02 April 2012

The Falklands

Today is the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands war, Argentina invaded the islands and Britain came to their defence. I remember watching the news reports of the war, where over 900 men died, with increasing horror. In the past little was available to keep the people at home from the horrors of the war, and even though it was edited, it was still disturbing to see the Welsh Guards after the bombing of the Sir Galahad, the field hospital scenes were just that and reminiscent of the Crimean war but with pain killers not gags.

Television had a lot to answer for, a brave new world it brought the war into our living rooms and endless sleepless nights with Brian Hanrahan commentating and his famous saying 'we counted them all out, and we counted them all back in' ringing in your ears.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have wanted it to be sanitised where the truth was hidden from the public, but perhaps 30 years ago they didn't realise that reporting from the frontline also meant that families and friends were subjected to violence that their loved ones were facing was possibly a bad thing. The only positive thing was the rallying of what seemed like the entire British Isles behind the troops fighting this war, and that was a good thing, unlike today's guys in Afghanistan who are made out to be villains; but the troops on the ground are fighting on behalf of the politicians.

I felt sorry for the Argentinian conscripts, angry at the French for supplying weapons, and saddened at the loss of so many young lives with others destroyed physically and mentally. I hope that peace will come to the Falklands, but recent news from Argentina who still believe that these islands belong to them rather than to the islanders themselves doesn't give me much hope.

1 comment:

sally-ann said...

At the time of the Falklands War Mike was a housemaster and teaching at a boys boarding school which had mainly service children attending. We dreaded getting a message that we'd have to speak to a lad and tell him there was bad news about his father. Thankfully we never got the call and no boys at the school lost a parent. The best bit came when the father one of our boys raised the Union Jack at the end of the war.