Falklands Nonsense 178

Britain shows utter disregard to the right of self determination of the people of Diego Garcia, yet claims it as inalienable for the Falklanders. Evidently it is a vital universal right, except for rather dusky people.

The corporate media have universally demonstrated their inability to understand any complex situation, in reporting the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf’s determination on Argentina. Here is a quick guide to what really was decided.

Every state is entitled to claim a territorial sea of up to 12 miles, which is treated legally as part of the territory of the country. Every country can also claim an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of up to 200 miles. This is an area where the law of the country does not apply except in relation to its exclusive right to the economic exploitation of the mineral and living resources of the sea and seabed.

It is worth mentioning a few caveats. Obviously where there is another country nearby, boundaries are to be determined either bilaterally or by an international court. There is no right to obstruct innocent passage of marine vessels, although traffic lanes and other safety measures are permissible. Finally only inhabited land can generate an exclusive economic zone. Uninhabited rocks and artificial islands are both specifically excluded by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which is why China’s extravagant claims in the South China Sea are rubbish. China is a party to UNCLOS.

But beyond the 200 mile EEZ states may also claim the right to minerals in the seabed within the limits of the continental shelf. This is where there is a natural submerged projection of the same geological structure as the land, which proceeds out more than 200 miles. As this submerged shelf generally was once dry land, there is a chance it contains hydrocarbons. The UK is possibly the biggest beneficiary of the continental shelf margin provision, with its shelf stretching into the Atlantic (mostly Scotland’s shelf, in fact). It was the UK which led the inclusion of this provision for continental shelf beyond 200 miles.

Incidentally the continental shelf provision does not give rights to the fish above it beyond the 200 mile EEZ.

Past the limit of the continental shelf, there is very little chance of hydrocarbons (though some, by seepage). In this area, known as the deep sea bed, licences for mineral exploitation are to be given by an international authority which will also levy taxes to be used for the general good of mankind. For twenty tears American objection to this provision stalled the entry into force of the whole of UNCLOS. I am proud to say that I played a leading role in negotiating the protocol that resolved this dispute, as a member and sometimes Head of the UK Delegation to the negotiations. But minerals from the deep sea bed (of which manganese was viewed as most viable) remain a future prospect.

Obviously, there needs to be international agreement of where continental shelf limits lay and the deep sea regime starts. The large majority of eligible continental shelf states have submitted their claim to the UN for approval. Argentina was simply following absolutely normal procedure in doing this. The determination of the limit of the continental shelf is a geological question decided purely on scientific grounds. The UN committee has stated that Argentina’s continental shelf extends 350 miles (this will not be uniform; there will be a map).

There is no reason at all to question this. Indeed this gives Argentina a very similar shelf to the UK’s (really Scotland’s) in the Atlantic. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Falklands.

The Falklands are sat on this continental shelf. The UN simply note the continuing dispute between the UK and Argentina over ownership. But the vast majority of Argentina’s continental shelf is unaffected by the Falklands. Even if the Falklands are viewed as a separate state with full maritime rights, it would not affect more than 5% of Argentina’s continental shelf.

In fact, the UN has simply ruled on where the continental shelf lies, and noted that part of its ownership is disputed. The orgy of UN-bashing in the British corporate media is based on the totally false notion that the UN has stated that Argentina owns the shelf around the Falklands. It has not said that.

Personally I find the British hypocrisy over the Falklands nauseating, particularly when contrasted to the deplorable ethnic cleansing of the Chagossians from their islands to make way for the US military base on Diego Garcia, which the British government refuses to reverse. To make a dispute ever more intractable through militaristic jingoism is not responsible behaviour.

On the centenary of the Easter Rising, it is extraordinary that from Thatcher in the Falklands to Blair in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Sierra Leone, to Cameron in Libya and Syria, we should be living through such a resurgence in British Imperialism.

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178 thoughts on “Falklands Nonsense

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  • haward

    Hi Craig

    your general point is not clear. Your expatiation on the law is pretty good. It should be!

    Do you say that the Chagossians should be allowed to go back to Diego Garcia? I would agree. The way they have been treated has been squalid to say the least.

    But what is your point on the Falklands? Should they be handed over to Argentina whose only claim is proximity, and who fucked that up royally with their illegal invasion in the 80s?


  • Tom Welsh

    “The corporate media have universally demonstrated their inability to understand any complex situation…”

    May I suggest that “The corporate media have universally demonstrated their unwillingness to understand any complex situation…”?

    I am sure they understand perfectly well. But they still have to do their job of spreading disinformation if they wish to keep their comfortable positions and salaries.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    And don’t forget Gib. especially since it was allowed to take in a flood of nationalist refuges during the beginning of the rebellion while it only allowed in a handful of Republicans entry during the end of the Spanish Civil War

    And the Royal Navy worked from there to help enforce a blockade against the Republicans

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      It was Britain’s capture of Gibraltar in 1704, and getting it recognized in the Treaty of Utrecht as part of its empire-builing on the continent which was the start of its advance into the Mediterranean.

      And it’s still a British possession!

      • Iain

        Just for clarification Britain did not capture Gibraltar in 1704, it was captured by an Anglo-Dutch force, where Anglo retains the meaning it should hold i.e.English. The UK did not exist until 1707 and in addition Britain is the island we share not a country.

        Off topic but in a similar vain is the description of The Netherlands as ‘Holland’, where ‘Holland’ is just a region of that country. Always cringe when I hear Scots trotting that one out given the issue we always face.

