Coming from where I come from, I expect disputes with foreign powers over colonialism and oil to lead to some ugly scenes. But I've seen none of that in Buenos Aires. The Argentinians are treating their dispute with Britain quite differently than what my Iranian or even American side would do. Especially now that the generals are no longer in power.
Tonight I watched a few minutes of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's speech on the dispute over the Malvinas Islands. I had never heard her before and I didn't understand more than a few words. But her performance was impressive. She was firm but calm. No theatrics. No insults. Cool, calm and collected.
Later I went to the movies to see "The Iron Lady". The theater was packed. I wondered what the Argentinian audience was thinking about Margaret Thatcher. When the film reached the part about the war and Meryl Streep convincingly recreated Thatcher's rhetoric, I thought the crowd would go nuts. I thought there would be boos and hisses. Or someone would shout a juicy curse word or two.
Nothing! Not a sound. No reaction whatsoever. Everyone calmly watched the story of Argentina's arch enemy from start to finish and quietly left the theater.
What is going on here?
This is the worst point in Argentina's relations with Britain since their war 30 years ago and by my standards the people are reacting way to calmly. So far there have been no million marchers carrying "Death to the Queen" banners. No takeover of the British embassy by angry mobs. No fiery speeches threatening to wipe out the British from the face of the earth. Not even a demand to change "English Breakfast" to Argentinian.
Before going home, I stopped by Bar Britanico. It was business as usual. A couple flirting at the table next to me. In front a guy wearing big headphones, shaking his head to the beat and reading a book. And there was the waiter who hates his job and shows it. But there were no demonstrators. No broken windows. No anti-British graffiti.
This may all change tomorrow, next month or next year. People can get wound up pretty easily about this patriotic stuff. But so far, so good. The fact that Argentinians are keeping their cool and their government has wisely decided to fight it out in the United Nations rather than the battlefield, says something -- something we badly need.
|Recently by Jahanshah Javid||Comments||Date|
|Hooman Samani: The Kissinger|
|Aug 31, 2012|
|Eric Bakhtiari: San Francisco 49er|
|Aug 26, 2012|
|You can help|
|Aug 23, 2012|
|نسرین ستوده: زندانی روز||Dec 04|
|Saeed Malekpour: Prisoner of the day||Lawyer says death sentence suspended||Dec 03|
|Majid Tavakoli: Prisoner of the day||Iterview with mother||Dec 02|
|احسان نراقی: جامعه شناس و نویسنده ۱۳۰۵-۱۳۹۱||Dec 02|
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Prisoner of the day||46 days on hunger strike||Dec 01|
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Graffiti||In Barcelona||Nov 30|
|گوهر عشقی: مادر ستار بهشتی||Nov 30|
|Abdollah Momeni: Prisoner of the day||Activist denied leave and family visits for 1.5 years||Nov 30|
|محمد کلالی: یکی از حمله کنندگان به سفارت ایران در برلین||Nov 29|
|Habibollah Golparipour: Prisoner of the day||Kurdish Activist on Death Row||Nov 28|