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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Argentine daily ridicules Galtieri
Argentine veterans remember the Falklands War
Argentina suffered 649 dead in the war
Most Argentine newspapers carry straightforward reports about the arrest of General Leopoldo Galtieri for human rights abuses.

One leading daily, however, gives a savage account of the man who led the country during the Falklands invasion.


Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri is today an old man of 76 who has never expressed regret for the mistakes in the 1982 war

Clarin

Clarin rubbishes his command during the war and accuses him of arrogantly refusing to admit his mistakes now as an old man of 76.

This was a leader, the paper says, who virtually ordered the invasion of the Falklands "with unloaded guns because he never expected such a reaction from Margaret Thatcher".

General Galtieri emerges as a man who liked to "improvise" and who once did a deal with Libyan leader General Gaddafi, sending him fruit and vegetables in return for plane-loads of weapons.

General Leopoldo Galtieri in 1982
Galtieri: no regrets

The general's battle preparations were risible, according to Clarin.

"One of the submarines he sent to fight against the world's most powerful fleet could not get its torpedoes to explode," it says.

Another submarine had problems reaching the theatre of operations.

The paper recalls how General Galtieri went onto the balcony of the presidential palace in Buenos Aires at the start of the war to a resounding reception by thousands.

"Galtieri swore to give battle," it writes, but "far away from the bullets."

'Unrepentant'

The general was subsequently sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for his ineptitude but released by the then President, Carlos Menem.

"Such dishonour has not stopped him being a permanent presence in military circles," Clarin writes.


He never saw eye to eye with democracy

And he has "never seen eye to eye with democracy".

The paper notes that photos of the general, who now faces trial for human rights abuses, "reveal him proudly showing off a golden crucifix worn on his chest".

"Arrogance is one of his favourite drinks," Clarin concludes.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

11 Jul 02 | Americas
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