  • fedup

    I enjoyed reading the articles you have linked to, it is full of self references, and with jingoism abound is intent on pulling any which heart string it can get a hold of, included the millions of pounds getting pumped into the Falklands economy, so Falklanders will be richer than the Qatari and UAE lot, as per telegraph.

    As you say the hypocrisy of kicking out the Chagossians and pretending the place is a marine reserve, in continuation of the old form of handing out the “land without people” whilst remaining jumpy at the slightest probability of Argentinians laying their claim to the leased Islands which then was of course annexed by Thatcher post her setting up the collateral for that war. A war without which she would have been kicked out of the office and affording the UK to be following a different path to its current necon tacked path.

  • Tom Welsh

    haward, the Argentine government’s past behaviour is not really relevant. Either the Falklanders should be allowed to belong to whatever nation they choose, or not. If so, then why can’t the Chagos Islanders (and the Crimeans, and the Novorossians…)?

    Craig’s point is quite unanswerable. The British government (like the US government) is very keen on international law and institutions when they give the “right” answers; otherwise not so much. Consider, for example, the British government’s reaction to the UN finding that Julian Assange has been illegally detained. Or the British and US celebration of Radovan Karadžić’s condemnation, when their own war criminals deserve far more severe punishment than he does.

    • Martinned

      Note that the Assange opinion was in no way a binding statement of law, and therefore there is no legal reason why the UK should have to comply with it.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        Official statement from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner:

        The Opinions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are legally-binding to the extent that they are based on binding international human rights law, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The WGAD has a mandate to investigate allegations of individuals being deprived of their liberty in an arbitrary way or inconsistently with international human rights standards, and to recommend remedies such as release from detention and compensation, when appropriate.

        The binding nature of its opinions derives from the collaboration by States in the procedure, the adversarial nature of is findings and also by the authority given to the WGAD by the UN Human Rights Council. The Opinions of the WGAD are also considered as authoritative by prominent international and regional judicial institutions, including the European Court of Human Rights.


        • Martinned

          That means no more than that the legal instruments that the opinion purported to interpret are legally binding. That is true, but interpreting treaties is a non-trivial exercise, which is why your opinion or mine as to what a given treaty means is not legally binding. The same goes for this advisory opinion.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            I disagree. If the Opinion is based upon binding international human rights law, it is legally binding. That is what the statement says. Why would the Office bother to put the statement out otherwise? The obvious intention is to affirm that the Opinion is legally binding. My opinion or yours doesn’t matter, true. The Opinion of the Working Group does matter.

    • haward

      The past behaviour of Argentina will have just a wee bit of influence on the thinking of the Falkland Islanders. That, is, I think, clear enough. So it is entirely relevant to how the question of self-determination is likely to be answered. As I said the Chagossian swindle shames us all and it is time that we recognised this; even if we can’t fully correct it.

      The Assange determination is hardly a legally binding one. And Blair, for all his faults, is nowhere near as evil as Karadzic. He’s a second order villain. Karadzic and Mladic and their crew would have been hanged in earlier times. The idea that he deserves far more severe punishment than a butcher like Karadzic is hopelessly over egging things.

      • lysias

        Blair was an accomplice in the invasion of Iraq, which is estimated to have cost a million Iraqi lives. I think that’s a considerably higher number than the number of Bosnian deaths that Karadžić was found to share the responsibility for. Estimates of the number of casualties in the Bosnian civil war “have ranged from 25,000 to 329,000”. The number of dead or disappeared Bosniaks was apparently something like 62,000 (as compared to 25,000 Serbs).

        • Martinned

          Unless you think that Blair committed genocide, you should probably stop talking.

          (Actually, if you think Blair committed genocide you should probably stop talking too.)

          • lysias

            If what happened in Bosnia was genocide, then what happened in Iraq a fortiori was genocide.

          • Martinned

            Well, if you put it like that, law is actually really easy. Who needs evidence, or treaties that define genocide, or years of legal training about how to interpret said evidence or said black letter law?

          • lysias

            I happen to have had training in international law in law school, and, when I worked in the Pentagon, a lot of my work had to do with international law, treaties, and the law of war.

          • lysias

            US Sponsored Genocide Against Iraq 1990-2012. Killed 3.3 Million, Including 750,000 Children: Statement by Professor Francis Boyle, Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal:

            Approximately 3.3 million Iraqis, including 750,000 children, were “exterminated” by economic sanctions and/or illegal wars conducted by the U.S. and Great Britain between 1990 and 2012, an eminent international legal authority says.

            The slaughter fits the classic definition of Genocide Convention Article II of, “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” says Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, and who in 1991 filed a class-action complaint with the UN against President George H.W. Bush.

          • Martinned

            So many questions…

            Most importantly, what in the name of a donkey’s beard is the “Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal”???

            Also, how does a guy who thinks you can bring a “class-action complaint with the UN” become a professor of law?

            Also, why are you citing someone who already thought Desert Storm – arguably the most legal war in history – was genocide? Clearly this guy needs to find himself a nice padded cell where some nice nurse will bring him his meds three times a day.

          • Martinned

            How have I never heard about this guy? He is absolutely unfathomably amazing!

            From his Wikipedia page:

            In October 1992, Boyle participated in the International Tribunal of Indigenous Peoples and Oppressed Nationalities in the United States of America that convened in San Francisco. Boyle, acting as a “Special Prosecutor,” petitioned the Tribunal to issue the following:
            – “An Order proscribing the Federal Government of the United States of America as an International Criminal Conspiracy and a Criminal organization under the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles;” and
            – “an Order dissolving the Federal Government of the United States of America as a legal and political entity.”

