BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — London's tabloids and British leaders are depicting Argentina as dangerous and belligerent 30 years after its invasion of the Falkland Islands. Argentines say Britain should consider its own history of waging war around the globe, and acknowledge that the islands and seas around them rightfully belong to Argentina.
Despite weeks of overheated rhetoric, there seems to be zero hunger among Argentines for another "military adventure" no matter how much they want to reclaim the islands 300 miles off their southern shores.
Tensions are sure to rise even more with the London's Daily Mail reporting Saturday that British Prime Minister David Cameron personally approved sending a nuclear submarine to the Falklands before the April 2 anniversary. The sub reportedly carries a team of Spanish speakers to monitor regional communications, and cruise missiles to deter Argentina's military.
Cameron's office and the U.K. Foreign Office referred calls to the Ministry of Defense, which said it does not comment on submarine deployments, but Argentines were already upset that London dispatched Prince William to the islands on a six-week military tour, along with the Royal Navy's most advanced destroyer, the HMS Dauntless.
"It seems to me to be an ostentatious and unnecessary show of force," Argentine Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli said Friday. "We could have told them that they could have saved themselves thousands of pounds."
Every Argentine schoolchild is taught that the British stole the Malvinas, as Argentines call the islands, as well as the South Georgia and South Sandwich islands nearly two centuries ago, claiming along with them a huge expanse of the South Atlantic.
But hardly anyone here wants to use force to recover them, least of all President Cristina Fernandez.
She has ordered the declassification of the Rattenbach Report, a long-secret analysis of mistakes made as the 1976-83 military junta went to war with Britain in 1982. She said she wants it understood that her campaign to recover Argentine territory will remain one of diplomacy and economic pressure.
Argentina's dictatorship invaded to cover up its torture and killing of political opponents and distract people from a devastated economy, Fernandez said. "They couldn't think of anything better to do than send unprepared boys to a suicidal war."
A total of 649 Argentines and 257 Britons died in the 74-day war, humiliating the junta and hastening Argentina's return to democracy. Declassifying the report, which described the invasion as a poorly planned "military adventure," will show "it wasn't a decision of the Argentine people, but of a despotic government," Fernandez said.
Col. Augusto Rattenbach recalled in an interview with The Associated Press how his father, Gen. Benjamin Rattenbach, challenged the junta, calling dictators to testify and then urging them to reveal their mistakes. He died suddenly of a stroke only days after learning his work had been shelved.
"My father didn't want to hide anything," Rattenbach said, insisting that "many of the report's lessons are just as valid today."
For years, Argentines were so ashamed of the dictatorship that they wanted to forget about the islands. Polls suggest that's no longer the case.
Almost three-fourths of Argentines, cutting across all ages and classes, say recovering the islands is important, and more than two-thirds said they support Fernandez's campaign, according to the Ibarometro polling firm.
Yet despite a radical group's burning of a British flag Thursday that was widely broadcast in Britain, just 3 percent of Argentines say they would support a military solution, the firm found. The findings were based on a Jan. 24 survey of 1,000 people in metropolitan Buenos Aires, home to a third of Argentina's population. The poll's error margin was three percentage points.
Nearly 79 percent of those surveyed favor diplomacy or negotiations to resolve the dispute.
Such unity is "not often found in an Argentina so divided and politicized," said Ignacio Ramirez, Ibarometro's polling director.
"Any way of recovering the islands is considered legitimate, except for war," he added.