national and international support.

"It was," wrote Luigi Barzini, "a highly pragmatic operation undertaken in defense of international law and morality and surely not for gain." The islands were restored "to the government desired by their inhabitants".

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Coat of Arms, Falkland Islands

We wish the current British government took the wishes of its own island people half as seriously. . .

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