          • lysias

            By ridiculing Boyle’s other positions, you do not refute his position that genocide was committed in Iraq.

          • Martinned

            OK, if you insist. In no universe was anything done by the US or the UN or the Illuminati in Iraq “calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” of the Iraqi people or any subset of the Iraqi people. In fact, particularly between Desert Storm and 2003 the intention of the US/UN intervention was to avoid the “physical destruction in whole or in part” of the Kurds and/or the Shi’a.

          • lysias

            If genocide was not committed by killing millions in Iraq, it follows that killing tens of thousands of Bosniaks in Bosnia was also not genocide.

          • lysias

            What happened in Srebrenica can plausibly be regarded as mass murder in a civil war in which all the sides, including the Bosniaks, were guilty of mass murder, on comparable scales. Whatever a court that is financially supported by the Western powers may have said.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            You have never heard of Francis Boyle? You must have led a remarkably sheltered life.

            And he is a professor of international law and a practising lawyer. And you’re neither. So it might be a good idea if you knocked off the sark.

        • Habbabkuk (support intelligent discourse)


          “The slaughter fits the classic definition of Genocide Convention Article II of, “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” says Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, and who in 1991 filed a class-action complaint with the UN against President George H.W. Bush.”


          That misleadingly gives the impression of being the UN definition of genocide whereas it is in fact only one of the five indents of Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention.

          I would advise Professor Boyle and Lysias to read Article 2 more carefully. If they do, they will find out – as Martinned has written – that the concept of intention to wipe out a group entirely or in part is key to the notion of genocide.

          And that, by the way, is why all the talk we see on this blog of Isrqel committing genocide is inaccurate and malicious garbage.

          • Habbabkuk (support Presidents Barack and Francois)


            “My point was that, if genocide was committed in Bosnia, then a fortiori it was committed in Iraq.”

            Your point – on which I am not taking a position except to say that Mr Boyle (and therefore you) is selectively quoting – is a diversion from my often-repeated point.

            My point is that those people who accuse Israel of having committed/committing genocide against the Palestinians are wlifully misunderstanding and/or misinterpreting the UN Genocide Convention and, speciifcally, its Article 2.

            I notice that while you are loquacious about genocide (or not) committed against the Iraqi people by the US and genocide (or not) committed by the Serbs against the Bosniaks you have not made your position clear on whether you believe Israel has committed or is committing genocide against the Palestinians.

            Surely such an opinionated and pugnacious poster as yourself has an opinion on that?

            So put on a size 6 pamper if required and tell us 🙂

          • lysias

            I don’t know whether the level of killing of Palestinians by Israel rises to the level of genocide. I think you will find I have never said that it does.

            Apartheid, on the other hand, is another matter. As is ethnic cleansing.

        • lysias

          After enough people are killed in a program, that constitutes circumstantial evidence of a genocidal intent. I’d say the killing of millions of an ethnic group qualifies.

          • Habbabkuk (2016 will be a great year)

            No, Article 2 constitutes a whole and is quite clear. Have you read it yet?

          • Habbabkuk (2016 will be a great year)

            Thank God the Genoicide Convention was written in 1950/51 otherwise you’d probably be claiming that you helped to draft it 🙂

          • lysias

            The Genocide Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 9, 1948. It was drafted in the preceding years by Raphael Lemkin, whose draft was then modified in a series of compromises as a result of pressure from the Soviet Union and other powers.

            Legal Information Institute: Genocide:

            Genocidal intent can, “in the absence of direct explicit evidence, be inferred from” circumstantial evidence (Jelisic, ICTY, Trial Judgment § 47).

          • lysias

            Here is the passage in the ICTY’s Jelisic judgment to which that handbook refers:

            47. As to proof of specific intent, it may, in the absence of direct explicit evidence, be inferred from a number of facts and circumstances, such as the general context, the perpetration of other culpable acts systematically directed against the same group, the scale of atrocities committed, the systematic targeting of victims on account of their membership of a particular group, or the repetition of destructive and discriminatory acts.

            (Emphasis added.)

          • Habbabkuk (commenters, learn a little modesty!)

            Is that the ICTY which you and some others have rubbished on here for being a US stooge?

            You should make up your mind, shouldn’t you?

          • Habbabkuk (commenters, learn a little modesty!)

            You have “proved” nothing and, as usual, you are misrepresenting by selectively quoting source material.

            “Here is the passage in the ICTY’s Jelisic judgment to which that handbook refers:

            47. As to proof of specific intent, it may, in the absence of direct explicit evidence, be inferred from a number of facts and circumstances, such as..etc”

            “Specific intent” of what? It does not say” specific intent to commit genocide” and it is that which we are talking about (or trying to talk about).

          • lysias

            Yes, the specific intent to eliminate a group in whole or in part is what the court said could be proved by circumstantial evidence.

            My point was that, if genocide was committed in Bosnia, then a fortiori it was committed in Iraq. It was the people who claimed genocide was committed in Iraq who relied on an ICTY judgment. Now, if we follow the ICTY, as they do, then the circumstantial evidence of what happened in Iraq can also be adduced, according to the ICTY, and that evidence is much stronger than the evidence of what happened in Bosnia. Myself, I am doubtful of whether genocide was committed in Bosnia and of the value of the ICTY as a court. But I repeat the point I was making: if genocide was committed in Bosnia, then a fortiori it was committed in Iraq.


