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Argentine exitism in its worst facet: we ignore those who were forced to risk their lives for us.
The other day a video was viralized in which the commander of a flight heading to Rio Gallegos greeted and thanked two Malvinas survivors who were were among the passengers returning, for the first time in more than 35 years, to the islands where they probably lived the worst days of their lives.
The rest of the passage, upon hearing this message, gave them warm applause. The video ends with a close-up of one of the visibly excited fighters. I must admit that when I saw the images, I was excited too.
As often happens to me in these cases, once the emotion passed, I questioned myself: what was it that produced it? (maybe it's a reflection of my role as a writer: in order to generate some kind of emotion in the reader it's very useful to know what produces it in me).
And I didn't like the answer very much. What moved me was the anger and sense of injustice that our country had with the soldiers of this infamous war.
Let's start at the beginning: the Falklands war was a drowning swarm of a government that needed some kind of popularity and social recognition. It was badly planned and, above all, poorly executed.
18-year-olds were recruited to fight, without the necessary equipment or training, in one of the most hostile climates on the planet against one of the world's most important military powers. There are many testimonies of punishments and torture by Argentine superiors (even mention of soldiers killed for these reasons). That is, an infamous war in which the State systematically abused and risked the lives of its citizens (soldiers but also collimbas) for the delirium of a madman. So far the blame of the military leadership that ruled us until '83.
But my anger and sense of injustice go further: since we regained democracy, we had plenty of time to pay tribute to them and recognize them as they deserve.
The Nation somehow screwed up their lives (some, still today, roam the trains selling stamps to live) and never recognized them, neither economically nor symbolically, as they deserve it.
And at that point I could not but relate it to one of the worst aspects, in my opinion, of Argentine ethos : we are terribly exitists. If we had won that war and today on the islands flamed the Argentine flag, would things be the same? I'm inclined to think not. I think it is one of the clearest examples that Argentines do not reward the effort or the preparation or the will: we only care about the outcome. The fact that we get to a football tech gives me a big deal. But the fact that it happens to us with the lives of compatriots already makes me sad. Health, Malvinas survivors. From here, all my recognition. But above all, my most sincere apology.
Publication Date: 02/04/2019
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