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  1. Gallery

    | 9 notes

    • After James Cameron’s amazing feat, we thought we’d make a gallery featuring some of Hollywood’s men (are they always men? Answers on a postcard, please) doing more for the world than just making films.

    To go with that, here’s Hadley Freeman’s guide for Celebrities Doing Serious Things.

    Photographs: Mark Thiessen/AP, Argenpress/Rex Features, Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters, Win McNamee/Getty Images

  2. Photo

    | 11 notes
    Remember that gallery of Sean Penn (above) looking political in Venezuela, in New Orleans, in Iraq, in Washington?
Now he’s being political … in The Guardian’s pages. He wrote a piece about the Falklands/Malvinas controversy for us. Interestingly, most of the traffic to this piece, I’m told, seems to be coming from Argentina, and loads of readers are tweeting it in Spanish. The Telegraph in the UK, on the other hand, called it something that “even The Huffington Post would baulk at running”.

The Malvinas/Falklands: diplomacy interrupted
On 12 February at Casa Rosada,  Buenos Aires, I sat in a media centre within the palace walls and made a  brief statement about my meeting with President Kirchner. I am  ambassador at large for the Haitian government and CEO of the J/P Haitian Relief Organization,  and our meeting focused entirely on the co-ordination efforts of  countries like Argentina that made, and continue to make, significant  contributions to a newly hopeful Haiti.
As my statement came to an  end, I felt it appropriate to address my personal belief in the  necessity for diplomacy to resolve a deeply held Argentinian conviction  of ancestry and sovereignty that was being denied an international  forum. Given that I was a guest in this country, whose own voice on an  intractable UK position had been so nominally heard internationally, it  seems to me that the fair respect from a gracious visitor was to  comment.
The issue at hand was the fact that despite the  encouragement of the UN, and despite our world’s recent and evolving  lessons of cultural sensitivity and economic equitability, the UK has  refused to return to diplomatic efforts regarding the status of UK and  Argentinian claims to the Malvinas Islands, commonly referred to as the Falkland Islands.  The manifestation of the islands’ names themselves betrays a vague  history written by victors and viscounts. Malvinas, a name inspired from  the French; and Falklands, that associated with a colonial leader of  the British empire.
This is not a cause of leftist flamboyance nor  significantly a centuries-old literary dispute. But rather a modern  one, that is perhaps unveiled most legitimately through the raconteurism  of Patagonian fishermen. One perhaps more analogous to South Africa  than a reparation discussion in South Carolina. As a result, we must  look to the mutual recognition of this illusive paradigm by both  countries, when in the 1970s, the United Kingdom and Argentina were  indeed involved in open-minded diplomatic negotiations for claims on the  Malvinas/Falkland Islands.
It was not until the US and the UK supported the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile and an oppressive military leadership in Argentina had sought to distract populist attention from the plight of its own desaparecidos and their families domestically, that diplomatic efforts were shut  down. The junta staged a ludicrous invasion of the islands in 1982,  though residents were resolutely British subjects. Still, the very  people who suffered and fought most enduringly against this military  junta in Argentina are the ones who today lead that country, and on  behalf of their people seek simply a fair and re-established diplomacy in issues of the disputed islands ranging from immigration to natural resources.
The  UK’s pause in diplomacy is an understandable one, but any lack of will  to re-engage is a clear exploitation of losses already suffered. It is  dismissive of a country and continent whose sacrifices and dignity have  too long been neglected. As an American citizen whose position (or even  any right to a position) has been called into question by a  transparently corrupt and non-diligent propaganda machine that is much  of the British press, my words of 12 February as well as my follow-up on 13 February in Montevideo, Uruguay, were, despite a complete video record, regurgitated through excerpt and flagrant manipulation.
Here  is what needs to be known: the principal re-sculpting of my remarks by  irresponsible journalism was to encourage the inflammatory notion that I  had taken a specific position against those currently residing in the  Malvinas/Falkland Islands, that they should either be deported or  absorbed into Argentine rule. I neither said, nor insinuated that. The  UK and General Augusto Pinochet (with ultimately timid support from the  US) along with the diversionary invasion by the former Argentinian  regime, did a fine job of leaving little room for that argument on  today’s world stage.
However, the legalisation of Argentinian  immigration to the Malvinas/Falkland Islands is one that it seems might  have been addressed, but for the speculative discovery of booming offshore oil in the surrounding seas this past year. So when I used the term  “archaic colonialism” in my remarks, it was not, as so ubiquitously  misreported, a call for the repatriation of British subjects, but rather  to question the deployment of Prince William to that area of operations  where many British and Argentinian mothers and fathers had lost sons  and daughters. With the deployment of the prince, whose task is  helicopter search and rescue missions from an island colony with a  population of about 3,000, there is the automatic deployment of  warships. It is difficult to imagine that there is no correlation  between the likely discovery of offshore oil reserves and the message of  pre-emptive intimidation being sent by the UK to Argentina.
Let’s  recap: the UK was indeed engaged in diplomatic resolution discussions  with Argentina until the Argentinian people were themselves betrayed by  their own leadership’s diversion, and the UK’s unfaltering support of a  dictator who had live rats inserted into female genitalia and electric  probes placed on the testicles of men in Chile simply because they had  elected for a life, identity, and leadership of their own choosing.
The “Falklanders’” slogan is “Desire the right”.  Indeed this is a human desire and not the exclusive domain of Falkland  Islanders. And it is the same desire for which so many Chileans and  Argentinians suffered and ultimately triumphed. The recognition that the  diplomatic process of the 1970s gives to some of the legitimacy of  Argentinian claims should not be dispelled or denied by the great United  Kingdom through the exploitation of a more recent past, or for the  greed of superpowers desperate to control the natural resources of the  world. God save the Queen.