          • lysias

            In section 46, the ICTY spells out what it means by “specific intent”: “46. The specific intent requires that the perpetrator, by one of the prohibited acts enumerated in Article 4 of the Statute, seeks to achieve the destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnical,
            racial or religious group, as such.” There’s no doubt that many of the prohibited acts were committed in Iraq. In section 47, the ICTY says the intent to destroy can be established by circumstantial evidence.

          • lysias

            I meant “the people who claimed genocide was committed in Bosnia”. To correct:

            Yes, the specific intent to eliminate a group in whole or in part is what the court said could be proved by circumstantial evidence.

            My point was that, if genocide was committed in Bosnia, then a fortiori it was committed in Iraq. It was the people who claimed genocide was committed in Bosnia who relied on an ICTY judgment. Now, if we follow the ICTY, as they do, then the circumstantial evidence of what happened in Iraq can also be adduced, according to the ICTY, and that evidence is much stronger than the evidence of what happened in Bosnia. Myself, I am doubtful of whether genocide was committed in Bosnia and of the value of the ICTY as a court. But I repeat the point I was making: if genocide was committed in Bosnia, then a fortiori it was committed in Iraq.


  • bevin

    A very clear and authoritative explanation of a story which the media are clearly intent on distorting in the interests of the ruling class.
    A story that has almost nothing to do with the political status of the Falkland/ Malvinas islands.
    There cannot be too many reminders of what has been done and what is being done to the persecuted inhabitants of Diego Garcia.

  • Tom Welsh

    “On the centenary of the Easter Rising, it is extraordinary that from Thatcher in the Falklands to Blair in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Sierra Leone, to Cameron in Libya and Syria, we should be living through such a resurgence in British Imperialism”.

    Very true; but the phenomena are easily explained. All human beings have a strong tribal affinity, and the lower their educational level the stronger the tribal pull seems to be. And when times are bad, and people feel ill-treated and unfairly deprived, their instinct to band together and hate foreigners gets all the more powerful.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Perhaps, to band together and hate the out-group.

      It is very important that the tribal instinct is not directed against out-groups undeserving of hostile attention, such as corporate executives, Members of Parliament, or Cabinet Ministers. Rather, it should and must be directed against deserving culprits, such as benefit scroungers or refugees. This is the importance of “we are all in this together”, and the Daily Mail.

  • Fredi

    The world war on democracy – John Pilger
    26th March 2016 / Global

    In the early 1960s, the Labour government of Harold Wilson secretly agreed to a demand from Washington that the Chagos archipelago, a British colony, be “swept” and “sanitised” of its 2,500 inhabitants so that a military base could be built on the principal island, Diego Garcia.

    Lisette and her family and hundreds of islanders were forced on to a rusting steamer bound for Mauritius, a distance of 2,500 miles. They were made to sleep in the hold on a cargo of fertiliser: bird shit. The weather was rough; everyone was ill; two women miscarried. Dumped on the docks at Port Louis, Lizette’s youngest children, Jollice, and Regis, died within a week of each other. “They died of sadness,”

    This act of mass kidnapping was carried out in high secrecy. In one official file, under the heading, “Maintaining the fiction”, the Foreign Office legal adviser exhorts his colleagues to cover their actions by “re-classifying” the population as “floating” and to “make up the rules as we go along”. Article 7 of the statute of the International Criminal Court says the “deportation or forcible transfer of population” is a crime against humanity. That Britain had committed such a crime — in exchange for a $14million discount off an American Polaris nuclear submarine – was not on the agenda of a group of British “defence” correspondents flown to the Chagos by the Ministry of Defence when the US base was completed. “There is nothing in our files,” said a ministry official, “about inhabitants or an evacuation.”

    Today, Diego Garcia is crucial to America’s and Britain’s war on democracy. The heaviest bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan was launched from its vast airstrips, beyond which the islanders’ abandoned cemetery and church stand like archaeological ruins. The terraced garden where Lisette laughed for the camera is now a fortress housing the “bunker-busting” bombs carried by bat-shaped B-2 aircraft to targets in two continents; an attack on Iran will start here. As if to complete the emblem of rampant, criminal power, the CIA added a Guantanamo-style prison for its “rendition” victims and called it Camp Justice.


    • Republicofscotland

      Thank you Fredi, for that, it somehow reminds me of the Boer Wars, initially prompted, by the discovery of vast amounts of diamonds and gold in a territory of South Africa, that was outside Britian’s jurisdiction.

      Which eventually led to the British practice of “scorched earth” policy, over, 20,000 Boers, women and children included, died in the British concentration camps.

      • lysias

        I’m reminded of the Aussie movie Breaker Morant, where Lord Kitchener is telling the military prosecutor that Morant and his fellow officers have to be sacrificed to prevent Germany from intervening in the Boer War, which they want to do because of South Africa’s gold and diamonds. The prosecutor responds, “They lack our altruism, sir.” And Kitchener responds, “Quite.”

  • Martinned

    Yes, I noticed this as well. (Well, only in the Guardian, I didn’t really go hunting for more inaccurate newspaper articles.)

    Just one nitpick. When you say:

    Every state is entitled to claim a territorial sea of up to 12 miles, which is treated legally as part of the territory of the country.

    that’s probably not a good way to put it. Even in the territorial sea there is a right of innocent passage that does not apply to the country’s territory or its internal waters. (Art. 17 UNCLOS.) But yes, otherwise the state’s sovereignty extends to its territorial sea.

    • craig Post author


      I think I say that in the fourth para? It is meant to apply to both the territorial sea and the EEZ. Sorry if it’s not plain.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Still think that Britain’s holding onto Gib all these years is far worse imperialism as it has helped the UK to continue to have special interests in how the EU is managed while leaving Spain a near basket case because of all its continuing separatist components.

    • Martinned

      So you don’t think that the desire of the inhabitants of Gibraltar to maintain the status quo should enter into the analysis?

      Also, the status of Gibraltar impacts the Spanish separatist movements how, exactly?

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Of course, the desires of the inhabitants should play a role but the UK has done nothing about normalizing its relationship with Spain for over three centuries.

        During this time, as I recall, they set up self rule in Canada to kill off French ambitions of remaining part of France, and that was in the 1830s and ’40s.

        With Gib remaining separatists, it’s hardly surprising that the Catalans, Basques and others have kept up the drum beat for self-rule.

        In fact, the Catalans wanting to expand their hold on Spain was a big reason for the Republicans losing the Civil War.

        • Martinned

          Because whenever the Catalans talk about declaring independence they invoke Gibraltar as a relevant precedent? I can’t remember ever seeing anyone in Catalunya caring about Gibraltar one way or another.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            They have enough supporters nearer by for independence to resort to citing what GIB has.

            Barcelona has even been following its own course against Madrid when dealing with NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue. The Catalans hope it will help them gain independence.

            As a result, NATO brought down that Germanwings plane by taking over its transponder, and crashing it to weaken Madrid even more, as the political mess in Madrid now demonstrates.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            No, after taking over the transponder, NATO just put the plane in a deep drive, resulting in its crashing into the French Alps, thanks to Andreas Lubitz having been rendered unconscious by having been drugged.

      • j coleman

        You do yourself no favours by trying to be the top dog smart ass. Why don’t you just debate the issues instead of trying to put down others’ points of view with childish sarcasm?

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Three wrongs doesn’t make a right.

        Spain should certainly hand back Seuta and Melilla which it has kept to offset the weakness that Britain holding Gib causes.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      No, the captain did it, wanting a big legacy for his widow.

      As for taking over a plane’s transponder from any terrorist, you should read what CIA agent Oswald Le Winter wrote in Dismantling America about 9/11, trying to cover up what the Agency’s incompetence in handling the 19 suicde bombers had permitted.

      The system allowed specialist ground controllers to listen to what was happening in any cockpit, and take over a hijacked plane by remote-control, doing with it whatever they wanted despite what any hijacker or flight crew attempted..

      • lysias

        The existence of that system was revealed to me by former German defense official (State Secretary in the Ministry of Defense, Minister of Technology) Andreas von Bülow’s 2002 book Die CIA und der 11.September: Internationaler Terror und die Rolle der Geheimdienste [The CIA and 9/11: International Terrorism and the Role of the Intelligence Agencies].

    • martin

      During a recent conversation with a retired Geophysicist/geologist friend, he happened to mention that his first job out of uni was for the British Geological Survey office mapping the seabed around the falkland islands in search for expected hydrocarbons. That was 1972.
      Forget all this bullshit about falkland islander rights to self determination – the british interest was and always has been an economic one.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Forget all this bullshit about falkland islander rights to self determination – the british interest was and always has been an economic one.”


        I find it almost impossible to disagree, with your above comment. ?

  • Stephen Potts

    The original comments were made by a UN sub commission and seized on by Argentinean politicians for propaganda purposes. The commission agreed prior to their report that any waters that were “disputed” were not covered by the report as stated in paragraph 3 of the UN press release issued yesterday. Nothing changed.

  • lysias

    Peter Hounam made a plausible case in his book Operation Cyanide: How the Bombing of the USS Liberty Nearly Caused World War Three that the attack on the USS Liberty was the result of a conspiracy between Lyndon Johnson and the Israelis to widen the 1967 Middle East war and bring in the U.S. into it on the side of Israel, after the public had been told that the Liberty had been sunk by the Egyptians (or by the Russians). There is evidence that a nuclear strike by the U.S. on Egypt was being planned.

    • lysias

      I was responding to a posting on this thread about the attack on the Liberty which seems to have been deleted.

        • lysias

          You seem to have a very expansive definition of anti-Semitism. How is a posting that refers to a book that transfers a lot of the guilt for the attack on the Liberty to Lyndon Johnson anti-Semitic?

  • David Smith

    It’s merely the last twitches and convulsions of a dying imperial construct.
    May it’s final departure come swiftly.

  • Roderick Russell

    We should remember that at the time of the Falklands War the Argentinian government was throwing their own dissidents (thousands of them) out of aeroplanes. Until it can demonstrate a “long term” stable human rights record, this is not a country anybody should even consider handing people or assets over to.

      • Roderick Russell

        In my view it doesn’t follow that because mass murderers may have had a green light from somebody else that they, themselves, are absolved of their guilt. If the recent revelations in the press (and Guardian) about Mr. Kissinger and Argentina are true then it also calls into question Mr. Kissinger’s judgement and ethical standards, but does not absolve the Argentinian government of that day from their responsibilities for these mass murders.

    • Njegos

      What do mean by a “long term” stable human rights record? Is 33 years not long enough? How much time do you want?

      How about British human rights violations in Iraq? How about British participation in renditions? How about British whitewashing of torture in Uzbekistan? And all in the last 10-15 years!!! Do we have a “long term” stable human rights record?