• Sean Penn with Argentina president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Photograph: AP)
• Sean Penn in Haiti with Shakira (Photograph: Agencia EFE / Rex Features)

• Sean Pen with president Chavez (Photograph: Ho New /Reuters)

• Sean Penn at a Washington march against the Iraq war (Photograph: Amy Sussman/Getty)

• Sean Penn helping out in New Orleans (Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP)

• Sean Penn visits Iraqi children at the al-Mansour hospital in Baghdad (Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

    Remember that gallery of Sean Penn (above) looking political in Venezuela, in New Orleans, in Iraq, in Washington?

    Now he’s being political … in The Guardian’s pages. He wrote a piece about the Falklands/Malvinas controversy for us. Interestingly, most of the traffic to this piece, I’m told, seems to be coming from Argentina, and loads of readers are tweeting it in Spanish. The Telegraph in the UK, on the other hand, called it something that “even The Huffington Post would baulk at running”.

    The Malvinas/Falklands: diplomacy interrupted

    On 12 February at Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires, I sat in a media centre within the palace walls and made a brief statement about my meeting with President Kirchner. I am ambassador at large for the Haitian government and CEO of the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, and our meeting focused entirely on the co-ordination efforts of countries like Argentina that made, and continue to make, significant contributions to a newly hopeful Haiti.

    As my statement came to an end, I felt it appropriate to address my personal belief in the necessity for diplomacy to resolve a deeply held Argentinian conviction of ancestry and sovereignty that was being denied an international forum. Given that I was a guest in this country, whose own voice on an intractable UK position had been so nominally heard internationally, it seems to me that the fair respect from a gracious visitor was to comment.

    The issue at hand was the fact that despite the encouragement of the UN, and despite our world’s recent and evolving lessons of cultural sensitivity and economic equitability, the UK has refused to return to diplomatic efforts regarding the status of UK and Argentinian claims to the Malvinas Islands, commonly referred to as the Falkland Islands. The manifestation of the islands’ names themselves betrays a vague history written by victors and viscounts. Malvinas, a name inspired from the French; and Falklands, that associated with a colonial leader of the British empire.

    This is not a cause of leftist flamboyance nor significantly a centuries-old literary dispute. But rather a modern one, that is perhaps unveiled most legitimately through the raconteurism of Patagonian fishermen. One perhaps more analogous to South Africa than a reparation discussion in South Carolina. As a result, we must look to the mutual recognition of this illusive paradigm by both countries, when in the 1970s, the United Kingdom and Argentina were indeed involved in open-minded diplomatic negotiations for claims on the Malvinas/Falkland Islands.