  • Anon1

    John Goss will be along in a minute to tell us the Falklands should be handed back to the indigenous inhabitants.


    I think I am right in recalling that whatever the status of the Chagos Islanders, Craig would wish to see the Falklands handed over to Argentina. Perhaps he would like to refresh us as to his reasoning behind this (if of course I am recalling correctly).

  • John Spencer-Davis

    FAO Craig Murray

    I will be devil’s advocate here. The European Court of Human Rights in 2012 rejected the suit of the Chagos Islanders claiming a right of return to Diego Garcia, on the grounds that since the Islanders had accepted financial compensation in 1975-1982 in full and final settlement of their claims, they are estopped from pursuing further legal proceedings.

    What have you to say to that, Craig? Who are you to pick a fight with the ECHR?


    • Martinned

      As you say, “estopped”. (Or, to be precise, issue estoppel/res iudicata.) So the barrier to relief was procedural rather than merits-based. The ECtHR did not hold that the rights of the Chagos Islanders had not been infringed.

      • lysias

        Estoppel is a doctrine of equity, rather than of law. A party wishing to assert estoppel must come to the court with clean hands. Does the British government have clean hands in this case?

        • John Spencer-Davis

          Interesting. I think it does, yes, as a matter of law. Because it can argue that – no matter the dirty dealings in the first instance – it made a fair offer in the domestic courts which was accepted by the Chagossians and their lawyers in full and final settlement. So the issue has been properly litigated.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        We seem to be arguing on unusual sides. You are quite right, of course. But your words give the impression that the relief was withheld due to some legal technicality and that the islanders have received no remedy. Not so. The Court essentially said “You’ve had your relief once, and you agreed to it. You can’t have it again.” It is particularly significant that this judgement took place within a court of human rights.

  • CanSpeccy

    An informative, well-written post marred by the unnecessary and distracting references to Chago, Scotland and David Cameron. If you could drop the high-minded (i.e., self-congratulatory) indignation, your writing would have greater impact. Of course, write about the dispossession of the Chagos Islanders, the grievances of the Scotch, or the endless hypocrisy of David Camoron if you are so inclined, but not in this annoying, drive-by manner.

    • Republicofscotland

      Of course Canspeccy, you’d know what constitutes good and interesting writing. With your fascinating blog and published books.

      We’re all on tenterhooks awaiting your next decisive comment, no doubt a Pulitzer or Booker prize, awaits a literary maestro such as yourself.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Some slightly connected points..

    1. Craig wrote…

    “This is where there is a natural submerged projection of the same geological structure as the land, which proceeds out more than 200 miles. As this submerged shelf generally was once dry land, there is a chance it contains hydrocarbons.”

    I won’t bore you with the physics re the origins of oil, but there is probably very little life on Titan yet “Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.”

    2. Tom Feeley who is a one man band running Information Clearing House (where some of Craig’s articles appear) has had a stroke and is in hospital. However, it would seem not to be too serious, and he hopes to be back home (and at work) soon.

    3. Graham E. Fuller has an interesting article on ICH “The Fallacy of ‘Humanitarian’ War” . He is Ex Very Senior CIA, yet very critical of current US Policy.

    4. His daughter was married to the uncle of the guy blamed for the boston bombing. This could of course be mere co-incidence, but I find it interesting because I am totally convinced that the boston bombing was faked.

    • lysias

      U.S. authorities ignored Russian warnings about the Boston bombers just as Belgian authorities ignored Turkish warnings about the Brussels bombers.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

        Spooks and reporters are very much the same: they only take input seriously if there is some observable event, and you witnessed it.

        If you come up with some solution to an unsolved problem, like who murdered Willie McRae and Olof Palme, they aren’t the slightest bit interested.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

          Does the growing likelihood of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff being impeached, and removed from office have anything to do with the convenient death of Edwardo Campos during the recent election campaign?

          First dismissed as just another loony conspiracy theory, it looks like it might be just another conspiracy.

    • Njegos


      “Tom Feeley who is a one man band running Information Clearing House (where some of Craig’s articles appear) has had a stroke and is in hospital. However, it would seem not to be too serious, and he hopes to be back home (and at work) soon.”

      I am very sorry to hear that. His website is an indispensable source of news. I hope he recovers fast.

      • bevin

        I very much agree with you. And thanks to Tony for the information. ICH does a superb job by publishing important news and analysis that the powers that be go to considerable lengths to suppress.
        It is thanks to Tom Feeley and others that the vice like grip of the licensed media has diminished to the extent that we now see in the US the real possibility of both major parties splitting before election day and, in the UK, Corbyn, elected in the teeth of 99% opposition by the 1%’s Press.

    • glenn_uk

      Tony: I suppose you know your mate Dave McGowan has passed on. Very sad.

      As for Tom Feely, he’s a good bloke – I might have made him aware of CM’s blog in the first place, as it happens.

  • Njegos

    Thank you Craig for this very solid piece. And kudos to the thoughtful contributors here. You put to shame the jingoistic rabble that pollute the comments sections on this topic whenever it appears in the mainstream media.
    I am no expert on the subject but as it happens, I live in Buenos Aires and I am increasingly of the opinion that both Argentina and Britain lost the Falklands War. Argentina lost militarily but Britain lost economically. What is indisputable is that the islanders are the big winners. They have got Downing St. and Westminster by the balls. From what I can gather, the British government has spent close to $10 billion on the defense of the islands over the past 34 years since the end of the war. The islanders live a highly subsidized tax-free existence. Oil discoveries were scheduled to turn the Falklands into the Brunei of the South Atlantic but the oil price drop has put that dream on hold. (So sorry taxpayers but no payback anytime soon). Quite an ironic victory however when you consider that almost no islanders fought in the war (an exception was Terry Peck whose son, the war artist James Peck, created uproar years later when he was granted Argentine citizenship, a decision motivated by personal not political reasons).
    It is also clear to me is that a clever Argentine government could continue to bleed the UK Treasury with very little effort. Four years ago, much of the British press seized on the Argentine commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the war to inform us that Argentina remained a threat to the islanders and how it was high time we spent even more money to shore up the defenses of the islands. This produced Pavlovian howls of delight from the “nuke those mother-f*ckin Argy sobs” brigade, that multitude of presumably electorally significant flag-waving Orcs for whom the war had never truly ended. The Foreign Office issued de rigueur warnings to British expatriates and tourists when suddenly….nothing happened. (In fact, the only Brit who I have heard of being attacked in Argentina during the seven years that I have lived here is Top Gear’s Mr. H982FKL, an incident generated a rare feeling of Anglo-Argentine solidarity).
    The patent absurdity of the British government’s stance is reflected in the fact that the Argentine navy is badly under-funded with barely a third of their fleet currently seaworthy. The Air Force is equally neglected stuck with the same fighter aircraft used 30 years ago. Argentine air defenses are so miserable that it struggles to defend its northern air space from incoming private aircraft used by drug traffickers. The Kirchners oversaw a steady and deliberate degradation of the capability and reputation of the country’s armed forces. Their oft-declared intention to pursue the return of the islands without force perhaps made virtue out of a necessity but it was no less credible for it.
    It is true that Britain holds the cards on the argument of sovereignty although as many point out, some seeking self-determination are more equal than others. Some even get to have two countries like the Albanians. Others, like Crimeans, Kurds, Serbs in Bosnia, Chagossians are, politically speaking, simply invisible.
    I guess there will always be those Brits who would sooner see their local health service and schools go to pot before even thinking of anything other than complete sovereignty over the distant Falklands, sparsely-habited territory of no strategic whatsoever to the UK. The latest maritime development is likely only to increase this siege mentality.

  • Chavved

    “legal, ahem, haw, consultant” Martinned’s shtik is throwing around a smattering of facile legal bafflegab, then attacking his political enemies with content-free insult: lately Chomsky & Herman, Authors of The Political Economy of Human Rights, which he can’t quite reconcile with his broad-brush nose-thumbing; and today Boyle, who with Gaddafi made the the US turn tail and run from war on Libya. Clearly Martinned’s enemies have a couple IQ σs on him. Quite an honour roll, all in all. Who else do you despise, Martinned? Perhaps you’ll dig us up some up-and-comers!

    • Martinned

      I like reading intelligent arguments that challenge my priors. But I have little patience for utter incoherence and silly conspiracy theories. Trust me, I would be just as impolite if someone brought up Jade Helm.

    • bevin

      “Who else do you despise, Martinned? ..”
      He should speak for himself, but my impression after reading his comments on the Kangaroo Court sitting on the “genocide” (which spared, it is universally agreed, women) in Srebrenica is that he would regard jurors as disqualified from judging facts and understanding laws. In fact he would seem to believe that only legally trained professionals are capable of understanding, and presumably making, laws.

      • Martinned

        I’m not sure how you got to that, but since you mention it, yes, I think it’s quite right that the Netherlands, my native country, has no juries for anything, ever. As a result, we also don’t have laws of evidence as a common law lawyer would understand them. As long as you don’t waste the court’s time, go ahead and introduce your evidence. (Except for illegally obtained evidence in certain circumstances, of course.)

        I like the idea of assizes courts the way they have them in France, but only for serious felonies. Having a civil jury decide my patent suit seems like a nightmare.

  • Republicofscotland

    “The Falkland Islands are looking to Britain to see what a United Nations ruling on the South Atlantic Ocean means.

    Argentina is said to be welcoming a commission decision that has increased its maritime territory to include the disputed islands and beyond.

    Argentina’s foreign ministry said its waters had been increased by 0.66 million square miles (1.7 million square kilometres) – 35% – and the decision will be key in its dispute with Britain over the islands which it calls Las Malvinas.

    “This is a historic occasion for Argentina because we’ve made a huge leap in the demarcation of the exterior limit of our continental shelf,” foreign minister Susana Malcorra said.

    “This reaffirms our sovereignty rights over the resources of our continental shelf”.

    The Falkland Islands government has said it is looking to Britain to discover “what, if any, decisions have been made, and what implications there may be” now for the territory.”


  • RobG

    Chunky Mark (the ‘artist taxi driver’) did a very interesting interview today with Martin Rowson, the Guardian cartoonist. It’s in 3 short segments, and the first one can be found here…


    How Rowson retains his job is beyond me. It’s one of those rare instances when you get a chink of light from behind the curtain, and it does sort of relate to what Craig’s saying here.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Martin Rowson keeps his job because he’s arguably the most informed, capable and unforgiving UK political cartoonist since the 18th century. The interview gives a rare insight into the depth of the loathing for some of his subjects which powers his work. And which some of us share. Thanks for the link.

    • Scott

      March 29, 2016 at 22:28; Rob G

      Thanks for that link to Martin Rowson, Rob G. It was a wonderful insight into the man’s thought process, and invigorating to be carried along by his political passions.