    It was not until the US and the UK supported the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile and an oppressive military leadership in Argentina had sought to distract populist attention from the plight of its own desaparecidos and their families domestically, that diplomatic efforts were shut down. The junta staged a ludicrous invasion of the islands in 1982, though residents were resolutely British subjects. Still, the very people who suffered and fought most enduringly against this military junta in Argentina are the ones who today lead that country, and on behalf of their people seek simply a fair and re-established diplomacy in issues of the disputed islands ranging from immigration to natural resources.

    The UK’s pause in diplomacy is an understandable one, but any lack of will to re-engage is a clear exploitation of losses already suffered. It is dismissive of a country and continent whose sacrifices and dignity have too long been neglected. As an American citizen whose position (or even any right to a position) has been called into question by a transparently corrupt and non-diligent propaganda machine that is much of the British press, my words of 12 February as well as my follow-up on 13 February in Montevideo, Uruguay, were, despite a complete video record, regurgitated through excerpt and flagrant manipulation.

    Here is what needs to be known: the principal re-sculpting of my remarks by irresponsible journalism was to encourage the inflammatory notion that I had taken a specific position against those currently residing in the Malvinas/Falkland Islands, that they should either be deported or absorbed into Argentine rule. I neither said, nor insinuated that. The UK and General Augusto Pinochet (with ultimately timid support from the US) along with the diversionary invasion by the former Argentinian regime, did a fine job of leaving little room for that argument on today’s world stage.

    However, the legalisation of Argentinian immigration to the Malvinas/Falkland Islands is one that it seems might have been addressed, but for the speculative discovery of booming offshore oil in the surrounding seas this past year. So when I used the term “archaic colonialism” in my remarks, it was not, as so ubiquitously misreported, a call for the repatriation of British subjects, but rather to question the deployment of Prince William to that area of operations where many British and Argentinian mothers and fathers had lost sons and daughters. With the deployment of the prince, whose task is helicopter search and rescue missions from an island colony with a population of about 3,000, there is the automatic deployment of warships. It is difficult to imagine that there is no correlation between the likely discovery of offshore oil reserves and the message of pre-emptive intimidation being sent by the UK to Argentina.

    Let’s recap: the UK was indeed engaged in diplomatic resolution discussions with Argentina until the Argentinian people were themselves betrayed by their own leadership’s diversion, and the UK’s unfaltering support of a dictator who had live rats inserted into female genitalia and electric probes placed on the testicles of men in Chile simply because they had elected for a life, identity, and leadership of their own choosing.

    The “Falklanders’” slogan is “Desire the right”. Indeed this is a human desire and not the exclusive domain of Falkland Islanders. And it is the same desire for which so many Chileans and Argentinians suffered and ultimately triumphed. The recognition that the diplomatic process of the 1970s gives to some of the legitimacy of Argentinian claims should not be dispelled or denied by the great United Kingdom through the exploitation of a more recent past, or for the greed of superpowers desperate to control the natural resources of the world. God save the Queen.

    • Sean Penn with Argentina president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Photograph: AP)

    • Sean Penn in Haiti with Shakira (Photograph: Agencia EFE / Rex Features)

    • Sean Pen with president Chavez (Photograph: Ho New /Reuters)

    • Sean Penn at a Washington march against the Iraq war (Photograph: Amy Sussman/Getty)

    • Sean Penn helping out in New Orleans (Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP)

    • Sean Penn visits Iraqi children at the al-Mansour hospital in Baghdad (Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

  3. Gallery

    | 8 notes

    We just published a piece arguing that Sean Penn has every right to wade in on the Falklands debate, so I decided to have a look at our photo database to see what other politicial causes Penn had landed his name to. Well, holy smokes. - jess

    • Sean Penn with Argentina president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Photograph: AP)

    • Sean Penn in Haiti with Shakira (Photograph: Agencia EFE / Rex Features)

    • Sean Pen with president Chavez (Photograph: Ho New /Reuters)

    • Sean Penn at a Washington march against the Iraq war (Photograph: Amy Sussman/Getty)

    • Sean Penn helping out in New Orleans (Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP)

    • Sean Penn visits Iraqi children at the al-Mansour hospital in Baghdad (Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

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