      Kind regards,

  • Walter Cairns

    Indeed – the hypocrisy is nauseating. And I am quite sure that Diego Garcia is where the missing MH370 plane was taken.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

      Nice thoughts about its natives but MH370 disappeared nowhere near there.

      Why would the Anglo-American spooks want to kidnap the plane, and hold its passengers there for over two years now?

      The plane was sabotaged over the South China Sea, killing the vast majority of is Chinese and Malay passengers to stir up troubles in the area, and getting back at Beijing for poisoning MI6 spy Neil Heywood.

      The SiS thought that Washington would approve of the plot since two Iranians with stolen passports brought it down, but by this time Washington did not want to make Tehran angry by apparently being behind the sabotage since it was seriously involved with the mullahs to reach a nuclear accord.

      MH370 will never be found since the vast majority of it was made into a fireball which plunged into the sea.

  • nevermind

    Ahh, Lebensraum, time for the Kaiser to build up the navy again? we are rapidly going backwards, or do these neocon considerations represent the last abortion pains of the empire?

  • mickc

    With respect, the Falklands “war” was hardly imperialism by the UK or Thatcher, but by Galtieri and Argentina.
    The UK wanted rid of the Falklands, and still does, but not by force.
    A political stunt to court popularity by Galtieri became a huge political triumph for Thatcher. The politics were badly handled by Labour, of course, although I remember Kinnock’s “guts” remark as being a pretty good one….not reported by the media as such, naturally.

  • Chavved

    Classic Martinned at 11:11. No trace of rebuttal or critique, just a vapid stab at condescension and a dismissive flap of the wrist. Habbakuk-level stuff.

    Perhaps that’s for the best. Martinned also has a hard time with substance. His reflex response to Boyle was essentially, ‘Well, I never!’ He’s evidently not even plugged in. Though it’s news to Martinned, the US government is acutely aware of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal. They considered it important enough to spy on it with NSA’s crown jewels: their last-resort Advanced Persistent Threat, the fanny.bmp dropper. At the time they reserved regin and Equation_Group methods for threats worth the risk of exposing NOBUS capabilities. Goes to show, a challenge to impunity is an existential threat to the US.

    All in all, dismally second-rate. Wish we did have some properly-educated and articulate advocates of the real difficulties with human rights and rule of law.

    • Republicofscotland


      Thank you for that very informative comment, I’ve gleaned quite a bit of info from it using multiple searches. ?

    • Node

      I used Google to research several of the terms in your comment, Chavved. Then I tried to visit a Youtube channel I have bookmarked. Instead of YouTube, I got a Google page asking me to fill in a Capcha with the explanation :

      About this page
      Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network. This page checks to see if it’s really you sending the requests, and not a robot. Why did this happen?
      This page appears when Google automatically detects requests coming from your computer network which appear to be in violation of the Terms of Service. The block will expire shortly after those requests stop. In the meantime, solving the above CAPTCHA will let you continue to use our services.

      The only other time this has happened was after I’d been Googling equally iffy stuff. A warning shot across my bows?

  • Republicofscotland

    ***Breaking news*****

    The family of the murdered Charles De Menezes, have lost their appeal at the European Court of Human Rights.

    Judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled British prosecutors were right not to charge police officers over Brazilian electrician’s fatal shooting in 2005.


    The unarmed De Menezes was shot eight times, with dum dum bullets, seven times in the head and onced in the shoulder.

    I take from this ruling that as long as armed police/services follow the proper procedure after shooting someone, then no further action will taken against them. Which in my opinion reinforces the shoot first ask questions later policy.

    • Martinned

      Well, the ECtHR ruled British prosecutors were entitled not to charge the police officers. Whether they were right to do so is not for the Court to say.

    • Kempe

      The court agreed that there was insufficient evidence which is not only incredible but who was responsible for gathering that evidence?

      • Martinned

        The UK has an art. 2 ECHR obligation to hold an inquest following a death like this, which they did:

        103. The inquest, which had been adjourned pending the trial of the OCPM, commenced on 22 October 2008. In the course of the inquest seventy-one witnesses were called, including Commander McDowall, Commander Dick, Trojan 80, Trojan 84, Charlie 2 and Charlie 12. The family of Mr de Menezes were represented at the hearing at the State’s expense and were able to cross-examine witnesses and make submissions.

        The Court, by a majority, rejected the submission that that inquest was insufficient or otherwise defective. I have insufficient expertise in this area to say one way or another whether that was right, but I see no reason why one would accuse the Court of bias in this matter, so I would tend to assume the Court was right or at least reasonable.

  • Chavved

    No, NSA’s work has long been shit, sustained solely by secrecy. Dual EC DRBG (https://projectbullrun.org/dual-ec/) was scarcely good enough for government work. Now that people know the depth of their perfidy, the game is up. They’re mostly button-pushers, as Snowden said, albeit with some able but costly contract assistance.

    By the way, How does a Dutchman come to know of Jade Helm? That’s quite arcane for a Eurocrat, one would think, particularly for one who didn’t notice the KLWCT.

  • Republicofscotland

    According to this article Zac Goldsmith is playing the “racialising” card in order to attain his goal of becoming mayor of London. Westminster PM David Cameron is also giving him his backing.

    Unfortunately for Mr Goldsmith, or maybe in his haste to become mayor of London, he’s overlooked that over 44% of London’s citizens are of a ethnic origin.



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